MGBSFL Matchday 8 preview

Several lower league teams will be looking to make a name for themselves in the Cyril Anekstein Cup, with giantkilling the name of the game. Danny Caro poses the question, will it be the year of the underdog?





Fairlop go into this tie against first division rivals Los Camden B as strong favourites for a couple of reasons.

They crushed them 5-1 in the league just over a month ago, when Max Freedman (2), Daryl Rubin, James Jaconelli and Harrison Grant were the scorers. The east Londoners have been the model of consistency so far this season, with an excellent defensive record, and well-placed to push for the title, a good cup run will certainly boost their coffers in case they need to bring in some big signings for the second half of the season.

Fairlop boss Aaron Dias started his pre-match press conference with a special tribute to his goalkeeper. He told JC Sport: "Firstly, a special mention to Alfie Rosen, who last week made his debut, stepping in for our injured stopper Jake Sanders. Unfortunately Alfie got his studs stuck in the ground and has broken his ankle. He undergoes surgery soon and we wish him well and a speedy recovery. It was a horrible incident and the last 20 minutes of the game last week, and it wasn't enjoyable for anyone whilst we waited for the ambulance to arrive.

"On to this week, a welcome break from the league, the pre-season target was to win the league and a cup, so we'll be fielding a strong side on Sunday looking to progress to the next round."

Los Camden have started slowly, but they gave table-toppers Redbridge A a big scare last week. 0-4 down at half-time, they showed tremendous fight and spirit as they scored three times and were only denied a point by some inspired goalkeeping.

But they find themselves in the midst of a tough run of fixtures, with league games against Oakwood and Bayern to follow, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they opted to rotate the squad to keep their top players fresh for the battles ahead in the league campaign.

JC team news: Fairlop will be missing goalkeeper Alfie Rosen who suffered a suspected broken ankle in last week’s win over Bayern. Striker James Jaconelli returns after a week away, "the board sent him on an expedition to the North Pole to coll down after a month of being on fire!"

Venue – 7 Kings Stadium, Ref – John Smith, KO – 10am

JC star man: Daniel Bean (Fairlop)

DC Prediction: Fairlop 4 Los Camden 0




You can be sure Sam Rank and Richard Bronzite have been in contact this week ahead of RJC’s mouth-watering tie against second division leaders Faithfold B.

Redbridge B are the only team to have beaten the Superhoops this season, when Steve Summers scored the only goal of the game. I suspect he could feature again on Sunday.

Rank laid into his players after the 4-3 win over Los Camden last weekend. They had the game won at half-time, or so they thought, with one or two players clearly on the beach as they let their opponents back into the game.

James Berkley was likened to Moussa Dembele after his fabulous four-goal performance, with Nate Kashket adding another strike to his copybook.

Rank insists this cup game "will be a welcome distraction from the busy league campaign and RJC rivalry with Fairlop". He told JC Sport: "We have quite a few attacking players missing this week, as with two big games coming up in next month, they are being rested to ensure they are in prime condition. However, with the squad available, this will still be good enough to progress to the next round.

"Faithold B – the old Real Hendon or Hendon B - are a good side and are currently sitting top of Division Two, in a division where everyone can beat everyone. They will be hard-working and look to get behind the RJC a backline, but with the strength of RJC A defence this should not be a problem. The game will be a close encounter, but RJC will just have enough quality to get them through, especially with the man-of-the-moment Nate Kashket ready to fire."

Rank will be having a week off managing the team to concentrating on playing duties this week, with No. 2 Johan Simberg taking charge.

Faithfold produced a strong team display as they returned to winning ways with an impressive 4-1 win over Scrabble. They will go into this game feeling they have nothing to lose, with several members of the team boasting first division experience.

Manager Martin Smulovitch described his Faithfold team as "massive underdogs" for this cup tie. But he told JC Sport; "We have the quality to cause an upset and will relish the opportunity to give the players freedom to express themselves and show these Essex lads how us north-west Londoners can play!"

Smulovitch knows the key to stopping RJC from playing is to stop James Berkley and Nate Kashket from playing. But if they over-compensate, I expect one of the other RJC stars to stand up and deliver.

JC team news: RJC have a lot of players out this week, including Kier Dickson, Calvin Dickson, Alex Paraskeva and Dean Ben Yosef. Russell Goldstein has been ruled out until the new year with hamstring injury. Steve Summers, Adam Hakimi, Danny Hakimi, Dan Gordon, Daniel Wexler, Ryan Silkman, Sam McCarthy and Lee Cutler could all be drafted in.

Ref – Neal Cohen, KO – 10am

JC star man: Adam Noble (RJC)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 1 RJC 2




Second division FC Team will be smelling an upset when Premier Division Faithfold come to town.

Mitch Young’s troops go into the game on the back of a record-breaking win over Faithfold’s third string, and it probably isn’t in Avi Markiewicz’s interests to get the low-down on Sunday’s opponents from managers Ben Kfir and Rob Shooman.

While Faithfold were being ultimately well beaten by Oakwood, Team registered an incredible 15 goals, with Connor Perl 5, Josh Morris (3) and Young (4) the chief destroyers.

No doubt Young will have his side set up to cause an upset. He sees this tie as much more than just a bonus game. He will see it as an opportunity to be splashed all across the backpages of the JC.

Faithfold finally ended their long search for a top-notch goalkeeper when they signed the much-travelled Ben Law. I expect him to be kept busy by an FC Team strikeforce who will go for the jugular.

And it promises to be an emotional morning for Faithfold’s Lorian Madanes, formerly of FC Team. Young knows he’s capable of scoring wonder goals, while the pace and trickery of David Leiwy will keep the home defence on its toes. 

Ahead of kick-off, Superhoops player-manager Avi Markiewicz told JC Sport: "Last week was difficult - we’ve had a very up and down season so far, some fantastic results, such as HMH, and some disappointing ones, such as Oakwood. In front of goal is clearly not our problem but we need to sure up the defence a lot more.

"FC team put 15 goals past our C team and I'd like to say that we are going to get revenge for that, but I’m taking nothing for granted. My teams, whether London Rovers, RCUK or Faithfold, have a history of knocking out higher division teams and know that if we don’t put in a real shift the same will happen here against us.

"Too make things even tougher, we are missing several key players. I just hope we have enough strength in depth to get the result we want."

It’s definitely one not to miss.

Venue - Hertswood, Ref – Stuart Ansher, KO – 10am

JC star man: Ben Law (Faithfold)

DC Prediction: Team 1 Faithfold 2




It could be calculators at the ready as Hendon United fans will turn up in their droves expecting a rugby score.

The Red men had a tough work-out against HMH last week, with a strike from Yehuda Korman ensuring they came away with a point from another big test.

But Jordan Sapler is expected to tinker with his squad, and there could be starting places for Simon Peterman and Jordan Mizrahi, who have warmed the bench in recent weeks.

Looking ahead to the game, Hendon boss Sapler told JC Sport: “We aren’t too sure what to expect from Temple Fortune; they are a club with a decorated history and set a great example to the rest of the clubs in the league. Football-wise we know they have mixed results in Division Two, but we will not be taking league position for granted. 

"We’ve seen it happen before, where a supposed ‘better’ team has become complacent and then lost. We can promise that we won’t be and we will give them respect but make no mistake we’re ready to go and win this game and I’m looking for a dominating performance of which the boys are more than capable of.

"We have the aim of winning the treble, we’ve made a solid start in the league and this is the beginning of part two." Sapler also confirmed the "senior players such, as Avi Korman and Ari Last, will be managing his my absence.

Fortune were given the run-around by Zac Neiman last week, but the arrival of Max Martin, the former L’Equipe hot-shot, means they finally have a genuine goal-scoring threat. I expect him to thrive in Division Two, but he won’t get any change out of one of the league’s meanest defences.

I expect Hendon to win at a canter, without needing to get out of first gear.

JC team news: Zac Lewis and Yoav Kestenbaum return from injury for Hendon, and along with the availability of Zac Garbacz, "those three bring tremendous talent to the squad. Josh Harris is rated 50:50, while both Russell and Greg Corin are away. Yoni Gordon-Teller will deputise in goal. Jordan Mizrahi will play his last game before two months of travelling.

Venue - Hadley, Ref – Bob Caplin, KO – 10am

JC star man: Jordan Mizrahi (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 5 Fortune 0




Looking for a big cup upset this weekend? This could be the game … Hertswood Vale have their tails up after a big win in front of the JC cameras, and they will be relishing their big day out against an out-of-sorts Brady.

The bigger they come, the harder they fall. That’ll be slogan used in Jacob Emanuel and Danny Hirschberger’s teamtalk for the ambitious second division outfit, for whom James Millet and Ben Mandel impressed for in the thrilling 5-2 victory over Raiders Masters last weekend.

Ahead of arguably the biggest game in their history, Emanuel told JC Sport: "A cup run would be nice but the league is our absolute priority this season.

"Despite sitting bottom of the Premier Division, we'd be stupid in thinking that Brady aren't a good side. From my knowledge, their team is full of talented players, many of whom have decent experience playing in the league's top division. If we don't turn up on Sunday, we could get blown out the park very, very quickly.

"We're looking forward to testing ourselves against a quality side but unfortunately we don't find ourselves in the best shape going into the game. We suffered another casualty in our game against Raiders Masters last weekend, to add to our growing list of players unavailable through injury or otherwise still finding itself in double figures.

"There will be some notable absentees this weekend, with myself and Danny choosing not to rush back certain players in the cup. Despite this, we'll be going to Rowley Lane with our strongest possible team in an attempt to pull off one of the biggest cupsets in recent history."

From playing a team of 35+s, the Vale boys must prepare for a very different kind of challenge – as Emanuel has said, top-flight Brady are packed with fit, young and strong players who will be up for the battle.

The cup comes as a welcome distration for a Brady team for whom, it would be fair to say, this season hasn't gone as planned. Boss Joel Nathan told JC Sport: "After not playing for two weeks, we are keen to get back on the pitch and kick start our season.

"We know we have not been doing well, however I am convinced that we can turn this around and the cup gives us that opportunity.

"Hertswood are top of Division Two and therefore we are not taking them lightly, and I am sure they will feel we are there for the taking given our start to the season. But we will be ready for whatever they throw at us."

Indeed losing won’t be an option for Joel Nathan’s boys. It would be unthinkable. Simple as that.

JC team news: Jack Shulman, Zach Mandel and Simon Englander return, whilst a number of Vale players including Ben Davis, Ollie Marshall, Josh Wood and Svi Freedman find themselves on the sideline. James Millet faces a late fitness test. Striker Harry Graham has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a broken wrist by the Vale medical staff.

Brady are "hopeful of having a virtual full-strength team to choose from".

Venue - Ark, Ref – Robert Benardout, KO – 10am

JC star man: Harry Fine (Brady)

DC Prediction: Vale 1 Brady 1 (Brady win on pens)




HMH are one of the favourites for the League Cup and manager Avi Goldberg will ensure there is no complacency ahead of the visit of second division Mill Hill Dons.

They gave as good as they got against defending league champions Hendon United last weekend, making it four points out of a possible six. They played both games with no fear and can be proud of that effort. But Goldberg won’t let his players rest of their laurels. He’ll expect them to go even harder against opponents that have already lost three times this season.

Speaking to JC Sport on the eve of the game, HMH boss Goldberg commented: Our Cyril anekstein cup debut arrives on Sunday. Honestly I don’t know anything about Mill Hill, so we will have the backroom staff working overtime.

"Nevertheless, I will ask the lads to put in the same performance as last Sunday against Hendon as that is the level we need to reach every week and if we do so we are ready for anyone." And in a bid to get striker Adam Abadi firing again, Goldberg joked: "Let's hope he remembers to bring his shooting boots this week!"

It’s too early to rule the Dons out of the title race, and a good performance here is what boss Brandon Hamme will be looking for. His team’s fitness levels and battling qualities will be put to the test from the very first whistle. Of that there can be no doubt.

Hamme is sticking to his guns and believes the results must come soon. "We created loads of chances but a lack of conviction in front of goal cost us last time out," he told JC Sport. "As a whole the performance was impressive, we played some great stuff but just let ourself down in front of goal.

"On Sunday we know we come up against our hardest opposition this season. We know we are in for a test but we are up for the challenge."

Hamme has limited knowledge of HMH, but he had some nice words about their leading marksman. "I had the pleasure of managing Adam Abadi for Team GB in Hungary earlier this year, so I’m fully aware of the quality he possesses," remarked Hamme. "It would be dangerous to just focus on him solely, because they have quality players throughout the side. But anything can happen in 90 minutes and if we play to the best of our ability we can give HMH a good game."

The Dons have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and you can get 20-1 on Sam Singer and the back four keeping HMH out.

JC team news: Injuries continue to hit the HMH squad, "but slowly they are coming back to fitness". It "might be a week too early" for Ben Winters, Julian Meir and Jonny May but Sam Monjack is back in contention for a place in the squad having missed the last three games and Oscar Wagner will be looking to add to his tally following his goal scoring return last weekend.

For the Dons, Jamie Nagioff and Josh Moses are both out injured, with Zach Cohen and Sam Stead facing late fitness tests.

Venue - Hive, Ref – Stephen Levy, KO – 10am

JC star man: Josh Goldstein (HMH)

DC Prediction: HMH 3 Dons 1




This is the north London derby that everyone is talking about as Galaxy hosts Raiders.

Luke Lewis’s Galaxy have scored 17 goals in their last two matches and they go into the tie on the back of a week off. The offer of a warm weather training camp was turned down as Lewis and co know a red-hot derby atmosphere awaits.

"It the big one this week," Lewis told JC Sport. "I'm pleased to tell you we have our captain fantastic, the best Jewish footballer in the business, Jake Rinsler back from two months out on Sunday.

"Our team is looking very strong for this week and we have our eyes set on the next round - we are going to hound Raiders like a rash on Sunday. They better be ready for the game of their lives.

"We're back at the jungle for the first time since the opening game of the season and the fans are ready - its show time!  Nothing but a win, nothing. Anything for the Galaxy." 

Raiders are buzzing after a thrilling comeback win at Oakwood B. Aron Gale is playing like a man possessed, while the arrival of Charlie Kasler has given them another dimension. Kas is a fantastic baller and he will be looking to own the pitch.

NLR joint-manager Jake Yudelowitz told JC Sport: "We would love a cup run. After last week’s comeback victory, there should have been some momentum within the squad. Unfortunately there seems to be an endless list of absentees, so our side will be pretty makeshift. Having said that, the boys who play will be playing to win and give us the best possible chance of progressing in the cup."

But Galaxy have some superb players of their own and it could all boil down to which teams wants it most.

JC team news: Joining the Galaxy squad are two of the "golden generation" - Tyler Smith and Jack Mattey. They also welcome back vice-captain Dan Brennan following a back injury.

Raiders have "too many players missing" to mention. However, Jake Doffman returns. 

Ref – Richard Jaye, KO – 10am

JC star man: Scott Waissel (NLR)

DC Prediction: Galaxy 3 Raiders 2 (edited after receiving team news!)




Faithfold C fans beware. Oakwood are still hurting after their game of two halves against Raiders last weekend.

In true Mourinho style, boss Jason Stein questioned the character of his team and he has asked them to show if they have the fight for a battle. I expect them to fly out of the traps and have the game won by half-time. And ensure there are no slip-ups in the second half.

Dan Selwyn and Daniel Seligman are a fantastic double act; give them chances and they will score. I can see Oakwood cutting the Faithfold defence to ribbons with their pace, power and movement. Stein will demand a minimum of 7/10s for every player and I think he’ll get it.

Venue – Nicholas Breakspear, Ref – Nigel Kyte, KO – 10am

JC star man: Ben Polak (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 9 Faithfold 0




An Oakwood win-double looks odds-on this weekend. Having hit Faithfold A for six in the league last Sunday, I’m predicting double figures for the cup holders on Sunday.

Josh Bharier made the pitch his stage with one of the best individual performances in recent years, and it’s no surprise joint-manager Dan Kristall told JC readers of his target of being acclaimed as the best player in the MGBSFL this season.

Leor Sidle is also looking like the reliable goal machine he was signed as. His double would’ve filled him with confidence and I can see him cashing in on some generous defending against the first division strugglers.

I’m also predicting a big game from Kyle Bentwood. Oakwood’s Mr Reliable will boss the midfield and I can see Toby Levy and Brad Wine getting plenty of joy bombing forward.

Damage limitation could be Scrabble’s best bet.

Venue - Hive, KO – 10am

JC star man: Toby Levy (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Scrabble 0 Oakwood 10



Match postponed - Raiders forfeited due to an injury crisis. If anyone knows a good physio or three ...





1. Fairlop FC Pl. 6, W. 5, Pts. 16

2. Redbridge JC A Pl. 6, W. 14, Pts. 14


TOP-SCORERS - 9 - Nate Kashket (Redbridge JC A), 8 - Adam Ellis (Bayern Mincha)


Jewdinese will be looking to pull five points clear of Bayern when the teams meet in one of just two MGBSFL this weekend.

‘Nese filled their boots against Scrabble last Sunday, with Sam Stern, Zac Brin and Zach Collins fighting over the matchball at the end after claiming hat-tricks.

Sim Cohen also scored a fabulous free-kick, it was really a beauty one.

Sunday marks the beginning of a crucial spell in ‘Nese’s season. They face leaders Redbridge and promotion rivals Oakwood over the coming weeks, so it’s vital they continue to pick up the points in their bid to climb the table.

Defensively, ‘Nese are in a good place too. They’ve kept three clean sheets in five games and will be looking to frustrate a Bayern team who have failed to win any of their last three games.

Boss Darren Lawrence knows the importance of three points on Sunday. "This week we have a full squad to choose from, giving me a real selection headache," he told JC Sport. "It's a really big game for us, as picking up nine points out of nine before a huge match against Redbridge would be a huge boost for the team.

"It’s one of our games in hand this week, but I’d rather have points on the board than games in hand, so it’s vital we give the home fans something to cheer about on Sunday. I’m hoping we haven’t used up all our goals after last week’s dominant display."

Lawrence would not give away any tactics, but he had this to say: "As I’m sure every team do when preparing to face Mincha, we’re working out a way to keep Adam Ellis quiet. However, with our rock solid centre-back pairing of Adam Gold and Brandon Sassoon, who have conceded no goals when playing together this season, we’re sure that we’ll be able to stop him."

Alon Pinhas scored in the 2-1 defeat at Redbridge last weekend – a game in which top-scorer Ellis failed to register. It’s important other players step up to plate as they look to end a worrying run.

However, joint-manager Daniel Holder admits this game is coming at a bad time for the club, amid an ever-growing injury crisis. He told JC Sport: "Before the Fairlop game, we already had five players out, with an additional two pulling out injured on the eve of the game."

Holder picked out the positives from the game and went on to say: "Despite such absentees, we were still extremely unlucky not to come away from Fairlop with a point. Against a team like Fairlop, the performance of my players illustrated our squad depth.

"This week we are in an even worse state. It doesn’t seem to be getting easier on that front. However, with defeats to Fairlop and Oakwood on the spin, this week against Jewdinese is simply must-win. We don’t know too much about them as they are a new team, but they have had an exceptional start to the campaign and we believe they have a very solid defence.

"Due to the importance of the game and the quality we have, I do believe we can bring home the three points. The defence is also in great shape, with Tomer Tricot and Simon Zeffert both in exceptional form. We know it will be an extremely tough fixture that could be decided in the final 20 minutes.

I’m predicting a cagey affair and can see it finishing honours even.

JC team news: Bayern will be missing striker Adam Ellis, Jake Dayan, Daniel Jacob, Ben Levene, Philippe Auret, Gav Nussbaum and Sam Kanter, whilst Alon Pinhas is a doubt. Adam Biton and Avi Solomon are likely to spearhead our attack and provide a substantial threat, whilst Sam Leader returns.

Venue – Queens School, Ref – Phil Peters, KO – 10am

JC star man: Nick Cooper (Bayern)

DC Prediction: ‘Nese 1 Bayern 1






1. Faithfold Doc MM B FC Pl. 7, W. 5, Pts. 16

2. Hertswood Vale Pl. 6, W. 5, Pts. 15


TOP-SCORERS - 8 - Zac Neiman (SPEC FC), 7 - Conor Perl, Mitch Young, Richard Salmon (all FC Team), James Millet (Hertswood Vale), Zach Cohen (Mill Hill Dons)


Redbridge have had a funny old season so far. They beat table-toppers Faithfold B last time out but have also lost to Raiders Masters and were heavily beaten by Vale. Having shown us both sides to their game, it’s hard to know which RJC team will turn up on Sunday.

SPEC FC have made a strong start. Zac Neiman’s third hat-trick of the season inspired them to an important win over Temple Fortune last week. His presence has clearly lifted an experienced squad that are definitely one of the contenders this season.

Having attracted several former Raiders players in Matt Leader, Mark Leader, Josh Green and Adam Joselyn, they have a solid spine and look a real threat.

RJC also boast great experience in their ranks, several cup winners (noch) in Danny Berg, Ben Sollosi and the Hakimi brothers. In MGBSFL terms, they have been there, seen it and bought the T-shirt.

Ahead of the game, RJC boss Richard Bronzite told JC Sport: "I don't know much about SPEC to be honest. Looking at the table, it's obvious they are goal-happy, so we have to be at our very best to get a result.

"They don't have the best defensive record, so that gives us something to work with. I'm sure it will be a good game of football on a decent surface (GRASS)!

But with Steve Summers and Craig Sandford expected to stay with the A-team for the cup this weekend, I can see SPEC doing enough to claim a famous win.

JC team news: Gaffer Bronzite changed his tone towards the press conference when asked about squad info for the weekend clash. "It's easier to talk about all the players out rather than in for Sunday," he remarked. "We cCurrently have eight players out - Summers, Hakimi x2, Flash, Wexler, Silkman, Macca and Cutler. We will have a team and hopefully a few subs but I'm currently working on them."

Venue - Fairlop, Ref – David Lazarus, KO – 10am

JC star man: Elliott Cantor (SPEC)

DC Prediction: RJC 1 SPEC 2





PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Josh Bharier (Oakwood A)

MANAGERS OF THE WEEK: Jake Yudelowitz, Gideon Gale, David Isaacs & Tal Cohen (NL Raiders)

GOAL OF THE WEEK: Scott Waissel (North London Raiders)

SAVE OF THE WEEK: Matt Kemp (Redbridge JC A)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Ray Abrahams (Scrabble FC)

REFEREE OF THE WEEK: Neal Cohen (Los Camden B vs Redbridge JC A)



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