MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A 6 FC TEAM A 2
Daniel Shafron saluted former Player of the Year Liron Mannie after North London Raiders registered their first win of the season - hitting FC Team for six.
The signs looked ominous early on when NLR goalkeeper Jake Doffman was sent off, but with David Dinkin (yes David Dinkin) taking the gloves and looking solid in nets, the defending champions eventually found their feet to take the game away from FC Team with some outstanding football.
The hunger on the faces of the NLR players was evident as Matt Stock, Joe Cohen and Dave Cohen adding the gloss to give Shafron his first competitive victory.
NLR boss Daniel Shafron told JC Sport; "It was an excellent team performance today. To win so convincingly with 10 men for 80 minutes is great testament to the character of the boys and how well they worked for each other.
"Having our goalkeeper sent off so early on could have been catastrophic but I am proud of how the boys reacted to this and showed only positivity in our play.
"As soon as we went ahead, we had full dominance of the game and I felt that we would score a few goals. We were excellent in possession and used the ball well in the right areas of the pitch, but I must say Liron Mannie was simply phenomenal.
"There were some super individual performances but today was all about the team as a collective, the result, the performance and the happiness of boys getting that winning feeling back."
FC Team's goals came via strikers Mike Pearson and Richard Salmon.
FC Team boss Mitch Young told JC Sport: "I am disappointed with certain players in my squad for letting me down last minute meaning we only had 11.
"Then having gone 1-0 up after their keeper was sent off then 1-1 at half time I am disappointed we couldn't win the match, but in truth we didn't create enough but did have a lot of players filling in to help out.
"Credit firstly to Martin de la Fuente for making such a big bold call early on in the game and second to Raiders who weirdly with 10 men were able to play a counter attacking game which suited their attacking players and Liron Mannie was unplayable.
"We now move on to face teams we know we can beat and will be looking to get our season on track."