JC MSFL Matchday 12 preview
It's a big weekend for Jewish football with action in the Peter Morrison Trophy, JC Cyril Anekstein Cup and JC MSFL. Danny Caro runs his eye over all the action and predicts the winners and losers.
DIV 1: HENDON B vs SHIRLEY PARK
DIV 1: HENDON B vs SHIRLEY PARK
DIV 2: LOS BLANCOS vs NORSTAR B
DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 11 OSCARS
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Guy Ben-Aroya (Catford & Bromley Maccabi)
MANAGER OF THE WEEK
Simon Wolfson (Catford & Bromley Maccabi)
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Ryan Cole (Glenthorne United B) - a free-kick from full on 30 yards in a central position he stepped up and left-footed hit it with power and curl over the wall and into the top right corner. Absolutely superb and a whole team of keepers wouldn't have saved it!
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK
FC Team A – 3-0 down at half-time against Norstar A, pulled it back to win 4-3
JC SAVE OF THE WEEK
Simon Roth (Athletic Bilbaum) - with the Baum defence cut open with a through ball, and all seeming lost, the Roth express sped to the rescue like a freight train on a mission to smother the Blizzard striker taking ball and all, and averting danger
JC QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Mitch Young (FC Team A) - "I'm pleased because after our long ball tactics weren't working, we decided to play some nice football and scored four lovely worked goals. Somehow we won the match indeed!
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
LONDON FA SUNDAY INTERMEDIATE CUP ROUND TWO
FC TEAM A vs ANOTHOSIS FC
FC Team host Cypriot opposition in the shape of Anothosis FC in Borehamwood on Sunday morning as they look to join Faithfold A in round three.
Mitch Young’s men go into the game with their tails up following a brilliant comeback against Norstar A in a game they trailed 3-0 in at half time.
Richard Salmon (2), Jake Weiner and Declan Selbo helped them come back from the dead. It was a game where the drive, energy and determination of Simon Peterman kept them believing, with Oliver Segal and the industrious Jon Breger ensured they battled to the end.
Young is confident his troops will rise to the occasion on Sunday as they look to fly the flag for the JC MSFL.
"The mood in he camp is high following on from last week’s amazing comeback,” he told JC Sport. “However, we are already out of one competition this year and I am not ready to go out of another one, so we will be doing all we can to progress against a tough Cypriot side.
“I have a few players out, but this year we have a big squad so it will give me a chance to see how hungry the players are.
“We want to try and go all the way in this cup and Sunday home advantage could be the key to see us into the last 16."
The spine of Weiner, Peterman and Salmon will give most teams a run for their money, and with the promptings of Young and Jonny Pearl on the sidelines, I can see the Maccabi League giants progressing.
JC team news: FC Team will be missing Ed Bloom, Jon Toby, Gideon Moss, Jake Weiner, Ollie Segal and Jason Wood on Sunday. Dave Grossman will deputise for Bloom in goal.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Oliver Simnock
JC star man: Jake Weiner (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 2 Anothosis FC 1
PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND TWO
SOUTHGATE HARMEN vs CAMDEN PARK
Division One rivals Harmen and Camden will go head to head in an intriguing battle with the prize of becoming the first team into the hat for round three up for grabs.
Both teams go into the game on the back of terrific league victories. Harmen boss Dan Uzan came away from the game against UJIA a proud man after his wonder kids – Conor Permutter and Alex Bull – did the business once again.
But he knows full well that Camden will pose a much tougher challenge.
Uzan told JC Sport: “Camden have been doing very well recently so I’m expecting a tough game. A couple of their boys used to play for us so I know what to expect… they are going to be fit young geezers who give 100 per cent.
“Our team seems to change every week unfortunately, but I’m grateful that we have a strong squad that I can rotate.
“If we can maintain the excellent defensive qualities we have shown so far I will be very pleased. James Sandler has come back to Harmen and been a rock in front of our defence. I expect big things from Bowman and Bull – they haven’t even met yet, but I hope they can gel quickly. Their pace is going to be key to unlocking this team.”
Camden hit an experienced Chigwell team for six last weekend. Chigs boss Richard Slater admitted that his team was unable to live with Camden’s energy, movement and pace.
Richard Silver was the star man once more, firing a hat-trick past opponents who were left waving the white flag before the end. Rob Hershkorn, Josh Toff and player-manager Josh Marks finished the job.
I’m looking forward to a good, open game between two teams with exciting young players. Yet to meet in the league, it’s clear Harmen have done their homework. The million dollar question is, have Camden too? Only time will tell …
JC team news: Harmen welcome back the Castle brothers – James and Sam, Alex Bowman and, hopefully, Josh Franklin.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – John Feenstra
JC star man: James Sandler (Harmen)
DC Prediction: Southgate Harmen 2 Camden Park 3
PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND ONE
FC TEAM C vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
I can smell an upset in Sunday’s tie between third division FC Team C and first division Woodford.
FC Team came oh so close to pulling off a major shock against Premier Division leaders Faithfold A last Sunday. Keeper Mike Myers, Eitan Ben-Zion and Jamie Breslaw were the stars of the show in a five-star performance where they showed their fans and the rest of the league just how good they are.
It was a display that certainly ticked all the boxes, with David James Cohen playing a little further forward then usual and Adam Aminoff giving the defence a tough time. Jacob Symons stepped up to the plate at right back and put in a magical performance.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Myers told JC Sport: "After Faithfold A we have great morale in the team and we are looking at causing an upset. Woodford may have the experience but we have the hunger and desire. I expect a good game."
Assistant-manager Ben Rosenthal confirms Woodford will once again have a fully fit squad to pick from. With a couple of weeks rest, he’s assured me his “boys are raring to go”.
Club chairman Alex Aviram was quoted this week that he is predicting a Woodford riot…with plenty of goals. He told JC Sport: "I was a betting man, which I am, I’d definitely put this game down as a Woodford win in my accumulator."
If FC Team can nullify the threat of Mitch Hahn, they are more than capable of springing a surprise and turning out to be a coupon spoiler!
JC team news: Daniel Rothman is expected to return following a bout of man-flu.
Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Jacob Symons (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team C 2 Woodford 1
FAITHFOLD B vs NORSTAR B
There are plenty of tickets available for Sunday’s tie between first division Faithfold B and second division Norstar B.
The match gives both sets of players the opportunity to put their league struggles to one side and earn a massive pay-day against one of the big boys in round two.
Faithfold were forced to pull out of last weekend’s Anekstein tie against Woodford due to a lack of players. I really hope they can field a team against Norstar, and so do their fans.
Norstar finished down in the dumps following the 8-0 demolition by Blancos. After the game, boss David Lubczanski told JC Sport: "We were poor, conceded a sloppy goal in the first minute and never recovered. We need to start games stronger and not let heads drop so quickly. As a team need to improve and quickly."
Neither team is particularly high on confidence, which I believe could lead to an open and entertaining affair.
Ref – Neal Cohen
JC star man: Doron Hershkorn (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 3 Norstar B 1
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND TWO
OAKWOOD B vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
Division Three leaders Oakwood B have nothing to lose when they entertain first division Chigwell in the cup on Sunday.
Ian Tussie’s men go into the tie on the back of a brilliant performance against Temple Fortune B, when Matt Geey smashed home a brilliant hat-trick.
With the team in fine fettle, Tussie is confident his troops will rise to the occasion.
“I love the Cyril Anekstein, it’s a great cup,” he told JC Sport. “People call it the Morrison’s shickser sister, but for me it’s much more than that.
“Our objective this season is obviously promotion, but Sunday is an opportunity for us to show how far we’ve come this season in such a short period. We know it’ll be a tough game against a good team, but we have nothing to lose (apart from the game and our place in the cup) and therefore the pressure is off us and on them. I can’t wait for this DC.”
Chigwell were hit for six by Camden Park last weekend and with their title dreams over for another season, a good cup run could help lift spirits.
There were not many positives to take away from the game in which Anthony Mendel and Dean Ben Yosef scored. Manager Richard Slater cited a “lack of work rate and desire,” in a game where they were overrun.
No doubt, he’s looking for a big improvement. Slater told JC Sport: “After last Sundays defeat, we're all determined to bounce back. I'm looking for a positive reaction from the lads this weekend. We want to be in the last 16.”
Oakwood have some key men away. Sunday will be like Chigwell’s cup final and with three key players returning, I think they will come out on top in a real thriller.
JC team news: Oakwood have have a few players unavailable on Sunday. Tim Glass is still out, Ben Myers is on a social skills course, Matt Geey is a doubt, Dave Epstein is away visiting old Oak Steve Burke in Bradford and Vic Librae serves the final game of his suspension. Ian Tussie is on the comeback trail following a lengthy lay-off with a mysterious knee problem and they should have Jack Sultan available again.
Russell Brill, Jonathan Swead and Brad Gayer return for Chigwell.
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – Richard Jaye, KO – 10.15am
JC star man: Jonathan Swead (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Oakwood B 2 Chigwell 3
TEMPLE FORTUNE A vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
Twenty five places separate Temple Fortune A and Loughton Orient but the visitors have enough about them to make me think this could be closer than meets the eye.
Lee Fegan’s troops have had a nice, little break after the home at the Hive in Edgware opted to commandeer their pitch against Glenthorne last weekend, and with some fresh faces on board, Fortune fans are looking forward to seeing some free-flowing football and plenty of goals.
But the east Londoners can smell an upset, with manager Dan Curtis asking his troops to take a leaf out of Leyton Orient’s book following their last-ditch FA Cup win midweek.
The Loughton boys go into the game on the back of a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat against Norstar C. No doubt, they will need to go back to basics in defence, but going forward, they have enough quality to spring a surprise.
Curtis told JC Sport: “We know it will be a tough game, but we are capable on our day of beating anyone. If we play to the level we can we could cause an upset.”
Fortune have become accustomed to playing on 3G. They also train on it and the sticky surface in Pinner could be something of a leveller. I think it’ll go down to the wire.
JC team news: Loughton Orient welcome back David Blitz and Rob Silverman after injury. However, they will be missing Adam Conway, Marc Silver and Paul Rich this weekend.
Venue – Roger Bannister Sports Centre, Ref – Rob Caplin, KO – 10.15
JC star man: Craig Edwards (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 3 Loughton Orient 2
BLIZZARD STORM vs TOTTENHAM CHUTSPAH
It’ll be back to basics for Tottenham Chutspah on Sunday as manager Ariel Tamman attempts to mastermind a cup shock over a Blizzard side reeling from a heavy defeat last weekend.
The Chutspah boys had problems of their own last Sunday, managing to only get 10 men on the pitch for the 7-0 mauling by Jewventus.
Tamman knows his men have nothing to lose when they take on the second division team.
He told JC Sport: “For this week’s game we are looking to up our standards to a whole new level - focusing more on our defence and to hold a solid back four.
“We know it will be a challenge but me and the players are all in need of a win and that’s what we're aiming for.”
Blizzard were their own worst enemy last weekend when they were thumped 4-1 by Bilbaum. Whatever could go wrong did go wrong for Simon Linden and co.
Linden was left to reflect on missed opportunities, but any mention of the cup seems to bring out the best in his team and I can see them going through by a couple of goals.
Ref – Quentin Fox
JC star man: Stuart Muller (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 3 Tottenham Chutspah 1
BRADY MACCABI A vs OAKWOOD A
There’s a real humdinger in store at the Lane when Premier Division giants Brady and Oakwood go head for the third time this season.
There has been little to separate the teams in the league, with Oakwood just edging it. Both teams currently find themselves in the wrong half of the table, but for the next 90 minutes it’s all about the Anekstein for both sets of players.
Having tried and failed to secure the services of Lee Cash this week, Brady hope that home advantage will prove decisive.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Brady boss Joel Nathan told JC Sport: “After two very tight games against Oakwood, we know exactly what we are up against and expect another close battle.
“It is a shame we are missing a number of key players due to injury however, we come into the game in good spirits after our last performance against Hendon. Yes we have had a two- week break, but training has been good and the boys are up for it.
“Oakwood are still unbeaten this season - which shows what a great squad Ric has put together - so we will have the upmost respect for them, but having been to the final last season we are very keen to go back this season.”
Oakwood go into the game on the back of a win in the Junior County Cup. Bobby Cousins popped up with a tremendous winner – though it wasn’t quite Ibrahimovic-esque.
Joint-manager Ric Blank was delighted to see his team progress, but he believes a harder 90 minutes is on the cards on Sunday.
"It seems like an age since we've been involved in an MSFL competition so we're very excited for Sunday's game at Brady,” Blank told JC Sport. “I've got a terrible record in the Anekstein - the best I've ever done is a quarter-final against Faithfold when we were controversially robbed of a spot in the last four. But other than that we've struggled in this competition.
“I hope this year's different. We've played Brady twice already, getting a late draw and hard-fought win so know that we'll have to be at our best.
“The team's coming together and the spirit of the squad is good. We're up for what should be a cracker and we will never shirk a challenge."
Rest assured, this will make compelling viewing and could be decided by which keeper makes the fewest mistakes.
JC team news: Josh Gordon, Mark Lazare and Jordan Nathan are definitely out for Brady, while there are injury concerns over Nicky Smith, Matt Sophier and Adam Littas.
Oakwood are missing Josh Bentley and Josh Rubin, while Daniel Abrams is a doubt. Victor Librae serves the last match of his suspension. Blank added: “We’re looking into getting it extended with a misguided and horribly conducted appeal. We've got our worst lawyers on it.”
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Andy Fridkin
JC star man: Adam Levine (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Brady A 1 Oakwood A 1 AET (Oakwood to win on penalties)
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs NORSTAR C
Catford didn’t have their manager or even their captain, but there was an upturn in their fortunes as they pulled off a sensational victory against in-form SPEC FC.
Stand-in boss Simon Wolfson was rewarded for his masterful tactics with a 3-2 success. Ashley Stokes, Ryan Kangisser and Joel Berwitz were the goal men on a memorable morning, when the team arguably lifted some demons. It certainly helped bring the smiles back to the dressing room and terraces at Norseman FC following a performance in which keeper Guy Ben-Aroya was the star of the show.
But that’s all in the past now. The challenge is to do it all over again. Here’s what captain Adam Luria had to say: “After a superb result last week, we've got the same old problem of struggling for a team this week. We've got a few new signings up our sleeve to push on for the rest of the season, but sadly they're not available this Sunday.
“However, the players we do have point to a strong starting 11, so we're hoping we can put in a good performance.
“Norstar C have been doing better of late looking at their results, so we definitely won't be under-estimating them. We'll need to give them respect and battle for every ball as much as we would do against any other team, but we'll be going all out for the win and a place in the next round.”
It’s not all good news for the Cats, however, as Joel Berwitz, last week’s match-winner may have suffered a reoccurrence of a cruciate ligament injury that kept him out for over a year before joining them. Luria added: “We're all hoping that it's not as serious as feared, but it's fitting that his last involvement before the injury was the late winner in the last game as he's been a vital player for us over the past two seasons. With any luck we'll see him back in a Catford shirt sooner rather than later and we'll be going out to get the win for him.” Best wishes from me too.
Norstar go into the game on a high following a thrilling comeback against Loughton Orient last Sunday. Summer signing Daniel Tannenbaum was on target again as they rallied from 2-0 down to win 4-3. Nick Haringman was rewarded with for his brace with a place in my Team of the Week. Luke Goldsmith was the other scorer.
With two wins under their belt, manager Zack Gothelf is eyeing some joy in the cup. He told JC Sport: “With a fully-fit squad, bar one, I've got that problem that managers love to have - who to pick.
“We're playing some good football, and showed great character last weekend to keep our heads and come back from two down to win.
“With the cup game on Sunday, we'll look to put out the strongest available squad that we have and progress to the next round - everyone loves a cup run!”
I’m expecting plenty of goals on Sunday, and think that the Cats will edge it, but only just.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Mike Cowan
JC star man: Ashley Stokes (Catford)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley 3 Norstar C 2
FAITHFOLD C vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
Knowing the Hendon boys as I do, I don’t think they’re playing mind games when joint-manager Motty Korman told me: “Potentially, we could be quite depleted this week.”
That should be music to the ears of Faithfold fans, but Hendon have a strong squad in place this season and should not be under-estimated.
The Hornets were stung in an important league match last weekend and managers Chaim Gothold and Korman will be looking for an improved showing on Sunday.
“We’re looking forward to turning our attention to the cup and put the pressure of the league aside this week,” Korman told JC Sport.
“I will be looking for a positive response from the boys after last week’s dreadful performance.”
Faithfold boss David Garson must’ve considered a bid to bring striker Jonny Blain back to the club after hearing he was available, but with Ben Simons and Stefan Simons in tandem, he is confident he has enough up top.
The season has been a bit stop-start for the Superhoops this season, and the players will be looking forward to testing themselves against higher division opposition.
Ahead of Sunday’s tie, Garson told JC Sport: “We should have a full squad available, with new first-time Dad Dan Lowen set to keep his place.
“Hendon are a very good side, but we will take heart from the fact we took a good Chigwell team to extra-time in the Morrison.
“We go into the game with nothing to lose and we beat them in the league last season with a far weaker side … so you never know. The pressure is all on them really.”
An early Faithfold goal would make things really interesting, but as long as they handle the long-throw menace, Hendon should have enough to come out on top.
JC team news: Danny Steel, James Josephs and Gavin Noe are all missing for Hendon who have Alon Blitz on standby as his wife is due any day.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Andy Myerson
JC star man: Chaim Gothold (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 1 Hendon B 3
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
7 - Lorian Madanes, Mike Pearson (both LML A), Daryl Phillips (Faithfold A), Adam Stolerman, (Redbridge JC A)
5 - Alon Hershkorn (Brixton A), Brad Wine, (Oakwood), Avidan Last (Hendon A), David Dinkin (Raiders A), Declan Selbo (FC Team A)
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
Two big announcements came out of Rowley Lane this week that will send shockwaves around the league.
Annoucement 1: In a clear statement of intent, interim manager Andy Landesberg flexed his muscles to outbid the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea to the signature of legendary MSFL striker Lee Cash.
Announcement 2: Following the recent departure of Malcolm Newman and Josh Newman from the management set-up, club chairman David Pollock and DOF Landesberg have been looking to bolster the club’s coaching set-up. The arrival of James Gershfield as Landesberg’s assistant is a great move for all parties involved.
A bumper crowd is expected for the visit of 2011 double winners Redbridge Jewish Care. There’s also the little matter of the return of former manager Eilon Kennet, who last weekend masterminded a 2-0 win over defending champions Hendon. So if you’re looking for spice, look no further.
Normal service has been resumed. That was the message from Landesberg after he masterminded a 6-0 demolition of Brixton in the Anekstein last weekend.
Two-goal hero TJ Keterman will enjoy the prospect of linking up with his former NWN teammate Cash again. Looking ahead to Sunday, Landesberg told JC Sport: “I have got a difficult decision as to who will be the 14 players included in the squad for Sunday, as I have to make a choice from 16. The final decision to be made after training.
“Last week’s game is well behind us, and whilst we will use the newly-formed spirit created over the last 10 days to inspire us, we will certainly be extremely mindful that we have a big task ahead of us on Sunday.
“Redbridge are a quality side with an excellent Management team. I saw them play a few weeks ago and was impressed. In saying that, Sunday is all about what my players do, and how committed and focussed they are.
“I think we are in for a great game of football on Sunday, and would like to think that Lions will build on last week’s performance, but take nothing for granted.”
There’s also a return to Rowley Lane for RJC striker Adam Stolerman, who bagged both goals against Hendon last Sunday. Captain Adam Hakimi, and the midfield pairing of Danny Hakimi and Steve Gevertz also played key roles.
I have no doubt RJC will put their strongest possible squad out to ensure that Sunday isn’t all about Lee Cash.
So, as you can see, this has all the ingredients for a classic. Don’t miss it.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Laurie Benson
JC star man: Lee Cash (Lions)
DC Prediction: Lions A 1 Redbridge A 1
NORSTAR A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
Norstar are 12-1 to beat last season’s champions for who are still smarting from their third defeat of the campaign after going down 2-0 against Redbridge last Sunday.
Manager David Garbacz found it hard to understand just how his team failed to get something from the game where RJC’s smash and grab tactics worked a treat.
The nearest Hendon came was when a thunderbolt from Dovid Korman smashed against the underside of the crossbar, but it wasn’t to be.
“We need to start winning some games in the league and three points on Sunday is an absolute must,” Garbacz told JC Sport. “A number of things have conspired against us so far this season and as a result we have left ourselves with very little margin for error.
“We certainly cannot afford any more defeats and draws are going to be pretty useless as well. It is all about the results for the next few weeks and no excuses about injuries or great opposition goalkeepers or hitting the woodwork.
“The good news is that we know we are very much capable of stringing a decent run together and all it needs is three consecutive wins and then everything will change and we will be right up there again.
“Norstar are desperate for points and at times this year have shown they can compete with the best – but Sunday must be all about us – we have to be more clinical in front of goal and we need to regain some of last year’s stability at the back.
“We will be working hard to achieve both those objectives and assuming we do then we will definitely get back to winning ways this week.
Sunday evening sees Norstar club captain Jeremy Elster get married and what better wedding present than three points would be.
Phil Peters’ men were halfway to claiming their first win of the season last Sunday, before they were swept away by the FC Team tidal wave. Striker Josh Green fired a brilliant first-half hat-trick, but defensive frailties came back to haunt them second half.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Peters told JC Sport: “We've been so close in recent weeks to getting points on the board and with an almost full squad to choose from, we'll aim to pick up where we left off against Hendon where we scored two goals in the last few minutes.
“Josh Green's in great form at the moment and he'll be looking to get amongst the goals again.”
Norstar will need to play out of their skins for 90 minutes to live with Hendon. I can’t see that happening.
JC team news: Jacob Gold, Alex Gilbert and Yoav Kestenbaum are all definitely out . for Hendon, while Ari Last is rated very doubtful . On the plus side, Greg Corin is back to full fitness and the champions are “honoured” to have Ben Lauffer available.
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – Warwick Blake
JC star man: Ben Lauffer (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 1 Hendon A 3
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A vs FAITHFOLD A
League leaders Faithfold will unveil Mike Pearson, who this week rejoined the club for a second spell, when they make the long journey to Uxbridge to take on the Raiders.
Zuriel Solomon’s troops were worked hard by lower division opponents in the cup last weekend, but in the end strikes from Dan Howard and record-scorer Daryl Phillips saw them home in a game where captain marvel Alex Levack was named the team’s star performer. Solomon also spoke of his delight after seeing midfielder Paul Babai return to action following a lengthy spell out through injury.
The Superhoops will go in search of their first league double of the season after Phillips scored the only goal in early September.
Looking ahead to the game, Solomon told JC Sport: “We travel to Brunel to play an in-form Raiders team who have been stringing a few good results together.
“I have a lot of respect for the work Rob has done with his team - they are always organised, fit and play good football so it’s definitely a game not to take lightly.
“Saying that, we are playing well too, but have always had tight games against Raiders so if we are to come away with anything we need to be on our game be physically and technically strong and organised.
“We have bolstered our squad this week but as I told my boys it’s no point having all the famous names if you don’t perform. What it does is spur teams to work harder against you so you have to raise your game even more!
“I have a good headache in terms of selection. We recently resigned Mike Pearson from Lions and also have a full squad to choose from bar James Frener so I think my squad is now complete.”
With two league victories under their belts, L’Orange will go into the battle against the table-toppers in high spirits. They have shared the goals around this season, with striker David Dinkin in particularly good form.
But manager Rob Richman knows that they will need to produce something special and 90 minutes of focus on Sunday.
He told JC Sport: “We have already played Faithfold once this season in what was a very close encounter in which they won the game 1-0. I’m not surprised to see them doing so well this season, they have a very strong squad and no real areas of weakness.
“After a difficult start to our season, we have started to put together some improved performances and as a consequence results have improved. We are well aware that Sunday will be one of our hardest tests this season, but it is definitely one we are relishing.”
Pearson has an excellent goal-scoring record against the Raiders. His pace, movement and aerial prowess means they will get no down-time. Captain Levack scored a stunner at this venue last season, and it could take something special to down a Raiders team with the bit between their teeth.
There will be some great battles all over the park, but the return of Babai will give Faithfold the edge for me. Having played the majority of their matches at home this season, they will be looking to put out a message to their rivals, and with Pearson back on board, I think they will get the win their fans are so looking for.
JC team news: Raiders have everyone available apart from captain Rik Sherman.
Venue – Brunel, Ref – Neil Cooper
JC star man: Mike Pearson (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Raiders A 1 Faithfold A 2
24 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
12 - Yishai Last (Hendon B)
10 - Lee Cash (Neasden A)
GLENTHORNE UNITED A vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
Neasden find themselves in dire straits ahead of the long trip to east London on Sunday.
Strikers Lee Cash and Jonny Blain have left for pastures new, leaving manager Daniel Hodes with an unenviable task.
NWN huffed and puffed against Lions B last Sunday, but in the end they fell short.
Asked for his hopes for Sunday, Hodes told JC Sport: “Lee Cash and Jon Blain have departed. My hopes for Sunday are I have 11!”
Glenthorne continue to march mercilessly towards the title. Without a game last Sunday, striker Craig Sanford had a run-out for the club’s B team last Sunday and scored a goal in the 6-0 win over Redbridge B.
But despite NWN’s problems, manager Sam Rosenthal is warning his troops to be on their guard on Sunday.
Rosenthal told JC Sport: “It’s always a tough game against Neasden and we expect nothing less, but after a couple weeks off we are raring to go."
Glenthorne boast a 100 per cent home record in the league and I can’t see NWN stopping them from making it four out of four.
Venue – Ford Sports & Social, Ref – Adam Lewis
JC star man: Adam Shafron (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne A 2 Neasden A 0
SHIRLEY PARK vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS B
There’s a top game in store when promotion rivals Shirley and Lions B go head-to-head in Edmonton.
Dave Lusman’s men earned a terrific victory over fellow high-flyers Hendon B last Sunday, with strikers Jamie Kent (3) and Saul Conway in sparkling form in a 4-2 victory. Lusman was keen to praise midfield maestro Gideon Gold following a typically twinkle-toed performance.
The Park boys have won five on the spin at home in the league this season, scoring 28 goals in the process.
I expect Park to be given a tougher test by a Lions B in top gear. “It’s a big game on Sunday,” Lusman told JC Sport. “We’rere looking good squad-wise, we only have only a few missing thought injury and suspension, but have plenty to chose from.
“We’re expecting a really tough battle with Lions in a game that could realistically go ether way. Park life!”
With games in hand, the Lions look well-placed to kick on and mount a sustained promotion challenge. Manager Jamie Kyte has a tight-knit squad, who showed they can cope without Max Kyte last weekend when they beat Neasden 2-1.
Ahead of their first meeting with Shirley, Kyte had this to say. “It’s another massive game for us this weekend. You look at Shirley Park's stats and you see they're scoring goals by the bucket-load, but then you also see that they're letting goals galore in too.
“This weekend's game is all about keeping their main man ‘Kentdog’ quiet, making sure Gideon Gold doesn't get any time to work his magic and exposing their fragile defence.
“The Division One honeymoon period is about to be over for one of us this weekend, and I'm telling you, it's not going to be us.”
Fighting talk from Kyte. Lets see if his boys can give a performance to back it all up.
JC team news: Park welcome back Stefan Benfredji, who missed last week’s game due to a dog show which he claims he didn't know much about and blamed his missus for booking the tickets.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Stuart Ansher
JC star man: Jonny Cutter (LML)
DC Prediction: Shirley 2 Lions B 2
14 - Adam Hersh (Los Blancos)
7 - Adam Goldman (Glenthorne Utd B), Dan Hildebrand (Brady B)
BRADY MACCABI B vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B
L’Orange need an injection of something special and manager Oli Shorts came up trumps when he snapped up Jonny Blain from Neasden this week.
Yet to win in the league this season, the Raiders boys will be looking to avenge last week’s heavy cup defeat at the hands of Brady B.
The dynamic duo of Dan Hildebrand and Reiss Mogilner bagged braces in a 4-1 victory, and contest in which Brady defender Jason Davis produced his best.
Shorts is hopeful that the acquisition of Blain, who returns to the club for a second spell, will give his team some much-needed experience and another dimension in the final third.
Shorts told JC Sport: “We’re under no illusions that we come into this game as massive underdogs. We matched Brady last week, but their cutting edge up top really told the story.
“If we can cut out the small mistakes and take our chances, I’m fully confident that we'll see a big shock this Sunday.”
Last week, Brady led 2-0 at half time. Raiders pulled one back, but the Rowley Lane boys went on to convert a penalty and score on the counter, giving them the psychological edge here.
My sources tell me that Brady are still looking to sign an experienced keeper, but my agent confirmed to them this week that I’m still unavailable, as much as I’d love to help out.
Even with an improved defensive display from Raiders, I think Brady will have too much on the day, especially in their own back yard.
JC team news: Raiders suffered a few casualties during the week, meaning brothers, Marc and Josh Fineman miss out, while Ben Hart is a doubt. They welcome back Jonny Shapiro and Jonny Skolnick, while Shorts hopes that having given cameo apperances to Nicky Woolf and Josh Graham, the powerful pairing are ready to start.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Fox
JC star man: Josh Dagul (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady B 3 Raiders B 1
FC TEAM B vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
The Baums will look to finish the weekend in second place when they visit FC Team B.
The boys in green and white are unbeaten in five in the league, and they look good for three points on Sunday.
Seb Silverman (2), Adam Bier and Ben Bell steered them to victory against Blizzard last Sunday and with a crunch clash against Brady B next weekend, it’s crucial they don’t slip up here.
FC Team B have been a bit Jekyl n Hyde this season. For example, they beat leaders Neasden 3-1 in September, but were thumped 5-1 by the same team last weekend. Something similar happened against SPEC FC too.
What will happen in their first meeting against the Baums is anyone’s guess, but I’m going for a Bilbaum win.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Aaron Djanogly
JC star man: Adam Bier (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 1 Bilbaum 4
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
Having suffered heavy defeats in their last three games, a meeting with the league leaders is the last thing that Redbridge B need right now.
Manager Jon Jacobs is calling for calm heads following the 6-0 derby day mauling at the hands of Glenthorne B.
RJC have conceded 15 goals in the last 270 minutes and it would be fair to say that Jacobs need the few experienced campaigners to pull together to help get the youngsters through this tough period.
Neasden look in good shape as they go in search of their seventh league win of the season. Adam Levene’s troops have shared the goals around this season and last weekend it was the turn of summer signing Bobby Abrams to take home the matchball following a top-class hat-trick against FC Team B.
With Blizzard Storm and Catford to follow, Levene will be eyeing nine points from the next three games to ensure they go into the busy Chanukah period top of the pile.
Having battled hard to overcome a poor surface last weekend, I can see the visitors making hay on the slick surface at Fairlop.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – David Lazarus
JC star man: James Abrams (NWN)
DC Prediction: Redbridge B 1 Neasden B 4
SPEC FC vs LOS BLANCOS
Sunday is a must-win for SPEC FC as they look to get themselves back in the promotion mix.
A 3-2 defeat against Catford was the last thing they needed and manager Laurence Conway has some big calls to make ahead of the match with Blancos.
SPEC FC’s Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: “We were all pretty down after last week's poor result. Unfortunately we were poor on the day and Catford were good value for their win.
“There is only one way to come back and that's with a win on Sunday. Laurence has had to make many tough decisions ahead of this Sunday and with competition for places so strong, he'll be hoping it shows in people's performances."
Blancos have been the model of consistency, with just one defeat in seven league games. Player-manager Adam Hersh was the star man last weekend, firing a hat-trick in the 8-0 thrashing of Norstar B. There were also goals for Michael Mendelsohn, Sami Birnbaum, Adam Waters and Joel Kutner
Hersh’s third treble of the season took his league tally to 14. The odds on him winning the coveted JC MSFL Golden Boot award have been cut to 8-1.
Blancos keeper Josh Cohen hasn’t conceded for more than 180 minutes, but I can see SPEC FC asking some questions on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the game, Hersh told JC Sport: “The team has gelled exceptionally well this season and the performances show that.
“SPEC are a tough team who we luckily beat last season in the cup. To get anything out of this game we are going to need to lift our game even more and take all chances that fall our way. It's gonna be a cracker.”
With both teams pretty active on Twitter, followers shouldn't have to try to hard to keep up to date with goings on at The Cinderella Hairena.
JC team news: Edward Nathan faces a late fitness test after injuring his knee last week. Other than that Blancos have a full strength side looking to repeat last week’s heroics.
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – Marti De La Fuente
JC star man: Adam Waters (Blancos)
DC Prediction: SPEC FC 2 Blancos 2
14 - Jono Gaon (Tottenham Chutspah)
12 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B)
11 - Alex Elf (Hendon Utd SC C), Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs L’EQUIPE
I expect there to be plenty more twists and turns in the Division Three title race, with Fortune B striving to stay in the mix.
Back-to-back 4-0 defeats is beyond Terry Jeffries’ worst nightmares, but if they play their cards right, there’s no reason why they can’t get back on track on Sunday.
Speaking through his car window on the way out of training, Jeffries told JC Sport: “We’re looking to bounce back from two defeats in our last two games. As long as we get back on form, we will hoping to win, especially with a few players back this week.”
With Fortune unbeaten at home, and L’Equipe low on confidence, there can only be one winner here, surely.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – Steve Russell
JC star man: John Kemp (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 3 L’Equipe 0
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs BOCA JEWNIORS
Sunday looks set to be another busy one for Boca keeper Ryan Monk.
After a few weeks break due to weather problems and the wedding of player-manager Jamie Weinrich, Boca return to action this Sunday with an away game to Hendon C.
Sources claim that Weinrich only married Boca chairman Sefton Monk's sister to guarantee his starting place on the pitch, but Weinrich assured the JC that he married into the Monk family not just for their sister, and a starting place, but that he can see Boca's star performer Ryan Monk in goal. His performances had shown why he is one of the top stoppers in the division.
The original game at Boca was called off, and even though the points have been awarded to Hendon C, this has sent the Boca boys into a focus not seen before.
Weinrich told JC Sport: “My lads are so angry that the chance of three points has been taken away from them due to unforeseen circumstances, and even loud appeals fell onto deaf ears on the MSFL board.
“So this Sunday means a lot to my boys, and we will be going hell for leather to prove that we have been treated unfairly."
Hendon were brought down to earth by AC Mill Hill last Sunday. Keeper David Schapira put in a performance so good he made it into my Division Three Team of the Week. Manager Craig Miller was pleased with his team’s defensive performance, in a game Mill Hill edged possession-wise. They clearly missed the presence and threat of top-scorer Alex Elf.
Miller knows full well that Boca will be up for the game, but it’s vital they get back on the winning trail ahead of next week’s meeting with leaders FC Team.
JC team news: There are no worries at all for Boca, as every member of the squad is fully fit and raring to go. Lex Slater is back, goalkeeper Monk told JC Sport: “His football brain is pivotal to the attacking side to Boca.”
Players to look out for: Jamie Weinrich (Str) - will be looking for some more wonder strikes to go along with all his wedding gifts.
Parys Hammond (CB) - his towering performance in Boca’s last game has given the Boca defence an assured feel to it
Ryan Monk (GK) - looking to build on his team of the week nod last time out
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Haki Elias (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon C 3 Boca 1
JEWVENTUS vs AC MILL HILL
Promotion-chasing Mill Hill recorded their second straight win when they claimed an important 1-0 victory over an in-form Hendon C last weekend.
Star man Ben Zloof was back in business with the only goal of the game, and manager Joe Levy is delighted his main man returned to the goal trail ahead of the big derby.
With matches against L’Equipe and Chutspah to follow, Levy will urge his team to make a fast start against a Jewventus team with a new lease of life.
Gabriel John, the Jewve boss, came away a very happy man after last weekend’s stonking 7-0 success over Tottenham.
Richard Fogelman was the star of the show, smashing home four goals in a one-sided contest against 10 men. Dan Rook (2) and James Alexander completed the rout.
There was special praise as well for new keeper Dan Cohen, who commanded his box well and was the voice of reason John has been looking for. His big kick also has its benefits too!
With the top two – Oakwood B and FC Team C - in action in the cup, the incentive for Mill Hill going into the game is that three points would take them top, but I have a feeling things won’t be that straightforward.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Henry Raffe
JC star man: Dan Cohen (Jewventus)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 2 AC Mill Hill 2