Neasden will show no fear, says Kay


Stirling Kay insists North West Neasden have nothing to lose as they look to derail Hendon United Sports Club A's treble bid in the semi-finals of the Cyril Anekstein Cup.

OK, Neasden are huge underdogs on Sunday. Let’s make no secret of that. But upsets are part and parcel of cup football and that’s the message Stirling Kay will pass on to his players in the build-up to kick-off.

The fact that Hendon slipped up in the league will not help them, but with a place in the final at Wingate & Finchley against Raiders the prize for the winner of Sunday’s meeting, the Neasden boys need no added incentive to try and send the holders crashing out.

Stirling knows the odds are stacked against his team, whose tails are up after the crucial win over Faithfold last week, but he told me this week they will most certainly give it their best shot. After all, they have nothing to lose.

Josh Tiano and Scott Kay were the stand-out performers last week, and NWN fans are hoping for big displays from the likes of Adam Arnold, Michael Field, Rick Harris, Craig Edwards and Dan Orgel.

Kay told JC Sport: “Well, if you believe the Jewish press and certain individuals around the top brass of the league, they have already have Hendon booked in for their cup final breakfast.

“This is nothing new to us at Neasden - every week, it doesn't matter who we are playing or what league they are in, both papers tip the opposition virtually every week.

“So we are used to being the whipping boys in everyone’s mind. However, as a group we know on our day, with a full squad, we fear no-one.

“I am very proud of my lads this season for the way they have turned out week in, week out, knowing we are going to be short of players, playing part-time players, and most of them very rarely play in their best position.

“Hendon are obviously odds-on favourites, and rightly so. Win or lose on Sunday, I know my lads will give everything and they will walk away knowing they have given everything for the team.

Asked about squad news, Kay added: “I won't bore you with the amount of players missing, just to say whoever is in our starting line-up is really looking forward to the game”.

Hendon have dusted themselves down after slipping up against FC Team last week. Manager David Garbacz made his feelings clear after the 1-1 draw, apportioning much of the blame on the referee.

David Seitler gave them an early lead and they spurned several chances to add to their advantage and eventually let Team back into the game.

The pressure is clearly building in the Hendon camp but I believe their big-match experience will hold them in good stead for the Neasden game.

Garbacz told JC Sport: “We are all raring to go again after the immense disappointment last week of not picking up all three points.

“We have done some soul searching and analysis and we remain very positive about our chances in all three competitions.

“It brings with it enormous pressure when you are challenging for all three trophies and you know that one slip-up or mediocre performance and the dream is over.

“With that in mind, we will be fully focused for the game this week and we will treat Neasden with enormous respect. Their results seem to have picked up a bit lately as they fight to avoid the drop in the league and they clearly must have some proper talent to have got this far in the cups.

“A cup semi-final brings with it its own nerves and tension but we have been here many times before in recent seasons and we expect to use that experience to the full.

“There have been some classic Hendon v Neasden battles in the past – I wouldn’t be surprised to see my old mate Jamie Cole on the sidelines, and whilst they have dropped back a bit these past few years, this is just the type of fixture to potentially bring back their glory days.

“We have to make sure that does not happen. We will aim to come at them fast and put the game to bed as early as possible so as not to fall into the same trap as last week. We have well and truly reached the business end of the season and I still believe our boys have the bottle and nerve for these big occasions.”

The first 20 minutes are crucial for Neasden. It’s vital they concentrate, stay on their feet, keep their shape and don’t let Hendon play between the lines.

Dovi Fehler was Hendon’s star man in the 5-1 league win over Neasden and he could be the one to watch again, as Hendon return to winning ways, but rest assured, Neasden won’t give up without a fight.

JC team news: Ben Lauffer returns for Hendon after missing out last week. Rafi and Ben Kon, Yoav Kestenbaum, Avidan Last and Alex Rosenthal are all out.


MGBSFL – Faithfold (a)

MGBSFL – Raiders (h)

NWN – Adam Arnold 7
HUSC - Dovi Fehler 10

Venue – Hazelwood Rec, Ref – Martin De La Fuente, KO – 10.30pm

JC star man: Dovi Fehler (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Neasden 0 Hendon 2

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