JC MSFL Matchday 7 Preview

By Danny Caro, October 17, 2008
There are some great games in store this weekend including Glenthorne United A and Faithfold A.



A 9-0 victory over your neighbours was the best possible victory for this game. Russell Green's midas touch is finally rubbing off on the Chigs.

Adam Hakimi was the star man. From his holding role in central midfield, he popped up with two goals against Glenthorne last week and ensured that the Thornes didn't get a look in.

Steve Summers continued to do what he does best. Both goals last week were taken with the touch of a natural born predator. Aron Barnes also scored twice and left Thornes boss Ian Cohen kvelling. Barnes would be the perfect Chanukah present for Cohen but I don't think he could afford him. The Chigs have issued a hands-off warning in any case.

Greg Bookman, Joel Berg and Daniel Sugarman completed the rout but the million dollar question is, when will Dean Ben Yosef find the net. He's been working hard for the team but with the B team not in action in the MSFL, it'll be interesting to see if Green keeps faith in Ben Yosef or sticks him on the bench.

Venue - Flamingo Park, Sidcup




It's been a while since the Thornes and the Hoops locked horns but if you are a newcomer to the league I should remind you that there is a lot of history between these teams.

When Glenthorne were partnered by Marshside, they had some titanic tussles against Faithfold including some feisty affairs in finals at Wingate & Finchley.

There aren't many players left in either squad who know what I'm referring to but the likes of Glenthorne's Rob Donn, Neil Zeff and Paul Shamplina along with Faithfold's Alex Levack, Daryl Phillips and Ben Lewis know full well what I'm talking about.

Cutting to the chase, I advice players to remember their shinpads as there might just be the odd tackle flying around and rumour has it that Sky Box Office is considering a late bid to show this on Pay Per View!

While the cups are the best bet of silverware for both teams this season, you can bet your bottom dollar that pride will be at stake with the sides fighting tooth and nail to climb the table.

The teams go into this match on the back of contasting results. Having worked so hard to go up last season, Ian Cohen's Thornes realise that every game is their cup final. They received a massive wake up call last week when they were thumped 9-0 by neighbours Chigwell.

The opening day win at Lions A looks a distant memory now and the mauling by Chigwell has sent shockwaves around the club.

Licking his wounds, Cohen told JC Sport: "After witnessing my heaviest defeat as manager of Glenthorne (or any other team), I am looking for a reaction my players in the next game and beyond. It is up to my senior players to stand up now and for my younger players to look at themselves and turn this game into a learning exercise, in that if they are hurting as much as I am they can make sure they never allow this situation to happen again."

The Thornes lost their rags last week with the Cooper brothers - Daniel and Jamie - shown red cards. Cohen went on: "I have some great youngsters in my squad complimented by some top quality experienced players and fully expect them to be a real force in years to come and I really do believe in them in a big way, but unless we cut out the immature side to our performances I will have my work cut out to get the results we need to establish ourselves in the Premier division."

Faithfold go into the game on a high after beating title hopefuls Hendon A 3-2. Alex Levack was named JC Player of the Week on the back of a marvellous display in front of the Maccabiah boss. Levack has been round the block in Maccabi League terms. He's seen the good times with Faithfold, was a part of the only JC MSFL rep team to win the London Inter-League Cup, won the Morrison, Anekstein and helped England take bronze at the 2007 European Games in Rome.

Faithfold did well to hold on to him over the summer and the win over Hendon went some way to proving him right to stick with his club.

They say that no man is bigger than the club but in the case of Levack and Faithfold, that has certainly been the question in recent years as the club has struggled to maintain its high standards though Levack is one of a few players whose committed and consistent displays cannot be faulted. The first name on the teamsheet, he's one of the finest dead ball specialists in the Jewish game.

I have no doubt that Levack, Lewis and Phillips still have some war wounds to show from recent games against Marshside & Glenthorne. Referee Howard Gould will need eyes in the back of his head on Sunday and I just hope he is able to keep his red card tucked away in his back pocket.

It's the battle between sixth and seven but when you consider that the Thornes have leaked 16 goals in five games, I'm tipping the visitors to nick it in what looks set to be a thriller.

Venue - Fairlop, Ref - H. Gould

JC star man: Alex Levack (Faithfold)




With leaders Neasden A expected to pick up maximum points at Montana, Jonathan Kestenbaum's Hammers know they can't afford any slip-ups here.

No-one outside of Faithfold could've predicted last week's defeat, their first of the season, and even though RJC go into the match on the back of a win, I think they couldn't be playing them at a worse time.

Hendon don't lose football matches very often. It's been a tough week for everyone in the camp and they will have been hurt mentally by the 3-2 defeat.

A sign of a good team is how they bounce back and I have no doubt that the Hammers will be back to their best on Sunday. They were unusally out-of-sorts against Faithfold, and even though the Bentley brothers found the net, things didn't go their way.

RJC might not know what hit them. I recall Hendon claimed a big win over the East Londoners last season and, in front of their own fans, I expect them to dish out a message to the rest of the league.

Mike Pearson drew a rare blank last week and he's keen to ensure he becomes the club's No. 1 striker. With Saul Conway in top form and Avidan Last back any minute, this could be the perfect stage.

The Redbridge boys claimed a vital win last week, their second of the season. Their direct and no nonsense approach may not win many fans but managers Darren Brown and Trevor Moss know that it's results that matter.

In an ideal world, they would play like Brazil and win 4-0 every week but we all know football doesn't work like that. If they are not prepared to put in a shift against Hendon, they could get battered.

Hendon like to keep the ball on the deck and throw men forward from midfield. I can see wave after wave of Hendon attacks and RJC midfielder Jamie Moss could have a big say in the outcome.

I advise RJC to play a 4-5-1 formation as Hendon could go 4-4-2. Like for like would service no purpose as it would only be a matter of time until the Hammers break through. It's been a while since Hendon lost two in a row and RJC claimed back to back wins and I can't see that trend being bucked here as the Hendon boys know that they will get chances as Redbridge's defence struggles to keep clean sheets.

Venue - Hadley FC, Ref - M. Lavender

JC star man: Motty Korman (Hendon)




The struggling Lions are looking at this match thinking can win, must win. Gavin Stollar's troops have found the going tough since claiming a week one victory and as good as Bafana have been, the Lions know they are not invincible.

Last week, Lions were blown away by table-topping Neasden, but on the flipside, Stollar knows that they won't have to play them again in the league this season. Five defeats in six is not the type of start that he'd been hoping for but, having played more games than anyone else in the division, he knows that Sunday is all about the result.

Bafana continued their solid start to the season with a convincing victory in the preliminary round of the Morrison. Jonny Kay and Dan Perkins have made a huge impact this season while striker Assi Avital looks to have got his feet under the table.

Player-manager Adam Lawrence has so many options this season and with confidence high I expect them to record their third win in six. Having drawn against Lions A, Lawrence knows that his team raises their game at Rowley Lane and I believe their physical advantage will hold the key.

I can see this being a game of many chances and expect the keepers to be busy. Man for man, Bafana have the edge for me.

Venue - Rowley Lane, Ref - N. Burns

JC star man: James Mandel (Bafana)




The bookies are not taking bets on Neasden winning this match, they are that sure that the leaders will win again.

Daniel Fox and Jamie Cole's dream team have been labelled 'Les Invincibles'. The bookies have cut the odds on Neasden doing the quadruple to 20-1 while they are 10-1 to lose in the league. That is hardly surprising when you consider that they have not lost a league game for almost a year. Lions A were the last side to beat them.

But the 100-1 on a Montana win has got to be worth staking a quid on. In a two-horse race, it's certainly a tempting bet, if not a logical one. If Neasden maintain their form they will have this match won by half time but I have no doubt that Montana will try to pull out all the stops to make it as difficult as possible.

Neasden go into the game on the back of a 6-1 demolition of Lions B in a game where Lee Cash (2), TJ Keterman, Ben Forman and Lee Bibring did the damage. That made it five out of five and an impressive 23 goals scored. The team is on course to improve on last season's points and goals tally and that's one thing I won't be betting against.

The Neasden midfield traditionally includes a couple of ball players. With Danny Daggers expected to return, I expect the game to revolve around him. The most experienced player in the Neasden line-up these days, old Dags has matured into an excellent player, fulfilling his potential. He has so many strings to his bow and is capable of playing it short or long, keeping it simple or achieving the extraordinary. By his own admission, he doesn't score as many as he should but he's usually at the heart of everything good about the team.

Joint-manager Jamie Cole told JC Sport: "Our record this season is 100 per cent, but with no trophies have been won yet. We will be determined not to allow the atmosphere to go flat by losing the game!"

He went on: "Neasden are also very proud to have Dan Stanton, Dan Cole, Matt Stock and Lee Cash shortlisted for the Maccabiah 11-a-side men's team.

"Also congrats to Ricky Kennet who has been selected for the futasal."

Home managers Marc Ziedman and Elan Ovits have been focusing on defence, team shape and ball retention in training this week. I'm not sure about the ball retention bit as they will not see the ball for long spells, but team shape and simple defending will clearly hold the key.

Montana's best bet is to put a man marker on the creative genius that is Daggers. A midfield spoiler is just what the hosts need though I'm sure messus Ovits and Ziedman have already made plans to double park the team bus in behind keeper Ben Law.

On paper this game wouldn't be a contest. It appears a clash of men against boys, and one where Montana might be in two minds about turning up. If won't be a case of if Neasden will win, more of a case of by how much.

JC team news: Neasden have a full squad to pick from with the exception of Adam Levine, Matt Stock and keeper David Fox. Rumour has it that certain players will be rested this week.

Montana are still without defender Alex Haffner who has pencilled in a return from a dislocated shoulder for mid-November.

Venue - South Oxhey, Ref - C. Stupack

JC star man: Daniel Stanton (Neasden)






This is a big game for both teams. Brady have climbed to second in the table virtually unnoticed though last week's sensational 3-1 win tells you just how far they have come in a very short space of time.

Player-manager Jason Sears, together with Jonny Meltzer, have instilled the squad with great belief and Sunday's win over a fancied Oakwood team has shown them just what they are capable of.

Brady are at their most dangerous when written off, especially in this preview, so the Edgware club should look away now, as I'm going to tip them to win!

Matt Gilbery, Andrew Shuster and Ollie Kenner were their goal-scoring heroes last Sunday but Sears will be reminding the team that the game starts 0-0 and they will have to continue to prove themselves week in, week out in what will undoubtedly be a close fought division.

Raiders have yet to win in five and confidence remains brittle in a young and new squad. Manager Adam Fegan is trying to get his message across as he knows they will win nothing if they continue to leak goals. Drastic times call for drastic measures and it'll be interesting to see what kind of tactics he uses on Sunday.

Striker Jonny Blain and Simon Shelley were among the goals last week. But it was a case of deja vu as they went ahead and led up to the 80th minute only to fall apart in the closing stages. If they concede first on Sunday, it's hard to see them come back.

The longer the winless run continues the harder it will be for them to avoid the relegation trapdoor and back-to-back relegations will do nothing for Fegan's CV!

But on current form, you have to fancy Brady to get something from the game and I'm sure they'll be kicking themselves if they don't come away with maximum points.

Venue - Little Bushey Lane, Ref - K. Goodman

JC star man: Matt Gilbery (Brady)




Promotion seeking Camden welcome lowly Brixton to the Lodge with home manager Justin Rockberger confident of recording their third win in four.

With Darren Saffer in top form with eight goals to his name, Camden are tipped to win but it might not be as easy as they expect. The Camden boys have become over reliant on Saffer and if the Brix appoint a man marker of the caliber of James Kaye on him then they might have to revert to plan B.

If you're expecting a classic then don't. It would be harsh to describe this game as Beast versus Beast but there will be few signs of a beautiful game in a contest between two sides who often struggle to string together more than three passes.

The result is the be all and end all to both clubs and it'd be dangerous to write Brixton off altogether as an ugly 1-0 could really kickstart their campaign.

Venue - Chase Lodge, Ref - G. Silver

JC star man: Lee Setyon (Brixton)




By hook or by crook, Neasden got their promotion bid back on track last week in a seven-goal thriller against the Raiders.

With South Manx running away with the division, the Neasden boys know that it's vital that they string together results, starting with Faithfold B on Sunday.

Alex Bowman, Bruno Frankel and Yoni Sidi were among their scorers last week in a game they came from behind a couple of times and wrapped up in the last 10. But the seven goals they've conceded in their last two games is definitely a worry. They have scored and conceded 14 in five games.

They cannot afford to be complacent against a Faithfold team who have made an inconsistent start. A steady if unspectacular opening is exactly what the Greens have had and if they are to do anything this season, a win is essential.

I have no doubt either side would take an ugly 1-0 before the game if offered but I believe a fair few goals will be flying in.

Venue - Bricket Wood, Ref - T. McEvoy

JC star man: Yoni Sidy (Neasden)




Game of the day sees Jon Nitka's Mancs welcome the Oaks in a battle between two newly promoted teams.

The Oaks pipped the Mancs to the post in the Division Two title race last term but it has been the Mancs who have made the better start this time around.

That could all change on Sunday when Oakwood's power players try to get to grips with a Mancs team that has been free-scoring up to this stage. The Manx hold a nine point advantage over Sunday's opponents who can ill-afford another defeat. Two losses in five have hampered their title ambitions and a 3-1 defeat to Brady was hardly the perfect preparation. That was the same Brady side who Manx beat 4-2 just last month.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual for the Manx machine for whom winning is becoming a formality. Five wins in six tells me that Nitka's winning mentality could rival that of England chief Fabio Capello. There are plenty of similarities between the two. Although Nitka's grasp of the English language is much better, he prides himself on preparation and commitment in the same way as the former AC Milan supremo. And he was a no nonsense centre half.

The Manx have found the net 27 times in six games and show no signs of wilting. Jonny Haik and Dan Kent are in fine form with Kent and brother Jamie in contention for the Division One golden boot.

The Oaks were the model of consistency last season but they have made an erratic start. Having seen 20 minutes of their recent win over Neasden B, I can't understand why they failed to reproduce such sparkling form against Brady. But they could turn their season around with a win over a Manx team who have the bit between their teeth.

It's a hard one to call but as winning has become a habit for the Manx this season, I'm going with them to edge what could be a thriller.

Venue - Hillingdon Borough FC, Ref - P. Gelernter

JC star man: Jonny Haik (Manx)






The Harmen bandwagon rolls into Mill Hill on Sunday as the favourites take on Faithfold.

Having played against the Greens last week, I can see Dan Uzan's boys coming away with a draw at worst but I have to back them to take maximum points. David Garson's Faithfold are undoubtedly one of the nicest and most sporting teams in the league.

With former JFS buddies Garson and Jonny Mack steering the ship, it's easy to see why. Both are gentle giants of the JC MSFL. They play the game with great honesty and camaraderie and the team has won many fans over the years.

Harmen are similar in many respects but, man for man, they have slightly better quality players who know how to win a football match.

With striker Alex Bourne in top form, I expect Faithfold keeper Richard Kirby to be a busy man. Kirby, a former centre half, has been an inspiration since taking the gloves. Some of the saves he pulled off last week against Raiders B were out of the top draw and that's why I named him in my team of the week.

In front of him is Jamie Isenwater, a defender who loves to get forward but never shirks defensive responsibilities. Together with Tony Plaskow, I expect him to have his hands pull keeping Bourne under wraps but on Sunday they will learn that Harmen have many strings to their bow with the likes of Lloyd Becker and Paul Stein proving ever dangerous. Becker has scored four in two for Harmen's two teams over the past fortnight and Uzan has done well to get so much attacking talent into his line-up.

I expect a high-scoring contest with Harmen doing most of the attacking. Both teams are patient in their build-up play though the hosts have their very own version of Rory Delap in long-throw specialist Charlie Resnick. Champagne Charlie recently scored from inside his own half, and he'll be interested to read that Harmen keeper Ziggy Lichman was lobbed from the halfway line last week, though Resnick is more likely to produce an assist from one of his monster throws in this game.

Faithfold will also look to the trickery of Jamie Taylor. He can switch wings to great affect and if he's allowed time and space he will ask questions of the Harmen defence.

From experience, I can tell you that Harmen love playing at Chase Lodge and another three points will keep them on the heels of Lions C.

JC team news: Faithfold will give a late fitness test to Steve Moss who suffered a strained hamstring last Sunday.

Venue - Chase Lodge, Ref - P. Dobkin

JC star man: Paul Stein (Harmen)




Lions C didn't react to their first defeat with the hairdryer treatment. They did it with the Darren Dryer treatment instead though they were made to sweat by Temple Fortune last week.

The 4-1 defeat to Harmen B the previous week was possibly not the worst thing that could've happened to them. The result ended a four game winning streak and gave them a wake-up call and kick up the backside that every good side needs. The harsh scoreline didn't matter as the reality is that there's little difference between an unlucky 1-0 defeat and a 4-1 scoreline.

Darren Dryer produced the decisive moment in a hard fought win over Fortune. As top against bottom clashes go, this one looks unlikely to produce a sting in the tail especially when you bear in mind that the likes of Craig Henry, Scott Levy, Pete ‘Mr Consistent' Lazard and Paul Buxton are likely to feature in the starting 11. I believe that the Lions are over their blip and a professional 1-0 win was just what they needed. They became the first side to beat Fortune

While it was the evergreen Dryer who took the plaudits, the Lions management were delighted with the progress of Sam Senchal, who got another 90 minutes under his belt, and Josh Swerner. Keeper James Castle was a mere spectator and, considering where Heath are in the table, it might be worth his while keeper a copy of this week's JC in his glove back!

100 per cent commitment is something that comes in regular quantities with FC Heath. The team is desperate to record its first win under the new management team of Ray Bloom and Ben Kaye. And there would be no better way than to celebrate a first win than by beating the leaders.

Unfortunately for all concerned, that's just one outcome I can't see happening.

Venue - South Oxhey, Ref - A. Fridkin

JC star man: Ben Prevezer (Lions)




Rob Richman's Raiders rocketed up the table last week following a hard fought victory over Faithfold C.

The team showed great patience to wear down well drilled opponents with two opportunist strikes seeing them through. Striker Darren Gerard played a lead role in both goals, flicking on for Nicky Woolf and James Foley-Comer to find the net with unerring finishes.

Every Raiders player had a good game last week with Steve Silver, Matt Greene and Ric Sherman catching the eye. The defence was rock solid, giving debutant keeper Danny Caro a relatively easy workout in goal.

The boy Greene impressed the onlooking Richman, who beamed: "One week on from cracking his head open, Matt was back to his imperious best forming a solid partnership with Sherman." The front pairing of Gerard and Woolf looked razor sharp with the GB Maccabiah captain winning everything in the air. He was also denied a deserved goal by the woodwork.

The win was a true sign of the team's bouncebackability. I expect them to push on and be there or thereabouts in the promotion stakes come the end of the season.

The Banta boys have lost four out of five and things took a turn for the worse when they were on the receiving end of the shock against Division Four opponents in the Morrison. The result hit them hard as everyone in the camp believed that had turned the corner with the win over Neasden C.

But with the likes of Simon Kaye, Simon Cooper, Jeff Gross, Adam Carter, James Stanton and Cohen on the pitch, you underestimate them at your peril.

I expect this to be another tight game and it's one that will be settled in midfield. Raiders came up a long-throw specialist last week and they will be asked more questions by Rob ‘Bobsie' Cohen's party piece. If they defend as well as they did last week and keep things simple I think the worst they will come away with is a draw.

JC team news: Raiders keeper David Simnock is expected to replace Caro in goal.

Venue - Croxdale Road, Ref - J. Smith

JC star man: James Foley-Comer (Raiders)




A mid-table battle will be just that as Harmen and Red Sea look to get back on the winning trail.

Harmen were unable to repeat their recent heroics against Lions C went they were beaten by a single goal against Neasden C last week. The Seacats were destroyed by Harmen's first string last Sunday though they did register three times in a 10-goal extravaganza.

The Southgate side lead Sunday's opponents by one point but have played two games more so it's vital they pick up something here. This is another of those contests that I can't see finishing goalless. Defending is one thing that isn't high on the agenda of either camp which will make it good to watch for the neutrals.

The hosts haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their six games this season while Red Sea average three goals a game on their travels so if manager Dan Wynne is bold in his selections he could be rewarded with maximum points.

Having been defeated in half of their games, I think it's fair to say that Harmen won't go up this term. But it's vital they continue to pick up points along the way. I believe that of the two sides, Red Sea will finish higher up the table though they know that in order to achieve their goal they must start stringing together results on a consistent basis.

There is plenty of attacking flair in both squads but with the likes of Jason Lindsay, Dave Mitman, David Lussman and the Benfredj brothers doing the business on a regular basis for Red Sea, I'm backing them to edge it.

Venue - Ashmole School, Ref - M. Cohen

JC star man: David Lussman (Red Sea)




Neasden C got back to winning ways last week, though they were pushed all the way by Southgate Harmen B. Still, it was good that Mel Beresford's men responded to their first defeat of the campaign with such a solid display, with Paul Andrews popping up with the all-important goal.

Gary Dymant, Joel Hilton, Steve Bloom and Dave Marcus were key performers in the victory and with fitness levels in the camp improving by the week, don't forget they are playing catch-up after a woeful pre-season, everyone in the squad is confident of pulling off a top two finish.

Last week they adopted a 4-5-1 formation which asked questions about Bloom. He's not a bad target man but it's not the role that he's renowned for. Like Simon Beresford, Bloomy has a keen eye for goal and doesn't need a second invitation to shoot. That said, I can see Fortune going like for like which would lead to a congested midfield.

Fortune tasted defeat for the first time last week, when they were edged out by Lions C. Keeper Adam Glekin had another excellent game but short comings up front in the continued absence of star man Ben Isaacs is hitting them hard.

Neasden have already kept two clean sheets and they will go into this game as favourites. Man for man they have the edge and if they score first I can't see them failing.

Venue - Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref - P. Lavelle-Maurice

JC star man: Dave Marcus (Neasden)





One of the game of the day sees FC Team travel to L'Equipe. The match will, ironically, be played on the adjacent pitch to AC Cricklewood and Dynamo battle on one pitch.

Goals and great entertainment look guaranteed with Oliver Manson's men aiming to leapfrog FC Team A at the top of Division Three. Manson will know that this is without doubt their toughest game so far this season. They will also be hoping that a certain Mitch Young does not sneak his way onto teamsheet.

Young was the man who thwarted L'Equipe when they played FC Team B a couple of weeks back. He bagged a brace to earn a point and put his A team firmly into the driving the seat at the top of the table.

L'Equipe returned to winning ways last Sunday though with a comfortable 3-0 win over Dynamo Hendon. Daniel Scott, Jason Miller and Paul Rubinstein got on the score sheet for Oliver Manson's side.

Miller has been on fire this season, rifling in the goals left, right and centre. He has 10 to his name already and will be a key man for the home-side on Sunday. L'Equipe's defence is also very impressive and the best in the league, after only conceding seven goals so far.

As for Team, a win for them and they will know that it will take a lot for anyone to catch them. They have their own marksman in Adam Goldsmith, who bagged 11 this season as Team look to maintain their 100 per cent start.

I am convinced that this encounter will end all square. And for a neutral this weekend - Hatch End Playing fields is certainly the place to head to.

Venue: Hatch End Playing fields

JC Star Man: Adam Goldsmith (FC Team A)

CS Prediction: L'Equipe 3 FC Team A 3



This one has home banker written all over it. After suffering their first defeat last weekend, Cricklewood will be hoping that they can get back into the promotion race, when they take on Jeremy Brown's struggling Dynamos.

Wood sit third in the table behind L'Equipe and FC Team A, who will coincidentally do battle on the same day. If that game ends in a draw and Wood produce the goods against Dynamom then they will be back in business for Elliot Chalmers' men in this fascinating division.

They certainly have the firepower up front, with the likes of Mark Wagman and Mark Ratzker champing at the bit.

As for Dynamo, the aim is to stay out of the relegation zone. They are third from bottom but have recorded one win unlike their fellow strugglers Pure Orange Function Band and South Manx B.

Gideon Spector will need to be in good form, if he can grab an early goal in this one - who knows it could go either way. So Brown will be hoping for a confident start from his boys.

However, I can't see it being their day. It's an important game for both sides and I can just see Wood taking the spoils.

JC team news: Cricklewood are without James Temple.

Venue - Hatch End Playing Fields

JC Star Man: Guy Orr (Dynamo Hendon)




Zvi Noe's boys are another team who have yet to lose a game this season and look like a dark horse in the division. They entertain Montana who have kickstarted in recent weeks and are starting to cause the bigger teams all kinds of problems.

The Hustlers got back to winning ways last weekend with a 7-1 thrashing over Pure Orange Function Band thanks to hat-tricks from Raphael Noe and Ben Russell, along with a strike from Aryeh Goldring. So you have to think they will go into this week's encounter in buoyant mood.

As for Montana they are still looking for their first win of the season. However, they have come close with entertaining draws against Cricklewood and Catford. Jamie Rosen and Adam Lenz are the main threats..

I can only see this one going one way, and if Hendon are serious about mounting a title challenge then they will need to record their fourth win of the season this weekend.

Venue: West Hendon Playing Fields

JC Star Man: Raphael Noe (Hendon)

CS Prediction: Hendon United C 4 Montana Boca United B 1



The teams will be looking to record wins this week after both were held to draws last Sunday.

After a great first season, South Manx B are clearly still learning the ropes in the division. Like Spurs, they still await that elusive first win and they are going to have to be at their very best if they want to turn over Lester Jacobs' men.

Last week, the Manx threw away a great chance to end their winless run, going ahead through Richard Fogelman and a Warren Schenk header against Zig Zag. However, they couldn't hold out for all the three points as Neal Cohen's men.

As for Catford, I have to admit it seems Division Three football is suiting them much more. One of the oldest MSFL clubs, the Cats are winning games and looking like a real threat.

Last week though, they didn't quite have enough in the locker to beat Montana. But I think this Sunday they will continue to progress in what is expected to be a very entertaining battle.

Venue: Douglas Eyre

JC star man Warren Schenk (South Manx B)




After receiving a heavy thrashing from Premier Division's Bafana Bafana last weekend in the Morrison, FC Team B will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league as they take on rock bottom Pure Orange.

The Tangerines have played four and lost four and only scored seven goals as well as conceding 23 so far. Still there is no better time to for them to get back on track than this weekend.

As for Team, they have had a mixed start to their campaign but will take pride from the fact that, last time out, they drew with title candidates L'Equipe. And to be honest this week, I don't see them struggling and getting their second win of the campaign.

The only concern, is that their top scorer is Mitch Young, who doesn't play for the side on a regular basis. So they will be looking for that much-needed fire power up front which may come from the likes of Freddie Marks or Robbie Blair. The pair have only notched up a goal apiece and will be looking to add to that tally.

Either way though, I can only see one winner on Sunday, unless Pure Orange can pull something out of the bag - the points will be staying in Mill Hill.

Venue: Mill Hill Country Club

JC star Man Robbie Blair (Pure Orange FB)




Jonathan Davody's French resistance may be starting to look good now, with the side getting back to winning ways recently. But there is no question they are going to need to be on top of their game when they take on the experienced and strong Woodford Wanderers on Sunday.

Alex Aviram's men return to league action this week after making it through to round one of the Peter Morrison Trophy. The Wanderers showed that a pre-season win over second division Rapid Banta was no fluke with a deserved win.

Darren Ezekiel, Elliott Winner and Adam Poole were on target for the Essex boys and I can see them getting a few more on the scoresheet this weekend.

However, Wanderers will also know that with teams like UJS Norstar and East London Knights in their division they also can not afford to slip up.

Aviram may welcome back Darryl Green to the starting line-up. He and Winner will need to prove a lot to the gaffer with Harrison Midda's suspension imminent. Aviram has also warned right winger Jerome Marks to be back home in London early or risk being placed on the bench for the encounter.

Sam Pearey is also another man in line to make his first start for the club. He has been out with ligament trouble since pre-season, but is now fit and ready to terrorise the Marylebone defence on the left.

As for Marylebone, they are a team really starting to gel. They moved up into mid-table with a hard fought win over JLGB. And Jonathan Davody has called for the same again from his boys.

It should be an intriguing game, but I am predicting the visitors to keep the pressure on Norstar at the top of the league.

Venue: Regents Park, Ref - L. Eppel

JC Star Man: Mikael Benguigui (FC Marylebone)




Normal service was resumed by the Knights last week as they made an immediate return to form with a sensational victory over Glenthorne B.

They went into that game on the back of a defeat against arch rivals Woodford Wanderers. With their pride wounded, it appeared that they were suffering from whiplash as they let the Thornes gain a 2-0 half time lead. But a monumental second half display saw them claim maximum points with James Ryan, Michael Winehouse and Simon Marks seeing them home.

Ryan said: "I hope that my boys are awake from the first minute and not the 45th. For some reason, they like to make things hard for themselves, I think they like to see me angry!

"Our comeback on Sunday shows how strong our squad is and I am hoping that this is the start of an unbeaten run. When we celebrated our winner against Glenthorne, (their manager) Paul Silver came onto the pitch saying that "this is not a cup final". The funny thing is, it was a cup final for us. We will be treating our remaining games cup finals as we know anymore slip up's and we can kiss goodbye to the title. We have 14 games left and I have told my players that I expect us to win the lot."

Looking ahead to Sunday's game against Real Life, Ryan said: "They had a good start to the season but seem to have struggled in the last couple of games which means they will be up for this game and my players will have to be ready.

"I am looking forward to seeing Charlie Bernstein, hopefully the old man has lost his skills and doesn't cause my defence any problems, but I am aware that it's not just Charlie we have to keep an eye out on."

As Ryan states, David Tropp's Real Life have failed to live up to their early season hype. Two wins have been followed by three defeats and a draw.

Fortunately, they have enough experience in the squad not to hit the panic button and Tropp has been showing videos in training, reminding the team of why they started the season so well. The Karma Sutra was not one of the videos in his locker despite several members of the squad asking him to show example of getting the best out of each position!

The most recent defeat was a 7-3 hammering by table-topping Norstar. Charlie Bernstein, Kenny Markeson and Eddie Lewin with Bernstein's strike his fourth of the season. Though the Knights know to watch out for Bernstein, it is Life top-scorer Nick Riesel who is favoured to open the scoring for the visitors with Hills quoting him as 9-2.

They also have the result down to go Ryan's way and everyone knows that the bookies are rarely wrong.

JC team news: The Knights hope to welcome back Zach Forest to the squad after he picked up a knee injury against Woodford. He is the only doubt as Ryan has a fully fit squad otherwise. The gaffer has promised "a few changes to the team that started against Glenthorne".

Knights squad Jon Labi, Danny Franklin, Justin Bell, Chris Bell, David Sidloff, Josh Danan, James Ryan, Matt West, Simon Marks, Michael Konzon, Michael Marks, Grant Stone, Michael Winehouse, Paul Sanders, Stephen Clements, Daniel Curtis, Darryl Rozelaar, Zach Forest, Marc Pollack.

Venue - Wanstead Flats Playing Fields, Ref - Rob Sheperdson

JC star man: Jon Labi (Knights)




UJS Norstar boss Phil Peters is flavour of the month at the minute. Four straight league wins has seen him consider making a late bid for the US Elections. It appears the man can do no wrong, though that theory will be put to the test when Hendon come to town.

Goals are guaranteed when Norstar host the Harriers Sunday. The UJS boys put seven past Real Life last week with Eli Houri scoring his third consecutive hat-trick. Youngster Houri didn't realise he'd find Division Four such as stroll in the park and rumours have it that he's considering moving house as he's running out of room to store his match ball souvenirs.

Peters' Fantasy XI average four goals a game and the general attitude is that opponents score three, UJS Norstar will score four. And that's what it's all about - entertainment. Four, Four, six and seven is how many times they have scored in their first four games.

But the bottom line is that they mustn't get carried away by their own hype and the big test will be how they cope when the pitches start cutting up over the winter.

The Harriers have lost three out of four but all the defeats were by one-goal margins. They lost 4-3 against high-flying Woodford but they must keep believing that win No. 1 is just around the corner.

The team averages three goals a game but even if they manage to do that on Sunday, I have my doubts that that will be enough to take the points.

Venue - Copthall, Ref - J. Solomon

JC star man: Neil Daniels (Norstar)




This management lark is proving much more stressful than Thornes boss Paul Silver. The man eats, drinks and sleeps football and it appears that he's struggling to come to terms with the fact that not all of his squad feels the same way.

Last week was the perfect example. Two up against title chasing East London Knights at half time. It should've been game over but nerves set in as did the realisation that they were beating one of the fancied teams. There's a fine line between winning and losing at this level but credit to Silver who tried to kill off the game by scoring a third rather than trying to sit on their lead. In the end, it came down to the fact that the Knights were fitter.

The Thornes will be at full strength on Sunday as they look to complete an early season double over the Us. 8-2 was the scoreline on September 28 on a day when everything the team touched turned to goals. Jamie Weinrich led the way with a hat-trick with Matt Conway, Mitchell Ross, Ashley Stanton and Adam Kantor doing the damage.

Stanton and David Blackman netted against the Knights last week and Silver hopes that they won't suffer a hangover or heavy legs as they put 110 per cent effort into that game.

UJIA claimed their first point of the season, at the sixth time of asking. Jon Gordon and Darren Rolfe were among their scorers in a 3-3 draw against Pinner. The Us have conceded a staggering 37 goals already this season. It appears they have a softer centre than a Turkish delight.

They've conceded 9, 8, 7 and 6 is various games so, going by the law of averages, I'm opting for a handsome win for the East Londoners which would certainly put a smile back on the face of Silver snr.

Venue - Gibbons Rec, Ref - M. Fox

JC star man: David Blackman (Glenthorne)




If the missus is starting to nag you about early Chanukah shopping, then this could be the game to miss.

Pinner boss Les Conway was incensed by last week's draw against UJIA after the referee allowed an incredible 26 minutes of stoppage time in which the Us scored a couple of goals.

On the plus side, the poor timekeeping went some way to improving his player's match fitness and with one eye on forthcoming cup matches, it could work wonders if any of them go to extra time.

David Grossman, Jonathan Kay and Joe Newton hit the net to earn the team a point which Sir Les felt was the least his team deserved. The result means they have gone five games without winning though Conway believes they have a great chance of break their duck on Sunday.

JLGB lost against FC Marylebone last weekend. A strange pattern has evolved as their four matches to date have finished 2-1. The team has won two matches and going into their third away game of the season, the mood in the camp is one of confidence though everyone in the squad knows that there is plenty of room for improvement.

JLGB striker Neil Lux commented: "JLGB have only themselves to blame for the poor result against a very average FC Marylebone, and will this week look to seek revenge against a Pinner side who haven't won in the league this term.

"Pinner won their first MSFL game against JLGB last Christmas, but only due to a bad day out in front of goal.

"JLGB have only scored a maximum of 2 goals per game, and will need to start scoring more to secure games early on. On the plus side the defence is a strong as last year and again JLGB have a great defensive record.

"Maybe Steve Howard will get his chance to prove his worth in the starting eleven and bag a few goals to help he fellow striker. If you were abetting man 2-1 would be your bet for Sunday clash."

Conway is an eternal optimist who believes the only way is up. He believes his team "were robbed" last week so it's about time they started taking things into their own hands and give their fans something to cheer about.

JC team news: JLGB should welcome back Paul Black back to the squad but will be missing Barry Green due to work commitments.

JLGB possible squad: Simeon Barnett, Olly Shroffren, Jonny Temerlies, Adam Greenberg, Frazer Levy, Anthony Lane, Matt Rhodes, Nicky Stone, Justin Freedman, Ian Levy capt, Paul Black, Jonny Reid, Steve Howard, Rob Silverman, Neil Lu

Venue - Bannister Sports Centre, Ref - M. Cowan

JC star man: Joe Newton (Pinner)


Last updated: 10:15am, October 17 2008