YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
(all matches KO at 10am)
CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND TWO
LOS CAMDEN A vs HMH
HMH are preparing for their first Maccabi league or cup game in nine weeks when they travel to Borehamwood to take on Los Camden for the third time this season.
Avi Goldberg’s men have yet to register a win against Camden – having lost 2-1 in October and then played out a goalless draw in mid-November. So all the signs point towards another hard-fought battle.
The only competitive match HMH have played since came in the non-Jewish cup competition, and their fans hope match sharpness isn’t an issue.
"Sunday will be intriguing," Goldberg told JC Sport. "Camden seem to have had a bad start to the new year, whilst we were preparing by updating our tans on the beach. Not sure which is better prep for this match!
"Previous encounters have been tight affairs but Camden have so far had the edge, something we need to rectify as we had to do and did last time out against Faithfold.
"The rest period has, however, enabled a few of our long-term injured players to recover, in particular Adam Abadi, Sammy Kingston and Ben Winters are pressing to be included, although there will be late fitness tests for various others on the treatment table, including Tom Prais who made his long-awaited comeback before Christmas, only to be stretchered off after five minutes."
Los Camden go into the tie on the back of heavy defeats against Lions and Oakwood. Both losses coincided with the absence of key personnel, including Gav Krieger, who looks set to return on Sunday, barring any late setbacks.
Camden boss Stirling Kay told JC Sport: "The lads got a solid session under their belts on Wednesday evening in preparation for what has turned into a bit of local derby.
"Of our 13-man injury list, eight returned to training last night and we are expecting to tap into our team spirit and first half of the season momentum to continue our cup run.
"This derby has a very Inter AC Milan feel to it as the teams enjoyed a midweek face-off sharing the same training pitch in Finchley.
"We know HMH very well from our previous two encounters this season - we know that they are a top side and we will have to be our best on Sunday as Avi Goldberg has got them playing some excellent football. We look forward to a fiercely competitive game."
Most other teams would struggle without two months of football, but HMH are one of the youngest teams in the league and they are clearly going places. That’s why I’m tipping them to edge through in a game labelled by some as the ‘rugby ball derby’! But when all is said and done, it will all boil down to which teams wants it most.
JC team news: Camden’s long injury list is finally depleting, rather than growing. They welcome back Dan Orgel from injury and travelling, as well Gav Krieger, Kane Gilbrey, Oli Sade, Steve Murad and Josh Tiano from their recent lay-offs. Dean Rosenthal will go through a late fitness check after returning to training although this might be a couple weeks too early for him.
Jake Norton remains suspended for HMH following his red card against Faithfold in November.
Venue - Hertswood, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Ben Winters (HMH)
DC Prediction: Los Camden 1 HMH 2
MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION
LEAGUE TABLE - TOP TWO
1. Hendon Utd Pl. 10, W. 7, Pts. 22
2. Oakwood A Pl. 8, W. 5, Pts. 15
TOP-SCORERS 16 - Reiss Mogilner (ML Lions), 11 - Rocky Spitzer (Hendon Utd), Josh Bharier (Oakwood A - includes 2 for B team)
OAKWOOD A vs BRADY MACCABI
Sunday marks the start of a big three weeks for Oakwood, who have league games against HMH and Lions to follow, as they look to close the gap on leaders Hendon.
They were back to their best last weekend when they put four past Los Camden. New arrivals Scott Smith and John Levy hit the ground running in a game they dominated. Smith made a goal-scoring start in an outstanding team performance in which the Oaks showed their true colours.
Harvey Kaye also caught the eye on his return - his first game in 18 months – and what pleased joint-manager Dan Kristall was there is now genuine competition for places.
Kristall is urging against complacency and told JC Sport: "We expect another tough game against a revitalised Brady.
"The mood is good in the camp. We are winning games and other than the blip against Hendon, where I felt we were really unlucky that day both with factors on and off the pitch, we are looking in really good shape to challenge. We can only win our games to keep the pressure on Hendon.
"We have competition for places on Sunday for the first time this season giving Dave Cohen and I a headache.
"Games are coming thick and fast. We will need the squad in order to come through these tests."
Brady finally got their league campaign up and running last weekend. On another day the 2-0 scoreline against Faithfold could have been even more emphatic had it not been for the woodwork.
The combinations of Sam Lipton and Brad Dryer plus Ricky Rinder and Marc Rister worked a treat. And Rob Cohen looked razor sharp following an ACL. All boss Joel Nathan needs is for Ben Kohler to start firing now.
Brady boss Joel Nathan told JC Sport: We go into Sunday game with confidence after last week’s win, but know we are up against a very good Oakwood team and know we will have to be at our very best to get the win as they will never give up from the first to the 90th minute.
"For once I only have one player missing from last week and therefore have a settled team to choose from.
I can see Brady huffing and puffing for 70 minutes, but in the end Oakwood's superior quality will come through.
JC team news: Scott Smith is pushing for his first Oakwood start. Alex Lee, Ben Peppi, Joe Botchin and Brad Wine return. Last week's man-of-the-match John Levy is a doubt. Kyle Bentwood faces seven to 10 days in the treatment room. Sam Cantor may return.
Brady also welcome back keeper Harry Fine so apart from the long-term injuries they will be at full-strength.
Venue – Nicholas Breakspear, Ref – Martin De La Fuente
JC star man: Scott Smith (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 2 Brady 0
MACCABI LONDON LIONS vs FAITHFOLD DOC MM A
Max Kyte believes Lions deserved something from their epic game against Hendon United last weekend. They have the chance to right those wrongs on Sunday when Faithfold are the visitors.
Lions trail the Superhoops by two points, but they crucially have three games in hand. Jack Franks was the star man in last week’s 3-2 defeat against the defending champions, with Adam Arnold and Richard Gold also impressing.
They also missed a hatful of chances and can expect plenty more against a Faithfold side who also find themselves at the wrong end of the table.
Ahead of kick-off, Kyte told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to our third encounter of the season which has brought lots of goals every time.
"A win takes us up to fourth and hot on the tails of HMH, so we know this is a big game.
"We are hoping to build off the performance of last week against Hendon which is the level we should always be playing at."
Lions have taken four points out of a possible six against Faithfold so far this season, so if I was a betting man, I’d tip them to come away with a win.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Phil Peters
JC star man: Richard Gold (Lions)
DC Prediction: Lions 2 Faithfold 0
LEAGUE TABLE - TOP THREE
1. Redbridge JC Pl. 11, W. 8, Pts. 27
2. NL Galaxy Pl. 10, W. 8, Pts. 25
3. Fairlop FC Pl. 9, W. 7 Pts. 23 (probable 3 points to be added after Scrabble forfeit)
4. Jewdinese Pl. 9, W. 5, Pts. 18
TOP-SCORERS 18 - Nate Kashket (Redbridge JC A), 11 - James Jaconelli (Fairlop FC), 9 - Adam Ellis (Bayern Mincha)
BAYERN MINCHA vs NORTH LONDON GALAXY
The Galaxy boys were knocked off top spot by Redbridge last weekend. Although they will have one eye on what is going on in Ilford, it’s important they focus on the task at hand when they take on Bayern.
“We know Mincha won’t be a pushover,” Galaxy player-manager Luke Lewis told JC Sport. “We had to work hard last time we played them, although we did hit the woodwork twice early on.”
Lewis was referring to November’s 3-1 victory over Bayern. He told JC Sport: “Our aim will be to come out the traps flying, asserting our dominance early and looking to kill the game off early.
“We know Mincha have Adam Ellis back, whose goal-scoring record speaks for itself. However, we have the personnel to cope with Ellis and know that he is their focal point when attacking, hence we will be looking to nullify him.
“Staying focused throughout the entirety of the game will be fundamental on Sunday.
“Adam Feldman has been superb whilst Josh Burchhardt has been at uni.. both are eager to cement their place into the starting XI for the upcoming big games.
“We’ve got a lot of our boys back from university, meaning we can field a nice big squad - this gives everybody a chance to show their credentials and prove their worth for the upcoming cup finals against Fairlop, Redbridge and Jewdinese.”
Bayern were put to the sword by top-quality opponents in the shape of Redbridge last weekend. They could only look on and admire the Dean Nyman show – one of the best individual performance in the MGBSFL for some time.
On the day they could simply not live with RJC’s pace, power and movement, but they must put that painful experience behind them as Galaxy look to add to their woes.
JC team news: Jake Rinsler and Jack Mattey have been ruled out for Galaxy whilst their super-sub hero Jack Davis is in Australia travelling. However, they still have “an incredibly strong squad” with Josh Shack and James Belchak returning to the squad. Zac Rose will play his second game for the Galaxy, and player-manager Luke Lewis will be looking to link-up with him and add to the hat-trick he scored against Mincha last time out.
Venue – Capital City, Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: James Belchak (Galaxy)
DC Prediction: Bayern 1 Galaxy 4
JEWDINESE vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS
Jewdinese go into their latest meeting with Raiders in good shape, unbeaten in three.
One of those games was a 3-1 win over L’Orange – a result that proved they are serious promotion challengers.
Having kept three clean sheets this season, Darren Lawrence’s men go in search of their sixth league win of the season, and they have nothing to fear.
'Nese gaffer Darren Lawrence predicts another tough battle. He told JC Sport: "On Sunday we play a Raiders team who we know are more than capable of performing as we saw from our last encounter with them just before Christmas.
"We were lucky to come away with all three points that day and the boys know we will have to be much better on Sunday.
"We are aware of Raiders’ strengths and will be targeting to nullify those areas. As I’ve said many times before, with the league looking how it does we know nothing less than three points is good enough, however I am confident that that’s what we’ll get.
"In other news, it will be co-chairman Zac Brin’s final game for Jewdinese this season, as he moves to Los Angeles later this month. All Zebra fans are hoping he will leave us with a trademark goal and we are determined to give him a good send off."
Raiders have blown hot and cold this season and a mid-table finish looks on the cards.
“Having not played for three weeks now, the boys are all raring to go,” NLR’s David Isaacs told JC Sport.
“With us playing Jewdinese in our last game, we now know what to expect and know that if we take our chances, the three points will be coming back with us to Wembley.”
On their day, Raiders can beat most teams in the division and they remain a force. But I can see Sunday coming down to small details, with home advantage swinging it in ‘Nese’s favour.
JC team news: In terms of team news, 'Nese are delighted to welcome back Zack Collins and Sim Cohen after their respective suspensions. Having not played for two months, Lawrence will "have to check on their fitness levels, but it’s a huge bonus to have them both back". Joe Meisel looks set to miss out through illness.
Joshua Nagli is now ready for his NLR debut after recovering from injury.
Venue – Queens School, Ref – Andy Myerson
JC star man: Zack Collins (Nese)
DC Prediction: Nese 3 NLR 2
LOS CAMDEN B vs OAKWOOD B
Simon Field insists there was “much to build on” after Oakwood’s 3-2 dramatic cup exit at the hands of Jewdinese last weekend.
Daniel Seligman and Daniel Selwyn’s inch-perfect corners kept them in the tie but they “didn’t get the rub of the green,” according to Field, who believes better things lie ahead.
Los Camden go into the game nice and fresh after a lengthy break. They know victory on Sunday would lift them above the Oaks in a game in which I’m expecting goals.
The law of averages say Oakwood are due some luck and I think they’ll get it to the tune of three points on Sunday. Indeed their next two games looks very winnable, and the message will be it's time to start delivering consistently on the pitch.
JC team news: Richard Hayim has left Los Camden B.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Ricky Ansher
JC star man: Dan Ash (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Los Camden 1 Oakwood 2
FAIRLOP FC vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
I know, I know. Part one failed to live up to the hype. See for yourselves here. Two superbly-drilled defences saw to that. Bottom line is there wasn't much football played in a contest where I felt the occasion got the better of both sets of players. So what can we expect second time around? More of the same? Possibly not, thanks to one of the signings of the season.
Step forward Dean Nyman, six-goal scorer against Bayern Mincha last weekend. Just two games into his comeback. Fairlop beware!
RJC joint-manager Sam Rank won't need to say much to his boys before kick-off. They returned to top spot and with points in the bag, they are in pole position for the title.
"This Essex derby means so many things, but the most important things are - three points and personal pride," Rank told JC Sport.
"We are unbeaten in all competitions this year, and this is with only playing to our true potential twice this season - in the wins against North London Galaxy and Faithold A.
"In the previous fixture against Fairlop, RJC played to about 20 per cent of our potential and Fairlop still couldn’t beat us. I could go into detail about the Fairlop squad, as 16 of their 23-man squad have played for RJC before, but Sunday is about RJC A and getting one hand on the title, and sending a big message there is only one club in Essex.
"RJC A starlets Dean Nyman and Nate Kashket warmed up for Sunday big derby game with eight goals between them against Bayern Minich , and I can say I have never seen two players so fired up for Sunday game.
"There will be another big crowd for this game and this time will be entertained by the RJC talents."
Fairlop will turn up at 8-20 to hang there boaty boys flag up , but there only one thing happening to the boaty boys on Sunday , that is the sinking affect of Fairlop FC title challenge.
Fairlop enjoyed the festive period but are now ready to get back to the business of trying to win the MGBSFL first division.
Jake Sanders told JC Sport: “After a long break since our last game, the boys are rating to go and everyone is excited to get back league action.
“There’s no bigger task ahead, apart from HMH, Galaxy and Jewdinese.”
Cue the mind games. “Yet again, the postal services are in turmoil trying to sending out all the letters that Sam Rank has sent trying to draft in a central-back for this game.”
There's little more for me to say than may the best team win.
JC team news: Other than goalkeeper Jake Sanders (knee), Fairlop have a “fully-fit squad available”.
RJC A will be missing Adam Noble (healing), Scott McKenzie (family function) and Russell Goldstein and Calvin Dickson (England futsal duty). However returning to the squad are Matt Kemp, Dean Ben Yosef, Adam Bernstein and Alex Paraskeva, and in addition as it's January transfer window, there will "a very big surprise signing will be revealed on Sunday!"
Venue – 7 Kings, Ref – Josh Smith
JC star man: Alex Paraskeva (RJC)
DC Prediction: Fairlop 2 RJC 2
LEAGUE TABLE - TOP FOUR
1. Faithfold B Pl. 14, W. 8, Pts. 25
2. Hertswood Vale Pl. 12, W. 8, Pts. 25
3. SPEC FC Pl. 13, W. 7, Pts. 23
4. FC Team Pl. 11, W. 7, Pts. 21
TOP-SCORERS 17 - James Millet (Hertswood Vale), Zac Neiman (SPEC FC), 13 - Richard Salmon (FC Team), 11 - Conor Perl (FC Team), Benny Goldberg (Faithfold Doc MM B)
FAITHFOLD DOC MM C vs SPEC FC
With leaders Faithfold B and Hertswood Vale dropping points in recent weeks, SPEC FC find themselves back in the title mix. And their fans believe 2019 can be their year.
SPEC crushed the same Scrabble team that beat Vale last weekend and they will be confident of extending their three-match winning streak when they take on a Faithfold team who have lost eight out of ten.
Ahead of kick-off, SPEC player-manager Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to continuing our good run of form but Faithfold C are an unknown quantity as we haven't played them yet this season."
Faithfold home form has been far from convincing - they have only won once in front of their own fans so far this season.
Ricky Lawrence troops have also taken four points out of a possible six against Faithfold B, so it won’t take a genius to work out which side I’m banking on.
JC team news: Sunday comes too soon for Nick Wallis but the SPEC star be hoping to make his first appearance of the season next week as he recovers from a knee op. The visitors do welcome David Kendall back though who hasn't played since the middle of November.
Venue – Tempsford Green, Ref – Paul Dobkin
JC star man: David Kendall (SPEC)
DC Prediction: Faithfold 0 SPEC 4
MILL HILL DONS vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS MASTERS
Isaac Virchis is one of the leading contenders to win Mill Hill Dons’ Player of the Season.
He produced another master-class in the 5-2 win over Temple Fortune last weekend and he will be looking to give Raiders Masters the runaround on Sunday.
The Dons produced their Sunday best in front of the JC cameras last weekend. They capitalised on some defensive errors to fill their boots on a day when five different players registered.
Now their fans are dreaming of a top four finish. Boss Brandon Hamme told JC Sport: "We're really looking forward to the rest of 2019 after a great start last week.
"We showed what we are capable of and I believe we will have a successful year ahead."
But he warned against over-confidence as they look to cap off a great week. "We recently played Raiders a few weeks ago and despite picking up the three points we know it won’t be an easy day out.
"We know we can’t get complacent though, complacency has been an issue at times and it’s extremely important we stay level-headed throughout."
Raiders Masters are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. They will be eyeing revenge following a 3-1 defeat to the Dons at the beginning of December.
"We're excited to play our first game of the new year after having to postpone last week's game," player-manager James Cartmell told JC Sport. "We have have good squad available, including Rob Baker who has now recovered from a hamstring injury, and should be welcoming Adam Redhouse (assuming we can get the paperwork done!)"
Raiders can be a bit goal-shy so for me, all the signs all point towards another Dons win.
JC team news: Adam Freedman joins the Dons' injury list, with Harry Kalms and Adam Diamond resuming light training
Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Isaac Virchis (Dons)
DC Prediction: Dons 3 NLR 1
SCRABBLE FC B vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
Richard Bronzite predicts five-star entertainment for the first hour when Scrabble and Redbridge B - two of the league’s most experienced teams – go head to head in Borehamwood.
RJC have a number of games in hand on their rivals and if they can do the business they will be firmly back in the mix. But Bronzite prefers to take it one game at a time.
“We’ll have a 13/14 man squad on Sunday,” Bronzite told JC Sport. “The team just want to play football now. The last time I looked at the league table we were sitting third and were in a great position. Now we are third from bottom, so the league is anyone's it seems and will come down to who wants it more.”
Bronzite fears rustiness could hamper his team’s chances, and said: “We have not played for ages, so I’m concerned with our fitness levels but the guys still have class, so hopefully that will be enough.”
Asked for an insight into Sunday’s hosts, Bronzite reported: “I don't know much about Scrabble, although it looks like they are an old team, like us, so expect a good game for an hour, then sloppiness!”
Jon Yantin was rewarded for one of the best executed game-plans this season when Scrabble beat joint-leaders Vale last weekend. Jonny Summerfield, Jez King and the ever-reliable Nigel Goldthorpe kept things tight at the back, while the quality of Lloyd Becker, Hadley Silver, Mark Wagman, Alex Bourne and Bradley Lazarus came to the fore.
I can see this being a war of attrition and it wouldn’t surprise me if it finished in a stalemate.
JC team news: Elliott Gordon is a doubt for Scrabble after suffering a concussion in the win at Vale.
RJC are missing a host of players, including Richard Slater, Sam McCarthy, Lee Cutler, Andy Levy, Seth Walmer and Ben Sollosi.
Venue – Aycliffe Road, Ref – Barry David
JC star man: Hadley Silver (Scrabble)
DC Prediction: Scrabble 1 RJC 1