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NLR wonder strikes sink Whetstone

Zack Gothelf described AC Whetstone as "a credit to Jewish football" after two wonder strikes inspired Raiders C to a hard-earned victory.

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MGBSFL DIVISION TWO
AC WHETSTONE 1 NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS C 2

Zack Gothelf described AC Whetstone as "a credit to Jewish football" after two wonder strikes inspired Raiders C to a hard-earned victory.

Both NLR goals were of the top top draw, with one fan commenting "they wouldn't look out of place on Match of the Day".

NLR took the lead within 10 minutes, when Josh Bloom found space 25 yards out and lifted the ball over the Whetstone defence for Daniel Polak, running from deep, to flick the ball first time over the head of the onrushing keeper.

The game was a great one to watch for the neutral, as encounters between these two sides have always been, and the game followed a similar pattern to the earlier game in the season. Both sides had their spells of possession and spells where they threatened, but NLR's defence held firm and Grant Waissel was on top form.

NLR doubled their lead in some style midway through the first half. Josh Bloom picked the ball up just inside the Whetstone half, and carrying the ball towards the goal, to the right of the goal as he looked at it and hit the perfect strike from 30 yards into the top left corner of the Whetstone goal. No keeper would have saved that shot, right on the postage stamp.

With the score 2-0 at half time, Whetstone were always going to come out fighting in the second half, but NLR defended firmly, with everyone working hard for the team.

NLR still did look a threat when going forward but couldn't add to their lead.

Whetstone pull a goal back following an excellent run down the line from right winger Philippe Auret who crossed it to the back post where striker Alon Pinhas hooked it in to leave a nervy last 20 minutes.

NLR boss Zack Gothelf told JC Sport: "It's a real shame that we may not play Whetstone again; Clive and Anthony have a great group and comfortably the most organised team we've come up against, a credit to Jewish football."

Whetstone joint-manager Anthony Cohen told JC Sport: "We were gutted again. How many times can you come off a pitch with the other side saying “you deserved more out of that”? NLR barely saw the ball in the second half but their centre back, who wasn’t playing last week, cut more or less everything out. Good player.

"We lost 2-1 and hit the woodwork twice as well as having about 80 per cent of the possession. They scored two cracking goals in the first half one a beautifully worked chip and volley and the other a sweet strike from 25 yards.

"It's a shame for the boys who have three games left before AC Whetstone closes its doors, at least for three years until they come back from University. Three points would have put us fourth above NLRC and Oakwood B (who we have done the league double over this season). The boys will doubtless battle on in football and in life and Clive and I are as proud of them now as we were when they were six.

"NLRC are a good team and, more importantly, a fair and footballing side. They were very gracious opponents and we wish them well. We have enjoyed all our encounters."

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