Maccabi did it Ryan's way


Martin Simons dedicated Manchester Maccabi’s Accountants League cup final success to Ryan Silvester who has been forced to retire from the sport owing to ill health.

Silvester came off the bench 40 seconds before the end of extra-time ahead of penalties. He was scheduled to take Maccabi’s fifth spot-kick but was not needed after Flixton missed twice and Sam Van Gelder converted the decisive strike.

Simons said: “The news about Ryan is sad but not unexpected. He has a heart condition which means that he can no longer play football. It’s a great loss to Maccabi and to Jewish football in general.”

Striker Silvester has been a key player for Maccabi who finished runners-up in the Manchester Accountants League Premier Division, behind Flixton.

Simons said: “Ryan has had a great season. He has scored some important and spectacular goals, showing pace and skill that could easily deliver at a higher standard.”

Flixton went into the match determined to put their recent Peter Morrison Trophy final defeat behind them, but it was Maccabi who forged ahead after 15 minutes when a precision corner from Josh Lewis was volleyed home by David Herman.

Flixton levelled on the stroke of half time through Ashley Reece. The game was turned on its head in the second half when a free-kick from Stephen Peck was met by Michael Sacks who headed the ball down for substitute James Rosenberg to score.

Reece received a red card for a dangerous challenge on Louie Basso and Maccabi capitalised on their numerical advantage, with substitute Max Rose finding Sam Van Gelder who took one touch before firing past Dan Garman.

Ashley Loofe, Josh Lewis, Basso and Van Gelder converted in the shoot-out, while Yonni Green and Peck failed to register before Maccabi lifted the cup.

Simons said: “It’s been a while since we won some silverware, so it’s nice to end the season on a high.

“Credit must go to the boys for their team spirit and work rate through the whole 120 minutes.”

Flixton joint-manager Tony Rosenberg commented: “We had the game in the bag at 2-1, but the turning point was a spectacular save from Phil Pole to deny Michael Sacks. Then our centre forward did something inexplicable for which he was correctly sent off.

“Overall I felt Maccabi deserved to win. We’ll learn from this and we’ll have to go again.”

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