Chigwell Athletic win Invitational Cup

Chigwell Athletic ended Norstar London Raiders's treble aspirations with a penalty shoot-out victory securing the Invitational Cup at Silver Jubilee Park.



Chigwell Athletic ended Norstar London Raiders's treble aspirations with a penalty shoot-out victory securing the Invitational Cup at Silver Jubilee Park.

This season the finalists both came from the Masters league, and whilst they finished first and second in the division, the 17-point margin enjoyed at the top by Raiders – plus their subsequent victory in the Henry Swerner Masters Cup – suggested that the treble might be a formality.

But Chigwell had other ideas, and from the start, they showed no fear in taking on the double winners. Even when it looked as if they may have fallen behind in the 15th minute to a goal subsequently disallowed by referee Nigel Kyte for a push, it seemed to focus them even more sharply on the task in hand.


The east Londoners forged ahead in the first half via assistant-manager Glenn Davis but Raiders remained a threat and only a superb defensive goal line clearance maintained Chigwell’s advantage, as they sought to hold onto the lead until the respite of the half-time whistle.

After the interval, with Raiders kicking up the slope on the superb new 4G pitch at Silver Jubilee Park – soon to be the home of Hendon FC – Raiders made their intentions clear, and Chigwell struggled to replicate the possession they enjoyed in the first period.

So it was no surprise when they conjured a move down their right resulted in a bullet header from Tony Plaskow.

With half an hour remaining, it seemed inevitable that Raiders would go on to snatch victory, but despite both teams creating several half chances, Chigwell remained resolute and the 90 minutes ended in a 1-1 stalemate, setting up a penalty shoot-out.

Chigwell had overcome SPEC FC on spot-kicks in a previous round and they held their nerve once again, with Lenchner, Davis, Hadley Silver and Marc Conway finding the net from 12 yards. NLR keeper Martin Leslie guessed correctly to deny Daniel Sugarman.

But it was Chigs stopper Marc Jacobs who was the hero, denying NLR’s Danny Hodes and Darren Cohen. Wayne Davidson and Adam Levene converted but it was Chigwell celebrating at the end.

Chigwell boss Richard Slater said: “It was an important win for us. We needed to stop Raiders running away with everything and dominating Masters football.

"We deserved it today, just. Our first half performance in regards to shape, work rate and desire was exceptional. I'm proud of the lads.

“It's been a long time since the club won any silverware which is a great feeling.”

NLR boss Elan Ovits admits the best team won. He said: “Over the 90 minutes, I thought we created more chances and also had a goal controversially disallowed.

"However, Chigwell were excellent today, battled hard and deserve their victory.

"We then decided to go from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 formation which changed the game in our favour.

"We were unlucky not to score a second. I also thought our defence was magnificent and kept Chigwell at bay.

"It's been an fantastic season for us. To win the league back to back was amazing having scored more than three goals a game and conceding less than one a game.

"We were also relieved and delighted to win the league cup after three finals. Winning today's cup final would have made history, but we just couldn't be that greedy.

"We will be back next season with no doubt some new signings and hope that we will continue where we left off.”

Tournament sponsor Jeremy Silverstone reflected on the competition. “It’s a great way of providing continuity between men’s and veterans football and supporting the community through the generations," he said, "and we will certainly be looking to continue to back it in future seasons."

The last word has to go to David Woolf, who co-chaired the tournament with Stuart Lustigman. “This was a great advertisement for Jewish football: a terrific game for the neutral, rounding off what has been another excellent tournament.

"Lots of people have worked hard behind the scenes to ensure that we have the privilege to play in and watch games like these, and it’s great for the community."

Paul Lenchner - scored
Glenn Davis - scored
Daniel Sugarman - missed
Hadley Silver - scored
Mark Conway - scored

Wayne Davidson - scored
Daniel Hoades - missed
Adam Levine - scored
Darren Cohen - missed

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