MGBSFL Matchday 19 preview

Jewdinese go in search of a shock against cup specialists Oakwood A while Hendon United will be looking to take another step towards the title on a weekend when mouth-watering battles include Lions/HMH and Fairlop FC against North London Galaxy.



(all matches scheduled to KO at 10am unless stated)



With their title hopes now hanging by a thread, realistically Oakwood’s best chance of silverware once again lies in the cup competitions – with Jewdinese lying in their way in both the Jewish FA Cup and League Cup.

Dan Kristall and Dave Cohen may call on some of their walking wounded to help the team out in its hour of need. With strikers Leor Sidle and Sam Cantor still on the treatment table, they must find some inspiration from elsewhere.

Scott Smith has done well since entering the fray, while Josh Bharier has turned into a reliable goal-getter this term. But they still need more. They’ve had chances aplenty in to win their last two matches, but have failed to kill off their opponents. Bottom line is they only have themselves to blame in this respect. And that is why failure isn’t an option against the Zebras on Sunday.

‘Nese have been the model of consistency in the league this season. They’ve lost just once in ten matches and conceded 14 times, which is more than respectable.

But goalkeeper Ben Halmer could be in for a busy morning against a team that likes to get the ball forward quickly.

After a two-week break the Zebras will be charging from the start and they will be looking for a Newcastle United ‘smash and grab’ style win.

The underdogs tag is a nice position for boss Darren Lawrence to hold ahead of the tie. He told JC Sport: "This Sunday we face our toughest test of the season when we face Oakwood A for part one of our two-part cup encounter.

"We faced Oakwood A in our first-ever season and lost 7-0, however our squad has much improved since then and we are hoping for a closer affair this time around.

"We are aware of Oakwood’s quality, afterall they are sitting second in the Prem, so we know we will have to be at the very top of our game to get a result on Sunday.

"However, we are relishing the opportunity to play a team of such quality to give us a real idea of whether we would be able to compete in the top division. At the very least, we are hoping to pick out some areas of weakness which we can target when we play them again in two weeks.

Only a brave man would bet against Oakwood. They have an excellent record in cup football and will have enough inner belief to get the job done.

JC team news: 'Nese will be without Joe Meisel this week, but other than that they have a full squad to choose from.

Ref – Richard Jaye

JC star man: Dale Bradman (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: ‘Nese 0 Oakwood 1






1. Hendon Utd Pl. 10, W. 7, Pts. 22

2. Oakwood A Pl. 10, W. 6, Pts. 18

3. ML Lions  Pl. 9, W. 4, Pts. 14

TOP-SCORERS 16 - Reiss Mogilner (ML Lions), 12 - Josh Bharier (Oakwood A - includes 2 for B team)


Los Camden A could finish the weekend in the top three, if they do the business against Brady and other results go their way.

Goalkeeper Steven Murad hasn’t conceded in over 180 minutes and manager Stirling Kay is confident his team can make it three out of three as they look to beat Brady for the second time this season.

Shai Davidi and Rob Hershkorn were the scorers in November. Davidi has featured since then, while Hershkorn returned to the bench in last week’s impressive win over Faithfold.

Top-scorer Oli Sade stole the headlines against the Superhoops, with three fine finishes winning the game in the final 25 minutes. Sade is a jewel in the crown of Kay’s hungry pack. Sade – the JC Player of the Week - has great feet and can do some amazing things outside of the box, creating chances for himself and his team-mates.

Ashley Couque has also become a fans’ favourite this season. He’s a no-nonsense defender and has become one of the first names on Kay’s teamsheet.

Ahead of the game, Los Camden's Gav Krieger told JC Sport: "We have played Brady twice this season and we know they are organised and energetic.

"We know we will have to play well to keep up our fine form."

Brady remain bottom following six defeats in seven league games, but their recent cup win over Fairlop has given them a glimmer of hope. Joel Nathan’s decision to draft in Masters’ stars Adam Gishen and Gavin Sherman was a masterstroke. And they could certainly do with the experience and physicality of both on Sunday.

Looking ahead to the game, Nathan told JC Sport: "After our unscheduled rest last weekend, we are hoping to get back on the pitch Sunday against, for me, the surprise team of the season.

“Stirling has done a wonderful job with the boys and we expect a close battle Yes we have lost to them twice this season in two very close games and if luck would have gone our way the results may have been different.

“We go into the game still on a high after our win against Fairlop and aim to get revenge on the results from earlier this season.”

But Camden have the bit between their teeth right now. Kay has done a (expuse the pun) stirling job in helping to turn the club’s fortunes around in such a short time. And I can see his winning formula continuing on Sunday in a keenly contested match.

JC team news: Brady are missing Casey Sharp this week, but they welcome back Sam Lipton to an otherwise fully-fit squad.

Sacha Nusenbaum has joined Dean Rosenthal on the injury list for Camden after picking up an injury last week that could keep him out for 2/3 weeks. Matt Perlman is expected to undergo a late fitness test to be ready for Sunday and Jake Saunders is unavailable.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Robert Benardout

JC star man: Kane Gilbery (Los Camden)

DC Prediction: Brady 1 LC 2




Faithfold are in freefall right now, with six straight defeats to their name. They were undone by the brilliance of Oli Sade in the final 25 minutes last weekend in a game where they failed to breach a well-drilled Los Camden defence.

The signs all point towards another defeat against the defending champions and league leaders. Player-manager Avi Markiewicz continues to shuffle his pack, but I can see their struggles continuing until they find a recognised goalkeeper, which would allow the versatile Markiewicz to reclaim his rightful place in attack.

Hendon have a very tough run of games in the shape of Raiders, Oakwood, Lions and Haroldeans. There was no sign of a dodgy lasagne in Liverpool when they exited the National Cup, but they will be looking forward to playing on a better surface in Willesden.

Speaking to JC Sport ahead of the game, Hendon boss Jordan Sapler told JC Sport: "Last week's postponement has allowed Josh Harris and Yehuda Korman an extra week of recovery which should hopefully see them available to play a role this week.

"We know Faithfold have some quality. I know Richard Hayim well from the EMFT team and on his day he’s one of the best players in the MGBSFL. They can also call on Daniel Garfinkle who has abundance of ability.

"We will need to be at our best to beat them but we have so much belief as a squad and we trust our ability to get results against any team.

"We know what we have to do to win this league and we’re training and working hard to achieve our aims."

But 3G also suits Faithfold, which leads me to believe this will be an open and entertaining affair.

Having claimed 10-4 and 3-0 wins over the Superhoops already this season, Hendon are strong favourites to complete a hat-trick and firm up their title credentials.

JC team news: Hendon hope to welcome back Chaim Korman, even though he’s struggling with an injury. Jonny Kay is also a doubt. Ari Last, Yoav Kestenbaum, Greg Corin are still out injured, and Zack Lewis is away.

Venue – Capital City, Ref – Luke Steele

JC star man: Avi Korman (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 0 Hendon 2




Lions’ win over Oakwood ticked all the boxes and they now have their sights firmly set on a second place finish.

Their focus, application and spirit was spot on, according to joint-manager Max Kyte, and they will need more of the same against an in-form HMH team at the Lane on Sunday.

Defenders Alex Taylor and Dan Behar were rewarded for rock solid performances with a place in Team of the Week, along with CDM Benji Weinberger. But they will face a different kind of examination against one of the youngest sides in the league.

Ahead of kick-off, MLL joint-manager Max Kyte told JC Sport: “HMH are on fire at the moment and we face them off the back off a resounding win.

“We need to make sure that the back four and defensive midfielders are on top of their game to ensure we don’t concede many goals, and ideally a clean sheet if possible.

“It’s a tough task but the boys are very up for it, as shown by training in the snow on Tuesday night.”

HMH blew away an under-strength Fairlop last weekend. As you will read in this week’s JC, I have hugely impressed by the two boys up top – Oscar Wagner and Adam Abadi – the MGBSFL’s answer to Shearer and Sutton.

Against Fairlop, HMH executed Avi Goldberg’s game-plan to perfection. They were patient in their build-up and then delivered killer through balls for the predators to snap up.

Gaffer Goldberg has high hopes for Sunday's meeting. "This has all the hallmarks of a cracker," he told JC Sport. "The league's leading goal-scorer against the meanest defence - will something give? This is the first meeting between the two.

"Availability will be the key. We have heard manager Sam Marchant has made shrewd signings and they have an awesome forward line, but we fear no-one as Oakwood discovered in our last league outing, and we have our own fearsome strike partnership - Abadi and Wagner who have scored over 20 goals between them.

"Can Lions keep us out? We may have only won one of our last four but we are smarting from the many missed chances in those games as Fairlop found out last week!"

I’m predicting Sunday to be a game of few chances in the first meeting between the teams this season. It has all the makings of a real winter warmer.

JC team news: Striker Michael Kenley has been ruled out through injury for Lions.

Jake Doffman will make his debut in goal for HMH after being put through his paces in a special goalkeeper training session in the snow on Tuesday night. Jake Norton is away, Dom Feldman, Clark Norton and Avi Goldberg all have hamstring injuries but last week's defence should available again, and Sam Monjack may return. Ben Winters, the team's latest goal-scoring machine, faces a late fitness test.

Venue - Rowley Lane, Ref – Andy Myerson

JC star man: Sammy Kingston (HMH)

DC Prediction: Lions 1 HMH 1






1. Redbridge JC A Pl. 13, W. 9, Pts. 31

2. NL Galaxy Pl. 11, W. 8, Pts. 25

3. Fairlop FC Pl. 10, W. 7, Pts. 24

4. Jewdinese Pl. 10, W. 5, Pts. 19


TOP-SCORERS 18 - Nate Kashket (Redbridge JC A), 12 - James Jaconelli (Fairlop FC), Adam Ellis (Bayern Mincha)


Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Fairlop. And it’s not often you can say that about the Essex giants.

Missing Ryan Cole and Brad Gayer, they simply couldn’t cope with the attacking threat posed by top-flight HMH. But it was good for their players to see what the next step up the ladder has in store for them.

With several regulars facing late fitness tests, there was a cautious mood at the Fairlop press conference in the run-up to the game. Jake Sanders told JC Sport: "After exiting both cup competitions in the last two weeks, I'm expecting a massive reaction from the boys in what is another must-win game in the title race."

Galaxy start the match a point ahead of Fairlop, but they’ve played a game more, so it was no surprise to hear player-manager Luke Lewis say “we know how important this one is”.

Speaking to JC Sport at his midweek press conference, Lewis told JC Sport: “We’ve got a nice squad size for the game, with lots of key players coming back for us.

“We’re hoping the debutants in Nick, Louie and Nathan will be able to provide much needed experience and physicality in a game like Sunday.”

Lewis spoke of his respect for the home side and is expecting a big test as his Galaxy team looks to get back on track after their surprise defeat against Bayern.

“Fairlop have lots of quality and their result against HMH was definitely a surprise, but somewhat expected given their players missing. This week we know they’ll have everyone back and we will need to concentrate throughout the entirety of the game in order to get a result. 

“Fairlop play with very high energy levels, which we will need to match from the offset and stopping them playing in the middle of the park will be fundamental to getting a result.” 

“Sunday is our chance to show we mean business and we're definitely motivated to do so. We know that only by winning on Sunday will we be in a position to challenge for the league.”

Galaxy will be looking to do something no other MGBSFL team has done before on Sunday. Beat Fairlop over 90 minutes. A big crowd is expected at Seven Kings for what promises to be an epic tussle.

In terms of a prediction, it will boil down to which teams wins their individual and collective battles, and maintains their focus and discipline throughout.

JC team news: Jake Sanders, (knee) and Jordan Kara (shoulder) miss out through injury. Fairlop also have five other injury worries to first-team players. All eyes will be on whether or not Ryan Cole and Brad Gayer return.

Luke Lewis has described the absence of Jack Mattey as “a big loss”, while James Belchak and Josh Burchhardt have university commitments and Jake Rinsler is still three weeks away from returning to training. Another “big permanent loss” for Galaxy is Jay Brown (relocated to Paris). Lewis told JC Sport: “He will be missed by us all and we wish him the best of luck in his new home.” Josh ‘Shackaldinho’ Shack and Nick Barnett, together with recent arrivals Nathan Schindler and Louie Greenham all come into the matchday squad, with Jamie Murray returning from suspension. Dan Brennan and Ozzy Doron also come back into the squad following their weeks out from injury. 

Venue – 7 Kings, Ref – Phil Peters

JC star man: Nathan Schindler (Galaxy)

DC Prediction: Fairlop 1 NLG 1




Raiders have two easy looking games coming up, starting with Los Camden B on Sunday. With Scrabble to follow, they hope to close the gap on the top four, though realistically, any hopes of finishing higher look highly unlikely.

Raiders have had a mixed bag of results this season, with only three wins in the league and one clean sheet.

Ahead of the game, NLR's Gideon Gale told JC Sport: "The lads know this will be a tough game. However, they are all raring to go and know if we play like we have in recent weeks, the three points will be ours."

Things look bleak for Los Camden, whose last three matches have been postponed. They proved against Redbridge and Fairlop they have a stomach for a battle but need reinforcements quick fast.

Los Camden will huff and puff but when all is said and done, I can see the points going to Raiders.

JC team news: There will be late fitness tests for NLR duo Gavin Fox and Joshua Nagli. 

Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Neal Cohen

JC star man: Josh Bloom (NLR)

DC Prediction: NLR 3 Camden 0




Much like Los Camden B, Scrabble A have been forced to postpone their last three games, with numbers thin on the ground.

Ray Abrahams’ men have failed to score in their last three matches but I believe there is an appetite to see the season out.

What they would do for a player of the calibre of Adam Ellis. The Bayern Mincha hot-shot is in demand, and I heard rumours Mauricio Pochettino was considering a last-minute loan deal for the Team Maccabi GB marksman.

Bayern have blown hot and cold, (well mostly cold) this season. They can mix it with the best, especially when Ellis plays but consistency has been an issue.

But their recent win over title-chasing Galaxy certainly lifted the mood. And if they take their chances, I'm predicting another uplift in their fortunes.

Venue – Aycliffe Road, Ref – Bob Caplin

JC star man: Tomer Tricot (Bayern)

DC Prediction: Scrabble 1 Bayern 3






1. SPEC FC Pl. 16, W. 9, Pts. 29

2. Faithfold Doc MM B Pl. 16, W. 9, Pts. 28

3. Hertswood Vale Pl. 13, W. 9, Pts. 28

4. FC Team Pl. 12, W. 7, Pts. 21


TOP-SCORERS 19 - Zack Neiman (SPEC FC), 17 - James Millet (Hertswood Vale)


Divine intervention was behind Scrabble’s defeat against Faithfold B last weekend, according to boss Jon Yantin.

They gave a good account of themselves against the high-flyers for 80 minutes, and it needed something special to beat Simon ‘Taffy’ Leslie in goal. Central defence is well marshalled by Jez King and Nigel Goldthorpe these days, and their battle against Richard Salmon will be worth the admission fee alone.

Lloyd Becker is the team’s creator, while Alex Bourne is the perfect target man for a system that works well. Andy Miller provides the legs out wide while Jonny Summerfield does his job in the midfield engine room.

FC Team have games in hand on SPEC FC and Faithfold B. Mitch Young has been doing the maths and 18 points from their final six matches would certainly make things interesting.

And having crushed Scrabble 5-1 in November, they are odds-on completing a league double. One has to think a front line containing Connor Perl, Richard Salmon and Young is a line-up Scrabble will do well to keep quiet.

El Clasico this is not, but I’m thinking more in terms of a war of attrition.

JC team news: Serge Cowan and Jon Yantin remain big question marks for Scrabble.

Venue – Hertswood, Ref – Keith Goodman

JC star man: Adam Rones (Team)

DC Prediction: Team 2 Scrabble 1




I’ve got this one down as one of my home bankers as title-chasing Vale host Raiders Masters.

L’Orange benefitted from the services of youngster Scott Waissel in last week’s defeat against SPEC. It appears no-one told boss James Cartmell he wasn’t a master but not even the youngster could stop Raiders from slipping to their tenth defeat of the season!

Things have fallen into place nicely for the Vale boys. With game in hand on SPEC FC and Faithfold B, manager Jacob Emanuel and Danny Hirschberger know that victory over Raiders, FC Team, Redbridge B and Faithfold B would see them as good as crowned champions.

Going into Sunday's home game, joint-manager Emanuel told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to getting back to the league after Faithfold C forfeited in our previous game - don't get me wrong, we'll take the points but the boys just want to play.

"Luckily, we managed to organise a friendly with Raiders A to keep momentum up ahead of the last four weeks of our season.

"Four games left, each game as difficult as the next. We're looking to get as many points as possible between now and the end of the season. We played some brilliant football in the win against Faithfold B, and then again in our win against Raiders last week, and we'll be looking to do the same this week.

"We're well aware of the threat of Raiders Masters, having had to fight back from 2-0 down to get a result against them last time, and if we don't start fast this week, we could easily find ourselves in the same boat."

Vale put five past Raiders in October and I can see them running out comfortable winners again.

JC team news: Vale welcome back Joni Hirschowitz for his first appearance of the season, whilst Ben Kaye, Alex Trup, Adam Morrow and Simon Englander are once again available for selection. Ben Davis, Zach Mandel, Josh Wood, Adam Zaidman and Svi Freedman miss out for this one, whilst Elio Elia's whereabouts remain unknown.

Venue – Ark Elvin Academy, Ref – Stuart Ansher

JC star man: Adam Morrow (Vale)

DC Prediction: Vale 4 NLRM 1




Faithfold showed great battling qualities and discipline to beat a tough Scrabble team at the Hive last week.

Lolu Hibbert's stunning late volley was the icing on a cake in what was their ninth league win of the season - a result that saw them return to second place.

But on Sunday they have another big challenge in the shape of a Dons team who will be eyeing revenge after an Ariel Rahamim-inspired performance earned Faithfold a 1-0 win in the first meeting in September.

The Dons have three games in hand on Faithfold and boss Brandon Hamme knows if they win those and beat Faithfold on Sunday, they will put themselves in a strong position.

"We are looking forward to return to action after the two-week break," Hamme told JC Sport. "The way the boys performed last time out against Faithfold A was nothing short of superb - I couldn’t ask for more with the work ethic and desire.

"To go and face Faithfold B after defeating Faithfold A will be no easy feat. We need to stay level-headed and know we won’t be in for a walk in the park.

"We have started this year superbly and we will need to take forward the positives from last time out in order to get the three points on Sunday."

The Dons are fresh and they have the bit between their teeth right now. I'm predicting five-star entertainment and am tipping the hosts to win a five-goal thriller.

JC team news: The Dons are expected to be at full-strength, with no injuries to report.

Venue – Goffs Academy, Ref – Nigel Kyte

JC star man: Daniel Lande (Dons)

DC Prediction: Dons 3 Faithfold 2




A late pitch inspection will be required with temperatures having dropped to -10 in Bushey this week.

A big crowd is expected for the top versus bottom affair in which table-toppers SPEC FC will be looking to fill their boots.

Top-scorer Zack Neiman missed last week's 3-1 win over Raiders but I can see him causing plenty of damage and boost his chances of winning the Golden Boot.

Boss Ricky Lawrence sounded in upbeat mood ahead of the game. He told JC Sport: "We’re in terrific form and with only two league games left, we’ll be doing all we can to gain maximum points."

Faithfold are 10-1 to win on Sunday. I know they beat SPEC 4-2 only a couple of weeks ago, but SPEC will come prepared and I can't see them slipping up second time around.

JC team news: SPEC's Mark Leader tore his hamstring last week in the very last second of the game, so he won’t be playing again for a while, but Lawrence and co are confident the hosts "should have enough strength in depth to cover his lung-busting runs.”

Venue – Queens School, Ref – Stephen Levy

JC star man: Craig Cohen (SPEC)

DC Prediction: SPEC 3 Faithfold 1




Momentum is the name of the game for RJC on Sunday, according to gaffer Richard Bronzite.

“Our second part of the season starts this week,” he told JC Sport. “It feels like I have not seen any of my boys for a while now. So we’re looking forward to having a decent run of games and getting some momentum.”

RJC have failed to win their last two games, but the world is their oyster if they will all their games in hand.

“We’ve no idea what to expect from Fortune,” admitted Bronzite. “However, I also have no idea what to expect from RJC for that matter though. We will be rusty, that’s for sure, but we need to show hunger and desire if we want to win the game and move up the table.

“We have a 15-man squad for Sunday so plenty of options and probably my strongest bench I’ve had all season. We’re not using anyone from the A-team, but we could’ve.”

Fortune have suffered back-to-back defeats since their heroic win over title favourites Hertswood Vale. Simon Linden’s men offer five-star entertainment but it’s important they stay organised and keep their shape as RJC have the better technical players.

I can see RJC dictating the tempo of players and creating more than enough chances to win by a couple of goals.

JC team news: Midfielder Ben Sollosi has been ruled out for RJC on Sunday.

Venue – Hendon FC Stadium, Silver Jubilee Park, Ref – Barry David, KO – 9.45am

JC star man: Steve Summers (RJC)

DC Prediction: TFFC 1 RJC 3



HMH vs Jewdinese or Oakwood A

Mill Hill Dons vs Redbridge Jewish Care A

Haroldeans vs Manchester Maccabi 1st

Maccabi London Lions vs Los Camden A

Ties have been provisionally set for February 24. The semi finals are then due to be played March 31



Oakwood A vs Jewdinese

Hendon United Sports vs Brady Maccabi

Bayern Mincha vs ML Lions

Los Camden A vs Redbridge JC A

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