Pressure all on Redbridge now, says Kristall

Dan Kristall admits Oakwood A face an anxious wait to find out if they will be crowned champions after ending the season in style with a handsome 6-3 win over Lions A.




Oakwood could have done no more, after strikes from Dave Woolman (2), Alex Lee (2), Brad Wine and Kyle Bentwood secured their 14th league win of the season.

Having beaten Lions 5-1 in December, Oakwood knew maximum points would lay down the gauntlet to title rivals Redbridge Jewish Care A who crushed FC Team A 9-1 giving them a plus 13 goal difference.

In what proved to be Ric Blank's final game in joint-charge, alongside Kristall, Sunday proved to be a real test of character for an Oakwood team missing some regulars. But they got the job done.

Kristall told JC Sport: "This was a nice win to end a brilliant season at Oakwood. We survived a second-half scare to ensure we have put the pressure firmly on Redbridge. With 20 minutes to go and with the score locked at 2-2, we looked to have blown it but the spirit is great this year.

"We found another gear and scored some brilliant goals. Our squad was slightly depleted  and we made some uncharacteristic mistakes but I put that down to a bit of added pressure to get the result. Credit to Lions who worked hard and were a threat on the break but we were worthy winners."

Reflecting on the season, Kristall added: "We really couldn’t have done any more this calendar year after a stuttering start to our league campaign. We were completely out of it when we drew at FC Team in October and when we lost in the Morrison to lower league opposition our season looked to be over by early December, but out of nowhere we stepped up and have been on the most incredible run beating some very good sides along the way. 1 defeat in 18 matches is remarkable achievement and something we would definitely have taken back in September.

"It doesn’t actually matter where it takes us because whether we win the title or not, we have the squad and the momentum to take into next season where we will be even better.

"The big difference this season was the strength in depth and  was a good example. Missing up to seven first-team regulars, we still managed to take 14 men and were able to make the key changes to impact the game.

"We now sit back and watch Hendon and Raiders take on Redbridge. If these games had been played in the business end of the season, we would be in with a far higher chance of taking the title.

"However, we firmly believe that both Hendon will have a point to prove and hopefully will have recovered some players by the end of the month and we know that Raiders will give them a good game.

"You just never know in football. Pressure can do funny things to teams and both Hendon and Raiders will have no pressure on them.

"It has been a great race and although the MSFL may have less teams, we believe that the competition at the top of the Premier is as good as ever. Four or five teams are capable of taking points off each other which can only be a good thing.

"Finally from me, I’d like to put on record our thanks and appreciation for Blanky who leaves his role as A team manager. He will move upstairs into a “director of football/chairman” role.

"There are no words to describe Ric’s devotion to this club over the last decade. It has been a pleasure working with him in the two years that I have been involved. He really has given up so much of his time building up this club from the lower leagues and finishing with such an amazing season as this one in the Premier division.

"We will give him a huge send-off at the end of season do and on behalf of all the former and current players, we want to say thank you for all of your hard work!"

They must now wait and hope Redbridge fail to fail to register maximum points in their final three matches in order to be crowned champions.

OAKWOOD: Dean Caplin, Kyle Bentwood, Dale Bradman, David Cohen, Zach Collins, Guy Helman, Harvey Kaye, Alex Lee, Rafi Stone, Brad Wine, David Woolman. Subs: Simon Davies, Jake Norton

SCORERS: Woolman (2), Lee (2), Wine, Bentwood

LIONS: Adam Arnold, WilL Beresford, Jonny Ellis, James Gold, Richard Gold, Freddy Kramer, Ben Lampert, Sam Lewis, Harry Marlow, Nick Smith, Ryan Springer

SCORERS: Arnold (2), Lewis


Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive