Super-sub Isaacs keeps promotion dream alive
JC MSFL DIVISION ONE
Norstar FC A 4 Woodford Wanderers 3
Norstar fought back from 3-1 down to win their final game of the season and ramp up the pressure on Brixton and Redbridge Jewish Care B in the Division One promotion race.
The heat was on the visitors to get the three points and push themselves back into second place after missing out on the chance to secure promotion last time out.
It was Woodford though who took the initiative much to the bemusement of the home crowd after a last-minute goalkeeping change and the late arrival of manager/hero Alex Aviram. Mitch Hahn drove through the Norstar defence and fired past Ben De La Fuente to send the crowd into raptures.
The goal acted as a wake-up call as Norstar fought back and after twice striking the crossbar, Simon Perlmutter finally got a deserved goal from a penalty after Martin Sales had handled in the area.
Rather than crumble, as has often been the case this season, Woodford came out fighting and capitalising on another defensive error, Darryl Green fired in super strike which Drogba must have been watching and practicing as he mimicked it later in the day.
Things got even worse for Norstar after another handball in the box saw Woodford awarded a penalty which Harrison Midda put past De La Fuente to make it 3-1 at half-time.
Norstar had never come back from a two-goal half-time deficit before but would need to if they were to stand any chance of promotion and the second half could not have started any better after a Zak McLeod corner was met by the head of the outstanding Josh Pistol to give Norstar just the boost they needed.
However almost 30 minutes passed without any significant chances and it looked like the game – and Norstar’s season – may fizzle out until Jamie Freed’s corner was met by the head of Jeremy Elster for the equalising goal.
A revitalised Norstar – with the fresh legs of Sam Isaacs, David Shamash and Anthony Goodmaker – were then able to take the game to the tiring Woodford and with minutes to go a trademark Goodmaker long-throw hit the cross bar and dropped for Isaacs to tap-in the winner.
Manager Phil Peters was understandably pleased with the result: "What a great way to end a fantastic season," he said.
"Whether we finish second or third we’ve had a great time, played some awesome football and shown we’ve got the quality to match any team in the division – having done the double over champions Oakwood.
"It’s been a tough season having to juggle such a fantastic team and I’m blessed to have such a talented squad and nice bunch of boys.
"Whilst it was lovely doing the double over Woodford this season, I’m looking forward to seeing them back at their best next year and hopefully restoring our healthy rivalry."