Matchday 28 weekend preview


Match of the day sees defending champions Faithfold A take on treble-chasing Hendon United Sports Club A in the Jewish FA Cup, while first division Chigwell Athletic entertain South Manchester Sports Club 1st in another mouth-watering tie. Elsewhere, Norstar London Raiders C need just a point to clinch promotion from MGBSFL Division Three. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.













Norstar London Raiders A vs Hendon United Sports Club A
May 4, Wingate & Finchley




There’s a good game in store in Walthamstow as treble-chasing South Manchester make the long journey ‘dan sarf’ to take on the mighty Chigs.

The east Londoners have saved their best form for the Morrison this season, but their league fortunes received a timely boost last Sunday when they stunned Division One table-toppers Southgate Harmen, with a champagne moment from talisman Dan Castle clinching the points.

Cup fever has hit the Slater household this week and the chairman is delighted with the way tickets sales have gone for what is one of the most important games in the club’s history.

I caught up with the Chigs chief earlier this week and here’s what he said. “The lads are buzzing for this one,” Slater told JC Sport. “We know a fair bit about South Manchester, as a few of our boys played with them at the Maccabiah last summer.

“It will be a tough physical game and by all accounts they're one of the better teams from ‘up north', but one we're ready for.

“We've knocked out two Premier Division sides to get here, so we're not fearing anyone.
There's big belief and desire in the squad to really go far in this competition and hopefully, with a near full squad, we can progress to the semi's.”

South Manchester booked their place in round four last Sunday, when top-scorer Adam Lavin steered them past arch rivals Maccabi Manchester with a well-taken second-half finish.

Lavin has been on fire for his team this season, and Toby Levy is another talented player that Chigs must keep a close eye on.

Since taking over, Jody Marks has done superbly in the hotseat and he’s confident his boys have the quality needed to reach the next round.

Marks told JC Sport; “We go in to the game on a high on the back of our 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Last week was a real test for us against Maccabi and after the way we dominated, I know I have a squad of beating anybody at the moment.

“We travel to London on Sunday against Chigwell who seem to be on a mini revival in 2014 and I’m sure they will offer us a real test (even if they do play in pink!), but if we perform to our levels, I am confident that we can progress.”

I can see this being a tight, tense and tactical affair, with a moment of magic settling.

JC team news: Russell Brill (away) and Craig Pearl (cup tied) miss out for Chigwell, while Steve Summers and Ryan Cole face late fitness tests, but hope to be involved.

Chigs squad: Jay Jaffa, Adrian Bourne, Ronnie Firmin, Glenn Davis, Paul Hizer, Bradley Porter, Bradley Gayer, Daniel Castle, Craig Sandford, Jonathan Swead, Russell Yershon, James Jaconelli, Ryan Cole, Steve Summers, Dean ben-Yosef, Glenn Michaels, Neil Gallagher, Doron Weinstein

Venue – Peter May, Ref – Adam Lewis

JC star man: Adam Lavin (South)

DC Prediction: Chigwell 0 South Manchester 1


Zuriel Solomon has described Sunday’s meeting with Hendon as Faithfold’s “most important game of the season”.

The Superhoops showed excellent character to come from two goals down against Brady, and Solomon says he is “excited” about the clash against the treble-chasing Hammers.

It was great to see Solomon back on the scoresheet last weekend, with top-scorer Mike Pearson and the gifted Yoni Raeburn also on the mark in a 3-3 draw.

Faithfold and Hendon have been involved in two close contests already this season and I think Sunday will be more of the same.

Solomon told JC Sport: “We always respect our opponents and Hendon will be the same.

“It hasn’t been the best of seasons, but the last few weeks we have started to score goals which has been our problem all season.

“We need to work hard and also have a bit of individual quality to get the right result.”

Hendon will be on their guard, as despite being the form team, gaffer David Garbacz knows full well Faithfold are capable of beating any team in Jewish football on their day.

Having booked their place in the Anekstein final last weekend, the big games are coming thick and fast right now, with Avidan Last hoping to have done enough to earn a start following his heroic cameo against Camden.

Looking ahead to the game, Garbacz told JC Sport: “Beware the wounded tiger - or in this case last year’s champions, Faithfold. They have not hit the heights of last year, but this competition represents their last chance of silverware this year and we are expecting all their big guns to play and this is likely to be a very close game.

“We have some key absentees and a reshuffle will be in order at the back, however I am more than confident about the players coming in.

“All games against Faithfold in recent seasons have been edgy and competitive and are nearly always decided by a moment of magic from either side. Once again we are putting our unbeaten record on the line in a tough away cup game and with playmakers Greg Corin and Yoav Kestenbaum both potentially doubtful, we will need to find match winning inspiration from elsewhere.

“However all the Last brothers are in superb form and we are as determined as ever to keep going on all three trophy fronts.

“This will not be one for the faint hearted and should be a cracker.”

JC team news: Faithfold are missing Dan Perkins, Alex Kaye, Elliott Stern, Jake Gottlieb, Joe Cohen and Sam Reeves. Daryl Phillips, Dan Howard and Rocky Spitzer return to the squad.

For Hendon, life without Josh Lipman starts this week. In addition both Yoav Kestenbaum and Greg Corin are doubtful. Alex Rosenthal returns after finally accepting that football is more important than work and Yehuda Korman (“arguably the best in the family”) has been drafted in from the youth academy.

Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Laurie Benson

JC star man: Alex Rosenthal (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 1 Hendon 2


I expect Brady to come out all guns blazing on Sunday as they look to bounce back from the humbling at Neasden.

Josh Dagul’s boys rarely lose two on the spin and I’m sure they’ll use the defeat as motivation to bounce back in style against lower league opposition.

Brady’s home form has been pretty erratic but if you’re looking for potential match-winners, there are many more on their side and an impressive performance would certainly set them up for the business end of the season.

FC Team go into the game on the back of a massive result in the league last week. Daniel Alfreds and Paul Savitz fired the bullets that turned Faithfold B’s lights out.

The boys in yellow and blue have nothing to lose and it’s important they show no fear on the big stage.

Team boss David Gordon told JC Sport: “I’m pleased that we go into this game having secured our position in the league for next season and can focus all our efforts on this game.

“We have shown already this season that we can step our game up against stronger opposition, but unfortunately we have fallen short on a couple of occasions.

“We know we will have to be disciplined, cut out the mistakes and take our chances when they come.

“We’re not going there to make up the numbers and we’re going to try and play to our strengths because we all want to be in the semi-final.”

I think Team will huff and puff for 60 or 70 minutes, but in the end the Brady bunch will blow their house down.

JC team news: Matt Davis, Eddie Sternberg and Dan Lederman all miss out for Team.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Keith Goodman

JC star man: Dan Harrod (Brady)

DC Prediction: Brady 3 Team 1



A rematch against Norstar London Raiders is the prize for Oakwood, assuming they can get passed an FC Team C side looking for big scalp no. 3.

Having lost against L’Orange for the third time, Ric Blank, Alex Schock and co are determined to blow Division Two promotion hopefuls FC Team away and set up a clash against their bogey team.

An injury to the in-form Sam Jacobson really rocked them against NLR last Sunday, and in the end Brady Wine’s goal was too little, too late.

The Oaks have some big names missing this weekend, but Blank is confident they can do the business.

He told JC Sport: “We’re looking forward to putting last week’s semi final behind us and getting back on the bike.

“FC Team C are a very lively team - they've played our Bs several times over the years - so we know a good bit about them. They’ve knocked Lions out already so that tells you everything you need to know.

“We’ll have a good team out though and the boys are hurting - they want another crack at Norstar next Sunday. So we’ll be up for it for sure.”

With very few games played this year, FC Team have been working their socks off on the training ground. However, there’s no replacement for match-time and even with the likes of James Joseph, David Joseph Cohen and David James Cohen in their ranks, I think they will find things tough.

I firmly believe Oakwood have at least one big performance left in them, and the signs all point towards Sunday being their day.

JC team news: The Oaks are missing Sam Jacobson whose substitution changed the game last week. There’s also no Adam Levine, Dan Geey, Bobby Cousins, but other than there’s in “good shape”.

Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – John Feenstra

JC star man: Alex Koslover (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Team 0 Oakwood 2




13 - Matt Stock (NL Raiders A)
12 - Mike Pearson (Faithfold A)

It appears everyone has forgotten about Redbridge Jewish Care. While NLR and Hendon continue to grab the headlines, RJC can still finish second, and they have an important double-header against the Hammers after the trip to Brady, so don't write them off just yet.

The bar has been raised sky high by the top two this season, but RJC still have time on their side to put down a marker for next season.

Adam Stolerman has been Mr Reliable for Sam Rosenthal’s men, but they need one or two more regular goal-scorers. The bottom line is that neither team has scored enough goals this season, however RJC’s defensive record has been mightily impressive.

Stolerman was RJC’s inspiration when they put Brady to the sword 3-0 in October, but I’m expecting the rematch to be a tad closer, especially with the pace of Marc Lazare and the guile of Rob Lerner, both scorers in the draw against Faithfold last week.

Stick this one down as a score draw.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Gary Silver

JC star man: Marc Lazare (Brady)

DC Prediction: Brady 1 RJC 1




22 - Jono Gaon (Blancos)
17 - Harrison Midda (Woodford)
16 - Mitch Hahn (Woodford)

Sunday is a must-win for Hendon. Simple as that. That’s not their manager, Aryeh Goldring saying it. That’s me.

I can see Hendon beating Shirley in a fortnight, but that will count for nothing unless they get something here.

Having beaten SPEC FC 3-0 away in October, Hendon fans have not given up hope of a great escape, especially on the back of the sensational win over high-flying Woodford last time out. These Hendon boys just never know when they’re beaten.

SPEC FC gave themselves a lifeline against Brixton last Sunday. Rumour has it keeper Dan Cohen has asked to start up front after scoring an incredible late winner at Brixton last Sunday. The strikes from Dan Amram and star man Brad Cohen weren’t bad either.

"We had to win last week and we managed it,” Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport ahead of the game.

“We know it could be for nothing if we don't win again on Sunday. You never know, Ashley Burns might even score a goal!”

If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, my advice is that you stay away from west Hendon as it could be a case of survival of the fittest.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Robert Benardout

JC star man: Brad Cohen (SPEC)

DC Prediction: Hendon 2 SPEC 3


What might’ve been. That’s the story of Harmen’s season in a nutshell. No doubt they will go into their final game of the season in reflective mood following the defeat against Chigwell that means fourth place is their most likely finish.

It’s imperative they bounce back from the humbling. In fact their management team demand it. Nothing else will do. What Harmen have done this season is given their fans hope and belief that the good times are just around the corner. Indeed with the signings they are rumoured to be making, next season could be massive.

Harmen joint-manager Joel Alterman told JC Sport: "We go into Sunday's game with a smaller squad than we had hoped for in our last game of the season, but a squad which is still capable of producing a performance that will get the desired result.

"We suffered another setback to our promotion hopes last week after we failed to get going against Chigwell and the boys are all chomping at the bit to finish our season on a high. Three points are a must.

"With stand-in skipper James Sandler and Adam Osper set to feature in men’s football for the last time, the rest of the team will all look to send them on their way with a victory."

Bookmakers are offering a generous 4-1 on Shirley completing the double over Harmen. Adam Klein and Dan Beckwith were among the scorers when they battered them 5-2 in November, but a repeat performance looks unlikely.

There will be players on both teams playing for their futures on Sunday as this will result in an open and entertaining affair.

Harmen squad: Adam Osper, Adam Simon, Adam Velleman, Ben Adaki, Ben Henry, Brad Fox, James Castle, James Sandler, Joel Alterman, Jordan Grant, Lee Greenfield, Mitch Green, Oliver Leslie, Sam Castle

Venue – Norseman FC, Ref – Martin Fox

JC star man: James Castle (Harmen)

DC Prediction: Shirley 2 Harmen 3




22 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
18 - Nicky Woolf (Raiders B)
17 - Nathan Sollosi (Redbridge B)

A point will be sufficient for Oakwood to retain their Division Two status, but manager Ian Tussie wants all three against a Faithfold team at rock bottom.

It’s important the Oaks go into next week’s game against high-flying FC Team C with little riding on it and they have the perfect chance to give Tussie the send-off he deserves.

It finished 4-3 in Oakwood’s favour when the teams met back in October, when Haydon Davidson (2), Charlie Cohen and Vic Librae saw them home.

Tussie told JC Sport: “The way the lads responded to the disappointing draw with Haroldeans was most pleasing.

“I said to them on the Wednesday following the game that we’d have to give the crowd something back. The crowds have been incredible. They deserved it (the draw against Bilbaum). They deserved a good morning because we’ve not given them many good mornings this season.

“We looked to get behind Bilbaum. The players were incredibly committed. They are hurting as well, they know we are not doing as well as we should be doing. We didn’t play well at White City. On Sunday they put it right - they deserved it. The players gave everything and never left anything behind (apart from a pair of shin pads - Mitre, black with yellow lettering).

“People have questioned my position but I don’t think I will lose my job (before I walk in the summer). I’m not feeling any pressure from inside the club. It’s all coming from you people. Everybody is fine, we know the job I have to do. It’s a big job, probably bigger than we all expected when I came in. The players have been great. I keep hearing this one has fallen out, or someone else has fallen out. I keep telling people it is rubbish and it is rubbish.

“People are looking for reasons we’ve not done well. The reason we’ve not done well is we’ve not played well enough in games and that’s the truth behind it all.

“I think Stefan Isaacs has been fantastic this season. The tackles he makes, his general play, more importantly his general fitness, sometimes you think he’ll need to come off after 60 minutes but he’s a freak. He’s something different.

Looking ahead to the rematch, Tussie added: “Going into Sunday, we’re undefeated in 10 weeks which shows the progress (it is testament to the weather more than anything).

“It’s a massive game and we know we have to win. Are we out of the league? No, not yet. Anything can happen. We’ll keep fighting to the end. I don’t care if we’re 25 points behind going into the last game, we’ll still believe we can do it.”

Faithfold are already looking ahead to next season, with relegation “almost certain,” according to assistant-manager Dan Yoss.

They gave everything against FC Team last Sunday, but as has been the case many a time this season, their best wasn’t enough.

Yoss told JC Sport; "We were very disappointed about the result on Sunday. A little like United reacting in the Champions League, we hope to do the same against Oakwood.

"Jonny Gahan and Richard Jaffe have been - in my opinion - our players of the season. I'm hoping they can lead us to a clean sheet on Sunday."

Manager Rob Shooman and Yoss will probably meet sometime soon to decide which players to keep and which to offload and it’s important they make those decisions early doors so they can attack the summer transfer window all guns blazing.

Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Martin Lavender

JC star man: Stefan Isaacs (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 1 Oakwood 1




30 - Richard Fogelman (L’Equipe)
22 - Dan Gordon (Faithfold C)
15 - Dovi Fehler (Boca)


Boca will unveil new signing Aaron Luftig to their fans ahead of the clash against Whetstone.

The left-back has been likened “to a Leighton Baines” by manager Sefton Monk who is hopeful his new man will “be hit at the club”.

Indeed Monk will take the helm once again for his second outing this season, hoping to build on a thrilling comeback against King Crown last time out.

Yehoshua Silverman has been labelled the “one to watch” after scoring three 3 in two and he’ll be looking to add to his recent purple patch.

Monk told JC Sport: “I’m very excited as I have a full compliment of players to choose from this weekend.

“We are playing at our old home ground North Herts Arena this Sunday - although a bit of trek for us London folk, it is well worth it as it, as it is a great pitch and stadium.”

Whetstone go into the game on the back of a couple of bad results, but managers Clive Nathan and Anthony Cohen are confident it’s only a blip and they will approach the game with caution, but at the same time optimistic they can get the right result.

A top five finish would be respectable, but they can take nothing for granted against a free-scoring Boca team who know that a win of any description would move them to within a point of their opponents.

JC team news: Boca go into the game with “a very strong side, with Parys Hammond, Adam Kay & Captain David Brown all available”.

Venue – North Herts Arena, Ref – Warwick Blake

JC star man: Yehoshua Silverman (Boca)

DC Prediction: Boca 3 Whetstone 3


Loughton, Fortune and Whetstone – that’s the challenge lying in L’Equipe’s way over the coming weeks as they look to gatecrash the promotion party at the top of the table.

Top-scorer Richard Fogelman was heavily criticised by Catford & Bromley Maccabi after last Sunday’s game, but it’s late double that had L’Equipe fans daring to dream.

Managers Dan Cordell and Josh Lewis have banned the ‘P-word’ from the changing room and told their players to take it one game at a time.

Ahead of the meeting with Loughton, Cordell told JC Sport: “Given we have had two monster wins on the spin, we have told the L’Equipe camp too not let the intensity drop for the Loughton game as they are certainly not to be under-estimated.

“We want and will expect to walk off our fortress of a home pitch where we are unbeaten all year with three points to keep our push on top spot going.

“Considering we have not had a keeper all year, I think we are doing pretty well, keeping our unbeaten run going.”

The Loughton boys claimed another big scalp last Sunday when they dented Jewdinese’s hopes of a top two finish. Jaimie Sinclair’s winning goal was worth the admission fee alone, with gaffer Curtis describing it as “goal of the decade”.

Looking ahead to the game, Curtis told JC Sport: “We have hit some form of late and confidence is high as we look to finish the last few games strongly.

“We know it will be a difficult game against L'Equipe as it always is.”

Recent wins over ‘Nese, Whetstone and Catford show Loughton mean business and if L’Equipe show any complacency, they might just be in for a big wake-up call.

That said, consistency has been a problem for Loughton, so I’m tipping home advantage to sway it.

JC team news: L’Equipe have as “good a squad as possible considering the absentees with marksman Richard Fogelman 50/50 due to a stag”.

Ryan Kissin, Marc Jacobs and Barry Green are all missing for Loughton. Back in the squad from last week are Adam Conway, Rob Silverman and Dan Howard.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Neil Cooper

JC star man: Jon Kay (L’Equipe)

DC Prediction: L’Equipe 3 Loughton 2


A point. That’s what NLR need to secure promotion. Whatever happens over the next two games, L’Orange have been absolutely fantastic this season and manger Zack Gothelf has got everything out of his multi-talented pack.

NLR have been the model of consistency this season and Andy Cohen was their latest match-winner in the hard-fought win over Faithfold C last weekend. It wasn’t a classic, far from it, but they did what they needed to and a repeat performance would take them into their final game against Catford & Bromley nicely.

A win or a draw would also see NLR going the entire league campaign undefeated at home. That being said, manager Zack Gothelf told JC Sport: "We're approaching Sunday's game as we've approached all our games this season and we know that if we play the silky football we can do then we can get the three points and move onto our final game against Catford.

"It's been a long time since we met Hendon (the first game of the season) and both teams will be vastly different from that meeting, but we'll look to enjoy our final home game of the season."

Hendon have under-achieved this season, but manager Adam Glekin will challenge his players to produce a big performance that could put any title celebrations on hold.

The Hustlers possess some dangerous players, namely Alex Elf, and his battle with star defender Jake Yudelowitz is definitely one to watch.

JC team news: For NLR, Oli Nathan's injury isn't as bad as first feared and he looks set to return on Sunday. Dan Tan, Alex Sherr and Josh Younger are on holiday (not together!).

Venue – Brunel, Ref – Henry Raffe, KO - 10am

JC star man: Nick Haringman (NLR)

DC Prediction: NLR 3 Hendon 1


The battle for the wooden spoon looks done and dusted. Fortune have picked up in recent weeks and the return of Michael Goldberg has seen them starting to score goals again.

Manager Jonathan Cohen has been locks in talks with club chairman Nigel Kyte to tie Goldberg down to a lucrative long-term deal so he can build his team around him.

Gavin Levy and Zach Rich fired Fortune to their fourth and arguably best win of the season last week. Cohen described the defensive performance as “magnificent” as they blunted one of the division’s top teams.

Ahead of the Faithfold game, Cohen told JC Sport: “The mood in the camp is good and this is a massive game for us.

“We’re buoyed by last week’s performance and are hoping to give Faithfold a much better game than we did earlier in the season.

“They have a very good attack line and we know our defence will have to be on top form to keep them quiet.”

Faithfold took table-topping NLR the distance last Sunday, with a wonder strike all that separated the teams. If they can produce the same level of concentration and focus they can definitely get something from the game.

For me, the key battle is the one between Josh Barnett and Goldberg, but ultimately it will boil down to which team takes its chances.

JC team news: Fortune have David Sawyer and Matt Leader both returning to the squad after a few weeks out for both.

Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Rob Caplin, KO – 10am

JC star man: Matt Leader (Fortune)

DC Prediction: Fortune 2 Faithfold 2





GARY CONWAY (Catford & Bromley Maccabi) - brilliant save to keep fogelman out in a one on one situation


Neal Cohen

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