Ten-man UJIA stun Glenthorne B
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JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY
Glenthorne United B 2 UJIA 3
Goals from Assi Avital, Ben Nassim and Jerry Teacher inspired the U's to a memorable victory over Division Three champions Glenthorne to help them finish top of the group and set up a home quarter-final against FC Team B.
It was an action packed cup tie and even though both teams had already qualified for the last eight, there was no let up as this fixture produced plenty of excitement.
Missing five of regulars from the starting line-up, UJIA went at the Thornes from the start. They went two up through Nassim and an Avital penalty
UJIA then lost Alex Seligman on 41 minutes after he suffered a broken nose following a collision with Craig Sandford and Gavin Rhodes. UJIA manager Darren Rolfe told JC Sport: "We all wish Alex well after his operation. He really kept Sanford at bay and had him in his back pocket in the first half. Craig seemed quite frustrated!"
UJIA came out in the second half knowing Glenthorne have not lost a game (apart from the Morrison and Anekstein) all season and this would be a big result to take into next week's quarter-final. They soaked up a lot of pressure but then Dan Lassman nodded in to make it 2-1.
Then the game really turned when Sandford nipped in from a poor back-pass to beat Rolfe to the ball, but, according to Rolfe "went down as if he'd been shot". Rolfe saw red but "justice was done as they missed the penalty".
Down to 10 men and it was backs-to-the-wall for UJIA. Nassim took over in goal and tipped a pile-driver on to the bar. UJIA then won a free-kick following a counter-attack. Twenty-five yards out, Teacher spotted the keeper off his line and took a quick free kick smashing the ball over the keeper to make it 3-1.
Sandford grabbed a second goal for Glenthorne in the closing stages, but it was UJIA's day.
Rolfe told JC Sport: "It was a great win from an under-strength team. We never gave up and really dug in with 10 men.
"Respect to Glenthorne who deserve Division Three title, however today was UJIAs day."
Thornes' joint-player-manager Craig Sandford told JC Sport: "We just didn't turn up. Getting the Division Three trophy before the game didn't help. It took our focus off the game.
"UJIA were great value for the win. They worked hard, wanted it more and played great football. I know UJIA had key players out but when you lose five key players during the week then it was always going to be tough. We still had chances to get something out the game but it wasn't to be.
"We're looking forward to another good game against Shirley Park next week."