"Our strength in depth really showed," says Oakwood boss

Daniel Kristall heaped praise on his Oakwood players after watching them dismantle National cup holders North London Raiders A in merciless fashion at the Ark Academy.




Kyle Bentwood, Daniel Seligman and an own goal guided defending champions Oakwood to a stunning win over title rivals Raiders A at the Ark.

Bentwood opened the scoring after latching his way on to a long-throw, outmuscling his marker and smashing his shot into the roof of the net.

David Woolman played a key role as Oakwood doubled their lead in the second half. His dangerous low cross from the right was turned into his own net by NLR captain David Rhodes.

Seligman clinched the points with a smart volley, although NLR were aggrieved play was not halted in the build-up after Rhodes suffered a blow to the head following an aerial challenge.

Oakwood joint-manager Dan Kristall told JC Sport: "Well what a statement that was. We were outstanding. As soon as we took the lead just on half time, there was only one team in the game and our only criticism of the boys was the margin of the victory.

"We missed several big chances that we know we must take as the season progresses. We were simply too fast and too strong for Raiders after a cagey opening half an hour. They couldn't cope with the power of Brad Wine, the trickery and quality of Sam Cantor and the composure and leadership of Kyle Bentwood but I shouldn't pick individuals out. This was an all-round team performance.

"Raiders may point to certain key decisions, certainly on our third goal where there appeared to be a clash of heads in the build up where play should have been stopped but I know Dan won't be arguing with the final score.

"Raiders may also point to certain key individuals being on the touchline rather than on the pitch but we also had up to seven first team regulars missing including last year's player of the year Alex Lee. We kept tight-lipped with our team news before the game but the strength of our squad really showed in this game.

David Dinkin registered for Raiders with a late consolation from the penalty spot after Dave Cohen was brought down.

Kristall added: "We now prepare for a tricky cup tie against third division opposition where we must focus and avoid complacency after what happened last season before heading into the Yom Tov break. For the next few days, we will enjoy this win."

Co-boss Adam Levine added: "We had a few boys missing but it was a pretty comprehensive win. We were comfortable from the first minute and the boys really stepped up."

Dan Shafron felt aggrieved that some key decisions didn't go NLR's way. He told JC Sport: "We didn't play well and deserved nothing from the game. We lost every first and second ball against a side who played with a lot more determination and aggression. 

"I won't make excuses for the goals, mistakes are made by all officials. Maybe the outcome would have been different should the correct decisions have been made especially for the first and third goals, however we still deserved to get beat.

"The one thing I really wasn't happy with was how play was allowed to continue prior to the third goal when Dave Rhodes suffered a head injury in the centre circle in front of the referee. To wave play on even after acknowledging the injury was dangerous and irresponsible when it could have been serious. 

"We now have to pick ourselves up for next week and drastically improve. As for Oakwood, they will be a difficult side to dislodge from the top of the league this season. Congratulations to them on a well organised and disciplined performance."

RAIDERS: Adam Zaidman, Alex Bloch, David Cohen, David Rhodes (capt), Zac Neiman, Josh Pistol, Josh Goldstein, Adam Joselyn, Jonny Kay, David Dinkin, Oscar Wagner. Subs: Joe Cohen, Oron Sheldon, Justin Spiro, Jake Yudelovitz

GOAL: Dinkin (pen)

OAKWOOD: Dean Caplin, Lee Warner, Dale Bradman, Tom Cantor, Kyle Bentwood, Simon Davies, Jake Norton, Daniel Seligman, Bradley Wine, David Woolman, Sam Cantor. Subs: Adam Levene, Jonny Quinn, Jordan Sherne

GOALS: Bentwood (36), own goal, Seligman (76)

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