'Oakwood are a class act,' says Hambling

Josh Hambling paid tribute to MGBSFL champions Oakwood A after they ended the cup dream of his Redbridge Jewish Care B in a tie where all their goals came in the final 15 minutes.




Oakwood met a firm wall of resistance for 80 minutes, with Dan Lassman, Dan Andrews, Dan Adelman and Scott McKenzie in defiant mood, throwing their bodies on the line for Redbridge.

With Sam Rank also impressing in midfield for RJC, patience was the name of the game for Oakwood who eventually found a way through.

They went on to register three more times, with Brad Wine, Simon Davies, David Woolman and Jonny Quinn taking them into round three.

"Today we knew the machine we were facing in Oakwood A," a proud Hambling told JC Sport. "They are currently miles ahead of any team in the Premier League we expected a tougher day at the office. Our game-plan was quite simple. Stay disciplined and keep touches to a minimum.

"We started the better team and had some good possession in the first half. On two occasions so unlucky not to go in front, Dan Gordon’s effort saved with fingertips.

"0-0 at half-time flattered them in all honesty and they generally resorted to long balls down the wings or over the top which our defence handled superbly.

"Dan Lassman and Dan Andrews are easily good enough to grace any backline in Jewish football. Dan Lipman, our right winger, was our keeper today, using his pace to come off his line on a few occasions.

Oakwood really started to press RJC in the second half the hosts were camped in their half for a majority but RJC came so close to taking the lead through a Paul Biller "wonder miss" from two yards.

0-0 after 80 minutes, Oakwood opened RJC up with two excellent headers then through RJC pressing the last few minutes they again conceded a couple of goals.

Hambling went on to say: "I’m proud of the team today we showed great attitude and team spirit. We matched the best team in Jewish football for 80 minutes but ultimately class shone through.

"We will use this game to push ourselves on in the league. Best of luck to Oakwood in the cup it will take a very good team to beat them."

Oakwood joint-manager Dan Kristall gave an honest assessment in which he praised Redbridge. He told JC Sport: "The scoreline probably flatters us and doesn't tell the story. Redbridge defended very well and frustrated us for the majority of the match. I feel that fitness and the extra quality pulled us through in the last 20 mins where we scored four very nice goals.

"Josh is probably right that we could have been 1-0 down in the first half but that was their only real moment in the game in an otherwise dull first half.

"They stood firm and we were sloppy at times with our passing. The wind and the small pitch probably didn't help us but we must give credit to our hosts who restricted us to long balls where we lacked presence in the final third.

"As the game wore on, we began to take control. Our four subs positively impacted the game which was a huge boost and our fitness levels were much higher than theirs. In the end we had too much and if the game had gone on another 10 minutes, the scoreline could have been really unfair on them.

"Ultimately, we know how difficult these games can be. They were up for it and it doesn't matter how you win games of football, as long as you pull through in the end."

Kristall believes Oakwood can improve and said: "I don't feel we have hit our heights yet this season. It has been stop-start and lots of players are short of games. We now have games every week in the run up to Chanukah, which I believe will be good for us.

"This starts with a huge test this Sunday in Kent. We will go and enjoy our day out.

"Finally, good luck to Redbridge B over the remainder of the season. I am sure they will be challenging in Division One. I've given Jase some tips as I believe they play each other in a couple of weeks."

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