JC MSFL Matchday 16 preview
There's some mouth-watering action in store in the Peter Morrison Trophy, while a busy programme of JC MSFL sees defending champions Hendon A out for revenge against FC Team A. Danny Caro looks ahead to the final action of 2012.
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP QUARTER-FINALS DRAW
Faithfold A vs Oakwood A/SPEC FC
Woodford Wanderers/Temple Fortune vs Redbridge Jewish Care A
Hendon United Sports Club A vs London Maccabi Lions A
Camden Park vs Brady Maccabi B
MSFL LATEST NEWS
BLACKMAN JOINS NORSTAR
DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 15 OSCARS
PASS OF THE WEEK
Sam Roth (Athletic Bilbaum) - who, after a 30-yard run, whipped in a pinpoint cross to Green who knocked it past the Catford keeper
SUPERSUB OF THE WEEK
Jason Shoffman (AC Mill Hill)
REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Stuart Ansher (North London Raiders A vs London Maccabi Lions A)
OUTRAGEOUS GOALKEEPER'S TOP OF THE WEEK
YOUR WEEKEND REVIEW STARTS HERE:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND THREE
ATHLETIC BILBAUM vs BRADY MACCABI A
There’s an intriguing contest in store in Edmonton when Division Two high-flyers Bilbaum tackle Premier Division giants Brady.
The Baums have been excellent this season and warmed-up for the tie with a 4-0 demolition of Catford & Bromley. Ed Green (2), Ben Bell and Joshua Magidson were the marksmen in a performance that ticked all the boxes.
Sunday is arguably the most high-profile game in the club’s history. The Baums have given an excellent account of themselves against Neasden and Redbridge in recent times and managers Mark Pasha and Green are relishing pitting their wits against last season’s Anekstein runners-up.
Brady are back to their best but they under-estimate the Baums at their peril. This certainly won’t be a case of turning up just to go through.
Looking ahead to the game, Brady boss Joel Nathan told JC Sport: “Athletic Bilbaum will be a tough game, they are a very good team who my B-team know a lot about and have been giving me lots of info on, so we know who their key players are, especially Zac Presky who played for us last season.
“We go into the game full of confidence following three straight league wins and are looking to go one stage further in the PM cup than last year, and end the year on a high.”
Once club mascot Baum Baum the Elephant does his bit, the Baums must get their game heads on as they will be keen to give Brady a game. Anything more is wishful thinking, isn’t it?
JC team news: Brady are missing Josh Gordon while Zack White is cup-tied, but they hope to welcome back Joel Lassman and Mark Lazare from injury.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Gary Silver
JC star man: Mark Lazare (Brady)
DC Prediction: Athletic Bilbaum 1 Brady A 3
BLIZZARD STORM vs FAITHFOLD A
Premier Division leaders Faithfold should not encounter too many problems when they travel to second division Blizzard Storm on Sunday.
The Superhoops are winding down for the year, but they will be looking to finish an excellent first half of the season in style.
They filled their Chanukah stockings last Sunday, putting seven past third division Hendon C, when Simon Lawrence (2), Daryl Phillips, Alex Kaye, Dan Howard, Alex Taylor and Dan Perkins eased them home.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Faithfold manager Zuriel Solomon gave an honest assessment. “Again this week we don’t know much about our opponents but again we will respect them.
“We have been in good form this year and hope to finish the year off with a win. Cup games are always special and you have to be on your game to be in the hat for the next round.”
The Blizzard boys were hit for six by Camden Park last Sunday, when Joe Stolerman and Alan Markovitch fired consolations.
But manager Simon Linden hopes to take a leaf out of Bradford City's book and has been trying to get hold of Phil Parkinson to talk tactics.
Linden told JC Sport: "If Bradford can do it so can we - although I would fancy anyone against Arsenal at the moment!
"I'm up for this one, we will give them a game of football. On a different day we could have beat Camden last week. If my team can put 110 per cent in and I can get close to my best 11 on the pitch, why not?"
You can get 20-1 on a home win, but I think your hard earned money will be better spent at the sales.
If Blizzard park the bus, damage limitation could be the best way forward to keep the scoreline respectable.
JC team news: Faithfold have a full-strength squad bar Rocky Spitzer who is now on his travels.
Ref – Stuart Ansher
JC star man: Simon Lawrence (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Blizzard 0 Faithfold A 5
SPEC FC vs NORSTAR A
Sunday sees the Oranges take on the Bananas although Norstar will be playing in Spanish red and SPEC in traditional white... go figure that one out!
New signing Rob Blackman could be unleashed from the start as Adam Kaldor misses out through injury for Norstar, whilst manager Phil Peters is hoping that Dec Spiro and Jason Lindsay recover from their respective ailments to add to selection problems.
Anthony Goodmaker is likely to start on the bench and be brought on whenever Norstar have a throw in their opponents half, whilst Simon Perlmutter will take to the field for attacking set-pieces in order to demonstrate the relative merits and demerits of the rolling subs rule.
Peters is not underestimating his opponents though and knows that his boys will have to be at their best to progress. Last Sunday’s win over Brixton has got the fans excited but more of the same will be needed to beat one of the top teams outside of the Premier Division:
Peters told JC Sport: “Laurence has got his team playing some beautiful football and any team with the likes of Burns, Wallis and Hecht in it is going to be very strong. Even Ricky Lawrence is a decent player.
“We’ll have to be at our best if we want to progress and we’re keen for a good cup run this year so we’ll be going out with a very strong team determined to get the result we need. With Spurs kicking off at 1.30pm no one wants extra-time!
“Laurence and I will share a thermos of mulled wine during the game on Sunday and the winning team will not only progress to the next round of the Morrison but also get first pick of the Chanukah doughnuts.”
SPEC FC have absolutely nothing to lose for their meeting against the Premier Division and a big crowd is expected.
Ricky Lawrence will be keen to prove a point to Peters as one of the few JC MSFL players around yet to be involved with the Orange revolution who represented Team GB in France last year.
He told JC Sport: “"We're really looking forward to Sunday. It's our first competitive game against a team from the top division and with many of us knowing Norstar players, and vice-versa, it should be a really enjoyable game for everyone involved.
“Having personally played under Phil and Jamie I know the sort of tricks Phil has up his sleeve and the sort of cones Jamie will be working with on Sunday. It promises to be a tough game that's for sure."
“With the weather looking bleak and this game on 3G, I imagine this may be one of the only grounds to get your MSFL kick!”
Never has a football much meant so much to both teams. Norstar will be keen to avoid being on the receiving end of a giant-killing, with Peters aware of the dreaded JC Manager of the Month curse. SPEC FC know that a win could see them splashed all over the backpages of next week’s JC.
Boys, it’s over to you. May the best team win.
JC team news: Jonathan Peters and Zak Mcleod return to the Norstar squad after a boozy weekend in Dublin and Jamie Freed could return after being on fiancée-duty last weekend.
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – Laurie Benson, KO – 10.05am
JC star man: Rob Blackman (Norstar)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 2 SPEC FC 1
BRIXTON OLD BOYS A vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS A
Having booked their place in the last eight of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup, the Lions will be looking to overcome top-flight opposition for the second week running as they look to progress in the Jewish FA Cup.
Player-coach James Gershfield inspired the Lions to a hard fought 3-2 win over Raiders last Sunday, with Team GB Maccabiah teammate Jordan Marks grabbing the other.
It’s worth remembering that Lions were beaten 3-2 by Brixton under the previous regime, but interim manager Andy Landesberg is confident lightning won’t strike twice.
He told JC Sport: “I am sure that this game will be far less comfortable than our match against them a few weeks ago. That result will count for nothing. The squad continues to grow with the experienced Adam Myeroff now joining the team - his experience and strength will be a welcome addition.
“Obviously our starting form in the league has left that quest tough, but our focus in both cups is a must for everybody involved in this team. Slowly but surely the squad is strengthening and the spirit and enjoyment is getting better and better each week. So to keep the show on the road we have to perform well, taking nothing at all for granted.”
Brixton are still reeling by the departure of striker Rob Blackman and I’ve been told that may not be the last.
It’s time for everyone in the camp to stick together as whatever happens on Sunday, the two-week winter break will give everyone a chance to sit down and reassess.
Ahead of kick-off, BOBs boss John Nitka told JC Sport: "Revenge is sweet – that's what we have in mind bearing in mind this is the third meeting this season between the clubs.
"We beat them in the league a couple of months ago, they beat us in the Anekstein Cup a few weeks ago when I had a weakened team, but hopefully we will be at near full-strength this week, even without the departed Blackman who in reality will not be missed. All I can say it will be a tough match between both clubs and an odd goal may win it."
In response, Blackman told JC Sport: "To not be missed at Brixton would be a testament to the hard work I have put into the club over the last two and a half years. I would really love to see them retain their Premiership status and maintain my strong relationships I have with many members of the squad."
Lions will be strong on Sunday, too strong for Brixton. The addition of Myeroff, a former Morrison winner, is a real statement of intent.
JC team news: Lions have 17 players to choose from, even without Lee Cash and Daniel Daggers who are cup tied.
Venue – Clowes, Ref – Warwick Blake
JC star man: Adam Myeroff (Lions)
DC Prediction: Brixton 0 Lions A 3
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
We’ve seen the best and worst of Chigwell this season, but truth be told, Sunday will be their cup final as defeat would effectively end their hopes of silverware for another season.
The east Londoners were sent crashing out of the Anekstein against second division Brady B last weekend and to add insult to injury, they finished with 10 men after a red card.
So, once again, player-manager Richard Slater has issued a rallying call in true Arsene Wenger style.
Slater told JC Sport: “Not for the first time this season, I'm expecting a reaction from my players after a poor defeat. There's so much ability in this squad, on paper it's one of the best in the clubs history, but we are letting ourselves down too often this season.
“Going out of two cups in two weeks isn't an option, we will be fully focused on getting through.”
Neasden were forced to pull out of their last match due to a shortage of players. Manager Dan Hodes hopes to pull together 11 men for what could be sub-zero temperatures in E17. I’m not sure just how of the old guard will fancy that.
Slater wants his players playing for the badge and I think they’ll get the right result on Sunday.
JC team news: Chigwell’s Alex Norman, Russell Brill, James Swead and Jonathan Swead miss out due to Maccabiah commitments.
Venue – Peter May, Ref – Neal Cohen
JC star man: Lee Hyams (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Chigwell 3 Neasden A 1
CAMDEN PARK vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
Camden Park were six-hitters in the Anekstein last weekend and player-manager Josh Marks will instruct his troops to go for gold on Sunday.
Leo Feldman reminded Camden fans just how good he can be and Marks looks set to reward last weekend’s hat-trick hero with another starting role.
Camden have several match-winners in their line-up these days, with Richard Silver and Luke Brookner licking their lips with the prospect of a Division Three defence coming to their Wembley home.
Hendon C suffered a 7-0 defeat against Faithfold A last Sunday and it will need a resilient performance to stop Camden from having this game in the bag inside 45 minutes.
There are still plenty of seats available at the Ark, with Marks considering offering fans a winter warmer of a free cup of chicken soup and lockshen to boost the attendance.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – John Feenstra
JC star man: Leo Feldman (Camden)
DC Prediction: Camden 6 Hendon C 1
OAKWOOD A vs FAITHFOLD B
Faithfold B will look to become the first team to beat Oakwood A inside 90 minutes in 12 months. Yes, ladies and gents, the Oaks have turned into an unbeatable machine and they’re still chasing silverware on four fronts this season.
They showed their class in the Herts County Cup last Sunday when AFC Oddfellows were put to bed 8-a, with Toby Levy, Dan Geey, Bobby Cousins, Dan Abrams, Brad Wine, Josh Rose, Josh Rubin and Rob Davidson finding the net.
The talents of Levy have been spotted by scouts of London Lions and he impressed in a recent run-out for the club’s Saturday reserve team.
The Premier Division outfit have been the model of consistency and manager Ric Blank and Alex Schock, who deserve plenty of credit for getting the team where they are, will expect nothing less than a comfortable win to finish a memorable year in style.
Blank told JC Sport: “Fingers crossed the game will be on on Sunday. We are desperate to play and have a strong squad to choose from despite a few absentees.
“We know Faithfold will be a decent side. We were a Division One side 12 months ago - there are no mugs in that league. So we won’t be falling into that trap for sure.
“We’ll be looking to repeat last week's performance when we won 8-1 in the County Cup. If we bring that level of dedication and skill to the table we’ll take some beating.”
Avoiding relegation has to be the priority for Faithfold this season. I can see them giving the Oaks a test for six minutes, but when push comes to shove, class will tell in the end.
JC team news: Josh Bentley, Josh Rose and Robbie D are all away for Oakwood. Anthony Kintish is still injured, but there’s positive news coming in the form of Dan Rose. The club are hopeful he’ll be back wearing TBOATJIATL blue come 2013. Victor Librae is also available “which is a massive shame”. Dave Epstein suffered a suspected hairline fracture of the curl in the melee at Etihad on Sunday. Blank added: “Everyone at Oakwood wishes him all the best and a speedy recovery post-surgery.”
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Josh Rose (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 4 Faithfold B 0
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs MACCABI MASTERS REP TEAM
There’s an intriguing match in prospect in Fairlop when Premier Division giants Redbridge A entertain the best players from the Maccabi Masters League.
The treble is well and truly on for Eilon Kennet’s men and he’s sure to have a top-quality XI at the ready to take on the most experienced team in the competition.
Kennet told JC Sport: The Masters are always highly motivated in this competition, so it will be a tough game.
“As for us, we feel that we have some unfinished business in the PMT, so we’d like to acquit ourselves well.
“There's a good pub quiz question here; who won all their PMT matches last season, but still didn't win the Trophy? Answers on a postcard.
“It should have the makings of a good cup tie.”
Having seen off Norstar C 4-1 in the last round, Dan Collins’ Masters will have to up their game on Sunday.
Collins is expected to take up to six players from the talented North London Raiders Vets team, along with a handful more from his all-conquering Brady Maccabi and the new Southgate Harmen Old Boys side.
Looking ahead to the tie, Collins told JC Sport: “It will certainly will be a challenge and a good test to see if we still have it!”
Alex Bourne was in top form on Masters duty last weekend, while Collins will have several other aces up his sleeve, and it will be interesting to see who plays in goal. I haven’t received the call yet!
In terms of a prediction, the facts are simple. Redbridge are at home and I think their speed and movement will prove too much for the Masters and as long as they are patient, they will get the right result.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – Adam Lewis
JC star man: Danny Hakimi (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC A 2 Maccabi Masters 0
TEMPLE FORTUNE A vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
Division One leaders Glenthorne will need to be on their guard ahead of the early morning kick-off against rivals Temple Fortune A in Edgware.
The chances are that quite a few boys in the Glenthorne camp will be partying hard down Faces just hours before the game. Manager Sam Rosenthal will try his best to ensure the midnight curfew is met, but it promises to be a cracker at the notorious Gants Hill haunt, especially with it coinciding with London Lions end of year bash.
But Rosenthal wanted me to pass on this message, warning that every will be OK. “Our fans love the cup. We look forward to them singing...Jingle Bells, jingle bells jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see Glenthorne win away."
The Thornes lost their grip on the title last weekend, and they will be determined to set the record straight and remind everyone who is top dog on Sunday.
Fortune earned an excellent draw against the Thornes last time out, when Dan Orgel (2) and Michael Goldberg were their marksmen.
I expect them to push the visitors to the max, but just can’t get myself to predict a Fortune win on this occasion.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – Richard Jaye, KO – 10am
JC star man: Craig Sandford (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 1 Glenthorne A 2
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
Local pride is up for grabs on Sunday as first division Woodford tackle second division Glenthorne B.
The cup competitions hold Woodford’s only hope of silverware this season and everyone in the camp is united in keeping the dream of playing in a final at Wingate & Finchley alive.
The pedigree of Mitch Hahn and James Ryan make Woodford the favourites and it’s clear their die-hard legion of fans need a pick-me-up.
Glenthorne suffered a surprise league defeat at home to FC Team B last Sunday. Michael Winehouse gave them a dream start and although Ryan Cole fired home a second, it wasn’t their day.
But young player-managers Liam Stein and Jordan Sapler know that they are only 90 minutes away from entering Glenthorne folklore and a crack at the national stage.
If they can get good service into the feet of top-scorer Adam Goldman it would be foolish to write them off.
Man for man Woodford hold the edge and that’s why I’m tipping them to go through in a contest that may not finish 11 vs 11.
Ref – Brandon Pieters
JC star man: Darren Ezekiel (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Woodford 2 Glenthorne B 1 AET
LONDON MACCABI LIONS B vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
A home tie against the London Lions Maccabiah team is up for grabs for Division One Lions B and Hendon B on Sunday.
Yet to meet in the league this season, an open and entertaining affair is on the cards in a match featuring two teams who like to get the ball down and play.
The Lions are going great guns at the minute with manager Jamie Kyte getting the best out of his talented squad.
The moved joint-top of the table last weekend with an impressive 2-1 win over title rivals Glenthorne, with James ‘Jimmy Goals’ Gold popping up with another crucial strike. David Rose grabbed the other in another Jonny Cutter-inspired performance.
It’s fair to say that gaffer Kyte is looking forward to Sunday. He told JC Sport: “It’s hard not to get swept up by the magic of the Peter Morrison. It's one of those cups that all clubs across the MSFL want to win and it's no different with us.
“Hendon B knocked us out of the CA, but it's not going to happen in the PM. We've got a couple of boys missing but have also got a couple back. Fortunately we're in a position where competition for places is very tight and all that injuries and absences mean is an opportunity for someone else to stake their place in the team.”
Hendon bowed out of the Anekstein after going down 3-0 to their A team last Sunday, but joint-manager Motty Korman told me that it wasn’t all bad.
“There were a few positives from last week’s defeat,” he told JC Sport. “David (Garbacz) didn't mention that we played the majority of the game with 10 men. We defended well and kept good shape throughout the game. Although we didn’t cause their defence problems, they didn’t have that many attempts on goal (as he implied) and we were pleased with the performance under the circumstances.
“It looks like it is going to be a similar situation this week, In our last meeting against the Lions, we scored a last-minute winner and we are hoping we can replicate the defensive performance of that day to stand any chance of getting through to the next round.
“Lions B are flying high in the league and are the team to catch in our division, and we know it will be a very difficult game especially as we are missing some of our experienced players.
“We will be looking to regroup over the holidays with the signing of at least two new players and continue our push for a top half finish in the league.”
The momentum is with the Lions and that’s why I’m tipping them to progress.
JC team news: Lions are missing key men Nick Astaire and Sam Arghebant, but Kosky jnr and Reuben return from Paris.
The Hendon squad looks thin, with Gav Noe, Tali Nevies, Chaim Gothold, Yishai Last, Dany Steel and James Josephs missing.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Will Beresford (Lions)
DC Prediction: Lions B 3 Hendon B 1
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
12 - Adam Stolerman, (Redbridge JC A), Lee Cash (LM Lions A - 10 for Neasden A)
11 - Daryl Phillips (Faithfold A)
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs FC TEAM A
There’s only one game in the Premier this weekend, but what a game it promises to be as defending champions Hendon look to avenge October’s 3-0 defeat against Mitch Young’s men.
The Reds were given a big wake-up call in the previous meeting, when summer signing Declan Selbo (2) and star striker Richard Salmon did the damage.
Hendon look back to their best now and manager David Garbacz told me why he’s confident of finishing 2012 on a high.
“Halfway through the league programme and our report will state “not quite good enough – can do a lot better,“ Garbacz told JC Sport. “We have set ourselves a target for the second half of the campaign and with Faithfold going so well it is a tough one – but I reckon we need at least 23 points out of 27 to stand any chance of retaining the league. This leaves very little room for error, but with the depth of the squad improving and big players like Greg Corin now back to full fitness we believe it can still be achieved.
“FC Team have given us two tough games at their place this year and are a big strong unit. However, with the wide open spaces that Hadley has we should be able to cope with them much better and aim to keep the ball on the deck for longer periods of time.
“As I have mentioned , a win is a must and our focus must be for nothing less. We hope the weather relents and we get this game played as a win will set us up nicely into the new year and keep up a strong belief.
FC Team boss Mitch Young was left fuming after last week’s 2-0 defeat at Brady. He told me his team had enough chances to win two matches let alone one, and he hopes his players bring their shooting boots to Arkley on Sunday. But with Player of the Year Josh Lipman away, Garbacz will need big performances from key men Alex Rosenthal, Ari Last and Avidan Last.
Young told JC Sport: “This will be the third time we have played Hendon in the past two months. They have won one and we have won one so this will be a close and well contested encounter. I am still angry after last weekend so I am expecting a big reaction from my players.”
Defeat for Team will end their title aspirations in my opinion. With home advantage, I expect Hendon to close the gap at the top to a manageable four points in a match that will be decided by small details.
JC team news: Josh Lipman is away for Hendon and Jacob Gold’s hamstring lasted only 10 minutes into his return last week so he is out again. The Last brothers are back and they are otherwise at full strength.
FC Team are missing injured duo Jon Breger and Jake Weiner.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Ari Last (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon A 2 FC Team A 1
25 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
14 - Yishai Last (Hendon B)
10 - Chaim Gothold (Hendon B)
SHIRLEY PARK vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN
There won’t be a dry eye in the house at Norsemen FC as Shirley Park prepare to say goodbye to star man Nicky Plotnek.
Featured in the Player Profile section in this week’s JC, Plotnek has given the Park fans many joyful moments, showing all his qualities that scouts from West Bromwich Albion and Hereford United admired so much in recent years.
Shirley boss Dave Lusman has been scouring the transfer market in a bid to sign a top-quality replacement. He’s discovered they don’t come cheap too.
But Shirley must make sure they are fully focused on the task at hand as Harmen won’t be in the mood to give them any Chanukah gifts.
However, with goal-poachers Jamie Kent and Saul Conway looking to continue their free-scoring ways, it could be a busy morning for the division’s meanest defence.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Lusman told JC Sport: "It's the last game of the year and sadly, the last game of the season for our star player Plotnek. It's been a pleasure having Nicky with Park since our formation. His commitment to the game and the park life faithful has been second to none. He blesses the field with serious teckers and experience that's beyond are league, and we've been very grateful to have him in our ranks. Nicky's goes down in are short history as one of the founding members and one of the greats to play for park and the MSFL.
"So we have an small but interesting squad for this one with practically parks best available forcing us to change things up formation wise. Should be interesting one ..."
Harmen have only conceded four goals in the league this season and manager Dan Uzan hopes that his solid spine of James Castle, Adam Osper, Sam Castle and Ori Kobi are able to deliver.
What worries me is the number of goals Harmen have scored as the chances are that if they get one, Shirley will get two.
Shirley have yet to make Norsemen FC a fortress this season and Harmen fans are dreaming of a smash and grab, but as long as they keep their discipline, I think Shirley’s quality will come through.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Barry David
JC star man: Simon Shelley (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 2 Southgate Harmen 1
15 - Adam Hersh (Los Blancos)
8 - Dan Hildebrand (Brady B), Ben Bell (Bilbaum)
BRADY MACCABI B vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
Both Brady B and Redbridge B go into Sunday’s game on the back of glorious results.
Josh Dagul’s youngsters claimed a famous victory over first division Chigwell Athletic – and I urge them to purchase a copy of this week’s JC to see their efforts splashed all over the backpage.
Striker Daniel Harrod and captain James Joseph fired the bullets that set up a quarter-final clash at Camden Park, but before that can start thinking about that, they must ensure they finish 2012 with three points against RJC.
The win over Chigwell spoke volumes about the job Dagul has done and the calibre of player he is working with. They looked a really classy outfit and were not intimidated in any way, shape or form.
But Redbridge will be no pushovers, with Jon Jacobs’ troops coming into the game on the back of an impressive win over Raiders B.
Jacobs nominated four players for my JC Team of the Week, with keeper Matt Kemp, Richie ‘Rolls Royce’ Caplin, Scott Oldstein and Dan Gordon earning hero status. Two moments of magic saw them turn over an in-form Raiders team, with Josh Taylor and Brad Rains seeing them home. Rumour has it that Rains will be able to live off that strike for some time. It should get him into the VIP lounge at Faces – you don’t hit them much sweeter than that.
But Brady are a totally different proposition, a team with few weaknesses and a very tough nut to crack.
The fact that Brady know the importance of a win on Sunday – being in a six-horse race for a top two finish – leads me to believe they will up the ante and not even the heroics of Kemp and co will be enough to stop the north Londoners this time.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Neil Cooper
JC star man: Nathan Harrod (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady B 3 Redbridge B 1
FC TEAM B vs NORSTAR B
FC Team B have turned into the team the bookies detest. I caught up with bookmaker Phil McCavity after the shock win at Glenthorne B and he told they had a bad day at the office following the side’s late heroics.
Mitch Lassman scored an absolute worldie, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Adam Goldsmith and Paul Walker on a memorable day for the club. And to think, manager Ben Simon missed it all. Rumour has it that the new Mrs Simon prevented him from finding out the score, but they were left in the capable hands of Darren Freed who will take some removing from the hotseat.
Team must avoid complacency against the division’s bottom team. Indeed, the signs look ominous for Lubczanski’s men who start 2013 with another tough test away at North London Raiders B.
It’s been a long and bumpy road for the Stars so far this season and I can’t see things getting any better on Sunday.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Aaron Djanogly
JC star man: Paul Walker (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 3 Norstar B 0
LOS BLANCOS vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
Blancos and Neasden B go head-to-head for the second time in a week with the leaders keen to avenge last weekend’s 3-2 defeat.
A red card to Jamie Isenwater proved costly as player-manager Adam Levene believes that had they kept 11 men on the pitch, they’d had taken something from the game.
In the end, it took a moment of magic from Jules Gertner to give Blancos the points. It’s a goal I’m sure he’ll tell his grandchildren about in years to come.
Player-manager Adam Hersh and Josh Gaon were the others scorers in a performance that showed just how good Blancos can be and Hersh is hoping for a repeat on Sunday.
“We anticipate no change to the team that beat NWN B last week,” he told JC Sport. “The boys very much enjoyed the win last week and all of us want to replicate that performance to record a famous double over our rivals.
“Going into the winter break in a strong position is key!”
Summer signing James Abrams added another couple of goals and arguably zeroes to his value on the transfer market.
The Neasden star will be as determined as his teammates to set the record straight and ensure they finish the weekend in pole position.
Sunday will come down to which team takes its chances and holds it nerve on the day.
Ref – Andy Myerson
JC star man: Jules Gertner (Blancos)
DC Prediction: Blancos 2 Neasden B 2
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI
I can’t seem to win. I tip Raiders to win, they lose. I tip them to lose, they win. Will the real Raiders please stand up?
Both Raiders and Catford are still scrapping for points in a bid to climb the table, but until either finds a level of consistency, they will continue to look over their shoulders.
It looks like Norstar B plus one in terms of who will go down, so I’m predicting a right royal rumble down at Brunel.
Raiders hope to welcome back striker Ethan Zone, who rumour has it recently signed an improved contract after being promoted to the club’s A team.
You’ll do well to find a better strikeforce than Zone and Nicky Woolf outside the top-flight and the dynamic duo will be looking to give the Catford defence a merry dance.
It’s all about the result for Catford as they know possession won’t count for anything on Sunday. Raiders are accustomed to the 3G pitch and it’s vital the Cats adopt a no-nonsense approach when it comes to defending.
The Cats have one or two matchwinners up their sleeve of their own and although they were well beaten by Bilbaum last Sunday, they will arrive in Uxbridge focused and ready to roll up their sleeves and battle.
Lester Jacobs’ troops have lost their last five away games and I think they’ll be edged out again on Sunday.
Venue – Brunel, Ref – Quentin Fox
JC star man: Jonny Shapiro (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Raiders B 3 Catford & Bromley 2
More to follow ...
20 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
16 - Jono Gaon (Tottenham Chutspah)
12 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B), Richard Fogelman (Jewventus), Alex Elf (Hendon Utd SC C)
10 - Ben Polak (Oakwood B)
JEWVENTUS vs BOCA JEWNIORS
This match had been billed as Schnitzelman vs the Best keeper in the division, but the Boca boys will be relieved to hear that Jewventus’ star man has been lured into some festive shopping at Brent Cross, according to some sources.
Jewve go into Sunday with a strong squad desperate to play football at Fortress Chase Lodge.
They haven’t accumulated as many points as gaffer Gabriel John was anticipating, but I think they’ll do the business against the league’s bottom team.
John told JC Sport: “We’re looking for a little three-point burst before the end of 2012 to end on a high, knowing Jewve are always stronger second half of the year.”
Jewve’s home form has been woeful, but it will take a super-human effort from Boca to stop them.
There have been too many false dawns in the Boca camp to lead me to believe this will end in anything other than a comfortable home win.
JC team news: The only notable absentees for Jewve are top-scorer Richard Fogelman and Dan Ezra.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Adam Yuchetel
JC star man: Dan Rook (Jewventus)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 4 Boca 1
FAITHFOLD C vs AC MILL HILL
Table-toppers AC Mill Hill can ill-afford any slip-ups on Sunday when they travel to the Lodge to take on mid-table Faithfold C.
Only a handful of teams have been able to live with the MSFL new boys this season but they will face a bit of a test if the experienced pairing of Ben Simons and Stefan Simons line up for the Superhoops. Both were on target in last week’s 3-2 defeat against Temple Fortune B.
Although Faithfold boss David Garson believes two heads are better than one, he knows that his team will need to stop Mill Hill hotshot Ben Zloof who has scored back-to-back hat-tricks.
Zloof is a serious contender for the JC Golden Boot. Tottenham Chutspah are glad to see the back of him, but he now has Faithfold within his sights.
Jason Shoffman will be hoping to start the match after a big impression in the 9-2 demolition of Tottenham, while it promises to be an emotional morning for Scott Ackerman who has promised not to celebrate if he scores against his former club.
The good news for Faithfold is I think they will score on Sunday. However, the bad news is that I think Mill Hill will score a couple more.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Martin Fox
JC star man: Jason Shoffman (Mill Hill)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 1 AC Mill Hill 3
FC TEAM C vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
FC Team will be looking to finish the year in style when they take on the Loughton boys in the first meeting between the clubs in JC MSFL history.
Team are in top form and will be looking to register seven goals for the third consecutive league game. Norstar C were their most recent victims with the other David Cohen scoring a hat-trick.
David Joseph Cohen joined David James Cohen in the hat-tricks column for the season, although he still has some way to go to catch up the side’s top-scorer.
Adam Aminoff is also enjoying a good campaign in front of goal and managers Ben Gilbey and Michael Myers are getting the best out of him in his new role.
Looking ahead to the game, Myers told JC Sport: “We’re unbeaten in the league and we want to maintain that proud record. The Team have a great attitude, they train and work hard, and it’s all down to Ben Gilbey, and we are definitely a more mature side then last year.
“Loughton will be another tough test as they are a physical team, but hopefully our passing and creativity will unlock the Orient.
“Star man to watch is David Joseph Cohen, scored a hat-trick last week and is hungry for more.”
Dan Curtis’ Orient came unstuck against L’Equipe last Sunday. The defeat didn’t go down well with the fans. That’s six now in total and confidence isn’t what it should be.
But Curtis told me this week that his boys won’t have an inferiority complex ahead of the clash against one of the division’s top teams.
Speaking exclusively to JC Sport, Curtis said: “We met FC Team in pre-season and know that we are in for a tough game which we look forward to.
“The boys are not happy with how the season has gone so far as results have not been good enough. This week we want to start putting that right and this is the perfect game to bounce back in.”
I think it’s safe to say FC Team will win without needing to find top gear.
JC team news: Loughton new signing Josh Hambling is in the squad. Curtis told JC Sport: “He’s a great addition to us.” Rob Silverman returns from injury and Jaimie Sinclair is getting closer to a return, however this week will be too soon for him.
Venue – Aycliffe Road, Ref – Martin De La Fuente
JC star man: David Joseph Cohen (Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team C 4 Loughton Orient 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs L’EQUIPE
L’Equipe have a spring in their step after claiming a famous 2-1 win over Orient.
Manager David Prager was rightly proud of his troops after winger Josh Lewis bagged a brace in a deserved victory. It really ticked all the boxes and shows just what they’re capable of when their match heads are screwed on.
Prager was also impressed by the performance of Richard Alexander in a makeshift right-back berth.
After the game, Prager told JC Sport: “The lads played really well. If it wasn’t for some poor finishing and their keeper being in inspired form the score could have easily been 5-0 by half time. We started the second half extremely poorly and Loughton scored with their first shot of the game. After conceding we showed great character and got our more than deserved winner.”
Character is exactly what they’ll need ahead of the trip to Pinner when Temple Fortune B lie in wait. Although player-manager Terry Jeffries is the usual source of headlines, it was Ollie Squires who fired a match-winning hat-trick against Faithfold C.
Jeffries was delighted with the battling qualities shown by his troops and more of the same will be order of the day on Sunday.
Whoever scores first will take the points.
Venue – Roger Bannister, Ref – Robert Caplin
JC star man: Ollie Squires (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 2 L’Equipe 1
TOTTENHAM CHUTSPAH vs OAKWOOD B
If you asked me for one of my highlights of the first half of season 2012/13, I’d have to say it was receiving match previews from Oakwood B manager Ian Tussie. The man is fast becoming a legend in his own right. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
The mighty Oaks were last in league action on November 11 and have slipped down to third as a result. But I’m backing Tussie and co to claim their seventh win on Sunday and score a few goals for good measure.
“It’s been so long since our last game that I’ve forgotten half of my players,” Tussie told JC Sport. “They are relatively forgettable characters though. I know there’s a crazy Scottish guy who wears wooly jumpers and fingerless gloves and his laid back Scouse house mate who is always smiling away. There's a guy with a monobrow who has been suspended for what seems like four years for assault. There's a red head what turns up in a different supercar each week and a doctor. There's also a kid with a dirty tash who loves headers, especially the lost art of diving headers, there's an ex pro golfer and a bald guy who he brings with who loves sliding in the mud and using the outside of his foot. There's a guy who looks like Andy Carroll but plays like Zidane and another midfielder who has a bad back but that doesn't stop him flying into tackles.
“We have a keeper with a temper but he's the best place to go for a racing tip and there's also a forward with a questionable past and another forward who loves putting defenders under immense psychological pressure. No idea of any their names apart from my captain Eric or whether any of them can play on Sunday. Will wait and see.
“Either way it'll be great to be back in action and bezrat hashem the game will go ahead. Chutzpah are good and it'll be a challenge, but the lads know it's vital we win and go into the new year within touching distance of the top two to give ourselves every chance of promotion.”
Although the Tottenham boys are glad to see the back of AC Mill Hill, they won’t exactly be relishing the prospect of a second encounter with Oakwood either. Carl Peters, Ben Polak and Nicky Harris were among the scored when Tussie’s terriers ran out 4-1 victors in October.
In fact Tottenham’s best hope is if Oakwood fail to find the ground! Just watch where you park lads!
Venue – Regents Park, Ref – Mike Cowan
JC star man: Nicky Harris (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Tottenham Chutspah 1 Oakwood B 3