MGBSFL Matchday 27 preview


It's the clash of the titans on Matchday 27 of the season as treble-chasing rivals Norstar London Raiders A host cup holders Hendon United Sports Club and North West Neasden take on Harmen in the Peter Morrison Trophy. There are also some good games scheduled in the MGBSFL and Barry Goldstein Trophy, as JC Sports Editor Danny Caro looks ahead to the action.








Premier Division: TBC
Division One: Champions - Redbridge JC B, Promoted: NL Raiders B
Division Two: Champions - FC Team B, Promoted: TBC
Division Three: Champions - London Rovers



Norstar London Raiders A vs North West Neasden or Hendon United Sports Club A - May 3









Sunday is the moment of truth for both Raiders and Hendon – with their respective treble hopes on the line in the match of the day.

Both sets of players have hardly put a foot wrong this season – with the term model of consistency springing to mind.

A tactical low-scoring affair is on the cards in a tie featuring two of the meanest defences in Jewish football – Hendon have conceded 10 goals in 15 league games, while Raiders have let in just nine in 12.

Both teams go into the game on the back of big league wins. David Dinkin, Ben Joseph, Benji Engelsman and Josh Green registered in NLR’s 4-1 win over Faithfold, while Hendon went one better, registering five against Lions, through David Seitler (2), Yoav Kestenbaum, Dovi Fehler and Greg Corin.

It’s hard to know which team to call the favourite. NLR have home advantage, and don’t lose many at Brunel, but Hendon have beaten them there before and, much like Raiders, have the bit between their teeth right now.

Ahead of kick-off, NLR boss Rob Richman told JC Sport: “Obviously it is an important game on Sunday, it’s the last eight of the national cup and both sides will be supremely motivated to win the game and be in the semi-finals.

“The fact it is Hendon, a team we have a great amount of respect for and a side who are our closest competitors, makes it an extra special game. I know that players from both teams are extremely excited about it and can’t wait for the game.

“Going into the game we are confident, particularly on the back of some very good results over the last month or so and it will be important that come Sunday we put in a performance to match those of recent weeks.

“We know it won’t be easy against a very talented Hendon side, but we have the belief, determination and talent to get a result.

“Overall, it just promises to be a very good game and I’m sure another superb advert for the league.”

David Garbacz came back to the news that his Hendon team maintained their eight-point advantage while he was away in India. However, being the perfectionist he is, he would’ve been rather disappointed that they conceded twice.

Last season we saw how the big games brought the best out of Hendon, and Garbacz expects nothing different on Sunday.

He told JC Sport: “This is the first of potentially three huge trophy deciding games between us and Raiders. Both teams could still either win the treble or end up empty-handed this year and I believe that the winner of this game will gain a huge psychological advantage going into the future games as well.

“Therefore there is so much riding on this match for both teams. There are no trophies handed out after the final whistle, but it does have the feel of a cup final.

“There is no doubt that these are the best two Jewish squads in the country and all matches between us will come down to a moment of magic or inspiration be that in defence or attack.
“We have enormous respect for Raiders both as a club and as a team and they are always a pleasure to play against – but make no mistake this will be full bloodied and highly committed with both teams completely full of belief and confident of success.

“We have mixed injury news. It is a massive blow to lose Avi Korman, arguably our player of the year so far who is away, and Greg Corin is struggling big time with an ankle injury and will need a late fitness test. However, it is a huge boost to have captain Ari Last back in the squad for the first time in months. In terms of potential match-winners, though our three young guns – Dave Seitler, Dovi Fehler and Yoav Kestenbaum are all available and on their day there aren’t any more dynamic players in the league.

“This will come down to the smallest of margins though – Raiders too have big time players and match winners – but as a unit we are strong and confident and we believe we have the extra experience and skill to get us over the line. It should be a cracker though – we are really looking forward.”

Something has to give on Sunday, but don’t be surprised if it goes to extra-time, or further … with one of the keepers being the hero in the end.

JC team news: Raiders will be without Ben Joseph but should have everyone else available.

Confirmed absentees for Hendon include Alex Rosenthal (groin), Avishai Kestenbaum (ankle) and Avi Korman (away). Greg Corin (ankle) and Tali Nevies (groin) are rated “very doubtful”. Club captain Ari Last returns to the squad for the first time in four months.


MGBSFL - Lions (a)
MGBSFL - Woodford (a)
MGBSFL - Hendon (a)

MGBSFL - FC Team (h)
CAC SF - Neasden (a)
MGBSFL - Raiders (h)

NLR - Matt Stock 14
Hendon - Dovi Fehler 10

Venue – Brunel, Ref – John Nitka, KO – 10am

JC star man: Jake Doffman (NLR)

DC Prediction: Raiders 1 Hendon 1 AET (Raiders to win on penalties)


When you look at the squads involved in Sunday’s quarter-final clash, Harmen are stronger on paper, and I think that’s how it will pan out on grass too.

Man for man they hold the aces in terms of quality and experience, with players of the calibre of Matt Shields, Jake Gottlieb and James Gershfield, three players who will look to end their old club’s hopes of silverware.

Most people know about Gershfield’s credentials. He has represented his country with distinction on the Maccabiah stage and has already passed the 20-goal mark this season. Indeed it was Gershfield who scored both goals in Harmen’s 2-1 league win at Neasden at the beginning of the year.

But Harmen are much more than a one-trick pony, they have threats everywhere. Brad Sharpe can always pop up with a goal, or an assist. He has bags of energy and loves bombing forward, while midfield maestros George Fierstone and Ben Weinberg will be keen to add to their respective goal tallies.

Ahead of kick-off, Harmen joint-manager Joel Alterman told JC Sport: "Sunday sees us come up against Neasden who’s league position does not do justice for the quality of players they have.

"From front to back they have some players who would fit comfortably into most teams in our league and Stirling is definitely able to get them playing to their strengths.

"The pitch on Sunday is expected to be a bit bobbly and lumpy which will suit Neasden more than us and that showed in our previous game against them at Chase Lodge where we narrowly beat them 2-1, although with a full squad to choose from this week we are expecting to come out with a more convincing victory than that day."

But NWN boss Stirling Kay won’t mind Harmen being the favourites. His team loves a challenge and the attitude on Sunday will be the bigger they come, the harder they fall.

Kay believed his troops deserved something from the aforementioned meeting. They certainly won’t have an inferiority complex and it’s important they play with no fear. And if they can cut out the mistakes at the back then you never know …

Ahead of kick-off, Kay told JC Sport: "We will be looking forward to get back to playing with so many games called off weather-permitting.

"We had a very close game when we played earlier in the year - losing to a late goal - since then Harmen have gone from strength to strength, so we know that it's going to be a very difficult game.

"However, we are desperate to get into our second semi-final and we know what we have to do to win this game."

If it’s played on grass I think it will be tight, but on 3G it’s Harmen for me.

JC team news: Of the 14 players in the NWN squad, they give a full debut to Zac McLeod, but Michael Field is missing.


MGBSFL – Faithfold (h)
CAC SF – Hendon (h)
MGBSFL – Faithfold (a)

MGBSFL – Oakwood (h)
MGBSFL – Redbridge (a)
MGBSFL – FC Team (a)

NWN – Danny Sherman 6
Harmen – James Gershfield 23

Venue – TBC, Ref – Martin Lavender

JC star man: Bradley Sharp (Harmen)

DC Prediction: Neasden 1 Harmen 2



Camden Park Pl. 2. Pts. 4
L’Equipe Pl. 1, Pts. 1
Norstar London Raiders C Pl. 0, Pts. 0
London Rovers Pl. 1, Pts. 0

Division Three champions London Rovers will be looking to take the scalp of higher division opposition in West Hendon on Sunday.

Defeat in their BGT opener against Camden Park made boss Jeremy Brown reassess things and they were back in business last Sunday with Avi Markiewicz back on the scoresheet in the win over Temple Fortune.

Brown will hands over the reins to club captain Adam Kay this week as he travels to Israel for a family simcha.

I managed to catch up with him at the King David Lounge before his departure and here’s what he said. “This week will be the first game I miss all for my niece’s batmitzvah - I have handed duties over to club captain Adam Kay who I know will do a great job looking after the team. He is a born leader and has the respect of all the players.

“I've set the team up and we've discussed the game plan, we're just going to do exactly what we've been doing all season - hard working, disciplined and playing positive football.

“It’s a must-win game because if we lose, we're out of the competition and that's not what we want. We want to try and get as far as possible.

“I feel a bit like a parent leaving a child at school for the first time but I'll feel a whole lot better if they win the game for me."

L’Equipe fared better in the group game against Camden, coming away with a hard-earned point. Although their Division Two status is not yet guaranteed, they can certainly go into this game with confidence.

Joint-manager Josh Lewis told JC Sport: “Rovers are a team on form and have done well to go on and win Division Three convincingly. It looks like a lot of their players are from the Boca team we played last year, so we know them well and I remember having two close games against them.

“We’re also on a good run of form lately and we go into Sunday with a strong squad that I expect to compete well against Rovers.

“A victory will be a big step towards the BGC quarter finals, so we’re raring to go.”

In essence, Sunday is a cup final for London Rovers and I think they will get the job done.

JC team news: L’Equipe welcome back Marc Glucksman in goal and James Bell comes back in from his long-term injury. Jules Bohm (holiday) is away for two weeks and Dan Finegold is in Israel.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Quentin Fox, KO – 10am

JC star man: Ricky Zeiderman (Rovers)

DC Prediction: L’Equipe 2 Rovers 3


Camden hope to become the first team to seal their passage into the next round ahead of the trip to Raiders C.

Nick Kagan’s boys have taken four points from games against London Rovers and L’Equipe, but they are taking nothing for granted against another side who excel on 3G.

Camden’s Max Saunders told JC Sport: “After last week’s postponement, we are all really looking forward to getting back on the pitch. This cup gives us a chance of ending our season on a high, and we are very much looking forward to the possibility of winning some silverware.

“We understand that it will not be easy, especially for us as we love to make games harder than they should be, but we will be approaching the game with full professionalism.

“Although Raiders are in the division below us, we have learnt that no team should be under-estimated and that any team in Jewish football is capable of making it difficult on the day.

“However, nothing less than three points will do as we look to top our group and move on to the next round.”

Raiders go into their first game with nothing to lose. They enjoyed an excellent win over FC Team C last time out and fourth spot in a strong Division Two is nothing to be sniffed at.

Zack Gothelf’s troops are relishing taking on one of Division One’s leading lights and I think fans will be treated to an open and exciting game of football.

JC team news: Josh Marks is unavailable, Sam Bennett is 50/50 and Ben Harris is getting closer and closer to a return. Other than that, Camden have a full squad available.

Venue – TBC, Ref – Richard Jaye

JC star man: Richard Silver (Camden)

DC Prediction: Raiders 1 Camden 2


Norstar London Raiders B Pl. 1, Pts. 3
FC Team B Pl. 1, Pts. 3
Boca Jewniors (replaced Catford & Bromley Maccabi) Pl. 1, Pts. 0
Maccabi London Lions Green Pl. 1, Pts. 0

Damage limitation will be Boca’s best bet on Sunday. I can’t see them getting any joy. Simple as that. I know I said the same when they played Faithfold B recently, but FC Team B are a totally different kettle of fish and I’ll buy player-manager Gabriel John dinner for a week if they can produce the mother of all shocks.

The double is on for FC Team B, if they play their cards right. With the Division Two title in the bag, I can see them going all the way to Wingate & Finchley.

Ahead of kick-off Team player-manager Mitch Young told JC Sport: “Although we won our first game in the tournament comfortably, the performance was a bit lacklustre. Therefore I am expecting a much better performance this week.

“I have heard through my scouts that Boca have some talented players so if we are not on our game they may be able to cause an upset.

“Saying that with Raiders B to come next, knowing that a win will take us through to the quarters is all the motivation we need."

JC team news: FC Team are without Danny Moss, but captain Jon Breger returns.

Venue – Roger Bannister, Ref – Quentin Fox

JC star man: Jon Breger (Team)

DC Prediction: Boca 0 Team 6


Another easy one to predict, on paper at least. With manager Jonathan Adelman making big plans for their Premier push next season, L’Orange fans would love to see their heroes make a return trip to the Harry Abrahams Stadium and with a kind draw, they have to fancy themselves to get out of the group at the very least.

I expected much more from the Lions this season. They may have home advantage but they will find things very tough against a quick and mobile team.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Quentin Fox

JC star man: Lewis Blitz (NLR)

DC Prediction: Lions 0 NLR 3


Los Blancos Pl. 1, Pts. 1
SPEC Pl. 1, Pts. 1
AC Mill Hill Pl. 0, Pts. 0
Blizzard Storm Pl. 0, Pts. 0

SPEC FC will look to build on their solid performance against Blancos when they take on second division Mill Hill.

Managers Ricky Lawrence and Michael Rhodes hope their players can find more of a cutting edge against a second division defence as they look to move a step closer to qualification.

I expect them to create numerous chances, but it could all boil down to how they defend against free-scoring opposition.

SPEC FC's Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: "If we're not at the races this could be our penultimate game of the season. We're dreaming of Wingate though and we'd love to get through to the knockout stages."

Mill Hill go into the game boosted by FC Team C’s inability to secure second place in Division Two. Dan Beresford’s boys thought they’d blown it, but they will go into this game refreshed and with their tails up.

Another draw would only really benefit Blancos and Blizzard, but that’s how I can see it finishing.

Venue – The Ark, Ref – David Lazarus, KO - 10.15am

JC star man: Ashley Burns (SPEC FC)

DC Prediction: SPEC FC 2 Mill Hill 2


Hendon B Pl. 1, Pts. 1
Jewdinese Pl. 1, Pts. 1
Oakwood B Pl. 0, Pts. 0
Temple Fortune Pl. 0, Pts. 0

Fortune fans will be delighted to hear that talisman Dave Sawyer returns to their squad this week for their BGT opener against high-fancied Oakwood B.

Fortune came unstuck 2-0 against London Rovers in the league last week and I think they’ll have more defending to do against a team with a red-hot attack.

Visiting manager Jonathan Cohen knows his team go in as underdogs. He told JC Sport: “We know that this week will be a tough test and we have to be clinical in front of goal in comparison to last week.”

Jason Stein’s Oakwood have completed their preparations ahead of their opening match and you can be sure they will leave nothing on the pitch in terms of effort, with their fans demanding goals.

I caught up with the legendary Oakwood chief earlier in the week and although I have yet to transcribe the interview properly, here’s what he said. “DC, it's been so long. A month without a game. So much has happened and I still don't know whether the dress is blue and black or gold and white. Tell you what, I'm still not sure whether Ashley Barnes meant to do Matic.

“But, I am sure about how excited I am to get going in the Barry Goldstein Trophy. Some would say we've been drawn in a favourable group as the highest seed in a group that contains two teams from the division below us.

“However, I am not some people. I am not one of the bottle.

“Temple Fortune aren't just going to roll over for us; they're going to turn up and battle. And we'll need to do the same. We got an almighty shock when we were dumped out of the Anekstein by Shacharit Donetsk in September and if my players have forgotten about that then they need reminding.

“Nothing can be taken for granted and we must arrive on Sunday with our heads screwed on and play the same direct, attacking and fast football that we played against Raiders C and to an extent against FC Team C.

“We should be winning this game, we should be getting through this group. The players have been handed the opportunity to achieve something significant this season and I want them to seize it. Starting with a professional performance on Sunday against Temple Fortune.”

I expect Oakwood to boss it from the first whistle to the last.

JC team news: We're without skipper Elliot Jackson who will be a big miss, but Oakwood legend Ric Blank is stepping in to his shoes and the rest of our defence remains unchanged with Josh Berkley, Ben Buck and Max Clynes all raring to go. Jacob Richler Kleiman will lead the line looking to add to his tally.

Venue – Nicholas Breakspear, Ref – Robert Bernardout

JC star man: Max Clynes (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 4 Fortune 0





23 - James Gershfield (Harmen)
16 - Johnny Haik (Faithfold A - includes one for B team), Dave Woolman (Oakwood A)

Both Lions Blue and Oakwood go in search of the win that would secure Premier Division football next season.

Oakwood go into the game as favourites, looking to complete the double over a Lions team they mauled 5-2 in October when top-scorer David Woolman took home the matchball.

Joint-manager Ric Blank is eyeing an improvement from the last outing and it wouldn’t surprise me if he tinkers with his starting XI.

He told JC Sport: “We’re back in action after a couple of weeks off and we're hoping to get the points we need to ensure Prem football next season. We're disappointed not to be in the mix for any trophies but we've got to get over it.

“The 3-2 defeat, in a game we dominated, to FC Team just was unacceptable. There are some boys who just aren't playing with the intensity we need and some that aren't available enough at the moment. It's something we'll look at for next year.

“But this Sunday is a fresh challenge against a Lions team who have had some decent results. We have a good squad out and are looking forward to playing on the grass once more."

With trips to Raiders and Woodford to follow, Lions boss Jamie Kyte is confident his players will rise to the challenge. They gave a good account of themselves last week, with Josh Moses registering his first for the club.

Ahead of the game, Kyte told JC Sport: “Three games left and we urgently need a win.

“Oakwood is always a tough game and they should be higher up the league than they are. Having said that, we beat them and we go above them by three points above them.

“I have no doubt that if we keep a clean sheet we will win Sunday's game.”

JC team news: Oakwood are missing Josh Rose and Dan Rose.


MGBSFL - Raiders (h)
MGBSFL - Woodford (a)

MGBSFL - Harmen (a)

Lions - Connor Perl 10
Oak - Dave Woolman 16

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Laurie Benson

JC star man: Josh Moses (Lions)

DC Prediction: Lions 1 Oakwood 1





24 - Daniel Garfinkle (Redbridge JC B – including 3 for RJC A)
19 - Simon Moses (Blancos – includes two for Brady)

Brixton have five games to save their season, the first of which is against a Blizzard team looking to end a good league campaign on a high.

Alan Aaronson’s experienced squad features several players who have been involved in both promotion and relegation battles, so they will know exactly what they need to do. But knowing what to do and doing it are two very different things, especially when the pressure is on.

After Sunday, Blizzard can focus on their BGT adventure and I’m sure Simon Linden’s boys will be looking to give their gaffer the dream trip to Wingate he so richly deserves.

A 3-2 win over Division One runners-up Raiders B will give Brixton fans an indication that Blizzard are not going through the motions and I can see them causing the home defence untold problems.

It’s also worth remembering that Blizzard eased home 3-0 against Brixton in mid-January and I fancy them to go on and complete the double.


MGBSFL - Brady (a)
MGBSFL - Brady (h)

BGT - AC Mill Hill (a)
BGT - Blancos (a)

Brix - Lee Cutler 4
Blizz - Dean Shaw, Oli Henry 9

Venue – Clowes, Ref – Neil Cooper

JC star man: Rafi Marom (Blizzard)

DC Prediction: Brixton 0 Blizzard 2





19 - Adam Stolerman (FC Team C)
13 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill), Jacob Richler-Kleiman (Oakwood B), Lorian Madanes (FC Team B – including one for A team)

The weight of expectation appears to have got the better of FC Team C in recent weeks. And, dare I say, nerves.

Their fans expected them to have promoted done and dusted by now, but they have been on the wrong end of some big scorelines in recent weeks, and just cannot get themselves over the line.

However, the good news is there is still time, although they should expect no favours against a talented Whetstone team.

Indeed goals are on the cards on Sunday, with Team top-scorer Adam Stolerman going head-to-head against Dan Cohen.

Whetstone joint-manager Clive Nathan will be eyeing revenge. He felt his boys deserved something from the early-season meet which Team came away with with a 3-0 win, courtesy of strikes from Blake Buckman, Matt Davis and Adam Lenz.

I have a feeling things will be much closer second time around as we approach ‘squeaky-bum-time for the Team.


MGBSFL – Oakwood (h)

MGBSFL – L’Equipe (a)
MGBSFL – Catford (a)

Team - Adam Stolerman 23
Whet - Dan Cohen 9

Venue – TBC, Ref – Neal Cohen

JC star man: James Milman (Team)

DC Prediction: Team 3 Whetstone 2





23 - Avi Markiweicz (London Rovers)
22 - Adam Ellis (Shacharit Donetsk)

Hendon B know that only three points will do in their quest for a top three spot as they host promotion-chasing Real Sosobad on Sunday.

Hendon are unbeaten in 2015, yet sit a point behind their visitors having played three games more. But it’s a match boss Adam Glekin is desperate to win.

He told JC Sport: “After playing them in a pre-season friendly, I thought Sosobad would comfortably win the league so I'm surprised to see their current position.

“We're fully aware it'll be a tough game on Sunday, but to have any chance of finishing above them we need to win the game so we'll be going all out to do so.”

A second-half strike from Adam Goodman was all that separated the teams in September. Sosobad played with a high level of intensity that day and they pulled Hendon apart with their fluid passing game.

Back-to-back wins have put Dan Shafron’s boys right in the mix but they can ill-afford any slip-ups against a much-improved Hendon team.

I’ve marked this one down as a high-scoring draw.

JC team news: Hendon goalkeeper Yehuda Fink, and striker Joni Kleiman return to the squad having both missed a couple of games. Captain James Neidle will have to sit out as he faces a suspension, and Gideon Barth is also out as he's training for the London Marathon. Chaim Strom is in line to captain the side, as he continues to defy orders from his wife not to play!


BGT - Oakwood (h)
BGT - Fortune (a)

MGBSFL - Shacharit (h)
MGBSFL - Boca (h)
MGBSFL - Faithfold (h)

Hendon - Benni Sluckis 10
Real - Barry Green 8

Venue – TBC, Ref – Laurence Thorne

JC star man: Joni Kleiman (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 2 Sosobad 2


Both Shacharit and KS have six games remaining, but it’s the hosts who have much more to play for as they push for a top three finish.

It’s impossible to talk about Shacharit without mentioning Adam Ellis who has been an absolute revelation in his first season of MGBSFL football. The hotshot has contributed more than half of the team’s goals and he will be gunning for glory again on Sunday.

One of those goals came in the thrilling 4-3 victory over KS in October, when Sam Kanter, Yoram Goodman and Daniel Reece clinched the points.

KS’s first season has been a struggle, but the good news is that they’re unlikely to finish with the wooden spoon.

A draw against King Crown has been the highlight of their season thus far, so I hope they go out and enjoy themselves and deliver the result that would leave a big smile etched on the face of boss James Lewis.

Ahead of kick-off, he told JC Sport: "After a couple of weeks off, we are looking forward to getting back on the pitch.

"Having blown a two-goal lead last time at home to Shacharit, we know we are capable of beating them."

JC team news: Joe Sumray and David Cohen are out for KS.


MGBSFL – Sosobad (a)
MGBSFL – Boca (a)

MGBSFL – Fortune (a)

Shacharit – Adam Ellis 22
KS - James Ryan 6

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Martin De La Fuente

JC star man: Yoram Goodman (Shacharit)

DC Prediction: Shacharit 3 KS 1

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