Raiders crowned MGBSFL champions



Rob Richman expressed pride after Norstar London Raiders A secured the MGBSFL Premier Division title for the first time following a 4-1 victory over Neasden.

Having claimed a crucial victory over defending champions Hendon United Sports Club A last month, Raiders required only a point in a match moved to Peter May Sports Centre in Walthamstow shortly before kick-off.

The ground move did not unsettle Raiders who were steered to victory by striker David Dinkin (3) and Matt Stock.

Richman told JC Sport: "We turned up and produced a very professional display. Neasden defended very deep and stuck rigidly to their game but we passed the ball confidently on a tough surface and created numerous opportunities.

"Dinkin was at his clinical best and there were also very strong displays from Mannie and Stock who have enjoyed wonderful seasons.

"I must thank Neasden for doing a brilliant job in sorting a pitch at the very last minute."

Reflecting on a successful league campaign, which has seen L'Orange win 14 out of 17 games, Richman told JC Sport: "We are delighted and so proud at securing the Premier Division title. It's a dream to win the most coveted prize in Jewish football and is great reward for all the effort, hard work and dedication the entire squad has put in all season.

"Obviously it is extra special being our first Premier division title, just looking at the names of the teams who have won it over the past 10 years makes you realise how special the achievement is. We join an illustrious group who have won the Premiership title and we are delighted to do so.

"The boys came really close last year and that was obviously a big motivating factor, but Hendon pushed us close again this year and made it very exciting. Fortunately, whereas last year Hendon just pipped us, this year the roles were reversed."

Raiders are expected to be presented with the league trophy in their final game against FC Team A on Sunday.

NWN manager Stirling Kay told JC Sport: "First of all, I would like to congratulate Raiders on winning the league - they were the best side we had faced this year and are worthy champions.

"This was always going to be a very hard game for us to pick up three points, and we started badly by giving away a penalty followed by a very good team goal, so we were always chasing the game from a very early stage.

"It was looking bleak. However, as we have done in most of our games, we showed great spirit and clawed our way back into the game with the goal of the game from Dan Andrews.

"We grew in confidence, and for the first 20 miutens in the second half, you could sense that Raiders were not so sure of themselves and we had some half chances but the next goal was going to be vital.

"Unfortunately the third goal came from a free-kick where there centre back was left unmarked. We then threw everything we could at them and left ourselves exposed and there fourth came from another penalty.

"The truth was that we were beaten by a far better team and we were not good enough to break them down. We move on to our next game knowing we need eight points from our remaining four games to survive."

Full coverage in Friday's JC.

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