Eagle-eyed Bloom keeps Neasden on course
JC MSFL Division Two:
FC Heath 1 North West Neasden C 4
North West Neasden C kept up their promotion push with their second win over FC Heath in three weeks as a Stephen Bloom hat-trick led them to a comfortable 4-1 win.
On a slightly boggy South Oxhey pitch, Neasden started the brighter and their first chance was not long in coming as a flowing move down the left saw Michael Hershman cross for Bloom who laid the ball off to the advancing Mark Simons who was unlucky to see his first-time shot cannon back off the crossbar.
At the other end, Simon Beresford did well to push away a fierce shot from a rare Heath attack and it was not until the 25th minute that the deadlock was broken.
Ollie Henry, who had another impressive game down the right wing, saw his cross strike a defender's arm and, after some initial hesitation, the referee pointed to the spot. With Neasden's regular penalty taker, Gary Dymant, not playing, the responsibility fell to Bloom who calmly stroked the ball into the corner sending the goalkeeper the wrong way for his ninth goal of the season.
Neasden gave themselves some breathing space just before the interval as another fine move involving Henry and Simons culminated with Bloom driving a low right-footed shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box.
The first goal of the second half was crucial and Heath set out their intentions early and they were unfortunate to have a goal somewhat harshly ruled out for offside. This seemed to give Neasden the kick they needed and with the outstanding pair of Adam Harvey and Jamie Kaye continuing to boss the midfield exchanges, their dominance was rewarded just before the hour mark as Bloom picked up the ball 30 yards out and sent a delicious lob over the stranded goalkeeper to complete his hat-trick and score his 11th goal of the season.
Chances continued to come thick and fast in the Heath penalty area with Bloom spurning an opportunity on the volley after an excellent Henry cross.
Soon it was 4-0 however when Bloom's curling effort was pushed away only as far as Hershman who curled the ball magnificently into the top corner of the goal from the tightest of angles.
To their credit, Heath continued to press and were rewarded with a consolation when Ollie Joseph scored an outstanding goal to keep up with the standard of goals that had gone before. He collected the ball 25 yards out and sent his shot flying in to the roof of the net. This was simply a consolation as it was Neasden who finished by the far the stronger team - Bloom having two shots cleared of the line and then hitting the post late on from a Dave Marcus cross.
And so a thoroughly professional win that maintains Neasden's place in the division as they sit in second place. Despite a number of absentees today, including David Grabiner, Nick Davis, Gary and Benji Dymant, Paul Andrews and Jake Green, they still had far too much for Heath to deal with and were, in truth, very comfortable winners indeed.
Neasden C: S. Beresford; R. Stolzman, J. Hilton, A. Levesen, S. Ladier; O. Henry, A. Harvey, J. Kaye (D. Marcus 65), M. Hershman; M. Simons, S. Bloom