JC MSFL Matchday 6 preview
Los Blancos go in search of what would be a famous win in one of two JC Cyril Anekstein Cup ties, while there's a bumper league programme in store. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.
JC GOAL OF THE WEEK
Pinty Baddiel (Hendon B) - hit an unstoppable last-ditch winner into the top corner against Lions B
JC SAVE OF THE WEEK
Oli Gee (Oakwood A) - not content with a penalty save, Oli pulled off one of the best, most instinctive saves Ric Blank has ever seen in Sunday football. The strike was equal to Gervinho's on Saturday - the difference was Oli did what Cech could not and somehow tipped it over the bar
JC PASS OF THE WEEK
David James Cohen (FC Team C) - carved up the Faithfold defence with an inside of the boot pass to set up a Cooper goal
JC QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Ian Tussie (Oakwood B) - "This was our best performance of the season. Something happened over Yom Kippur, some serious repenting by the Oaks clearly had an effect. After last week's laboured performance this just what the Chazan ordered."
JC REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Laurie Benson (AC Mill Hill vs Faithfold A)
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
LONDON FA SUNDAY CHALLENGE CUP
FC TRIPIMENI vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
Treble winners Hendon travel to Holloway Road to take on strong opposition in the shape of FC Tripimeni.
Playing in the KOPA Football League, Tripimeni warmed-up for the tie with a 2-0 win over Cetinkaya Cinar with goals from Leon Fisher and Ricky Loucas.
The club were in the headlines for the wrong reasons last season when they were thrown out of the competition and fined £750 following deliberate breaches of competition rules.
Hendon were pushed to the limit by Oakwood last Sunday, with the ever-reliable Alex Rosenthal popping up with a goal in a hard fought 1-1 draw.
Manager David Garbacz knows his team will have to step it up if they are to get a result on Sunday. It was great to see Dovid Korman’s name in lights again after he put in an excellent display.
He told JC Sport: “We are under no illusions as to the size of the task in hand this week. This is a massive step up in class and will be an very difficult test for us to overcome.
“FC Tripimeni are one of the top Sunday teams around in the country and having watched some video footage of them this week, it is clear they will be formidable opponents.
“We are also missing some key players but as always I have enormous faith and belief in the whole squad and we will be giving it a real go to spring a surprise on our opponents and hopefully will represent Jewish football with pride.
“We have nothing to lose in a competition that is probably not highest on our list of priorities, but which nevertheless we would love to progress in.
“The magic of the cup can do wondrous things and the underdog tag is not one we are used to wearing so we will hope to ride some luck and play some good football and see if that can get us over the line.
“One thing is for sure – we will not be going down without a big fight.”
JC team news: Hendon are once again quite depleted for what gaffer Garbacz described as “what is sure to be probably the toughest game we have encountered in many a year”. They are still missing Russell Corin, Rafi Kon and Danny Kon, who are all still away for Succot, whilst Ben Lauffer is unavailable and Alex Gilbert is injured. They have called up young Yehuda Korman, who continues to impress enormously, and Ben Kon returns.
DC Prediction: FC Tripimeni 2 Hendon 1
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND ONE
LOS BLANCOS vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS A
2011 semi-finalists Los Blancos have absolutely nothing to lose when they host the Lions on Sunday.
Chairman Joel Minsky has been rummaging around his antic looking for his famous teamtalk to pass on to Adam Hersh at Blancos attempt to pull off what would be one of the biggest shocks in MSFL history.
Minsky and Hersh have spent much of the weeks watching footage of Lions this season and I’ve heard reports they sent a scout to watch the Lions in LSFA Cup action last weekend.
Blancos have made a decent start this season, but it’s important they start well against a team fancied to go all the way in the competition.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Hersh told JC Sport: “We’ve done it before - beating Neasden B two years ago - and we can do it again.
“I would absolutely love it if we could beat them, lulav it!”
The Lions go into the tie on the back of two defeats. You can get 20-1 on Blancos recording a famous win, but I expect normal service to resume.
Mike Pearson netted in last weekend’s cup defeat and managers Josh Newman and Malcolm Newman will be looking for a big reaction.
I think they’ll get it on Sunday.
JC team news: Blancos have a number of key players missing this week including centre backs Yaakov Suissa and David Israel, along with striker Joel Kutner.
Adam Hersh and Nathan face late fitness tests.
Ref – Tony McEvoy
JC star man: David Nezri (Lions)
DC Prediction: Los Blancos 0 Lions 5
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
The JC sun tan of the week prize will be up for grabs on Sunday as the Wanderers will be sporting prepared for a big cup derby day with a trip to Spain.
Celebrations have just about finished after director of football Martin Sales got married so mazel tov to all from everyone at the JC.
A first win of the season is a must for the Woodford boys, with joint-manager Ben Rosenthal predicting a “tough clash in middle of park between bulldog Darren Ezekiel and Elliott Castle”.
Rosenthal is confident his troops will do the business against a team that has drawn all three games.
One thing is certain on Sunday, there has to be a winner. Rosenthal is saying “4-1 to Woodford”.
I think it will be a bit closer with the second division team looking to hold their own. Keeper Matt Kemp continues to show improvements with every match, while manager Jon Jacobs says his young team are “not finding the step up as difficult as some predicted”.
We should know a lot more about both teams come 12.15pm on Sunday.
JC team news: Woodford are missing Darryl Green (family duties), while Jamie Golding faces a late fitness test.
Ref – Adam Lewis
JC star man: Darren Ezekiel (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Woodford 2 Redbridge B 1
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
4 - Lorian Madanes (LML A)
BRADY MACCABI vs OAKWOOD A
Joel Nathan reports a clean bill of health for the first time this season as Brady entertain Oakwood for what promises to be a gripping encounter.
His men cruised to a 5-2 victory against Norstar last week – their first win of the season.
It was a game where Ben Joseph and Bradley Sharp showed just what Nathan departed with so much wonga over the summer. Clearly it was money well spent.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Nathan told JC Sport: “Oakwood have proved tough opposition for everyone they have faced this season and showed last week against Hendon that they are a match for anyone on their day.
“We have already played them this season so know we will come up against - a very organised team who won't flinch whatever we throw at them.
“We are coming into this game after a good result so we have to make sure we carry the form into this game.”
As Nathan says, the Oaks were different gravy against the defending champions, with new signing Josh Bentley leading by example against his former club. Oli Gee and Ilan Scorah also caught the eye in what was a wonderful team display.
But the challenge now is to maintain that level of performance week in, week out, and to start picking up wins.
As joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: “After Sunday's rollercoaster against Hendon we are back in business this weekend against a really good Brady team.
“Brady have experience and pace all over and we know that they'll be extremely confident on their home pitch.
“It's great to see Josh Rosenfeld back on the score sheet last week - I hope he can stay injury free. He's a good lad and did a lot for Brady in his time as manager.
“They are strong throughout and, with the pace of Marc Lazare up top - there's no doubt Brady are a handful. But we have some aces of our own. Dan Ash was star man last time we met and the squad will be looking to him to reproduce a stunning performance.
“Our challenge is to recreate the form we showed against Hendon last week and give Brady a real game. As ever, I can't wait.”
I’m predicting a titanic battle between two excellent teams. It’s too tight to call a winner.
JC team news: Oakwood will give late fitness tests to Josh Bentley, Dan Geey and Anthony Kintish. Bobbie Cousins is out. Vic Librae is out of his mind. Dave Epstein may feature. He also may not!
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Neil Cooper
JC star man: Dan Ash (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Brady 1 Oakwood 1
BRIXTON OLD BOYS vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
Four games into the season, and Raiders still await their first victory. Manager Rob Richman sounded in positive mood when I spoke to him this week ahead of a match for which L’Orange are taking a significant following, although I believe there are still tickets available.
“We are all rested nicely after a week off last weekend. In our last game against Oakwood we showed some really good signs and despite a difficult first month, I have full faith that the results will begin to improve as the season progresses.
“It seems the league will be particularly tight this year, and it is remarkable how many draws there have been already in the first month. It shows the league is very evenly matched and any team that manages to go on a little winning run will fly up the table.
“Brixton had a very good result last time out in the league and they look a decent side so we are under no illusions that we are in for a tough examination Sunday.”
John Nitka’s boys will be buoyed by the epic cup win over a strong Neasden team. Although their opponents came from Division One, they featured the likes of Lee Cash, Danny Daggers and Adam Klein and were more than capable opponents. Added to that, there’s nothing quite like the lift of winning a penalty shootout, with keeper Jake Doffman taking a bow.
Nitka named each and every player as heroes and he’ll be looking for more of the same on Sunday.
“After last week’s depleted team, I have some players returning, however I have three further players out due to injury and unavailability,” the Brixton boss told JC Sport.
“I will again muster up 11 and we will go into the game with the same attitude as last weekend. Hopefully we will pull off a result.”
Having seen off the Lions and Neasden at Clowes, the challenge of Raiders poses a different threat, with the mobility of Jamie Wolfson and guile of David Dinkin likely to test the Brixton back line.
It promises to be a classic battle of brains against brawn. Raiders are due a break and I think they’ll get one on Sunday.
JC team news: Raiders are expected to welcome back David Rhodes, Elliot Espinoza and Josh Morris, but Dave Esterkin, Jonny Hesselberg and Gilad Kestenbaum miss out.
Venue - Clowes, Ref – Steve Levy
JC star man: Jamie Wolfson (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Brixton 1 Raiders 2
FC TEAM A vs FAITHFOLD A
Table-toppers Faithfold will be looking to extend their lead when they travel to Borehamwood.
Zuriel Solomon’s troops came through a gruelling 120 minutes against third division AC Mill Hill in the cup last weekend, when stalwart striker Daryl Phillips saved their backsides.
Dan Stock and Alex Kaye were the standout performances in Solomon’s opinion, and the manager hopes that heavy legs don’t play a part in what I expect to be a physical, and at times, feisty encounter.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Solomon told JC Sport: “We’re back to the league and our first time playing FC Team who we struggled against last season. They are a team that is improving each year so Sunday will be a good test for my boys.
“We have a full squad to choose from and again we will not take anything for granted even though we have been playing well. Everyone wants to beat the team at the top of the league and FC Team will be no different.
“However, as I have said before if we are on our game we are very difficult to play against and my boys are very excited about Sunday.”
FC Team A are undefeated this season, but Sunday promises to be their toughest test yet.
They were hoping to get some shooting practice in the cup last weekend but their opponents pulled out, so manager Mitch Young will be working them harder than ever at training this week.
Young is under no illusions as to how tough Sunday’s match will be, but he’s confident his troops will rise to the challenge.
He told JC Sport: “Faithfold are the team to beat right now. They are unbeaten and apparently playing some excellent football. However, lets not forget we are unbeaten as well and if we want to challenge we need to take something from the game.
“Faithfold are a footballing side and I have been impressed over the years how they always play a decent passing game and develop young talent so it will be difficult.
“However, we are ready for the test. We took four points off Faithfold last year and we must keep our standards high.”
There will be some mouth-watering battles all over the park, but the key one for me features Team front man Richard Salmon and Dan Howard, my JC Player of the Month.
I can’t see there being more than a goal between the team, but am tipping Faithfold to nick it.
JC team news: Faithfold are still missing injured duo James Frener and Paul Babai, but Solomon expects to have everyone else available for selection, including skipper Alex Levack who returns from a four-game ban.
FC Team are missing Gideon Moss and Dan Silverman.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Andy Fridkin
JC star man: Alex Kaye (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 1 Faithfold A 2
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs NORSTAR A
All is quiet on the Redbridge front following the 4-0 win over Glenthorne B.
Their class told in the last 30 minutes in a match where Adam Bolle walked away with the matchball after firing a hat-trick.
Man for man, RJC hold all the aces, although as ever, much depends on which players manager Eilon Kennet has at his disposal.
I can’t see RJC losing too many on their own patch this year, and you have to say it looks a really tall order for a Norstar team who were hit for five last weekend.
Stars boss Phil Peters will be looking to turn over a new leaf on Sunday as his troops go in search of that first win. He’ll be telling his team there’s no better place to win that at the home of the former champions.
Peters told JC Sport: “We won't play as badly as we did on Sunday again this season and even then at having recovered from 3-0 down to 3-2, we had all the momentum to go in search of an equaliser before a defensive mistake took the game away from us.
“We’re looking forward to getting our Essex trip over and done with for the season and escaping with three points.
“We know they're good and we'll go into the game as underdogs, but we have nothing to lose. A few players are missing through injury and holiday but we've got a big squad and will cope with this.”
Home fans will arrive expecting a comfortable win. I think Norstar will huff and puff, but ultimately class will tell over the course of 90 minutes.
JC team news: RJC welcome back Brad Frankel, Ben Graham and Adam Stolerman. Joel Berg returns following a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Star striker Steve Summers faces a late fitness test on a slight hamstring strain, but they are confident he'll be OK.
Venue - Fairlop, Ref – Warwick Blake
JC star man: Steve Summers (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge 2 Norstar 0
12 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
9 - Gideon Gold (Shirley Park)
FAITHFOLD B vs TEMPLE FORTUNE a
Faithfold were at their free-flowing best in the cup last weekend and manager Rob Shooman hopes they can transfer that form to the league for the visit of Fortune.
Matty Kleinman and Josh Brooks fired double in a big win, but now all attention turns to the bread and butter of the league where they are winless from four games.
Fortune have managed a win in the league, but they have already conceded 11 goals and although manager Lee Fegan is keen to avoid parking the bus, a smash and grab could be order of the day.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Richard Linton (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 2 Temple Fortune A 1
UJIA vs CAMDEN PARK
Youth takes on experience on Sunday as in-form Camden take on the U’s.
Both teams go into the match on the back of good cup results, with UJIA finding their shooting boots.
But they will face a much sterner test against a Camden team on the up. Luke Brookner and Josh Toff were the goal men in the 2-0 success at FC Team B, in a game where David Kanzen, Jake Bernstone and Will Castle impressed.
Camden boast promotion aspirations again this season, but it’s game like this they’ll need to win.
As Nick Kagan told JC Sport: “Competition for places is fierce at the moment, and that's driving the whole team forward. Everyone who came into the team last week put in a solid performance.
“Confidence is sky high and we'll take some stopping on Sunday.
“We need to show a bit of intelligence at times though, we often struggle to adapt our game depending on the opposition and the UJIA game will be a good test of how we're improving in that department.”
UJIA hit nine last weekend, but they will have their recent second half horror show against Camden at the back of their minds – when they conceded four times in 45 minutes.
“We are looking for our season to kick start after our 9-0 win over Jewventus last week,” manager Darren Rolfe told JC Sport.
“Park beat us 5-1 previously and we know what they’re about. I'm hoping our two new signings this week - James Press and Phillip Marks - will make their debuts.
Camden will be looking to make a fast start on Sunday and I can see them having too much for UJIA on the day.
JC team news: Dan Baneth, Rob Hershkorn, Ben Harris, Richard Silver, Sam Bennett, Max Shields all return after being rested last week.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Laurie Benson
JC star man: Sam Bennett (Camden)
DC Prediction: UJIA 1 Camden Park 3
GLENTHORNE UNITED A vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS B
Glenthorne will be looking to get back on track when they welcome the Lions to their new Ford Sports & Social home.
Sam Rosenthal’s troops were humbled by near neighbours Chigwell in the cup last weekend, when top-scorer Craig Sandford drew a rare blank.
Rosenthal reports that he has “a few boys away on a stag weekend,” but he welcomes journeyman striker Jamie Shaw to the club following his move from Woodford.
When at full-strength, a front line of Fabio Revieccio, Sandford and Shaw would frighten the life out of most defences, and Rosenthal cannot wait to unleash his new signing against one of his former clubs.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Rosenthal told JC Sport: "We’re looking forward to welcoming some old friends, but it’s vital we claim all three points after two poor results."
The Lions also crashed out of the JC League Cup last Sunday, despite dominating their tie against Hendon B. In the end they were undone by an 88th minute winner in a match where they missed a plethora of chances.
There will be key battles all over the park on Sunday, but for me, the one between Shaw and Nick Astaire is key to the outcome.
There is a bigger incentive for Glenthorne to win as they want Premier Division football, but that won’t stop the visitors from trying to give as good as they get.
Venue – Ford Sports & Social, Ref – Dave Lazarus
JC star man: Jamie Shaw (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne A 2 Lions B 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN
Hendon won ugly in the cup last weekend, but managers Motty Korman and Chaim Gothold are confident their troops will put on a real show when Harmen come to town.
A memorable strike from Pinty Baddiel took them past Lions B last weekend and a big crowd will be looking to cheer them on to what would be their third league win of the season.
I managed to grab a few words with joint-manager Motty Korman ahead of the game. He told JC Sport: “We are hoping for a better performance than last week, but credit to our young keeper Joseph Corin and young centre back Dovi Vogel who were both superb last week.
“We don’t know much about Harmen, but will be asking our new signing Avi Markovitz who played for them last season. It’s sure to be a big game for him against his old teammates.
“Yishai Last and Chaim Gothold will hope to maintain their records of scoring in all league games so far and a little battle is starting between them or the teams golden boot!
“We’re hoping to continue our good league form this week, but every game in this division will be tough.”
Harmen are still reeling from the humiliating cup defeat at the hands of second division Bilbaum. They went down 3-0 on a day little went right for the club as James Sandler was dismissed. It’s an episode manager Dan Uzan will want to put behind everyone connected to the club.
I’m sure Uzan will call on his experienced players to help pull things together on Sunday to ensure it was no more than a blip, as their league form has been encouraging.
Under Korman and Gothold, Hendon have found a way to win when not at their best. They have a plan B and C and I think this will help them come out on top on Sunday.
JC team news: Hendon welcome back RA Noe and James Josephs, but the Reds are still missing captain Tali Nevies who is in Israel.
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – Neal Cohen
JC star man: Avi Markovitz (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon B 3 Southgate Harmen 1
SHIRLEY PARK vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
It was interesting to see some familiar faces in what I’ll term as a Neasden All-Stars team in this week’s photogallery.
They were unfortunate to go out of the Anekstein on penalties in a game they edged in terms of chances, but while they field players of the calibre of Lee Cash, Danny Daggers, Zack White, Adam Klein and David Fox, they will have a chance in every game they play.
Manager Dan Hodes has compiled a Who’s Who of Jewish football. Adam Kern, my former boss at Neasden, Rick Harris and Jamie Lustigman form something of an old guard and the team is blessed with experience throughout.
But on Sunday they will face the challenge of a different kind in the shape of Shirley Park – the team who loves to score.
Jamie Kent, Saul Conway, Gideon Gold, Nicky Plotnek and Stefan Benfredj – the list goes on. Shirley are packed with goals and players capable of scoring hat-tricks as Kent and Gold have already shown.
The bigger they come, the harder they fall. That is their motto and they will be looking to show NWN who is top dog on Sunday.
Shirley boss Dave Lusman told JC Sport: “We’re looking forward to this one. I’m expecting a close game. We have a decent squad available, but Neasden are lucky my top-scorers are both unavailable. This means that some of the others will need to step up.”
Plotnek is a player NWN have been trying to land for years. Lusman has done well to keep hold of the former West Brom man and I think we’ll see just why on Sunday.
Venue – Norseman FC, Ref – Martin De La Fuente
JC star man: Nicky Plotnek (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 2 Neasden B 1
6 - Adam Goldman (Glenthorne Utd B), Adam Hersh (Los Blancos), Dan Hildebrand (Brady B), Jamie Sinai (Catford & Bromley)
BLIZZARD STORM vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
The Glenthorne management came away from last week’s cup match at Redbridge A with plenty of food for thought.
Young keeper Bradley Grant was at his imperious best in a game they came away from with heads held high. Messus Sapler and Stein know that a similar effort could be rewarded with three points in a game where focus and discipline are order of the day.
Glenthorne joint-player-manager Liam Stein told JC Sport: “We can take a lot of positives after last week’s cup game.
“Having only 11 players available and holding off a strong Redbridge side for 60 minutes gives us real confidence going into Sunday.
“If we can play football the way Jordan and I know we can then we can push on and do very well in this league.”
Blizzard played out their third draw of the season against Catford last Sunday and manager Simon Linden came away a frustrated man.
He will ask his troops to show some killer instinct on Sunday against a hungry and committed Glenthorne team.
Jason Green and Dean Shaw were the goal men for Blizzard last Sunday and it’s good to see Green revelling in his attacking role.
But with some big-hitters back for Glenthorne, it could be backs-to-the-wall stuff for the Blizzard boys on Sunday.
JC team news: Jay Lawrence, Jamie Crawford, Andy Herman and Sam Goldman return for Glenthorne, with each and every one of them looking to impress and play a part on Sunday.
Venue – Hampstead Heath Extension, Ref – Michael Cohen
JC star man: Jason Green (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 1 Glenthorne B 1
NORSTAR B vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
Leaders Neasden will be looking to right the wrongs of last week when they travel to Harrow to take on struggling Norstar B.
Manager Adam Hersh believes they should’ve edged their match against Brady B, but in the end all they had to show for their efforts was a goal from new fans favourite Sam Foster.
Hersh ordered his strikers in for extra shooting practice this week and he’s confident it will pay off once that first whistle blows.
He told JC Sport: “We've got a decent squad for Sunday, including the return of Ali Marks after numerous trips up to Liverpool, Bobby Abrams to partner brothers James, Jonathan and Jonny Franks also makes a return after working 70 hours a week for the last three weeks.
“After a decent performance last week, we're keen to get back to winning ways this Sunday. It seems to be a tight division with not much between the teams but we'll be doing our best to try and stay at the top of the table, come 1pm on Sunday.”
Norstar are still searching for a victory this season and their Anekstein hopes went up in smoke against Shirley last week.
Over the next few months the signs are that they will face a battle against the drop, but in manager David Lubczanski they have someone prepared to roll up his sleeves and knuckle down for a good battle.
Lubczanski will need all the weapons he can get his hands on for the challenge of a talented Neasden team.
Looking ahead to kick-off, Lubczanski told JC Sport: “We have a full compliment of players last week, looking to lift spirits following a disappointing result against Shirley Park.
“We picked up a decent draw in our last league outing and we want to improve on that. We matched Neasden for 60 minutes last time out but we just need to make sure we put our chances away and get more ruthless in front of goal.”
Having beaten Norstar 2-0 at the end of August, I can only see NWN wrapping up an early season double.
JC team news: Norstar are delighted to welcome back Jamie Rosen after laser eye surgery and Adam Seres after a triathlon.
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – Harry Raffe
JC star man: Ali Marks (NWN)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 0 Neasden B 3
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs BRADY MACCABI B
Having got the monkey off their back in the cup, Raiders B will be looking to register their first league win when high-flying Brady B visit Brunel.
Of the two newly-promoted teams, it’s clear Brady have acclimatised better, but given the quality we saw throughout the Raiders team last week, Brady boss Josh Dagul will order his team not to under-estimate L’Orange.
It was good to see Nicky Woolf back on the goal trail last weekend. He’s had an absolute nightmare with injuries over the past couple of seasons and I believe that only this has stopped him from becoming one of the most feared strikers in the league.
Raiders must look to take the game to Brady on Sunday as if they let Dagul’s dynamos dictate, they will come out second best.
Brady got another point on the board – courtesy of a Reiss Mogilner strike – against Neasden B last weekend. They edged possession, but conceded a fair few chances and they will be asked questions by a talented Raiders team.
Much depends on how Brady defend on Sunday, but I think they will be dangerous on the counter and do just enough to edge the points in what looks set to be a high-scoring contest.
Venue - Brunel, Ref – Keith Goodman
JC star man: Dan Hildebrand (Brady)
DC Prediction: Raiders B 2 Brady B 3
SPEC FC vs CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI
Three points will be order of the day for Laurence Conway’s SPEC FC on Sunday. They take on the Cats in what promises to be an entertaining affair.
They SPEC boys came away frustrated as they were forced to settle for a point at Redbridge last Sunday, but sources have told me they were a shoo-in for JC Celebration of the Week. Save it for the cameras next time please lads!
With the division starting to take shape, the home side will be eyeing a third win of the season as a top half of the table finish is the minimum requirement.
Looking ahead to Sunday, SPEC FC’s Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: “We are desperate to improve our home form after two losses there in our two games this season and there's no better time to it than this Sunday.
“We don't know much about Catford but given their results this season, we know it's going to be a tough game."
"Injuries are starting to creep in and with Nick Wallis away in Croatia, Head Chef Jeremy Lawrence's attendance is in doubt such is his love for the SPEC defender.
“Sunday will see a chance for some of the players knocking on Laurence's door to make an impact and hopefully we will return to winning ways."
The Cats are proving hard to beat this season, but it’s victories that manager Lester Jacobs wants most.
They gave a good account of themselves against Blizzard Storm last weekend, with Adam Luria and top-scorer Jamie Sinai on target in a 2-2 draw.
Captain Luria knows it will take an all-action display to topple SPEC but he’s confident his troops are up to the task.
“We’re looking for a win this week against unknown opposition,” Luria told JC Sport. “All games at this level are tough ones and the division seems more even across the board than any other I can remember in 17 seasons of MSFL football, so we know it won't be easy.
“We've got a few absentees this week, but when we can call on players of the calibre of Oli Hitman and Jonny Lee to replace them, we know that we've got a very strong squad.
“We're looking for another tight defensive display, despite two costly errors last week, and for Jamie Sinai to continue in his rich vein of scoring form. Yonni Bord has set up all but one of our goals this season and when he's in full flight there's no one out there who can stop him - he'll be key for us in this game.”
SPEC fans are keen to see some unique goal-scoring celebrations and I just hope the players don’t let them down.
JC team news: The Cats are missing Joel Berwitz, Ryan Kangisser, Ashley Stokes and Lewis Maleh.
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – Gary Silver
JC star man: Ashley Burns (SPEC)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley 1 SPEC FC 2
10 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
8 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B), Jono Gaon (Tottenham Chutspah)
BOCA JEWNIORS vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
Loughton Orient will be looking to show their true colours when they make the long journey to the NHA on Sunday.
Dan Curtis’ men have already made quite a few friends with their fantasy football easy on the eye and the signs are that they will register a second win against basement battlers Boca.
Matt West and Barry Green were among the scorers in what turned out to be a thriller against Tottenham Chutspah last Sunday, and Curtis will urge his team to go on the attack against a team that leaks goals.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting, Curtis had this to say to JC Sport: “Our strength in depth is absolutely brilliant and we have 22 players all wanting to play.
“We are starting to gel as a team and the confidence is high after our comeback last week. We will be raring to go when the ref blows the whistle Sunday morning.”
Boca were simply swept away by the Faithfold B tidal wave and in the end, only a super-human performance between the sticks by keeper Ryan Monk kept the scoreline respectable.
Manager Jamie Weinrich has so far failed to bring in the big name signing his team so desperately needs to help them tighten up at the back.
As we’ve already seen, there’s only so much Monk can do and it will need something special to stop the Loughton boys taking home maximum points.
JC team news: There is mixed team news for Loughton Orient fans ahead of Sunday’s game. They picked up some injuries last week which means we will be without Barry Green and Mark Conway. However, Dave Mitchell, Matt Conway and Rob Silverman return to the squad.
Venue – North Herts Arena, Ref – John Feenstra
JC star man: Dave Mitchell (Loughton)
DC Prediction: Boca Jewniors 1 Loughton Orient 4
FC TEAM C vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
Keep your eye on my C team. Those were the words of FC Team chairman extraordinaire Mitch Young at the start of the season and already they are showing that not only can they talk the talk, they can also walk the walk.
3-0 winners over Faithfold C last weekend, manager Mike Myers will be looking to stretch that unbeaten run to four league games when they take on Hendon for what promises to be a top-quality affair.
James Cooper was the star man last weekend, helping himself to a double against experienced opposition.
But it was a morning to forget for Hendon C who were left battered and bruised by Oakwood B.
Manager Craig Miller told me this week that they have dusted themselves down and are ready to go again.
Having made some marquee signings in recent weeks, I’m sure that result was no more than a blip but their credentials will be tested to the limit by the Team.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Miller told JC Sport: “David Elf is looking to link up with his brother to give Hendon their second win.
“Dean Miller is now out of retirement and back in goal for Hendon and will be a massive boost to the team.
“The team now have a clear mind and full heart.... we can’t lose.”
Wherever you look, there will be some quality footballers on show on Sunday, and no doubt, plenty of sexy football too.
Venue – Aycliffe Road, Ref – David Nathan
JC star man: Dean Miller (Hendon)
DC Prediction: FC Team C 2 Hendon C 2
OAKWOOD B vs TOTTENHAM CHUTSPAH
It’s the clash of the titans in Garston on Sunday as joint-leaders Oakwood B and Tottenham Chutspah go head-to-head.
The mighty Oaks were in red-hot form last weekend when they put five past Hendon without reply. Ben Myers (2), Ben Polak, Matt Geey and Dave Eden, with a goal to die for, were the marksmen, but manager Ian Tussie knows that things will get a lot tougher this weekend.
“Sunday is definitely the hardest game we've had so far this season and that's no disrespect to the teams what we've played already,” he told JC Sport.
“Chutzpah have won all three league games to date and are definitely one of the favourites for promotion, and our back four will have to be at their best again to give us a chance.
“I haven’t seen them play yet but my chief scout, Marc Conway, has been to see them and had very positive things to say. According to Marc they play in an orange kit and that they won the game he watched. Not a huge amount of detail but Marc is one of the best in the game so I’m not going to question his methods!
“We go into the game having won our last three but we know that means nothing come Sunday. It’s our first game at home having had four away games to start the season (like Blackpool in 2010/11) due to delays in the completion of the new Koppah Stand at Parmiters, and it will take a bit of time to get used to the new surroundings.
“I’m very excited for the game and so are the players. Vic Librae in particular is very excited for the game on Sunday. I just spoke to him and he said: “I’m very excited for the game on Sunday.”
The Chutspah boys were left kicking themselves after the 3-3 draw last weekend. Manager Ariel Tamman felt a couple of the goals conceded were easily avoidable and he hopes his defenders step up to the plate on Sunday, but he has other things on his mind too.
Tamman told JC Sport: “Our major concern for Sunday’s game is whether or not Jono Gaon will recover from a hamstring injury picked up during training. We really hope by Sunday he will be back on his feet and ready to play.
“This game is extremely crucial in retaining our top position in the league. I don’t under-estimate Oakwood B as they have not conceived many goals and appear a strong side.
“We think this will be our toughest game yet but we are still confident we can get the three points on Sunday.”
I think Sunday’s game will be decided by minor details, but home advantage could play a part.
JC team news: Oakwood are without Jacques Sultan (back), who has been excellent so far and will be a real miss. Tim Glass and player-manager Ian Tussie (both knee) also miss out, and there is a large question mark next to Marc Hymanson who faces a late fitness test.
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – Paul Dobkin
JC star man: Dave Eden (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood B 2 Tottenham Chutspah 1
L’EQUIPE vs FAITHFOLD C
Having been relegated last season, both L’Equipe and Faithfold C are desperate to bounce straight back up, but with some of their rivals having set off at a great pace, they have much to do.
The Hoops have been not so super, mustering only one win in four, despite having arguably the most potent strikeforce in the division.
They surrendered 3-0 against FC Team C last weekend, the second time they have drawn a blank this season.
But having thumped L’Equipe 4-0 only last month, David Garson’s boys will feel they hold the psychological edge. Ben Simons (2), Ben Portnoi and Charlie Resnick were the scorers in the corresponding fixture.
Eliminated from the Anekstein last Sunday, this season is all about the league for L’Equipe. I’ve heard encouraging things about the team this season, but they must string results together, starting on Sunday.
I think the first goal will be crucial on Sunday and can see the presence of Ben Simons ruffling a few L’Equipe feathers.
Venue – Copthall Academy, Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Ben Simons (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 1 Faithfold C 2
NORSTAR C vs JEWVENTUS
Jewventus hit rock bottom last weekend when they conceded nine times in the come.
No wins in five league and cup matches is worst-case scenario as far as the formerly bright-eye and bushy-tailed Gabriel John is concerned. His pre-season optimism has gone out of the window and it appears he has put the shutters up in terms of speaking to the press.
C’mon Gabe. I’ve got a big comfortable sofa for you to lie back and tell me all your problems!
You have to think they have a chance against the bottom team, for a match which rival boss Zack Gothelf is describing as a “must-win”.
Whatever could go wrong, has gone wrong for Norstar so far, but you can’t keep a good man down and it’s good to hear Gothelf still shooting from the hip.
Looking ahead to Sunday, he told JC Sport: “If ever there was is a must-win game, then this is it. We’re playing another team who've struggled in their first four matches.
“We’ve brought in a couple of new players, details to be announced later, to strengthen up the squad and following a successful training session and with a couple of players also back from injury we're raring to go.
“We’re also trying to set the record for the most home games in a row, Sunday will be our fifth.”
Both teams are low on confidence and with defensive frailties, I’m predicting a high-scoring affair.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Martin Fox
JC star man: Ami Wynbourne (Jewventus)
DC Prediction: Norstar 3 Jewventus 3
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs AC MILL HILL
AC Mill Hill go into the game buoyed by an heroic performance against Premier Division table-toppers Faithfold A in the cup last weekend.
Ben Grabiner produced a super-human effort at the heart of defence, while a strike from Mark Truman took the tie to extra-time. There’s absolutely no disgrace losing a match against one of the big boys after 120 minutes.
The Mill Hill boys will be looking to make it four games without defeat on Sunday, and this is what manager Joe Levy had to say ahead of the game.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to league action this weekend,” he told JC Sport.
“Temple Fortune are an established side so we are eager to test our credentials.
“We have a near full squad to choose from and our pleased to welcome back Loz Bloom after missing the last couple of games.”
Fortune B were forced to pull out of the Anekstein match against FC Team A last weekend due to a shortage of players. Fortunately they didn’t have four funerals and a wedding, but I hear fun was had by all on a stag weekend. Remember lads, what goes on tour, stays on tour …. stag rules, and all that!
Fortune player-manager Terry Jeffries has started the season in fine fettle and his head-to-head with Mill Hill top boy Ben Zloof promises to be worth the admission fee alone.
Fortune are blessed with great experience through the spine of the team, but I can see the visitors’ doing enough on the day, as long as they take their chances.
Venue – Roger Bannister Sports Centre, Ref – Adam Yuchetel
JC star man: Ben Grabiner (AC Mill Hill)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 1 AC Mill Hill 2