MGBSFL Matchday 24 preview

All eyes will be on the semi-finals of the Cyril Anekstein Cup, with first division North London Raiders and North London Galaxy going in as underdogs against MLFC Blue and Oakwood respectively, while there is also action in the MGBSFL and David Wolff Cup.





(Matches kick-off at 10am unless stated)



Galaxy are preparing for what would be a famous giantkilling ahead of the visit of former competition winners Oakwood.

The Division One title challengers have made huge strides in the MGBSFL, but victory on Sunday would be the icing on the cake – it would be their biggest and best yet!

The Galaxy boys have been the model of consistency this season, with just one defeat in 12 matches in the league. They have shared the goals around too, with James Belchak currently leading the way. But if there’s one area the team can strengthen, it’s finding a goal-poacher – and it’s an area they must address if (and when) they go up.

Player-manager Luke Lewis was their hero in last weekend’s thrilling 3-2 win over RJC. Just when it looked as though Galaxy would have to settle for a draw, up popped Lewis with a moment of pure genius – a perfectly executed scissors-kick Ronaldo would’ve been proud of!

Lewis was also waxing lyrical about the talents of Jayden Tomlinson. Every manager loves a tricky winger. After leaving the RJC full-back in knots, Lewis told JC Sport: “If Jayden carries on being serious with his football, I'm tempted to say he will be the best Jewish winger when he hits 22/23.”

Looking ahead to the Oakwood game, Lewis told JC Sport: “We know Oakwood are a top side and will be expecting one of our hardest games.

“We have ambitions of being a Premier Division side next year and this will be a great test against one of the best teams in the division.”

He went on to say: “We know Oakwood are physical and hence, we will be putting out a team who can match that physicality.

“The game should be a cracker - we want to win more silverware and are dreaming of the possibility of making it two trophies in two seasons."

Oakwood have big-match experience on their side, and they possess a weapon that Galaxy do not in Josh Cuby. The livewire has been scoring goals for fun this season, and much will depend on how the hosts handle his pace and movement.

JC team news: Galaxy have been dealt a double blow, with player-manager Luke Lewis definitely out with a suspected damaged ACL/MCL. Joey Gold (hamstring) is also sidelined. New arrival Joe Salomon will be in the squad, with Nick Barnett, Dan Brennan, Joe Bellman, Josh Burchhardt and Jordan Grundman returning following their rest last weekend. 

Venue – East Barnet School, KO – 9.45am

JC star man: Josh Cuby (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Galaxy 0 Oakwood 1



Division One leaders North London Raiders go in search of a cupset when they take on fellow former winners MLFC in Wembley.

L’Orange go into the last four clash on the back of an impressive win over Jewdinese, when Matt Warner was their match-winner.

Raiders produced a defensive master-class last Sunday, keeping ‘Nese danger man Reiss Mogilner quiet, with David Nezri, Brad Lander and Jake Yudelowitz putting in excellent shifts.

That was the start of a crucial part of NLR’s season, as they push for honours in league and cup. Attention turns to the League Cup this weekend as they look to register a statement win – in a game that is effectively a free hit.

NLR joint-manager David Isaacs told JC Sport: “After last week’s important win against Jewdinese, our focus now moves on to the Cyril Anekstein quarter final tie against MLFC.

“With this game being postponed two weeks ago due to the weather, we’re our extremely excited for this match.

“Throughout the season, we can see that MLFC have had some very good results against arguably the best two teams in the MGBSFL, which means we know we will be in for a tricky match

“We know it will be a tough game but training has been good in recent weeks.”

MLFC lie fourth in the top-flight with five wins from 12 matches. It would be fair to say the pressure is all on them to deliver against a team featuring several former players.

Indeed, joint-player-manager Max Kyte told me MLFC have the utmost respect for Raiders and will need to bring their A-game to the table.

“It’s a huge game and one our chances of silverware this season rest on,” Kyte told JC Sport.

“Raiders are a great side and will do big things in the Prem next year, so it will be a really tough challenge.”

Home fans will be boosted by the news that top-scorer Aron Gale is fit and firing. MLFC face a major test of their credentials, with Liron Mannie expected to feature too.

In terms of a prediction, there will be little to separate the teams and it wouldn’t surprise me if the tie is settled by a moment of individual brilliance.

JC team news: It has been confirmed that Raiders will not have the services of the former MLFC Player of the Year Daniel Behar this weekend. Jake Yudelowitz also misses out due to a scouting mission in South Africa. However, after a month away, they welcome back skipper Josh Bloom from a cold.

Venue – Ark Academy

JC star man: Max Kyte (MLFC)

DC Prediction: Raiders 1 MLFC 2




1. Faithfold DocMM White Pl. 12, W. 7, Pts. 23

2. Hendon United Sports Pl. 9, W. 7, Pts. 22

3. HMH Pl. 13, W. 6, Pts. 21

TOP-SCORERS 13 - Oscar Wagner (HMH), 12 - Josh Cuby (Oakwood A), 11 - Akiva Solomon (Faithfold Doc MM White - plus one for Green), Avi Markiewicz (Faithfold DocMM White - plus two for Green)


Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Fairlop ahead of Sunday’s relegation six-pointer against Camden Park.

The Essex boys were put to bed 5-0 by HMH at the Hive last weekend but they will fancy their chances of securing maximum points against the bottom team in the division.

Fairlop boss Aaron Dias is encouraging his players to battle until the end on Sunday. He told JC Sport: “The squad is thinner than the ice bamboo was skating on but we go again Sunday!

“We’re looking forward to having more than the 15 per cent possession we usually have in this division.”

Dias went on to say: “Just like Mourinho, I've given up on the squad this season. I'm calling for chairman Daniel Bean to splash the cash this summer ...”

Camden drew 3-3 with Fairlop earlier in the season but the odds slightly favour Fairlop this time.

Daryl Rubin, Bradley Porter and Ryan Cole were the marksmen for Fairlop, with Mike Khalatschi (2) and Kane Gilbery replying.

The November meeting was the last time Camden picked up a point and they must go into this game all guns blazing if they are to avoid the wooden spoon.

Sunday may not be one for the purists, but I'm predicting an entertaining affair and a Fairlop victory.

Venue – 7 Kings

JC star man: Mitchell Gold (Fairlop)

DC Prediction: Fairlop 3 Camden 2




1. NL Raiders Pl. 11, W. 9, Pts. 28

2. NL Galaxy Pl. 12, W. 8, Pts. 27

3. Jewdinese Pl. 10, W. 6, Pts. 19

TOP-SCORERS 20 - Zach Cohen (Mill Hill Dons), 16 - Aron Gale (NL Raiders), 15 - James Millet (Hertswood Vale), 14 - Reiss Mogilner (Jewdinese), 12 - Liron Mannie (NL Raiders)


SPEC FC look to have a very difficult 90 minutes ahead as they lock horns with National Cup semi-finalists Hertswood Vale. And manager Ricky Lawrence knows it.

His team have plummeted to second from bottom, and with Jewdinese and Raiders to follow things might not improve.

SPEC have conceded an alarmingly 28 goals in their last six games, and the signs look ominous for Sunday.

Is the writing on the wall for SPEC on Sunday? Lawrence told JC Sport: “We’ve got three games to this season and they are against three of the top four. Wish us luck!”

Vale are unbeaten on the road in the league this season – a record they are proud to maintain. Match fitness is key for them now, as their preparations for the Peter Morrison Trophy semi-final begin in earnest.

“It feels strange to be playing a league game this Sunday - a mixture of bad weather and two cup runs have meant we haven't played in the league since mid-January,” joint-manager Jacob Emanuel told JC Sport.

“As the season begins to draw to a close, our league aim is to finish as strongly as possible in our remaining four games.

“Raiders, Galaxy and Jewdinese have been the dominant sides in the division this season, but we can be proud of our efforts so far in our first season in Division One. Having said that, we have an ambitious squad, and they'll be wanting to ensure we finish as high up the table as mathematically possible.”

Vale have won their last two and are fancied to pick up what would be their sixth league win. Emanuel continued: “It would be wrong for us to under-estimate SPEC on Sunday, despite getting a convincing win in the DW Divisional Cup a fortnight ago.

“For the first 30 minutes it was a very even game, and if it wasn't for our keeper, we could've found ourselves behind. They're a team filled with experience that can score a lot of goals, with Ricky Lawrence and Zach Neiman a particular threat.

“We know we'll have to be at our best and ensure that any rustiness from a lack of games recently doesn't become an issue.”

Harry Graham and James Millet destroyed SPEC last time. I suspect it might be a little closer this time, but ultimately with a similar outcome.

JC team news: Vale are able to name a similar squad this week to the one that hit SPEC for six last time out. Emanuel said: “The squad is looking fit at present, with players only missing out through rotation. Sadly, Dan Reuben isn't in the squad while he struggles with a

Vale/life balance. Ashley Hirschberger returns following a club-enforced rotation last time out. Charlie Becker and Jamie Steinberg are out for the season travelling the world. 

Venue – St James’ Park, KO – 10.15am

JC star man: Ashley Hirschberger (Vale)

DC Prediction: SPEC 2 Vale 3




1. FC Team Pl. 14, W. 11, Pts. 35

2. Borussia Barnet Pl. 12, W. 9, Pts. 29

3. Temple Fortune Pl. 14, W. 9, Pts. 28

TOP-SCORERS 17 - Jono Gaon (Hampstead Ducks), 16 - Daniel Garfinkle (Club De Chigwell), 15 - Danny Sherman (Temple Fortune), 13 - Richard Salmon (FC Team), 12 - Saul Green (Club De Chigwell)


Borussia Barnet will be looking to move to within three points of leaders FC Team when they visit fourth-placed North West London Bears.

And having hit the Bears for six in November, they will be quietly confident of completing the double.

Mitchell Gerber capped a superb performance with a brilliant strike in the 2-0 win over Temple Fortune last weekend, with Dan Lee, Joe Botchin and Oliver Lewin also catching the eye.

But JC managers of the week Bradley Papier and Sam Sharer are taking nothing for granted ahead of Sunday.

“Following a huge victory last week, we have to build on it by keeping the pressure on FC Team. Anything less than three points is failure from us Sunday,” Papier told JC Sport.

“Although we beat Bears 6-0, they’ve come a long way since then and haven’t lost a game since, so we know Sunday won’t be the same story as last time. It’ll be a tough game however we still expect to come away with the three points.”

Borussia showed great patience to break down a resilient Fortune time last week, but their fans will be hoping an early goal could lead to the floodgates opening.

Papier went on to say: “As FC Team have no league game this Sunday, we know if we win we go three behind them with a game in hand, and we’ve always said as long as we’re in a position to be level or two behind when we play then, we back ourselves to get the business done.

“We still fully expect to win the league and Sunday is just the next obstacle we face. As it gets to the business end of the season, I know the boys will want to deliver as the treble hopes live on. League, David Wolff Trophy and the Peter Morrison Trophy, we want them all and believe we’re definitely capable.”

Bears’ player-manager James Harpin has come out of hiding following his penalty agony in the DWT defeat. He blamed the wind for not saving any spot-kicks in the shoot-out defeat to PSJ, but knowing he’s a student, I’d put that down to the baked beans!

The Bears are unbeaten in seven in the league, but all good things come to an end and I think they will meet their match against Borussia on Sunday.

Venue – University of Herts, Hatfield

JC star man: Oliver Lewin (Borussia)

DC Prediction: Bears 1 Borussia 4



Scrabble player-manager Jon Yantin is a major double for Scrabble’s trip to Hamdillah after suffering broken ribs in the defeat to FC Team last weekend.

Scrabble ended the match with their pride battered and bruised as they were well beaten by a side gunning for the title.

The concern for Yantin and co is that they’ve failed to score in three of their last four games. Top-scorer Alex Bourne could really benefit from some more support, so don’t be surprised if the likes of Andy Miller, Neil Kochane and perhaps Tim Levene have licence to thrill on Sunday.

West Hamdillah will be looking to redress the balance following their 4-1 defeat to Scrabble in September. Bourne (2), Kochane and Lloyd Becker registered that day, but it would be fair to say Hamdillah have improved since then.

That said, 12 defeats in 12 matches tells a story in itself, so Hamdillah fans will arrive more in hope than anything else.

Venue – West Hendon

JC star man: Andy Miller (Scrabble)

DC Prediction: Hamdillah 1 Scrabble 2




The top two teams in the Premier Division go in search of cup glory – with a semi-final slot against HMH up for grabs.

Hendon go into the tie with the psychological edge having crushed Faithfold 7-0 in November. They shared the goals around that day, with Chaim Korman (2), Josh Bharier, Yehuda Korman, Moses Seitler, Mordi Weiler and Dovi Fehler doing the damage.

However, a lack of match sharpness could be a factor for both teams, with weather related issues meaning Hendon haven’t played for a month, and Faithfold since the beginning of February.

When you look at the attacking options on both sides, it would be fair to say that goals are expected. But that would be a tad disrespectful to the backlines. An injury to Faithfold player-manager Avi Markiewicz means he won't be able to take part on the pitch, so instead he can focus on trying to concoct a winning recipe. Something along the lines of 'this is a new game, a new challenge, so we have to compete well'.

But only a brave man would tip against a Hendon, especially with home advantage. 

Venue – Hadley

JC star man: Jonny Kay (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 3 Faithfold 1




Jewdinese destroyed Rovers 8-2 in the league at the start of the season, but if the Zebras think this will be another rout then they can think again.

Having seen their promotion hopes dealt a bitter blow against Raiders, their character will be put to the test against a talented Rovers side.

Ahead of kick-off, 'Nese boss Darren Lawrence told JC Sport: "After the disappointment of last week, we are looking to bounce back in the DWT.

"It offers our last chance of silverware, so we are determined to perform well and go all the way."

He added: We are aware that BFR will be a completely different team to the one we beat 8-2 back in September, as have shown from their recent performances and results. However, we know we have the quality to beat them."

Rovers go into the tie on the back of a thumping 4-0 win over SPEC. They experienced mixed fortunes in their recent matches against Galaxy and Raiders, but will be determined to show they can mix it with the best in the division.

The first 20 minutes will be crucial for Rovers on Sunday. The longer they remain on an even keel with 'Nese, the more they will dream.

JC team news: Darren Lawrence has “essentially a full squad to choose from and will be looking to share the minutes out”.

Venue – Capital City

JC star man: Billy Lee (Nese)

DC Prediction: Rovers 1 Nese 2




FC Team are odds-on progressing on Sunday as their bid to secure a league and cup double hots up.

They put seven past Scrabble without reply, with Mitch Young, Richard Salmon and Dave Cohen all bagging braces. Jonny Haik added the gloss in a ruthless display.

Young and Salmon have already registered against the Ducks this season, with Team running out 5-1 winners. And I can see a similar outcome once again.

Parking the bus could be the best option for the Ducks on Sunday as I expect Team to win their individual and collective battles and romp home, without needing to get out of first gear.

Venue – London Academy

JC star man: Dave Cohen (FC Team)

DC Prediction: Team 5 Ducks 1



PLAYER OF THE WEEK: David Nezri (NL Raiders)

MANAGERS OF THE WEEK: Gideon Gale & David Isaacs (NL Raiders)

GOAL OF THE WEEK: Luke Lewis (North London Galaxy)

SAVE OF THE WEEK: Ben Pollins (Brook Farm Rovers)


Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive