Resurgent Banta stun Neasden C
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JC MSFL Div 2: Rapid Banta 2 NW Neasden C 0
Rapid Banta caused one of the upsets of the season when they beat title hopefuls North West Neasden C.
With Banta yet to pick up a point this season and the JC/TJ sportswriters predicting bad things and a troubled season ahead, Banta arrived at the Heath safe in the knowledge that things could only improve.
Having seen three results going against them by the odd goal, and a performance without a goalie against HMZ, Banta went into the game knowing that with a bit of luck this could be the week to get the season started.
The wind was blowing from inside the Banta half, and the home team started strongly with Benji Mannheim and Si Kaye battling hard in centre mid and looking to shift the ball quickly up to strikers Gershuny and Cooper.
The first goal almost came early on when Kaye was set clean through but then lost his footing at the vital moment when turning back inside to get the shot away.
Banta continued to maintain majority of possession although Neasden remained dangerous on the break with some good cross-field passing keeping the pressure on Banta's backline.
A further chance fell to Si Kaye following a cross from deep from Dan Ison but again all that was missing was the finish.
On the half hour mark Banta got the breakthrough as Asher Gershuny got hold of the ball in the Neasden box and squared for Simon Cooper to finish.
Further pressure was asserted before half time with tireless running from Jeff Gross and a dominating performance from Dan Ejdelman and Si Tager at the back and Banta came in at half time wondering whether their failure to score more than one might be costly.
As the weather deteriorated in the second half, the game became stretched and Neasden no doubt felt that this was a game they could get back into.
Ejdelman continued to lead a solid backline as a number of offside decisions went against Neasden and Dan Grossman was winning all the aerial balls sent up from the Neasden defence.
Neasden fashioned a couple of good chances but Justin Simons held strong in goal and with 10 minutes left on the clock Banta sealed the win courtesy of a great finish from Adam Carter.
Following up a quick Banta counter-attack, Carter received a square pass and from inside the box hit a low and hard short to the Neasden keeper's right.
With no points on the board and a 2-0 lead to defend, Banta weren't going to get complacent and held out for the victory. The season starts here for Banta.
Banta: J Simons, Ison, Ejdelman, Grossman, Carter (sub: Hill, 85), Mannheim, S Kaye, Gross, Cooper, Gershuny (sub: S Simons, 80)