Legendary Lions B march into cup semi-finals

Sam Marchant described his Maccabi London Lions B team as "legends" after they produced the shock of the day by sending holders North London Raiders A crashing out of the Cyril Anekstein Cup.




Two goals from Josh Bloom made it a memorable morning for first division Lions B as they put Raiders to the sword with a top-quality performance.

Marchant admitted his team needed "a tiny bit of luck" to progress, with goalkeeper James Harpin forced into a great save in the first-half. Raiders also hit the post in the first half and the Lions were indebted to a wonderful goal-line clearance by Daniel Behar in the second.


Bloom made a superb impact scoring twice in the first half after coming off the bench and leading 2-1 at half time Lions "knew we could carry on and take the victory". The first goal came 10 minutes before half-time, a throw-in from Zac Rose was flicked on by Ed Brafman towards the oncoming Bloom who dived in and slotted home a header to Jake Doffman's left.

It was only a few minutes after that Raiders broke down the lions solid defence. An unbelievable through ball from Liron Mannie split the Lions defence and left Ben Ellis striker with a one-on-one and he rounded the keeper and slotted home.

The Lions responded almost immediately, with Daniel Behar picking up the ball, playing a lovely one-two with Benji Weinberger on the left wing and then playing a superb low cross across goal and Bloom was in the right place to slot home.

Some wise words at half time from Marchant, but he knew more of the same was needed from Lions in the second half. And Lions didn’t disappoint. The team came out raring to go, they knew they may not have loads of the ball but had to take their chances.

And within the first 10 minutes of the second half Adam Abadi who won the ball from his tough pressing, was 25 yards out with Doffman off his line and instead of opting for a lobbed shot, rifled a bullet of a shot along the floor into the bottom corner of the goal. A superb finish to put Lions 3-1 up.

Matt Stock gave NLR a lifeline 20 minutes from time, capitalising on a defensive error to make it 3-2. This could have led to a potentially nervy finish for the young Lions squad but they didn’t let the goal affect them. If anything it gave the team desire to continue to work hard and score again.

With five minutes to go Michael Kenley unselfishly allowed Benji Weinberger to put the icing on the cake by slotting the ball across leaving Weinberger six yards out and an open goal, which made the score 4-2 and sent us in to pandemonium.

A proud Marchant told JC Sport: "Today’s performance was one of heroes. Actually, of legends. The passion, commitment and determination by every single player was truly awesome. We know Raiders are a terrific side especially having won the double last season.

"Raiders have quality all over the park but today we did more than match them. Many teams would face a Raiders side and sit back, trying to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter. We chose to play our own game and take it to them from the start. Of course at times our backs were against the walls but our defence was terrific.

"Every single man was awesome today and it was a true team and highly spirited performance. To go far in cup competitions you have to beat the best teams at some point, and we’ve done that today in a wonderful manner to get through to the semi-final.

"I’m sure Raiders A will not be happy at all to have been condemned to two defeats in a row by two different Lions sides, but for certain the better team won today. They are a superbly strong outfit and whole-heartedly wish them the best for the rest of their season."

NLR boss Dan Shafron told JC Sport: "Congratulations to Lions B who were the better side. We wish them the best for the rest of the competition and their season."

RAIDERS: Jake Doffman, David J Cohen, Justin Spiro, Jake Yudelowitz, Joe Cohen, Adam Joselyn, Nyv Bogaire, David Dinkin, Ben Ellis, Liron Mannie, Matthew Stock. Subs: Nick Lewis, Joshua Morris, David Rhodes, Oscar Wagner

SCORERS: Ellis, Stock

LIONS: James Harpin, Daniel Behar, Ben Winters, Nick Landesberg, Zac Rose, Nathan Schindler, Ben Weinberger, Adam Abadi, Ed Brafman, Elia Cohen, Michael Kenley. Subs: Josh Bloom, Zak Linden, Guy Surki

SCORERS: Bloom (2), Abadi, Weinberger, 

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive