MGBSFL Matchday Nine preview

There's a full league programme in store, with three key matches in the MGBSFL Premier Division, as well as eye-catching match-ups in Division One and Two.





YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE: (all 10am kick-offs unless stated)



TOP-SCORERS 6 - Avi Markiewicz (Faithfold DocMM White), 5 - Zack Lewis (Hendon Utd Sports), Benji Weinberger (Maccabi London FC Blue), Josh Cuby (Oakwood A)


HMH are preparing for what could be another physical 90 minutes when they make the long journey east to take on Fairlop at 7 Kings.

They won a war of attrition against Camden Park to move up to second place last weekend, with a penalty from Ethan Krell all that separated the teams.

Patience was key for Avi Goldberg’s boys who kept knocking on the door until they made the all-important breakthrough.

Looking ahead to the trip to Essex, Goldberg told JC Sport: "Fairlop is a relatively unknown quantity to us. Most of us don't even know where Ilford is so waze will be working overtime come the crack of dawn on Sunday. We played them in PM cup last year but they have since kicked on so we will need to bring our A-game on Sunday.

"We have been very strong defensively of late and it is now 270 minutes of league match time in which we have not conceded since the opening day. At the other end of the pitch, we are creating many chances each game with fast, possession-based free flowing football and one of these days I suspect an opposing a team is going to be on the receiving end of a hiding!"

Fairlop came through a footballing marathon of their own last Sunday. Their walking wounded needed penalties to see off Faithfold in the Cyril Anekstein Cup, and manager Aaron Dias hopes they are able to keep that momentum going against the north-west Londoners.

Max Freedman became Fairlop’s 11th goalkeeper in two seasons – but he did the job exceedingly well, making a crucial save in the penalty shoot-out victory. They are definitely one of the teams to avoid in the hat for round three.

Ahead of kick-off, Fairlop’s Jake Sanders told JC Sport: “We are excited after our heroics last weekend and hoping that will we get our first-ever Premier victory at the third time of asking.

"The boys will have extra motivation after our 9-0 defeat to HMH in the cup last season.”

I can see this being a cagey affair, with no quarter asked or given. Don’t be surprised if it’s settled by a moment of individual brilliance.

JC team news: It's good news for once as Fairlop welcome back a host of senior players, including captain Bradley Gayer and they have the rarity a goalkeeper playing in goal. Arron Rose (hamstring) misses out.

HMH will be missing Adam Ellis and Eli Wegrzyn but Dom Feldman returns and "one man who is raring to go this Sunday is Nate Kashket who missed out last week but who can’t wait to get back to scoring at his old stomping ground". 

Venue – 7 Kings

JC star man: Nate Kashket (HMH)

DC Prediction: Fairlop 0 HMH 1



Hendon beat Faithfold DocMM White three times last season and they will be looking to continue that monopoly on Sunday.

Jordan Sapler’s troops won 10-4, 3-0 and 1-0 and their will be eyeing a sixth consecutive win in Maccabi football this season when Avi Markiewicz’s troops are the visitors.

The defending champions are averaging more than four goals a game and their attacking options, which include Zack Lewis, Dovi Fehler, Josh Harris, Chaim Korman and Kiki Levin, will be looking to build on last week’s 7-1 cup demolition of first division Brook Farm Rovers – another team who play in green and white hoops.

Ahead of the meeting with Faithfold, Hendon boss Sapler told JC Sport: “It's always a tough game against Faithfold – they’ve been quite inconsistent this year, so we aren’t sure what they’ll have about them.

“We know they have Yoav Kestenbaum, who will be their main threat, but they are always well-drilled and dangerous going forward.”

Asked about Hendon’s tactical approach to the game, Sapler added: “We will look to exploit their defensive frailties. We’ve been superb this year in attack and defence and our results show that.

“We know what we have to do and will continue that form going back into the league.

“Although it's very early in the season, we find ourselves two points clear, with a game in hand and three huge fixtures coming up over the next month. This is the first of those and a win will set us in good shape for the month ahead.”

Faithfold huffed and puffed in their cup meeting with Fairlop last weekend, managing an 88th minute equaliser before bowing out on penalties. Their fans hope there will be no cup hangover for a game in which I expect them to be on the back foot on for long spells.

Ahead of kick-off, Faithfold boss Avi Markiewicz told JC Sport: "After a disappointing game against Fairlop where we should have won after several obvious penalty appeals were turned down, we are looking forward to what is alway an exciting and entertaining clash against Hendon. So far this club hasn’t in any of its formats managed to get a result against them but we are optimistic this time.

"At the end of last year we were struggling to get 11 men. This year I have so many players that I am having to leave excellent players out the squad. This week is no difference."

I can’t see Faithfold denying Hendon space to create chances. They will also have to stop the supply line to the strikers and although attack could be the best form of defence, I think Hendon will have too much on the day.

JC team news: Ari Last, Avi Korman, Jonti Aremband are all out injured. Zack Lewis and Jonny Kay are unavailable while Simon Peterman and Josh Harris are both doubtful. Yehuda Korman is available for selection.

Dovi Vogel returns for Faithfold and "he is a huge player for us". David Clements has re-signed for the club. They are looking to David Leiwy and Akiva Solomon "to really make a difference" and for Avi Mocton and Martin Smulovitch "to be solid at the back. If we can do that we have an excellent chance".

Venue – Hadley FC

JC star man: Yehuda Korman (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 3 Faithfold 1



Oakwood are proving hard to beat under new boss Andrea Fraquelli, but they are still some way off being the team that blew rivals off the park a couple of years ago.

They dug deep to grind out a point against MLFC at Rowley Lane last weekend, with top-scorer Josh Cuby rescuing a draw with two expertly-taken penalties.

The Oaks have a rock-solid spine in James Hiller, Alex Lee, Kyle Bentwood and Cuby, but they must find a consistent level of performance to compliment those big-hitters.

A feisty affair is on the cards against a Camden Park team that have lost four out of five in the league.

They gave a good account of themselves against HMH last weekend, losing to “a contentious penalty” in a game where they gave as good as they got.

Gaffer Stirling Kay took plenty of positives from the game, praising his team’s “discipline and work ethic”. A similar effort will be required on Sunday.

I’m predicting a tight affair, full of tackles, with Oakwood nicking an ugly win.

Venue – Ark Academy

JC star man: Dan Seligman (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 1 Camden 0




TOP-SCORERS 10 - Zach Cohen (Mill Hill Dons), 9 - James Millet (Hertswood Vale), 7 - Reiss Mogilner (Jewdinese)


Hertswood Vale will be relishing a trip to Rowley Lane where they will be looking to make a big statement against an MLFC team still awaiting their first win.

Vale went crushed Club De Chigwell 8-2 a fortnight ago, with James Millet – one of the stars of the season so far – producing another master-class to the tune of four goals.

The visitors will arrive nice and fresh and joint-manager Jacob Emanuel tells me they are good to go.

“The boys are buzzing at the prospect of our first league match since the beginning of October,” he told JC Sport. “A couple of cup games and a week off has thwarted our strong start to our league season, and we’re keen to get back on it.

“We face MLFC Red on Sunday and unsurprisingly, since the merger between London Lions and Brady, I don’t know too much about our opposition. It appears that that they have a young team, who despite a slow start to the league season, are clearly more than capable of performing in Division One.

“Following their draw in the cup a fortnight against Galaxy, it’s clear that Sunday's match is going to be extremely competitive, and I’m looking forward to locking horns with Joel Nathan. 

“We have essentially a full squad available for Sunday, which means another week of selection headaches as we have to narrow that down to just 14 - the quality of our squad this season makes this a difficult task.

“Sunday marks the start of two must-win games in Division One – let’s see what we’re made of.”

MLFC will be concerned by the number of goals they have already conceded. A back to basics approach is needed if they are to stop a free-flowing Vale team who will be going for the win.

JC team news: Vale welcome back Charlie Becker, Jamie Steinberg, Dan Reuben and captain James Neidle for this one, while Zach Mandel has recovered from a niggling ankle injury to make himself available for contention.

Venue – Rowley Lane 3G

JC star man: Harry Graham (Vale)

DC Prediction: MLFC 1 Vale 2



Mill Hill Dons “showcased what they were capable of” by hitting Scrabble for six last time out.

Isaac Virchis became their third hat-trick scorer of the season, but the key now is about getting points on the board in the league.

But on Sunday they will face a Raiders team that are full of confidence and flying. However, an alleged 'legal case' overshadows this Sunday’s game, according to Dons' boss Brandon Hamme. He told JC Sport: "After David Isaacs’ desperate attempt to sign Zach Cohen from us for the 37th time, Zach went and got a restraining order against the Raiders manager. Isaacs will have to watch the game from the stands so he is far enough from Zach come kick-off. We brought Raiders in for a training session last season the week of their Barry Goldstein Final against Galaxy, we gave them superb one to one coaching, tactical advice and free visits with the club’s physio. All we asked for in return was a pre-season friendly, then late on they cancelled on us. Never in my 25 years on this planet have I felt so betrayed. On Sunday we seek revenge."

Looking ahead to the game, Hamme went on to say: "We welcome Raiders to the Stade de Marlborough, renowned worldwide for it’s infamous à la slopé. We need to take advantage of its unique style and make it our fortress and a difficult place for teams to come and play the way they would normally would.

"We are coming off a performance that was by far the best we have had this season when we faced Scrabble last time out. We showcased what we are capable of but now we just need to do it at a consistent basis.

"On Sunday we come up against the team which I think on their day are probably the best in this division. We know we need to be at our best to give them a good game.

"I know that we are capable of doing that but we need to have the right mentality from the start and be switched on throughout. Tactically, we are looking at different things in training that we could implement come Sunday. A result on Sunday would be a real statement, the boys are all raring to go.

"Raiders are playing front-foot football and they have shown a big improvement defensively in recent weeks. Liron Mannie scored four times in the 8-0 mauling of Redbridge last weekend, with Matt Warner chipping in with a brace."

Looking ahead to the Mill Hill game, joint-manager David Isaacs told JC Sport: “Game six for us in the league and we come up against Brandon Hamme’s Dons.

"On paper, this game looks like a straight-forward three points on the board, however I watched a game of the Dons last year and I know this will be tricky encounter and we will have to watch out for Zach Cohen, who is the top-scorer in our division, and also their midfielder Isaacs Virchis.

“I have also heard rumours that Joshua Cinna may be in line for a return from injury and if that is the case this could make our task harder. However, I am confident of the boys getting the three points and staying top of the league."

Look out for two mouth-watering head to heads – Zach Cohen against NLR skipper Josh Bloom. It promises to be a titanic tussle and will be won and lost in midfield.

JC team news: Former Raiders player Scott Waissel is out as he continues to recover from his ankle injury, but Gary Lewin has said he is ahead of schedule with his recovery and could be back earlier than expected. Ben Rodol remains out as well but both could be set for returns next month. Josh Cinna is out still with lingering knee issues, while Adam Lisberg and skipper Nick Phillips are unavailable.

Raiders welcome back Aron Gale and Ed Brafman to the squad, however they have bad news as Daniel Behar, who scored his first goal for the club last week, will be out for the rest of the calendar year with a dislocated shoulder and “we all wish him at the club a speedy recovery”.

Venue – Marlborough Science Academy

JC star man: Matt Warner (NLR)

DC Prediction: Dons 2 NLR 3



Joint-leaders Galaxy are fully focused on Sunday’s meeting with Jewdinese – a game manager Luke Lewis can’t wait for.

Lewis cut a relieved figure after their comeback win against SPEC FC – with Jake Moss scoring his first competitive hat-trick for the club.

“On Sunday our resilience shone through and we managed to get three points from a game which last year we’d have gone onto lose, which is a testament to us as a team and shows how we’ve progressed,” Lewis told JC Sport.

“Our unity is something which is getting us over games and we have an incredible attitude when going behind.”

“I’ve got real selection dilemmas when picking with squad with 19 players available and wanting to play.”

‘Nese warmed up for the game with an 8-0 mauling of Bayern Mincha. The boy Mogilner scored his second hat-trick of the season and he will be determined to show Lewis and co he has the stomach for a battle.

Looking ahead to the match, 'Nese boss Darren Lawrence told JC Sport: "The boys are buzzing for Sunday’s huge grudge match against Galaxy. It is clear there is no love lost between the two teams and both will be desperate for bragging rights.

"We know what Galaxy are about - they can play decent football and have some decent players (providing they’re back from uni). But we have more than enough talent in our ranks to beat them."

He went on to say: "No doubt we’ll have to be on our game for the full 90 minutes but I will ensure the boys’ concentration is on the match and nothing else.

"Dropping points on Sunday would give us a real mountain to climb if we want to win the league, so we know how important these three points could be. We’re without a league game for two weeks after Sunday so this is a vital game for us."

Jewdinese have games in hand as they look to push up the table. But a win of any description here would certainly put the cat among the pigeons.

JC team news: Josh Shack returns to the Galaxy squad on Sunday, “with bags of experience and quality. Watch out for Dinho on Sunday - I’m feeling a BIG performance”. As well as Dinho, the in demand Ethan Kessel joins the squad feeling “fitter than ever”. Galaxy are “touch and go with a couple other players but we’re blessed with quality at Galaxy, we just need to go out and put on a display to remember”.

'Nese are without captain Adam Gold for Sunday, while James Ross and Billy Lee face late fitness tests.

Venue – East Barnet School

JC star man: Ethan Kessel (Galaxy)

DC Prediction: NLG 2 Nese 1



There will be a real party atmosphere at this historic meeting between SPEC and Rovers on Sunday.

SPEC have invested a lot of time and effort sourcing a venue that manager Ricky Lawrence believes will get the best out of his squad, and I expect them to be strutting around like peacocks.

“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for a while, our first home game of the season at our brand new ground,” an excited Lawrence told JC Sport.

“The fans have been patient and have shown great support travelling to all of these away games but now the big one is here.

“We’re looking forward to our first-ever meeting with Brook Farm Rovers. We’ll be hoping to kick-off our home campaign with a win but know there’s no easy games at this level.”

SPEC felt they did enough to earn at least a point against Galaxy last weekend but they could not keep the joint-leaders out, despite a hat-trick from goal machine Zack Neiman.

Rovers are handily placed in mid-table in their first season in the MGBSFL. They were well beaten by Hendon United in the cup last weekend but prior to that they had been on a decent run and their focus is on finishing as high up the table as possible.

Joint-player-manager Dan Cohen told JC Sport: "Due to several injuries, suspensions and players away, we take a very thin squad with us to face SPEC away this week. Nevertheless, we know that a win will see us leapfrog our opponents in the table, so it’s a massive opportunity.

"For over an hour last week, we really took the game to Hendon and they knew it, so we are still full of confidence going into Sunday.

"We know little about SPEC but given our positions and results so far, it looks like it will be a tight encounter. We believe we have what it takes to come out on top and stretch our recent unbeaten run in the league to four games."

The green and whites have yet to make a statement win in the division. Sunday is their chance, but SPEC are a wily bunch and I can see them coming away with maximum points as long as they don’t let the occasion get the better of them.

Venue – St James Catholic School, KO – 10.15am

JC star man: Scott Gurvitz (SPEC)

DC Prediction: SPEC 3 BFR 1






11 - Jono Gaon (Hampstead Ducks), 8 - Danny Sherman (Temple Fortune), Simon Cohen (Temple Fortune)


Club de Chigwell have enjoyed a couple of big wins over the last two and they will go into Sunday’s meeting with Faithfold all guns blazing.

Daniel Garfinkle and Saul Green have formed a formidable partnership as the team have quietly moved into fourth spot, on the heels of FC Team Temple Fortune and Borussia Barnet.

It’s clear CdC mean business this season and joint-manager Adam Conway told JC Sport: “We go into Sunday’s game with confidence after a strong second half last week.

“We can’t under-estimate Faithfold having seen their result against Borussia Barnet and will have to be on our best to come away with the three points.”

Jamie Rodney earned Faithfold a point against high-flying Borussia and the Superhoops have shown they can be stubborn opponents on their day.

In terms of a prediction, I think Faithfold will huff and puff but the Essex boys will eventually blow their house down, with Garfinkle determined to boost his Golden Boot credentials.

JC team news: CdC are “similar to last week on the injury front,” however they will definitely be missing Joe Klein for a few weeks due to university commitments.

Venue – Tempsford playing fields, KO – 9.45am

JC star man: Ben Allen (CdC)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 1 CdC 3



It took a stroke of luck for FC Team to finally break Temple Fortune’s resistance last weekend, but as the old saying goes fortune favours the brave.

Dave Cohen’s cross-shot somehow found a part of the goal that Ed Bloom didn’t have covered, and it was all downhill from there, as Jonny Haik netted his second goal in as many games, adding to Mitch Young’s equaliser.

FC Team fans mustn’t take anything for granted ahead of their trip to west Hendon.

Young told JC Sport: “Sunday will be a third of the way through the season and we are very focused on getting the three points, which will result in a return of 16 points from six games which is good.

“Ducks have some good players, so once again we know if we do not perform they have more than enough ability to win the match.

“We need to stay focused and motivated and as long as we do that, we will have a good chance of winning the match.”

The goals of Jono Gaon have helped propel the Ducks into the top five. Last weekend they hit West Hamdillah for six, but they will find chances at a premium against the table-toppers.

I believe FC Team will be superior in all areas on Sunday, winning their individual and collective battles.

JC team news: Connor Perl still injured, Eitan Ben Zion and Adam Noble return otherwise unchanged

Venue – West Hendon playing fields

JC star man: Gideon Moss (Team)

DC Prediction: Ducks 1 Team 4



PSJ kept their second clean sheet of the season as they registered their third win in six games after beating the Bears 2-0 last weekend.

Louis Relevy and star man Zac Summerfield registered in a performance where they looked well-drilled and organised.

They go in Sunday’s meeting with basement battlers West Hamdillah as strong favourite. Manager Elio Elia told JC Sport: “We are looking to build on last week's win against Bears with another strong performance against West Hamdilllah.

“Despite winning by a heavy scoreline when we last played them in the cup, we know this will be a different type of test and will need to be at our best to secure the win.

“We are fortunate to have a large squad at our disposal and are looking forward to seeing some players in action who were unfortunate to miss out on our last few games. I’m sure they will rise to the occasion and shine this week.”

West Hamdillah scored twice against Hampstead Ducks last weekend. They only problem was that they conceded six times, for the third time this season.

I’ve heard reports they are improving but the next 90 minutes will be a tough learning curve.

Venue – Brunel Uni

JC star man: Benji Katz (PSJ)

DC Prediction: PSJ 4 Hamdillah 0



Borussia missed a chance to close the gap at the top last weekend when they drew against lowly Faithfold DocMM Green.

But they can expect a totally different challenge against a Scrabble team smarting from a heavy defeat against Club de Chigwell last Sunday.

Borussia boss Brad Papier knows three points are essential to keep them on the heels of leaders FC Team. He told JC Sport: “After a very frustrating result last week, the worst thing we can do is not learn from it.

“Faithfold came for a 0-0, they sat deep with 10 men behind the ball and time wasted at every opportunity - even in the first half. We haven’t come up against this before and we struggled to break it down. Their game-plan worked well, however we still should’ve won the game, just weren’t clinical enough.

“That’s what I’m asking of the boys this week - be clinical and take chances as it can really cost you, our goal is still to win the title and while FC Team keep winning we have to match that to be in the best position when we play them.”

Papier went on to say: “Defensively we’ve been great in recent weeks, but against Camden and Faithfold our finishing has been letting us down.

“This week I’ve told the boys to go and get the goals our play deserves. Michael Kenley got his second of the campaign after not scoring since the first game against Chigwell, so hopefully he can get on a run now.”

Co-boss Sam Sharer knows only three points separates Borussia from Scrabble and he told me his team are ready for the challenge ahead. “After a disappointing draw against Faithfold that honestly felt more like a loss,” he told JC Sport.

“The boys are raring to make amends and continue our journey to promotion. Working hard at training midweek and building on the positives that we did see on Sunday the lads will put all effort into getting our first win on the road.

“We look forward to playing Scrabble and will not be under-estimating the quality they have.”

Scrabble could not cope with the pace of Daniel Garfinkle last week or the clever play of Saul Green. They will face similar challenges again this week.

Ahead of kick-off, boss Jon Yantin told JC Sport: “I hope we don’t conceded more than five!” Enough said.

JC team news: Danny Shina is out, Mitchell Gerber 50/50 after picking up a knee injury so they’ll be a late fitness test there. Oron Sheldon returns to the side.

Venue – JCoSS

JC star man: Mike Kenley (Borussia)

DC Prediction: Scrabble 2 BB 3



Bears boss James Harpin is trying to remain positive and upbeat after a frustrating start to life in the MGBSFL.

They have played five matches and are still awaiting that elusive first win. You could sense the disappointment in Harpin’s voice following the 2-0 defeat against PSJ last weekend and it’s clear they need to do better, especially in the goal-scoring department.

“I do not want to live in the past, we can not change it, so the previous games are gone for me,” Harpin told JC Sport.

“What we can do now is go back to basics and work hard in order to improve ourselves individually and as a team.

“We have to look forward to the games coming up and look to get ourselves some wins. This is another important game that we have to get in correct mindset for.

He went on to say: “Temple Fortune have started the season very well. We played them first game of the season and did not do enough to win.

“It is going to be a tough game, we are sure they will sit deep and try and restrict us from breaking them down. We have to try and move the ball quickly and create space to use the pace we have in our team.

“If we work harder than our opponents, there is every chance we can get a win. The minimum required from a football team is work-rate, then comes quality and tactics. We cannot turn up expecting a result, because it will not come.”

Sam Fresco is the eyes and brains off the pitch, but he needs to start working his magic and do it quickly. “We know we have not been good enough so far, but there is still a long way to go,” he told JC Sport.

“I believe in the boys and they need to believe in themselves. The league is wide open and a couple of positive results can turn it around, but this has to start this Sunday.

“There is no doubt that this will be a difficult game as Fortune have started well, but we have enough to get the three points.”

Fortune gave as good as they got against FC Team last weekend in a game decided by fine margins. The luck went against them on the day, despite them taking the lead, with Simon Cohen making it five goals in five games.

Grant Bates has been in stellar form this season. His efforts were rewarded after he was named Temple Fortune Player of the Month.

Manager Simon Linden told JC Sport: "We had a tough 1-1 draw against the Bears on the opening day and since then I’m baffled by why they haven’t been winning games as they have a lot of quality.

"This is big test after the FC Team game as we need to bounce back which I’m confident we can do if I can get the best out of the team."

Linden needs more goals from around the team, so it’ll need the likes of Max Martin and Benji Gourgey to step up to the plate.

JC team News: Noah Meranda, who produced a positive performance in the PSJ defeat, is 50/50 after having a virus this week. Oli Gotkine will be making his competitive debut while Zacki Doumou is now available after suspension but is rated 50/50.

Venue –Silver Jubilee Park

JC star man: Jonathan Kaye (Fortune)

DC Prediction: TFFC 2 Bears 1

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