Oakwood are the best side in Jewish football, says Kristall

Dan Kristall believes Oakwood A can push Hendon United all the way in the MGBSFL title race after a stunning second-half performance helped them climb into second place in the Premier Division after a 5-1 mauling of Maccabi London Lions.


Leor Sidle scored his first goals in Oakwood colours as they finished the weekend in second place after securing their seventh win of the season with an impressive 5-1 success over Lions at Rowley Lane.

Facing a strong Lions team featuring Sam Sloma, Max Kyte, Adam Burchell, Adam Arnold and Adam Stolerman, Oakwood looked up against it when Burchell produced a clinical finish to beat Dan Cohen.

Oakwood reacted superbly and drew level with an excellent strike from Sam Cantor.

Second half efforts from super-sub Sidle (2), Jonny Quinn and Guy Helman completed the comeback.

Kristall said: “We saved our best performance of the season until the last match of the calendar year.

“The team produced was a stunning display and the 20 minutes after half time was by far our best spell of attacking play we have seen. We were simply unplayable in the second half and it really could have been more.

“There is not one team in the league that would have got close to us in that second half. They just had no answers to our aggressive, fast, attacking football.

Kristall pinpointed the return of Wine as a key factor and said: “Brad caused Lions problems from minute one. He has been badly missed and we are delighted to welcome him back for the rest of the season.

“I say it each week but when we have our squad out, we are the best side in Jewish football. For the first time this season, we had five quality substitutes and we were able to turn around to the bench and really change the game.”

He went on to praise the influential recent arrival Sidle – a winner of the Manchester Accountants League with AFC Flixton – and he believes Sidle could be a game-changer in Oakwood’s challenge for silverware.

Kristall said: “All the substitutes made a positive impact on the game. Leor is building his fitness up and played the final 30 minutes. He was very unlucky not to score a 10-minute hat-trick but took his two goals really well. Once he builds hit fitness up, he could be the key signing of the season.

“Make no mistake, this was a strong Lions side. This was a Lions team led by Max Kyte and littered with quality. A totally different Lions side than the one that face Hendon earlier in the season. My only hope is that they can field as strong a side as that every week. Otherwise it is pointless.

“We finish 2017 having only lost one league match in the entire calendar year. It has been a year of progress with many highs and a few lows including a cup final.

“Our cup defeats have certainly shortened our season, and when I look at squad ... I can only think "what if" but the Morrison defeat two weeks ago, might just have been our light bulb moment. It may well have been the wake-up call. The two squads since that defeat have been unrecognisable to the one that day.

“It has simplified our season and the reaction has been outstanding. Two big away wins at Rowley Lane.”

And although Hendon United lie four points clear at the top, Kristall insists Oakwood will raise their game for the challenges ahead.

“Hendon may sit pretty at the top but they have had a gentle start to the season having not played us or Redbridge at all, so lets see where they are once the business end of the season takes off.

“One thing is for sure, if we have this squad out, we will give ourselves a very good chance of being in the mix for the title.”

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