MSFL week one review
Hendon A vs Faithfold A
There were goals galore on the opening weekend of the JC MSFL season.
Daniel Levenfiche, last season’s Player of the Year, scored four times at defending champions North West Neasden A hammered Glenthorne United A 5-0. Danny Cohen claimed the other.
Joint-manager Daniel Fox told JC Sport: “It’s good to start the season with a win, and that's exactly what we did. The team played well and we were confident that, even though it was goalless at half time, when we got the first the floodgates would open.”
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, League Cup winners Hendon United A overcame Faithfold A 3-0 courtesy of goals from Greg Corin, Dovid Korman and Alex Rosenthal.
Newly promoted South Manx took the points thanks to strikes from captain marvel Paul Babai and Jamie Kent.
Kent scored the opener half way through the first half with Babai adding the second with 15 minutes of the game remaining. Danny Reuben scored what was only a consolation with under 10 minutes to go.
Manx assistant-manager Shaun Simons said: "Next week will be a tougher contest against Lions A but we have started well and want to build on it."
Greg Corin, Dovid Korman and Alex Rosenthal were on the mark as Hendon got life under new boss David Garbacz off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win against Faithfold A.
Garbacz was "delighted" with his team's performance. He said: "My major message to the players is that we need to keep things tight and have a solid shape to our team, which we had today.
"What was also pleasing was that we looked really dangerous in the final third – Greg Corin will create chances for our forwards, as well as score goals himself."
He added: "This win gives us confidence because Faithfold are always a difficult opponent and winning games like this are crucial to our chances of winning the title."
Faithfold player-manager Zuriel Solomon bemoaned his side's lack of cutting edge, saying: "It was disappointing up front. We couldn't hit a barn door with the way we finished out there."
He added: "We were missing several key players, including Alex Levack, but I must say the debutants did well in what was a really hard test. Hopefully we'll have a full squad to choose from in a couple of weeks."
Shock of the day came at Rowley Lane where new boys Hendon United A stunned London Maccabi Lions A courtesy of goals from Ben Kon, Chaim Gothold and Gav Noe.
Lions scored either side of half time but Hendon took the points.
Hendon joint-manager Martin Smulovitch said: “We scored three quality goals and it was a great way to start the season. We let Lions have the ball in their own half and the tactics worked. In the end they resorted to long balls. We never panicked and defended admirably.”
Division One title hopefuls Montana Boca United A made hard work of beating Red Sea. Gary Cohen (2) and summer signing Toby Lustigman struck in a 3-2 win. Stefan Benfredj was among the scorers for Red Sea.
A late strike from Jonny Blain, his second of the game, earned North London Raiders A a point in an eight-goal thriller against North West Neasden B. Debutant Jamie Woolfson also hit two.
Alex Bowman (2), Rob Bloch and Danny Daggers saw for Neasden who led four times.
Joint-Raiders boss Adam Fegan commented: “The boys showed tremendous work rate and team spirit to come back from a deficit on four occasions. To score four times and not win is disappointing so we will be looking to tighten up at the back, but it is a better start than last season and we now welcome back a number of players from their travels over the next week so competition for places will be strong.
“Neasden are an excellent side and will certainly be there or there abouts come the end of the season so a point on the opening game is a good and fair result.”
Newly-wed Alex Bourne scored a hat-trick as title hopefuls Southgate Harmen A thumped Camden Park 6-0. The big striker, who recently married pop diva Rachel Stevens, stole the show with three quality finishes.
Ben Forman and Darren Gale plus a brilliant finish from Ori Kobi, completed the scoring.
Harmen boss Dan Uzan said: “It was a good game and a strong performance from Harmen. I think the scoreline flattered us a touch, but we know we still have plenty to work on and need to carry on improving.”
Camden manager Justin Rockberger commented: “I have no real complaints. We need to get our act together and quickly. The only positive is that Russell Greenfield and Darren Saffer made second half appearances following lengthy spells on the sidelines, so every cloud has a silver lining.”
Four goals from Mitch Young steered FC Team A to a 7-1 victory over Faithfold B in Division Two. James Ryan (2) and Simon Buchler wrapped it up. David Marcus hit the consolation.
Alex Hershman (2) and Simon Gold helped Southgate Harmen B beat Holy Mount Zion who finished with 10 men after a player was sent off for foul and abusive language.
An own goal late in the second half was enough to give North London Raiders B victory against London Maccabi Lions C at Rowley Lane.
Raiders manager Rob Richman commented: “The game was very evenly contested and in truth, a draw would have been a fair result. Lions were the better side in the first half but we probably edged the second half. All in all we are delighted to grab the three points right at the end knowing that there is a lot of room for improvement."
Rapid Banta caused one of the upsets of the day, beating last season’s Division Three champions FC Team B in a seven-goal thriller. Stefan Simons (2), Jeremy Newton and Paul Samuels were on the mark. Richard Salmon (2) and Mickey Marks replied.
FC Team boss Ben Simon said: “We can take many positives out of the game but unfortunately there were just as many negatives and a lot of work will be needed on the training ground if they are going to emulate the achievements of last season.”
A goal direct from a corner from Jamie Berstein together with one from player-coach Benji Peters earned FC Heath a 2-1 win at Hendon United C in Division Three. Ben Russell replied.
Josh Lewis (2), Daniel Cordell (2), Lee Greenfield and an own goal steered L’Equipe to a 6-1 win over South Manx B. Richard Fogelman claimed a consolation.
“I’m incredibly pleased with our first result,” said new L’Equipe boss Gideon Chain. “Our hard work pre-season, both on and off the pitch, really showed today and the lads kept their focus and controlled the game for the 90 minutes. Our combination of skill, physical strength, fitness and determination puts us as strong contenders to finish top this season and with our new management team, I’m confident we will do just that.”
Highly fancied Montana Boca United B came from behind to beat FC Marylebone 4-1. Two goals from debutant Darren Bloom plus one apiece from Jeff Gotch and another summer signing, Mark Simons completed the comeback.
Matt West netted for Marylebone.
Ambitious UJS Norstar A put eight past Catford & Bromley Maccabi. There were goals for Ben Eliad (2), Eli Houri (2), Sammy Kalms (2), Jeremy Elster and Josh Green.
Joel Isaacs and Jonny Keller replied for Lester Jacobs' men.
Two from Josh Cowen inspired Blizzard Storm to a 3-2 victory in the battle of the new boys against Jewventus in Division Four. The other goal came via a deflection from a Joel Kutner shot.
Brothers Gabriel John and Reuben John replied for Nick Bick's troops.
Player-manager Darren Rolfe won the battle of the new bosses as UJIA did the business against Pinner JFC. Alex Seligman, Dan Roth and Oliver Henry joined their boss on the scoresheet in a 4-1 victory.
UJS Norstar B completed a win double for the club with a 4-2 victory over Hendon United B.
Alon Blitz and Dovid Greenberg netted for Hendon