MGBSFL Matchday 6 preview


A wise, old man once said: "Champions have to win on cold, miserable, dark Sunday mornings in Essex," so we'll know a whole lot more about Rob Richman's Norstar London Raiders come Sunday lunchtime. That's the pick of the bunch on Matchday 6 of the MGBSFL, which also features a cup game with an upset in the making.














George Goldberg (HMH U18)

Avi Goldberg (HMH U18)









With two good wins under their belt, Camden Park will fancy their chances of an upset against Premier League Neasden.

Strikers Dan Baneth and Richard Silver are bang in form and will take some stopping against a Neasden defence that has nine times in the last four outings, especially on their own patch.

Ahead of the game, Camden boss Nick Kagan told JC Sport: “The squad is getting fitter and sharper and we are keen to test ourselves against Premier Division opposition, and do everything we can to cause an upset.

“Neasden are lucky to have Rick Harris, a true Camden legend, who we will have to keep a close eye on.”

Neasden registered an excellent win in the London Intermediate Cup last weekend and will arrive in buoyant mood against a team they know fairly well.

Boss Stirling Kay told JC Sport: “We played our opponents in a friendly during pre-season and they very much impressed us as a unit, so we know we will have to dig deep to reach the next round.

“We had a very good win last week in the London cup against AFC Balham. We very much hope to carry that form into this game. However, once again we will be losing threeplayers from last week’s squad that I know off, and it's only Tuesday.

“So introducing new players and bringing players out of retirement is not the ideal situation. At the moment we go out asking whoever is fit to play to adapt to whatever positions that need to be filled, but you can be assured we will give everything to reach the next round.

JC team news: Max Saunders is suspended, otherwise Camden are unchanged.

Shai Davidi, Josh Gilbery, Kane Gilbery, Dan Orgel, Sam Franks, Josh Wiener and Steve Field are definitely out for NWN.

Ref – Laurie Benson

JC star man: Richard Silver (Camden)

DC Prediction: Camden 2 NWN 1




Harmen are relishing Sunday’s trip to Rowley Lane, especially with star striker James Gershfield bang in form.

The odds on Gersh to win the Player of the Year award have dropped heavily since the start of the season and at the moment everything he touches turns to gold.

Some “telepathic” link-up play between Gersh and Jake Gottlieb - now to be known as the 'Telepathic twins' - helped Harmen put FC Team A to the sword 5-2 last weekend, but a tighter contest is on the cards on Sunday.

Harmen joint-manager Oli Leslie told JC Sport: “This week we face the biggest club in Jewish football - we may have started the season well but we come up against a team who are capable of beating any team in the league.”

We have already seen this season that Lions are not afraid of putting in some big guns, with Sam Sloma and TJ Keterman lining up against Raiders.

“We need to maintain our focus and continue to build on what we have achieved so far,” Harmen co-boss Joel Alterman told JC Sport. “Last week we weren’t at our best and still managed to beat a strong opposition, so we will be looking to step up a gear to overcome a very good Lions team.

“We are awaiting news on a couple of injuries while players that were absent last week with knocks will return to bolster the squad.”

Jamie Kyte’s Lions have already played two of the teams tipped to challenge for the title in Hendon and Raiders and the manager will be hoping that the visit of Harmen will bring out the best in his players.

“It should be a great game on Sunday,” Kyte told JC Sport. “There’s a lot of Lions old boys in the Harmen squad and it should be a tight game.

“Gersh seems to be banging in goals for fun so we need to make sure we keep him quiet.”

No doubt Kyte will be speaking to London Lions boss Tony Gold in the build-up to Sunday’s contest to find out exactly how to stop a striker brimming with confidence. But not even his wise may be enough.

JC team news: Connor Perl returns for Lions this weekend and he's “looking forward to the clash against his old team”. Joel Reuben is out.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Andy Myerson, KO – 10am

JC star man: Ben Weinberg (Harmen)

DC Prediction: Lions 1 Harmen 2



Sam Rosenthal has been turning down interview requests in the build-up to Sunday’s meeting with title rivals NLR as The Apprentice fever has hit Fairlop.

The paps have been barred too as they tried to catch a glimpse of new celebrity Dan Lassman, who hopes to dip into the pockets of Lord Sugar over the coming weeks (perhaps I didn’t pay him enough when he did reports for me!)

Rosenthal has had to wrap Lass up in cotton wool ahead of a game in which the east Londoners will be smelling blood following their heavy defeat at the hands of L’Orange in the cup.

Ahead of the game, I managed to grab a few words with Rosenthal who is clearly some Mourinho-style mind games. He told JC Sport: “We look forward to welcoming Raiders who are certainly favourites for the league title.

“Rich Caplin makes his return, while. Daniel Lassman is bang in form alongside his new found celebrity life as part of The Apprentice.”

Rob Richman’s Raiders strolled to another impressive victory last week, with Oakwood their latest victims. David Dinkin continued his good run of form in front of goal, in a game where Ben Joseph pulled the strings.

No doubt RJC will up the ante on grass, but Richman told me this week his team are ready. “Sunday see’s us face the tough task of Redbridge at Fairlop,” he told JC Sport.

“Our win versus Oakwood was very important, but we know we need to follow it up with another strong performance this week.

“We played Redbridge just a few weeks ago in the Anekstein where we performed as well as we have done all season and in the end came away with a good win.

“That counts for nothing on Sunday as we will have to be at our very best to leave Essex with the victory we all want.

“We have a two-week break from league football after this game so it really does take on added significance and even at this early stage of the season, we know this game is one of great importance. I can see RJC trying to force NLR’s hand on Sunday, with a physical approach from the start. But if the visitors can see out the first 20 minutes then I can see them picking them off on the break, with another big performance from Liron Mannie on the cards.

JC team news: NLR will be without Adam Joselyn, Jamie Wolfson, Ricky Engleman and Elliot Espinoza for the trip to Fairlop. David Rhodes and Alex Bloch, who were both unused substitutes last weekend, should be fit to play a full role this weekend.

Venue - Fairlop, Ref – Steve Levy, KO – 10am

JC star man: Liron Mannie (NLR)

DC Prediction: RJC 1 NLR 2




There’s been a marked improvement in Brixton over the last couple of weeks, with the Paul Shamplina revolution kicking in in earnest.

The man is a winner. He hates losing, and his mentality is starting to rub off on his squad. Together with long-standing chairman Robert Silverman, he made some astute signings over the summer and the players have clicked into gear.

But Bilbaum fans will look upon this game and the next one against SPEC, both at home, as ones they can win. Six points would keep them right in the mix and be the perfect response to the defeat against Redbridge.

That said, I can see it finishing all square.

Venue – Regents Park, Ref – Neil Cooper

JC star man: Josh Kalinsky (Brixton)

DC Prediction: Bilbaum 2 Brixton 2


I’m expecting a huge reaction from Brady following the cup humiliation against HMH U18’s last week.

Before the season started, manager Josh Dagul said a cup run was long over-due and it was certainly not a result he saw coming.

But with the calibre of player he has on board, I’m sure Dagul will just take it on the chin and see that result as no more than a blip.

Indeed Dagul predicts big things from Matt Frolich and his battle against RJC’s Sam Sollosi will be key on Sunday.

Sollosi was at his imperious best in the cup last weekend when RJC thumped Division One rivals Blancos 4-0.

Ahead of kick-off, Jon Jacobs told JC Sport: “We lost to Brady twice in their promotion season and they were undoubtedly the best team in the division.

“We look forward to the challenge and although the form team, know that Brady are not promotion favourites for nothing.”

I can see both teams huffing and puffing and both sets of fans going home reasonably happy with a point apiece.

JC team news: The ‘university boys’ are all unavailable for RJC who have a “keeper crisis,” with Brad Grant away. There “may be a call for 50-year-old Neil Sapler.” Midfielders Harry Mednick and Adam Bernstein look set for recalls.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Lavender

JC star man: Neil Sapler (RJC)

DC Prediction: Brady 1 RJC 1


Simon Linden was in bullish mood ahead of Sunday’s trip to a Blancos team he knows well.

Having survived a scare in the Morrison against second division Jewdinese, the Blizzard boys have a clash against the Maccabi Masters Reps on the horizon, but before they can start thinking about that, they have what promises to be a real test against Jon Ison’s men.

Starting the weekend a point ahead of the whites, Linden knows the importance of three points to ensure they stay in touch with the front-runners.

He told JC Sport: “It’s been a while since we took points off Minsky and co. We will need to be a lot better than last week, that's for sure. But I’m confident we can do the business .”

Blancos go into the game on the back of a heavy defeat against Redbridge B. In the league, two defeats in three was not the start Ison was looking for so I expect his boys to come out full guns blazing on Sunday.

Ison told JC Sport: “We were beaten by a very good team last week, but unfortunately we were not at full-strength, with two key players pulling out Saturday night.

“I am hoping we can bounce back with the support of our home crowd this week against a Blizzard side who have not quite performed to their pre-season expectation thus far.

“With two new signings making their debut's last weekend, my selection dilemmas are getting tougher by the week. We need to get our season back on track this week, and Hersh is certainly hoping to get back amongst the goals.”

The Joel Kutner factor also adds great spice, but a game both teams dare not lose.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Martin De La Fuente, KO – 10am

JC star man: Matt Jaffa (Blizzard)

DC Prediction: Blancos 2 Blizzard 2


Jonathan Adelman hasn’t lost any sleep since NLR’s mauling at the hands of a powerful Lions Spartans team.

Apparently one pundit tipped L’Orange to win the tie, but a 7-1 hammering tells its own story. That said, Jacob Gold did score the goal of the game!

But Adelman and NLR fans expect normal service to be resumed against a SPEC team at the wrong end of the table.

He told JC Sport: “After a stuttering start to our season, we finally look like we have some of the fitness, application and attitude that saw us do so well last season.

“There were some really encouraging aspects to our performance against Lions in the cup and I'm looking for a statement of intent from the boys on Sunday.

“We know SPEC will provide a tough test, but we will be going all out for our first three points of the season and to extend our unbeaten league run.”

SPEC FC were on the receiving end of a cup upsets of sorts last week, although I’d tipped second division FC Team B to beat them in the Morrison.

The absence of Ashley Burns and James Lesner stifled them somewhat and joint-manager Ricky Lawrence is expecting “a tough game”.

If SPEC FC give NLR the freedom of Wembley, they will be torn apart. Sunday is the day for them to get into L’Orange’s faces – anything less and they will be chasing shadows against one of the league’s best counter-attacking sides.

JC team news: With the exception of long-term absentees Matt Greene and Jeremy Elster (both injury), and Simon Bucher (pre-wedding cotton wool), NLR “finally have a full squad to pick from”.

SPEC FC have “got a whole load of defenders absent,” but they welcome James Lesner and Dan Amram back into the squad."

Venue – The Ark, Ref – Tony McEvoy, KO – 10.15am

JC star man: Jake Gilbert (NLR)

DC Prediction: NLR 3 SPEC 0





You’re not playing Raiders! That’s the good news for L’Equipe. However, I can’t see them finding things much easier against a good Whetstone team.

Having lost two out of three in the trilogy, a first win in Division Two is what L’Equipe managers Josh Lewis and Dan Cordell are looking forward in a contest where the first 20 minutes are crucial.

It’s not in L’Equipe’s make-up to park the bus, and with players of the calibre of James Mandell, Nick Stern, Jon Kay and Jules Bohm, you’d expect them to start picking up sooner rather than later.

However, Whetstone will be buoyant following Sunday’s impressive cup win over the Lions. Philippe Auret and Alon Pinhas bagged braces, with Jonah Gordon-Boyd chipping in with the other.

But it’s all about league points on Sunday and I expect the Stones to deliver.

Venue – Hertswood Leisure Centre, Ref – Neal Cohen

JC star man: Jonah Gordon-Boyd (Whetstone)

DC Prediction: Whetstone 2 L’Equipe 1


Catford have yet to win this season and, according to the formbook, they’ll start as underdogs on Sunday.

A two-week break has enabled them to recover fully from the 6-3 defeat at the hands of table-topping FC Team B. Now they are ready to go again.

The goals have been going in a little too freely for captain Adam Luria’s liking, but he’s confident of an improved showing in Edmonton on Sunday.

Luria told JC Sport: “Well, we play another fixture against an FC Team XI for the fourth time in our first five games. We played the C-team in the first game, with some notable absences, and lost fairly narrowly, capitulating in the second half after a very even first-half against them.

“This week we welcome back Darren Hill after a long suspension and Gary Hill and Dan Green should be back after missing the last game. They'll put some much needed bite back into our midfield.

“Joel Isaacs and Simon Wolfson are both away and we have a number of players still injured on the sidelines, including Ryan Kangisser and Gary Conway. Yonni Bord has also left to go to university in Israel so we'll be looking to find a way of playing now we've lost his pace and determination.

“This will be a measure of whether we've made any improvement since the first game of the season, since we've not been able to field a settled side yet. We'll go out there looking to put in a good performance and try not to let our effort levels slip as we did in the first game against FC Team C.”

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cats stuck a man-marker on the red-hot Adam Stolerman – Team’s saviour in the cup against third division Boca last week. Manager David Gordon hopes that heavy legs don’t play a part as the game was settled in extra-time.

It’s clear Gordon is expecting a tough test on Sunday. He told JC Sport: “We know that Catford are capable of making life very difficult for us, having played them recently, but these are the games we need to be winning if we are going to have a successful season

"We will be looking to perform a lot better than we did against Boca at the weekend."

With so many out for the Cats, I can only see one winner.

JC team news: Aron Barnes is out for Team, along with Dan Lederman, Emile Ben-Atar and Mitch Lassman. Daniel Stanton should be back after missing the previous game through injury.”

Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Adam Lewis, KO – 10am

JC star man: Daniel Stanton (Team)

DC Prediction: Catford 1 Team 3


The luck is going against Jewdinese at the minute and chairman Jake Erlich is trying to remember if he’s walked under any ladders in recent weeks.

They pushed a strong Blizzard team all the way in the Morrison last Sunday, with Jordan Freeman on top of his game.

Erlich was delighted by the work-rate and discipline shown by his players in a real pressure-cooker situation. In many ways, they passed the test with flying colours, regardless of the final score.

NLR set up an intriguing second-round tie against HMH Wildcats in the Morrison following their win over L’Equipe. Will Ufland (2), Jonny Blain and Nick Haringman were the marksmen.

Boss Zack Gothelf was delighted that his team remembered their shooting boots after drawing a blank the previous week, though chances could be few and far between against a resolute ‘Nese team who will make themselves hard to beat.

Venue – The Ark, Ref – Robert Benardout

JC star man: Jordan Freeman (‘Nese)

DC Prediction: NLR 0 Jewdinese 0


The Zloof/Kent partnership gets better by the week and the dynamic duo will pose a big threat to Oakwood’s credentials on Sunday.

Narrowly beaten by first division Camden in the Morrison last week, Dan Beresford will instruct his boys to go for the jugular, knowing a win would take them above the Oaks.

Jason Stein’s Oaks came away heads held high following a 2-0 loss against Lions Seniors in the Morrison. The team created a catalogue of chances, but failed to maintain their composure at front of goal when it mattered most.

But Stein left the locker room feeling upbeat and he believes another good showing is in store on Sunday.

“This is a big game, DC,” Stein told JC Sport. “Our cup escapades have been and gone. We've been knocked out of both and I've come to terms with the fact we won't be walking up the steps at Wembley and there will be no two-page spread in the JC about the manager who shocked the world.

“Of course, having won the National Express Cup at Wembley in 2010, I've already experienced the glorious taste of champagne in those large dressing rooms. I digress.

"We need to wake up and smell the etrog. Promotion is our aim this season and we had good form in the league prior to the cup game. I expect that to continue this weekend. Availability is good and there are going to be some disappointed lads when the squads come out on Friday.

“I can only hope that rather than sulk, they take their anger out on their newly-purchased lulav and give it a good shake. I know that's what Roy Keane would do.”

Asked about how the squad is shaping up, Stein continued: “Haydon Davidson will make his delayed, but eagerly anticipated Oakwood B bow this weekend, and we're blessed by the presence of one or two first teamers who are stepping up their recovery from injury.

“I'm told that AC Mill Hill have got bags of pace up top, but I'm confident my back four, marshalled by skipper Elliot Jackson, will resemble four sturdy sides of a Succah."

For me, Sunday is all about how Oakwood defend, and Stein hoping the extra shooting practice has paid dividends.

Venue – Nicholas Breakspear, Ref – Alex Smith

JC star man: Haydon Davidson (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 2 Mill Hill 2





Week after week Boca manager Gabe John faces the same public questions from the media and also the same negative predictions.

This week, John and talented Boca side intend to “prove the naysayers, like JC Sports Editor Danny Caro, wrong,” with his early season predictions.

John commented: "Last week DC predicted a crushing 5-0 loss. My lads proved what a good side they could be by taking FC Team to 120 minutes. I'm a bit disappointed with all the predictions DC has made and my lads will make a big point this coming Sunday.

“With players like Dale Bradman, Josh Webber, Jack Goldsmith, Charlie Hollis, Ben Gardner et al we have a side that will prove so many doubters wrong over the season."

Hendon are looking to bring some of their cup form into the league as they travel to Boca. After defeats in their opening two league games, they bounced back with a resounding 5-1 victory over KS Reunited in the Peter Morrison Cup last weekend.

Manager Adam Glekin told JC Sport: "It was important to get a win on the board, but our main focus is still on the league where we have been disappointing so far.

“Sunday is a big game, no disrespect to Boca who are a good, young side … but we feel it's a winnable one.”

Gaffer John is talking the talk, but can his Boca side finally walk the walk?

JC team news: Glekin hopes to have key players Ezra Dulberg, Glen Turner and Ezekiel Jacobs back in the fray, but remains without Benji Silverblatt and Gideon Caller. Avi Mocton will miss the game as he has gone to Israel, probably to tell everyone about his wonder goal last Sunday, and Chaim Strom is unlikely to feature.

Venue – Roger Bannister, Ref – Laurence Thorne

JC star man: Charlie Hollis (Boca)

DC Prediction: Boca 3 Hendon 2


Match of the day in Division Three sees Faithfold looking to maintain their perfect record against a Sosobad team with the bit firmly between their teeth.

Dave Sherman was Faithfold’s hero against Fortune last week – his last-minute winner settling a five-goal thriller. Leor Harel and Jonny Gahan were the star performers in a win that left boss Rob Shooman beaming from ear to ear.

The Sosobad boys hit top gear against London Rovers – making a mockery of their 100 per cent record with a 6-0 demolition. There were excellent performances from James Law, Dave Levy, Jamie Crawford and Elliot Coulton, in a game where the goals came through Law and Coultinho were joined on the scoresheet by James Rubin (2), John Lessem and Barry Green.

You can get 100-1 on Sosobad winning 6-0 on Sunday, when they will need to get past the quality of Kosky and Barnett, but manager Dan Shafron is confident of coming away from north-west London with maximum points.

He told JC Sport: “My team have a big battle this week against a group who have been together for a long time.

“Faithfold are part of the MGBFSL furniture and we know that it will be a tough test. They have started the season well, having won all three of their opening games, and we know that if we are to compete for this championship, we must put some light between us and them.

“Last week, they beat Fortune by one goal coming in the last minute. The week before last, we beat Fortune by a big margin, but we know in this league, anything is possible.

“I was very proud of my players against London Rovers. We are raising our gears week by week. Last week, the Rovers manager said we were “okay”. That was his opinion. My opinion is that we were only okay for the last 10 minutes when we took our foot off the gas. However, for the preceding 80 minutes, we were good and I think were only in second gear.

“We can step it up plenty more notches and my players know that I will not accept them switching off mentally until the game is over. This is imperative against Faithfold who are a big, strong team with plenty of experience.

“I have many of my players available and I will be spending the next few days selecting the right squad for this game.”

Sunday will all boil down to who wins the individual and collective battles and I can’t see there being much between the teams over the course of 90 minutes.

KO at 10am. Venue is away (I think in Hatfield although I haven’t received any confirmation from Faithfold yet).

Ref – Keith Goodman, KO – 10am

JC star man: John Lessem (Sosobad)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 2 Sosobad 2


King Crown bowed out of the Morrison in the lottery that is penalties, but manager Jacob Kadoch was delighted by the level some of his squad players performed to.

Having shuffled his pack for the Masters, Kadoch confirmed his “first team will return after being rested for the cup”.

Having bagged my first Manager of the Month award of the season, it’s all systems go for the Crown lads, for whom Phil Braham has been in magical form.

Ahead of the game, Kadoch told JC Sport: “I have a full squad to choose from and the boys are very hungry for this week game.”

Fortune were pickpocketed late on by Faithfold last week, but boss Jonathan Cohen believes his team are showing signs of playing like he knows they can.

Cohen told JC Sport: “We know that King Crown will pose a tough test for us, but we know if we show the same spirit and determination that we showed last weekend and that Temple Fortune has been known for then we are more than capable of getting a result.”

Fortune have lost four on the spin. Crown have won three out of three in the league. You do the maths …

Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Robert Caplin, KO – 10am

JC star man: Yoel Deal (King Crown)

DC Prediction: King Crown 3 Fortune 1


Mid-table rivals KS and Shacharit will be looking to make headway – up rather than down – in what I expect to be an open and entertaining affair.

KS boss James Lewis will be looking for a reaction from his players after they were thumped by Hendon B in the cup last Sunday.

Looking ahead to the game, Lewis told JC Sport: “We are delighted to have a full squad to choose from and it will be great to see all our big guns out on the pitch at once.

“We put on a show in our last home game and hope to do the same again to banish the memories of last week’s lowly cup defeat to Hendon.”

Shacharit made a disastrous start in the cup against first division Brixton last week. However, Brixton’s Robert Silverman praised Shacharit’s attitude and spirit, telling me: “Even at 3-0 down after 30 minutes, they didn’t let their heads drop.

The KS boys were outstanding last time out in the league and I think they’ll have just too much for Shacharit on the day.

Venue – London Marathon Playing Fields, Ref – David Lazarus, KO – 10am

JC star man: Zack Gordon (KS)

DC Prediction: KS 3 Shacharit 1


It was more a case of pussycats than Lions last Sunday as Rowley Lane men limped out of the cup. They looked and played like a bunch of strangers – culminating in a 5-0 loss at the hands of Whetstone.

Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Rovers too after they tasted defeat for the first time – hit for six by Sosobad.

Rovers boss Jeremy Brown can’t wait to get that result out of his system. “Last Sunday was a huge disappointment,” he told JC Sport. “I have made it quite clear to my players what I expect of them and I fully expect a positive response.

“I can always accept losing to the better team, but I cannot accept when my players don't give it their all and they didn't last Sunday.

“The only way to show people that last week’s result was a one-off is by producing the type of football and results we expect on a regular basis. Only then can the pain and humiliation of that result be forgiven.

“We lost three very important points in what will be a very tough season, but we have a chance to get back on track this week and start to focus on where we want to end up.

“This is the time when characters will be tested but I have complete faith in my squad and I know they will bounce back.”

I’d be surprised if Brown’s uplifting pre-match teamtalk doesn’t wing it for the hosts.

JC team news: Adam Kay returns from his broken toe for Rovers.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Elliot Mayer

JC star man: Adam Kay (Rovers)

DC Prediction: Rovers 2 Lions 1

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