Promotion is in our hands, says Peters
JC MSFL DIVISION ONE
Temple Fortune A 0 Norstar A 2
Promotion-chasing Norstar's good run of form continued with a routine 2-0 victory over Temple Fortune at The Hive.
The visitors took an early lead as skipper Jeremy Elster continued his week of engagement celebrations by punishing a Fortune defensive error and finishing with style past the goalkeeper.
But it was the home team who looked more comfortable as the half wore on and set-up camp in the Norstar half with a series of corners, free kicks and long-throws.
Unable to capitalise, Norstar breathed a sigh of relief as the half-time whistle went and after some strong words from the management took the field and began to look like the team fighting for promotion rather than the one battling against relegation.
The Jonny Kay experiment had failed and the midfield maestro was moved back into the middle as Norstar finally began to tick.
Robin Scher replaced the injured Jamie Freed at left back and David Shamash took to the field in place of Eli Houri as the need to keep the ball became more and more important.
Fortune's Michael Goldberg - the best player on the pitch today - was continuously pulling the strings and finally released one of his team mates who found himself one-on-one with Norstar keeper Ben De La Fuente, who despite having had little to do for most of the game was alert enough to make another fantastic save and cement his rightful position as one of the best goalkeepers in Jewish football.
The introduction of Simon Perlmutter late on gave Adam Jason the support he’d been craving all game and the second goal came minutes from time as Jason latched onto a through ball and took it past the outstretched keeper to finish into the empty net.
Norstar manager Phil Peters told reporters after the game: "We rode our luck at times and perhaps Temple Fortune did deserve something more from the game.
"That said, it’s the hallmark of a good team that we can turn up, missing key men, play that badly and still win the game keeping a clean sheet in the process.
"Temple Fortune will stay up this season. They shouldn’t be that far down the table and were the only club to suffer more than us when Montana folded a few weeks ago.
"Lee and Jack have got a good team there and once title-hangover of last season wears off they’ll be challenging again next year.
"For us, promotion is in our hands – two wins from our final three games should be enough but we need to keep working hard and there’s no reason why we can’t win all three of them.
"We usually step it up against the better teams and will need to given the form Brixton are in at the moment when we meet them in a couple of weeks.
"Whilst I'd love them to represent Division 1 in the Anekstein final – and wish John and the boys the best of luck - we could really do with Brady knocking the stuffing out of them!"
Fortune assistant-manager Jack Morris told JC Sport: "I thought we were really unlucky today. I can't fault the effort of anyone and, in truth, we probably could have come away with a point, but we were just lacking in the final third.
"All credit to Norstar who are a very good team, but at times we were really on top of them today, and had a couple of great chances to equalise.
"We didn't take them and they killed us off with the second five minutes from time.
"If we play like this next game, I have no doubt we can pick up the points we need to survive."