MGBSFL Matchday 32 preview


Hendon United Sports Club A, Maccabi London Lions Spartans, Harmen and AFC Flixton battle it out for a place in the final of the Peter Morrison Trophy, while Raiders B, FC Team B, Los Blancos and Camden Park contest the semi-finals of the BGT and Raiders A hope to clinch their first-ever MGBSFL Premier Division title.










Harmen vs AFC Flixton
Hendon United Sports Club A vs Maccabi London Lions Spartans
Ties scheduled to take place on April 19


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



Norstar London Raiders A vs Hendon United Sports Club A - May 3, KO - 2.30pm


April 19 - Hendon Utd SC A vs Maccabi London Lions Spartans - Rowley Lane
Harmen vs AFC Flixton - Rowley Lane

Final details TBC

Norstar London Raiders B vs FC Team B
Los Blancos vs Camden Park
- Semi-finals to be played April 19
- Final at Wingate & Finchley FC on May 3, KO: 6.30pm







Hendon, be warned. Lions mean business. This is the semi-final of the Jewish FA Cup after all, so they should expect nothing less than the strongest possible Lions team. But David Garbacz would have it no other way. He fully understands that to be the best you need to beat the best and his players are prepared for an almighty battle.

With in the region of 100 players on their books, the Morrison is the priority for the Lions this season and anything less than a win on Sunday would be deemed a major disappointment as far as manager Andy Landesberg is concerned.

Having overcome MJSL champions Leeds Maccabi in the previous round, the Lions look set to field their strongest team of the season in the competition on Sunday.

It’s never easy double-guessing a Lions manager, but Guy Morris is expected to take the captain’s armband, with Mario Cenolli possibly behind him in nets. Nick Landesberg could join Morris at the heart of the defence, with a handful of kids thrown in.

Ahead of kick-off, Landesberg told JC Sport: “As in previous games, Sunday is no different. We come into the game having already played three games in seven days. It’s a huge ask on the squad, whoever they are. Of course we will come prepared with the best team we can possibly have, but it will not drift away from the previous criteria which is the fact that we will have a high percentage of under-21 players as before.

“Hendon are a quality side, well organised, well drilled and they will feel that they have an extremely good chance of winning this game. Their achievements over the past few seasons are well documented, with many trophies in the cabinet to show for those performances.

“We have, as everybody knows, entered this competition for one reason and one reason only, and that is to win it. We have ground out one or two results to get here, and we may just have to do the same on Sunday.

“The one thing I do know is the fact that whether it is Guy Morris or 17-year-old Zac Rose, they all know what this competition means to me and the Club, and I have a strong feeling that we can deliver the goods on Sunday.

“With Saturday’s home game against Winslow first, my final squad will be determined by who survives that tough game.

“The scene is set perfectly for an absolute great game, two good teams, both desperate to take the spoils. I know Hendon will be a hard proposition, but I also know that my boys are very, very hungry. I believe we can and will deliver a win for the Lions.”

Hendon have had plenty of time to dust themselves down after the crushing league defeat against Raiders. The treble is off, but the double is still on. However, they couldn’t have asked for a tougher tie.

Boss David Garbacz told JC Sport: “It has taken a good three weeks for the Raiders defeat to fully sink in - we know we were not at our best that day and the treble is gone. The challenge now is not to let a season that promised so much peter out into nothing.

“We still have masses to play for and we are now more determined than ever to defend our two cups with strength and determination and we know glory still beckons in May.

“To get there, though, we know we will have to overcome one of the toughest tasks we've been set in recent years as we all fully expect this Lions team to be the very strongest they can put out . That means regular Saturday players plus anyone else they can get their hands on out of the hundreds on the register.

“They will be quick and strong but whatever is thrown at us, we should still be able to cope and we will not accept another under par performance in such a big game.

“Sunday will be a great spectacle and a great event. Both Morrison semis will be played at Rowley Lane and there is a great feel of cup fever for this superb main Jewish competition.

“May the best team win, but we desperately want yet another Wingate day out to look forward to and I’m genuinely expecting a brilliant hugely competitive match.”

I rarely tip Hendon to lose, but I think the Lions could have too much for them on the day, with a strong bench of game-changers swaying it.

JC team news: Hendon have a full squad to choose from bar Yoav Kestenbaum and Avidan Last. Simon Peterman is also doubtful.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Lavender, Asst-refs – Neal Cohen, Tony Ward, KO – 12 noon

JC star man: Guy Morris ((Lions)

DC Prediction: Hendon 1 Lions 2


Harmen hopes rest heavily on the availability of Maccabiah striker James Gershfield when they take on newly-crowned Manchester Accountants League chairman AFC Flixton for a place in the final.

The Premier Division’s top-scorer suffered concussion in the recent meeting with FC Team A and is “touch and go” at time of writing.

Harmen joint-manager Joel Alterman told JC Sport: “The swelling has now subsided and he will go on his specialist’s advice later this week as to whether he can play or not.”

No doubt, Harmen will make a contingency plan if Gershfield does not play. Joey Lazare and Alex Bowman have been in good goal-scoring form of late, while they have two highly experienced players in their spine in Max Shields and Jake Gottlieb.

There are several players in the Harmen camp keen to make their mark on the competition, with Marc Foster is determined to lead Harmen into their first Jewish FA Cup final.

Speaking to JC Sport ahead of kick-off, Harmen joint-manager Joel Alterman commented: “After a much anticipated first season in the Prem, we are still pushing for third place in the league and a potential all Morrison Trophy final.

“First up we look forward to welcoming AFC Flixton down to London on Sunday. They have already been successful in their own right this season after winning the Manchester AFL with two games still to play.

“Bearing in mind this is their first season in the top league after being promoted last season, it really shows the quality of team that they have.

“We are expecting a tough game that has the potential to last the whole 120 minutes.

“We now have a full squad available to us, barring the long-term injuries, although we are expecting late fitness tests on James Gershfield, Rob Blackman, Oliver Leslie, Marc Foster and Mike Pearson. If Gersh is passed fit by his specialist and he is on song on Sunday, our talismanic striker could make it a very long journey back to Manchester for Flixton.”

Flixton have turned into a winning machine under managers Stuart Delmonte and Tony Rosenberg.

Several members of the squad have won the Morrison before, with Delmonte and Rosenberg at Manchester Maccabi. It’s virtually impossible to spot a weak link in the Flixton team; they are a big, imposing team who won’t afford Harmen’s gifted ball-players any time or space on the ball.

In an exclusive interview with JC Sport, Delmonte said: “We are desperate to win this competition.

"Everyone knows what a tough game it will be, but we travel down with confidence. There’s some big incentives lying ahead but we are not looking further than Harmen.

"We will be missing some key players, including Alex Singer, Michael Warwick and Stephen Peck, through injury. That is a blow and that has knocked us back.

"But we have confidence in all our players. It would be the icing on the cake if we can take home this trophy.”

Having wrapped up the league title last week, Flixton remain on the course for the treble, and with Michael Sacks, Adam Stevens and top-scorer Leor Sidle in top form, I think they will have too much for Harmen on the day.

JC team news: Harmen are missing George Fierstone who has been ruled out for 12-18 months.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – David Lazarus, Asst-refs – Brandon Pieters, Stuart Ansher, KO – 1.30pm

JC star man: Adam Stevens (Flixton)

DC Prediction: Harmen 1 Flixton 2



Sunday could be a huge day for Raiders. With the A-team expected to land their first MGBSFL Premier Division title, Jonathan Adelman’s B-team will be looking to book a return trip to Wingate & Finchley when they take on old adversaries FC Team B.

Raiders and Team have enjoyed some titanic battles over the years, and NLR boss Jonathan Adelman isn’t reading too much into the fact that Team are now plying their trade in Division Two. In fact he’s labelled them favourites to progress.

Raiders made a barnstorming start in their quarter-final win over Oakwood, but Adelman believes they can still improve and he’ll order some extra shooting practice in training this week. With Nicky Woolf seemingly over his latest back problem, it’s all systems go for the boys in L’Orange.

Ahead of kick-off, Adelman told JC Sport; “We know any Raiders/Team game will be highly competitive and fiercely fought and we are ready for that.

“We know that we start as underdogs given Team are last year’s Premier League side, but we will relish the opportunity to renew some old acquaintances.”

Team strolled into a 3-0 lead in their last eight meeting with Hendon B last week, before conceding two goals with the game seemingly won.

Boss Mitch Young won’t need to remind his players that they will need to play for the full 90 minutes against a Raiders side they know inside out, even though he disagrees with which side starts as favourites.

"Sunday is huge from our point of view,” he told JC Sport. FC Team has never played at Wingate and Sunday we believe we have a real chance of getting there.

“Being the underdogs will count for nothing as Raiders know a lot about us and us about them. It will come down to fine lines and who makes the least mistakes. Two very good sides in what is a great advert for this competition - may the best team win."

There will be key battles across the park, Richard Salmon against Dan Grossman is one, Adam Posner against Lorian Madanes is another. Indeed I believe Sunday will come down to which side wins their individual and collective clashes in what promises to be an action-packed 90 minutes.

JC team news: Danny Bloom and Alex Hershman miss out for Raiders, but Lewis Blitz, Dan Grossman and Jake Gilbert are available.

JC star man: Jake Gilbert (NLR)

DC Prediction: Raiders 2 Team 1


Having completed a league double over Camden Park this season, Los Blancos start as favourites for Sunday’s semi-final showdown.

And with some keys players returning to the squad that did the job against London Rovers, Blancos supporters will arrive in confident mood. They feel their time has come and want to paint Wingate & Finchley white on May 3.

Simon Moses was their saviour in last week’s nail-biter, showing an ice-cool temperament to convert three penalties to wrap up a 4-3 win. Danny Steel grabbed the other.

Blancos boss Jonathan Ison is predicting another close encounter. He told JC Sport: “We're looking forward to the game this week, and very much hoping our next game will be at Wingate.

“We have quite a few players back from their travels, with the likes of Adam Hersh and Joel Kutner returning to add some attacking flair, but we are still not at full strength.

“Simon Moses is on a high after his hat-trick last week, and Steel has an eye for goal now so scorers coming from all over the pitch.

“All in all we are looking forward to Sunday and I believe we have a team strong enough to steer us to the hallow surface of Wingate.”

There have been many positives for Camden this season and they will be desperate to end their Blancos bogey, with the Marks and Khalastchi brothers keen to impress. Striker Rob Hershkorn is another potential match-winner in a game that could come down to minor details.

Looking ahead to Sunday, Camden's Max Saunders told JC Sport: "We are absolutely buzzing for Sunday. I do not envy the gaffer one bit for having the horrible duty of having to pick the team and leave out players this week, everyone is in top form.

"We are very weary of our opposition, having lost to them twice already this season, even if there were extreme mitigating circumstances. However, they were very good in each of those games and we know they will pose us massive problems, especially up top.

"We will be ready, and I have full faith in our team. If we perform to the best of our ability any MSFL team would struggle to cope with us.

"If a final at Wingate isn’t motivation enough, the gaffer Nick Kagan will be stepping down at the end of the season to concentrate on his football, so we have to ensure he gets the send of he deserves and hopefully with a medal to boot, which would be our first since reforming. CPFC, for the BGT!"

JC team news: Camden are full-strength, apart from Michael Khalastchi, who is out with a shoulder injury picked up last week, along with David Kanzen.

Venue – West Hendon, KO – 10am

JC star man: Danny Steel (Blancos)

DC Prediction: Blancos 3 Camden 2





1. Raiders Pl. 15, W. 12, D. 1, L. 2, F. 49, A. 11, Pts. 37 (Raiders to be awarded 3 points following defaulted match vs Woodford)
2. Hendon Pl. 17, W. 11, D. 4, L. 2, F. 48, A. 14, Pts. 37

27 - James Gershfield (Harmen)
18 - Dave Woolman (Oakwood A)

One point. That’s all that Raiders require to seal their Premier Division title for the first time. The champagne has been on ice since their famous win over Hendon and the signs all point towards a huge Raiders party on Sunday afternoon.

Although they only need a draw, Raiders will go all out for the win on what promises to be an exciting day for the club. And on the off chance they fail to land the championship at the first time of asking, they will have another bite of the cherry when they take on FC Team.

Having won the most games in the division, no-one can argue when Raiders eventually prize the trophy away from Hendon. They have also scored the most goals and conceded the fewest and they always fly high in the fair play stakes as well.

Hendon were popular winners 12 months ago, but Raiders have done it their own way, with their summer signings turning them from nearly men into the real deal. They play with pace, power, skill, unbelievable tekkers, and most importantly, they play the beautiful game the right way.

Liron Mannie, Ricky Engleman, Jordan Marks and Ben Joseph have helped turn L’Orange into an irresistible force this season and their attacking options could leave Neasden in a right mess. At times they ran rings around Hendon and once the title is in the bag, they can give their full attentions to the forthcoming Cyril Anekstein Cup final against Hendon.

Indeed, Mannie, along with Jamie Wolfson, Josh Hershman and David Dinkin featured on the scoresheet when Raiders turned NWN over 4-0 in September and a repeat performance is on the cards.

Looking ahead to the game, NLR boss Rob Richman told JC Sport; “It has been a long three weeks since the hugely important Hendon win and we are delighted that the waiting is nearly over and we are back to playing football this Sunday morning.

“The squad are well aware of what is needed but quite simply our focus will solely be on producing a performance.

“Neasden are fighting for their lives to stay in the division and we are well aware this will be a very tough fixture. They possess a nice mix of experience and top quality youngsters like Orgel and the in-form Arnold.

“Stirling seems to have struggled too with injuries and availability this season and that makes things doubly difficult, but on their day they have the ability to get a result against anyone so we will have to be fully focused and prepared.

“It will be a battle, we know that, but it is one we are ready to face head on and hopefully come Sunday afternoon we can reflect on an outstanding achievement from the 20 or so boys who have represented the team this season.”

Neasden know what they have to do to stay up. They have played with great spirit in courage in recent weeks and must hope NLR arrive in complacent mood. No doubt Kay and co will come with a game-plan to frustrate Raiders, but I can see them getting hurt on the break.

Kay told JC Sport: “It’s a big game for both teams. We have to win three out of our last three games to stay up and if Raiders win they win the league, so it’s still all to play for.

“For me, Raiders are the best team we have played this season and if they win the league they would of deserved to. However, we have our own agenda and three points is what we must have. Nothing else is good enough.

“It will be attack, attack, attack - the lads will give everything and you can be sure that Raiders may have to wait another week to open the champagne!

The meeting between two of my former teams guarantees goals and five-star entertainment. The double beckons for Rob Richman’s boys and I expect them to complete part one on Sunday.

JC team news: Neasden have several players missing, including Michael Field and Steve Field.

Once again, Raiders have a fully fit squad to choose from, with competitions for places as fierce as it has ever been within the L’Orange camp.

Venue – Hazelwood Red, Ref – Andy Myerson

JC star man: Ricky Engleman (NLR)

DC Prediction: NWN 1 NLR 3


Victory over Oakwood virtually assured FC Team A of Premier Division football again next season and they will go to Redbridge with no fear as they look to extend an excellent run of results.

Confidence is high under head coach Ben Gilbey as they go into unchartered waters against a Redbridge team still pushing for third place.

The Weisz brothers and the free-scoring Shim Bensoor were Team’s heroes in what was a physical encounter last week. Passions ran high but it was Team who maintained their discipline throughout and were ultimately rewarded with three points as a result.

Ahead of the trip to Essex, Gilbey told JC Sport: “The boys have been playing really well since January now and we haven't lost a game for about two-and-a-half months.

“I have faith that we can go and take points off any team. We haven't played Redbridge this season yet, so we don't know too much about them.

“We will be going out there to play our game, continue how we have been playing as of late and get those three points.

The recent defeat against Harmen has left RJC with it all to do as they to finish as high up the table as possible.

They haven’t done too much wrong this season and are hard to beat, especially on their own patch.
I caught up with Sam Rosenthal during the week and he sounded in positive mood. “We’ll have a mix of A and B-team boys on Sunday.

“It’s our final home game of the season and we will be out to entertain the crowd.”

I can see Sunday’s clash being won and lost in midfield. Team have the momentum and I can see them coming away with a famous win.

JC team news: Team will be at full strength on the weekend, with the exception of Rocky Spitzer.

Venue – Fairlop, Ref – Richard Jaye, KO – 10am

JC star man: James Cooper (Team)

DC Prediction: RJC 2 Team 3





27 - Daniel Garfinkle (Redbridge JC B – including 3 for RJC A)
Simon Moses (Blancos – includes two for Brady)
20 - Jake Gilbert (NL Raiders B)

Preview to follow ...





25 - Adam Stolerman (FC Team C)
23 - Jacob Richler-Kleiman (Oakwood B)

It ended in a stalemate when the teams met earlier in the season, but I have a feeling there will be a winner on Sunday.

Having flirted with relegation, I believe L’Equipe will be all the better for it next season. Manager Josh Lewis already has his eye on one or two targets in the transfer window and finding a top-notch striker must be the priority.

They failed to replace top-scorer Richard Fogelman and need to find goals from somewhere.

Raiders have enjoyed a decent season and three consecutive victories have put them in a position to finish joint third.

Five teams in the division have scored more than them, but with the likes of Will Ufland and Nick Haringman in their ranks, I can see them bowing out on a high.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Henry Raffe

JC star man: Marc Woolfe (NLR)

DC Prediction: L’Equipe 1 Raiders 3





29 - Adam Ellis (Shacharit Donetsk)
26 - Avi Markiweicz (London Rovers)

Hendon B gave an excellent account of themselves in the Barry Goldstein Trophy last week.

Most people expected them to be outclassed by Division Two champions FC Team B. Things looked ominous when they fell 3-0 behind but credit to Adam Glekin’s boys who scored two goals and pushed Mitch Young’s troops all the way.

Yehuda Korman was Hendon’s star man. Team boss Mitch Young gave him a rave review and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he made a bid for him during the summer.

Highlights have been few and far between for KS this season. Avoiding the wooden spoon should not be looked up as a success and with several players playing for their futures, manager James Lewis will encourage his players to play as though their lives depend on it.

But when all is said and done, I can see Hendon winning by at least a couple of goals.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Steve Levy

JC star man: Yehuda Korman (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 4 KS 1


Shacharit Donetsk will be looking to rubber stamp fourth place when they welcome Lions Green in a game that has a real end of season feel about it.

Adam Ellis was Shacharit’s two-goal hero in the first meeting with Lions who were left kicking themselves that their failed to act on a tip-off and sign him last summer. The boy is clearly a special talent, and on the wishlist of several teams in the top two divisions.

Were it not for the goal of Ellis, Shacharit would not be in the position they are in but the young marksman is determined to continue his goal charge and claim the prized MGBSFL golden boot.

On reflection, the Lions will be disappointed with their first season in the division. But they have laid the foundations and it’s clear the only way is up.

As for Sunday, I’m predicting another Adam Ellis master-class.
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Robert Benardout

JC star man: Yoram Goodman (Shacharit)

DC Prediction: Shacharit 3 Lions 1

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