JC MSFL Matchday 29 preview
The Peter Morrison Trophy semi-final between double-chasing Brady and treble-chasing Hendon takes centre stage, while the Division Two and Four championships could be settled. Elsewhere, it's a big day for eight clubs in the quarter-finals of the JC Barry Goldstein Trophy. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.
JC MSFL GOAL OF THE WEEK: Ollie Craig (LM Lions A)
JC MSFL SAVE OF THE WEEK: Steve Murad (Temple Fortune A)
JC MSFL CELEBRATION OF THE WEEK: Ashley Lawrence (SPEC FC)
JC MSFL SUPER-SUB OF THE WEEK: James Abrams (Oakwood)
Peter Morrison Trophy Final - Oakwood vs Hendon Utd SC A or Brady Maccabi A - Wingate & Finchley FC - April 29
JC Cyril Anekstein Cup Final - Hendon Utd SC A or Brady Maccabi A - - Wingate & Finchley FC - April 22, 6.30pm
JC Barry Goldstein Trophy - - Wingate & Finchley FC - April 22, 2.30pm
PETER MORRISON TROPHY SEMI-FINAL
BRADY MACCABI A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
Sunday will be the beginning of an amazing run of games as Brady take on Hendon in part one of four.
Both teams are in top form and an intriguing battle is on the cards in a game that will arguably come down to which team wants it most, keeps its composure and takes its chances.
Brady have been excellent in the second half of the season and they are on course for a cup double. They warmed up for the tie with an impressive 2-0 win over Neasden A, with TJ Keterman and Jonathan Green doing the damage.
Manager Josh Rosenfeld needs that keeper Oli Colmans will need to play the game of his life if they are to put one over a Hendon team on course for an unprecedented treble.
Speaking to JC Sport in his midweek press conference, Rosenfeld said: “I’m very excited for the game on Sunday. We feel we are in great form and on our day we know we can beat anyone if we put our minds to it.
“Hendon are an excellent side and have been for the past five years. They are strong, consistent and tough.
“This is our first season in the Premiership and I never thought of being in one cup final and one semi-final against Hendon.
“They are the top team, they are the team that everyone expects to win and we can go out and play with no pressure at all.
“They are the top team going for the treble. Our aim was to stay in the Premiership which has already been achieved. I’m excited, so are our boys.”
Hendon have lost only two games this season – one in the league, to Lions A, and one in the London FA Sunday Intermediate Cup.
They blitzed Hyde Park Rovers 8-1 in the quarter-finals last weekend, sharing the goals around with Avidan Last (2), Ari Last (2), Yoav Kestenbaum (2), Josh Bentley and Dovid Korman filling their boots.
Manager David Garbacz will undoubtedly be looking for another ruthless display for a team playing with great confidence and a smile on their face. One of their biggest qualities this season is never knowing when they’re beaten. They fight for one another.
Gaffer Garbacz knows that Brady will be looking to throw the kitchen sink at his team who will be looking for another fast start.
Garbacz told JC Sport: "We will be treating this game just like any other one, although I am under no illusions just how important it is; not just for the result on Sunday but also for the psychological effect a win would give for the other three times we need to meet this season.
"Without a doubt this is a game between two teams very much in form and both teams play with good discipline and are hard to break down.
"I would predict a very tight affair and with individual matchwinners on both sides. It could come down to one moment of brilliance.
"We are really looking forward to Sunday and as each game passes this season gets more and more exciting.
"We have no intention of letting our grip go on any competition this year and Brady will need to provide something extra special to knock us out."
Players from both teams have been stepping up week after week. A big crowd is expected to see what promises to be a great advert for Jewish football on the top pitch at Rowley Lane. Fans are advised to arrive early as parking could be a nightmare.
I can see this game being settled by small details, oh, and a moment of magic.
JC team news: Brady will be missing Zak Presky and TJ Keterman. Rosenfeld added: “Two players who will be missed, but we know any individual in the squad can step up.”
Hendon have named a fully fit squad to choose from with the exception of Paul Bentley who is away.
JC star man: Rafi Kon (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Brady A 1 Hendon Utd SC A 2
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
15 - Mike Pearson (Faithfold A)
12 - Danny Kon (Hendon A)
FC TEAM A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B
FC Team A and Raiders B have done incredibly well in their respective first seasons in the JC MSFL Premier Division.
Survival was never in doubt for a Raiders team that has taken the division by storm, while FC Team go into the game after cementing their top-flight status with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Raiders’ A team.
Brilliant performances from keeper Ed Bloom, defender Jon Toby and striker Richard Salmon helped them along the way, not forgetting that wonder goal by Craig Edwards.
"We are still on a high after Sundays great result and now we can look forward to just concentrating on expressing ourselves in the last few games,” manager Mitch Young told JC Sport.
“These are no pressure games and we must try and avoid the end-of-season feel because it is important we end the season with some momentum going into a very important next season for the club in the Premier Division.
“Let me just congratulate Rob on a tremendous first season. We are used to playing them in high pressure games so this will make a nice change and hopefully we can both enjoy the game and have some fun."
Raiders B came from behind to win the corresponding fixture, thanks to a double from top-scorer David Dinkin, and manager Rob Richman is determined they finish the season with another win or two to their name.
Richman told JC Sport: “I watched FC Team last week and was very impressed with the spirit shown at coming back from 2-0 down and then 3-2 to take a point off our ‘A’ team and consequently secure premiership football next season.
“I have never doubted they are a decent side and with the unpredictable Salmon in the team they always have a chance.
“We have struggled for numbers in recent weeks and therefore it is pleasing that we are able to put out a strong squad for the penultimate game of the season.
“Our games with FC Team are usually classics and we will be aiming for another win to give us a really good chance of finishing in the top five.”
Mark this down as one to watch. It will be a good one for the neutrals.
JC team news: Mitch Young may make first start of the season for FC Team, while Jonny Pearl in squad for first time. Gideon Moss and Dave Ossack remain absent while Jon Breger is away.
Gaffer Richman reports a “much improved picture in comparison to recent weeks”. Shim Bensoor, Gilad Kestenbaum, Dan Polak and Nicky Woolf all return. Mike Hershman is out trying to win the club some money in Las Vegas and he joins long-term absentees James Foley-Comer and Jonny Hesselberg.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – A. Myerson
JC star man: Craig Edwards (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 2 NL Raiders B 2
FAITHFOLD A vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
I can’t remember the last time both Faithfold and Neasden limped over the finish line in such unceremonious fashion.
Injuries have taken their toll on both teams although the number of red cards for Neasden this season has been quite alarming. Last weekend keeper Mario Cenolli was the latest recipient of an early bath.
Neasden were second best against Brady and joint-manager Darren Yarlett admitted to me that the end of the season cannot come soon enough.
“We go into the last two games off the back of a bad run. Since the Brady cup game the wheels have fallen off with players either making themselves unavailable or not playing to potential.
“However the two games coming up can be about enjoyment and getting the most out of it. Like us, Faithfold have had a disappointing run after a good start and I expect a typical end of season match.
“For me it’s my penultimate match before I stand down so a win would be nice.
“Also like to wish Scott Schindler Mazel who gets married on Sunday (silly boy!)”
Faithfold still have five games left and finishing above their illustrious rivals must be top of their list of priorities.
Manager Zuriel Solomon told JC Sport: “We hope to get a win on the board after some poor results.
“I was happy with last week’s performance but disappointed not to pick up any points.
“We welcome Neasden to the Hive - playing them for the first time this season we won’t underestimate them as they are a good team.”
In terms of team news, Solomon said: “I’m waiting on my uni boys and still have some injuries and long-term absentees.”
I’ve got this down as a score draw.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Joe Levy (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold A 1 NW Neasden A 1
22 - Jamie Kent (Brixton Old Boys - includes goals scored for Brixton B)
17 - Dan Orgel (Redbridge JC B)
OAKWOOD vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN B
Team of the moment Oakwood are expected to be crowned Division One champions when they host relegation favourites Harmen B on Sunday.
The Oaks are in the middle of a real purple patch and last weekend they became the first team from outside the JC MSFL Premier Division in several years to reach the prestigious Peter Morrison Trophy final. Another moment of magic from super-sub James Abrams was enough to see off South Manchester in a tie where Adam Levine, Ilan Scorah and Dan Geey came in for special praise.
The champagne has been on ice for a couple of weeks now and the team is looking forward to cracking open the bubbly on Sunday.
“It’s another massive game for the Oaks,” an excited Blank told JC Sport. “We have a fantastic opportunity to win the league on Sunday and go up as champions, and we intend to do our very best to achieve this.
“We're on a fantastic run of 11 straight victories in all competitions and off the back of a superb weekend in Manchester confidence is high.
“We won't take Southgate lightly and our games are always tight. We know their main threats and we'll be prepared.
“A few of our experienced boys are away or injured, including captain Adam Levine, Eddie Manson and the Geey brothers but we have a big squad to cope this year.
“We're very much looking forward to the game.”
It’s been a tough old season for everyone connected to Southgate Harmen. Marc Cohen’s men have lost 10 out of 15 games and they have the worst defensive record in the division.
The corresponding game in September was a real see-saw affair as strikes from David Marcus and Paul Stein gave Harmen an early two-goal advantage but the Oakwood pressure told as Dan Abrams (2), Eddie Mason and Ilan Scorah sealed the points.
You can mark this one down as a home banker as I can see the Oaks winning by an emphatic scoreline.
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – D. Cohen
JC star man: Dan Ash (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 6 Southgate Harmen B 0
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS A
Brixton still have three games left to play and they will be looking to close the gap on promotion rivals Norstar, Chigwell and Redbridge B when they travel to Woodford on Sunday.
Young keeper Jake Doffman was one of the stars of the show in last week’s draw against Norstar in a game where Sam Franks got on the scoresheet.
With another big match against Norstar next weekend, they will be looking to register an eighth league win in Redbridge.
Looking ahead to the game, Brixton boss John Nitka told JC Sport: “We all know in order for us to gain promotion we need to win our last three games, starting this week with Woodford.
“The ball is in our court and will see what happens. I have, bar one player, a full squad to choose from.”
Woodford are all but safe with Harmen B needing a huge victory at Oakwood in their last game to leapfrog them on goal difference, which seems highly unlikely.
They went down 5-3 in a thriller against Temple Fortune A and will look to get back to winning ways against a Brixton team they beat 4-3 at the beginning of the year. Paul Shone, Elliott Gold, Jerome Marks and a late strike from Adam Poole sealed the win that day.
Given that they still have plenty to play for, I’m tipping Brixton to exact revenge.
Venue – Redbridge Sports Centre, Ref – B. Pieters
JC star man: Michael Posner (Brixton)
DC Prediction: Woodford Wanderers 1 Brixton Old Boys A 3
21 - Doron Weinstein (Redbridge Jewish Care C - includes one for B team)
18 - James Gold (LM Lions B)
CAMDEN PARK vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
“Games don't get much bigger than this.” Those were the words of Hendon joint-player-manager Motty Korman this week.
Few could begrudge Camden winning the title as they have lost the fewest number of games, but that won’t stop Hendon trying to wrestle the title out of their clutches.
Chaim Gothold, Ra Noe and Mickey Mendleson steered the Hornets to their 12th league win of the season last weekend as they put Faithfold B to the sword 3-1.
Now all eyes are on Camden. Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Korman told JC Sport: “A good result for us last week puts us three points behind Camden with a game in hand, but we have a superior goal difference.
“If we win on Sunday we win the league as long as we don't lose by more than 10 goals to Lions B the following week.
“Saying that, Camden are an excellent young and competitive team that have been consistent all season and go into the game knowing that a win on Sunday sees them lift the title. After beating us a few weeks ago they must be the favourites... a draw will leave us both waiting another week...
“We will have to play to our strengths and take our chances as chances maybe few on Sunday.”
Korman has high hopes for Akiva Zneimer, who is now back from Israel and was the star performer last week, as well as experienced keeper Nicky Rosenthal, “who made a fantastic penalty save will be hopefully both be available”.
Camden beat the Hornets 3-2 last month with strikes from Guy Marks, Luke Brookner and Josh Toff.
Everyone in the camp believes that this is their moment, none more so than Nick Kagan. In a candid interview with JC Sport, the Camden full-back said: “Very rarely in football is a season so neatly compressed into just one game. Sunday is a cup final for the league title.
“In truth, it should be wrapped up already - three disappointing draws in December kept Hendon in it and this is the chance to put those results out of minds once and for all.
“The atmosphere in the squad is one of determination and of a desire to finish the job. We've had a great season, and we went to Hendon, saw what they had to offer and beat them on their own patch. As a result we're confident of getting another three points on Sunday in front of our own fans and our hands on that much coveted silverware.
“Hendon are an excellent side - definitely the best we've faced in the league this season, but rather than fear them we know we can raise our game to the next level.
“They have it all to do on Sunday, and if we keep our concentration and soak up some inevitable pressure, I'm totally confident in our ability to be able to pass them into submission.
“I'm absolutely buzzing for Sunday. The tackles will be flying in, and there's obviously so much at stake, but above all it will be a fantastic match between two highly competitive and talented teams.
“The tragic events at White Hart Lane last weekend showed that football isn't quite as important as life or death, but for Camden this weekend, it will be close. We will give everything on Sunday.
“Come on the Graphites!”
There is little more for me to say than may the best team win. Good luck lads.
JC team news: Motty Korman has described himself as “personally gutted” after tearing ankle ligaments in last weekend’s win over Faithfold. He has been ruled out. Ari Nevies faces a late fitness test and Parys Hammonds is still suspended.
Gav Noe is on standby as his wife is due to give birth any day now. Korman added: “We’re hoping she will hold off until after Sunday!”
Venue - The Hive, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: Dan Baneth (Camden)
DC Prediction: Camden Park 2 Hendon Utd SC B 2
FAITHFOLD C vs L’EQUIPE
Sunday is make or break for L’Equipe. Anything less than three points and they are down.
The stats don’t look good. They’ve lost the most games, conceded the most goals and scored the least in Division Two.
That said, they beat Faithfold C 4-2 in December and manager David Prager has been searching frantically for that teamtalk. Andy Burke (2), Mike Silverberg and Richard Alexander were the scorers that day.
L’Equipe’s only other league win this season came against Redbridge C, although the draw against table-topping Camden Park shouldn’t be sniffed at.
With three points from the postponed game against Faithfold C yet to go on their tally, Faithfold C earned pulled a big result out of the bag last weekend when they beat FC Team B 2-0, with strikes from Adam Barton and Dave Sherman.
The Superhoops remain locked in a four-way relegation battle but victory on Sunday could be priceless.
Player-manager David Garson goes into the game after seeing his beloved QPR completed a brilliant comeback against Liverpool, and I expect him to have the mother of motivational teamtalks ready to lift his troops for what promises to be an almighty battle.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – Q. Fox
JC star man: Dave Sherman (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 2 L’Equipe 1
24 - Dan Hildebrand (Brady B - includes 7 for Faithfold)
18 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B), Edward Green (Bilbaum)
ATHLETICO FINCHLEY vs SPEC FC
“It’s just a case of keeping the momentum going.” Those were the words of SPEC FC midfield maestro Ricky Lawrence ahead of Sunday’s trip to Athletico Finchley.
Laurence Conway’s men completed a comeback of QPR proportions last weekend, when they came from behind to win 3-2 following a stirring recovery.
SPEC FC know exactly what they have to do in their remaining games to clinch promotion. Clearly, three points are essential this Sunday.
"After last week's incredible win it's just a case of keeping the momentum going,” Lawrence told JC Sport. “We know that if we win our next two games we will be in Division Three next year.
“If Raiders can do us a favour and potentially take the title race down to the last day of the season, we'll be delighted and may even get the club to splash out on some more Jessie J tickets for manager Oli Shorts.
“We know what Finchley are capable of after they gave us a tough game early on in the season and we must be focused on them and not start turning one eye to next week's huge game against Bilbaum.
“With Laurence away, it's down to interim manager James Lesner to steer us to victory."
SPEC FC go in search of their 12th league win of the season on Sunday, exactly the same number of games that Athletico have lost.
The Athletico boys earned an impressive draw against draw against SPEC FC in November, courtesy of a Dan Goodman goal. Now chairman Zach Margolin hopes to put a spanner in the works of the team gunning for a top two finish.
“Sunday will be another very tough fixture,” the Athletico chief told JC Sport. “Last week was our worst performance of late and we missed some of our key players.
“We are still without some big names, but I know Rabstein will be giving the lads one of his divinely inspired teamtalks and that could prove vital in us getting something from the game.
“We drew 1-1 with SPEC at the start of the Rabstein-Margolin era back in November, so it is certainly possible for us to come away with something this Sunday.
“We are hoping to end our exciting first season on a high.
I’ve noticed some similarities between SPEC FC and Arsenal of late, scoring some important late goals. That said, I expect the visitors to win by a couple of goals in what promises to be an entertaining affair.
JC team news: Athletico are still without Joel Barnett, Sam Collins and Andrew Greenwall Cohen, who are away, and Charlie Hollis, who is running for Sport Relief. David Tamman faces a late fitness test and they welcome back keeper Doug Carson.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Nick Wallis (SPEC FC)
DC Prediction: Athletico Finchley 1 SPEC FC 3
JEWVENTUS vs FC TEAM C
Jewventus go into their final game of the season with not too much to play for.
With relegation never an option from Division Four and promotion looking unlikely from the middle of December, Johns boys have not had too much to play for in their last few games.
But with Gaffer John a proud man, he'll want them to try and go out on something of a high.
Playing against a good and competitive FC Team C, the men in black and white will have to have a good game to walk away with three points. And John told me this week, he intends to "carry on for at least one more season".
With John turning 34 on Tuesday next year might be his last, and all the signs are that if he can keep this side together with the likes of Martell, Wynbourne, Gill, Conway, Alexander and Sommeck he could have one last hurrah.
FC Team C have given high-flying Brady B and SPEC FC major scares in recent weeks. Revenge will be the name of the game for player-manager Michael Myers and co who were beaten 2-1 in the corresponding fixture.
After the game, Myers told JC Sport: “It was a poor result considering we had two goals disallowed, hit the bar twice and missing many clear-cut chances.
"We dominated possession in the second half but conceding early in the game puts us under pressure which is why I believe we aren't clinical in front of goal.”
On paper this would be a close contest and I can’t see it panning out much different on grass. Good luck to both teams in what is their final game of the season.
Big match odds
Gab John to score - 20-1
Gab Saul to score - Evens
James Alexander to get an assist – Book closed
Ami Wynbourne to run 8 miles+ - 1-5
Gary Conway to wear his dressing gown – 1-100
Martell to turn up tipsy – Book closed
Nigel Someck to shout - no odds given (please enquire)
Gab John to say anything worth listening to - 1,000,000-1
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – N. Cooper
JC star man: Gary Conway (Jewventus)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 3 FC Team C 3
BRADY MACCABI B vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
The big news coming out of the Brady camp this week is that player-manager Josh Dagul will miss the match that could potentially see them crowned Division Four champions.
The Brady gaffer led by example last weekend, when the team took a big step towards the title with a 4-2 win over Temple Fortune B.
They have room for manoeuvre as if they slip up on Sunday, they will have another bite of the cherry. But Dagul wants to get the job done on Sunday.
“It’s an absolutely massive game,” Dagul told JC Sport. “The worst thing is I'm abroad this weekend so am going to miss the game – my first and only this season - and us, potentially, winning the league.
“We have had a fantastic season and a win on Sunday will make us champions. The lads have shown over the season that we can win in style, but also playing ugly.
“I have faith in the team and trust they will get the win on Sunday to cap our first-ever season as champions.”
Raiders have been unable to sustain a promotion challenge following an excellent first half of the season. Manager Oli Shorts summed things up perfectly when he said: “We go into this game with a sense of what if.”
Shorts went on to say: “We believe that this should have been a title-decider between us and Brady. However we've done a Spurs and our form hasn't been good recently.
“My players will need to show on Sunday that although we won’t win the league that we are still a force in this league and I hope that we can crash Brady’s title party.
“We've played good football of late but haven't got the results so I hope that we finally get the result that comes from a good performance.”
You could sense the sheer determination in the Raiders camp this week. Assistant-manager Rich Abrahams told JC Sport: “We just need to be a bit more composed and clinical in front of goal and see no reason why we shouldn’t get a positive result on the weekend.
“All the signs in the last four or five weeks have been pointing towards a big result at some point - I see no reason why this match shouldn’t be it.”
Raiders have the second best defensive record in the division this season. That is something they can be proud of and with SPEC FC making Shorts an offer he surely cannot refuse, L’Orange will look to give as good as they get.
But as we have seen in recent weeks, Brady keep managing to find that bit extra, that bit of magic to win a game late on. Never-say-die spirit has helped them hit the top of the table and although I can see Raiders pushing them all the way, I think their time will come on Sunday.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – H. Raffe
JC star man: Daniel Hildebrand (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady B 3 NL Raiders B 2
JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY QUARTER-FINALS
SHIRLEY PARK vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
Shirley Park and Glenthorne B have had some monumental battles this season, but with a trip to Wingate & Finchley just two games away, this could be the best of the lot.
The Thornes missed out on a home quarter-final after suffering a surprise 3-2 defeat against UJIA in their final group game, so managers Sam Rosenthal and Craig Sandford will be looking for a big reaction on Sunday.
“Every time we play Shirley Park it is a big game,” Sandford told JC Sport: “They have been consistent throughout the season and have scored regularly
“We have been victorious in the three previous meetings this year, but each time it has been close.
“My players rise to the challenge each time and relish playing in competitive games. We know exactly what we’ll be up against and we have to prepare for another battle.
“After a rare defeat last week, we are desperate to get back out on the pitch and put right our wrongs.
“Last week we missed six regulars but this week I have a fully fit squad, including the return of Fabio Rivieccio from two months out.
With the battle for the JC MSFL Golden Boot hotting up nicely, Shirley top-scorer Saul Conway moved to within one strike of Sandford, so it would be fair to say their head-to-head will be key here.
Conway hit four of the best in the 5-1 routing of Los Blancos last weekend, a result that edged the team closer to promotion from Division Three.
Shirley player-manager Dave Lusman will be calling for his big match players to show big hearts in a game their opponents go into with a clear psychological edge.
Lusman told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to our fourth encounter with Glenthorne this season. The previous three have been a close call so we hope to set the record straight.
"Due to commitments elsewhere, Park go into this one with a capable squad. However, we're missing several goal-scoring threats so we have to say tight at the back and try a nick the win. Park life!"
Like Liverpool, Glenthorne already have silverware in the bag and with Sandford, Daniel Lassman and Revieccio offering top quality in the final third, I can see them winning a game where goals look guaranteed.
Venue – Gladstone Park
JC star man: Fabio Rivieccio (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 2 Glenthorne Utd B 3
FAITHFOLD B vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN C
Favourites Faithfold B saw their Division Two promotion hopes finally ended last weekend but they will look to move a step closer the twin towers of Wingate when they take on third division Neasden C.
A few eyebrows were raised when Rob Shooman’s men were invited to take part in the competition as they sat second in Division Two and the bookies have stopped taking bets on them to win the cup.
Neasden warmed up for the game by filling their boots against JLGB in the league last Sunday.
Oli Joseph led the way with a quality hat-tricks. Aron Lewis and player-manager Louis Taylor chipped in with doubles, with Benji Gourgey and Jamie Isenwater also finding the net.
Keeper Mike Perkin has dropped down to just 20-1 to score after completing the rout from the penalty spot.
With confidence high, Neasden have nothing to lose with home fans expecting to see their heroes in the famous green and white hoops cruise to victory.
Looking ahead to the big match, Taylor told JC Sport: “It’s massive game on Sunday where we're hoping to cause a big upset.
“I managed to fracture my wrist last week so I'm highly doubtful for the game - I'm having a protective cast looked at by the medical team at the club as we speak!
“If we have our best team out and play like I know we can, I'm sure we can give Faithfold a run for their money.”
Adam ‘the Doc’ Levene will be a key player for Neasden. He will need to pull out all the stops to keep Faithfold at arm’s length. That said, Neasden have a good defensive record this season and if they play with no fear, it would be foolish to write them off all together.
Venue – The Hive
JC star man: Adam Levene (NWN)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 3 NW Neasden C 1
BLIZZARD STORM vs TEMPLE FORTUNE B
“We’ll give it a good go.” That is what Fortune player-manager Terry Jeffries told JC Sport ahead of the trip to third division Blizzard Storm.
Having come out of a tough group, Fortune will look to pull off one of the upsets of the day against a team who reached the last eight with a 100 per cent record.
Joey Glynne, Jeffries’s strike partner, has been in scintillating form in recent weeks and the pair will look to get behind a Blizzard defence.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Jeffries told JC Sport: “It’s a massive game for us. We are positive for Sunday and will go to Blizzard Storm and give them a good game.
“We know it will be hard, but we all will be playing out of our skins. We got to the semi-final last season and are hoping to do the same this year.
“We have a full strength team on Sunday with key players coming back into the side. We like to be the underdogs as it helps us raise our game.”
Simon Linden’s men go into the game on the back of a league defeat at the hands of Catford, but it would be fair to say they had one eye on this game.
A big crowd is expected as Linden welcomes back Michael Woolf, Sean Ladier, Ben Robuck, Seb Vandermolen and Michael Gaventa who all go straight into the Blizzard squad.
I managed to get a few words with Linden through his car window as he drove out of training earlier this week. “This is a massive game for the football club,” he told JC Sport. “We are bang up for Fortune.
“We know they are a tough nut to crack, very competitive and pose a threat. My team needs to react from a poor outing last week against Catford.
“I have a strong squad available bar Adam Speck. I’m confident we can put ourselves within 90 minutes of Wingate, but I’ll need a top performance from everyone involved.
“It’s a big game and ill need the big players to turn up and pull a big performance out the bag.”
The first 20 minutes will be crucial for Fortune on Sunday. They longer the match stays goalless, the more belief they will have. But with home advantage, only a brave man would bet against Blizzard going through.
JC star man: Sean Ladier (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 3 Temple Fortune B 1
UJIA vs FC TEAM B
There is usually one shock in the last eight of the JC Barry Goldstein Trophy and I’m prepared to stick my neck on the line and tip UJIA to surprise FC Team B.
Darren Rolfe has put together an experienced squad who know how to win football matches.
Last weekend they put one over old rivals Glenthorne United B to finish top of their group and earn a home draw against second division opposition.
No doubt, Rolfe will be looking for a similar level of performance against a side he respects.
Early strikes from Ben Nassim and Assi Avital put the U’s in the box seat and although the Division Three champions hit back, there was no doubting the quality of Jeremy Teacher’s winner.
Gavin Sherman, Alex Seligman, Ashley Freeman and the evergreen Avital came in for special praise after the game.
Seligman was forced off with a broken nose last weekend and rumour has it that Rolfe is considering playing him with a facial mask. I’ve also heard reports that left-back Jeremy Leigh was seen in a branch of Tux n’ Tails arranging a possible suit fitting in case last season’s runners-up reach the final again.
Only six places separate UJIA and FC Team B and visiting manager Ben Simon hopes his troops can bounce back from last weekend’s 2-0 defeat against Faithfold C.
It will be a tall order for UJIA on Sunday but I’m confident they have the players to do it.
Venue – The Hive
JC star man: Jeremy Teacher (UJIA)
DC Prediction: UJIA 3 FC Team B 2