MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION
CAMDEN PARK 2 REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A 1
Max Saunders believes Camden Park's victory over Redbridge was due reward for their efforts so far this season as they ended their losing streak to become the first team to beat MGBSFL leaders.
First-half strikes from Jake Saunders and Rob Hershkorn had put Camden in charge and although Ryan Cole netted for Redbridge but it was Max Saunders' troops celebrating at the final whistle.
Camden made an excellent start and took a deserved lead when Redbridge defender Danny Hakimi thought the ball had gone out, but Camden's capitalised on the situation, working the ball to Marks to convert after 10 minutes.
With the bit between their teeth, the hosts doubled their lead via the penalty spot when referee Martin Fox adjudged the unfortunate Hakimi to have handled the ball and Camden's newly-engaged skipper Hershkorn confidently dispatched the resultant spot-kick.
Redbridge were struggling to string two passes together and their normally dynamic attack was mis-firing completely; they were clearly missing Dean Nyman who withdrew through injury late on which left them without a recognised striker.
Half-time saw RJC boss Jon Jacobs "try and remind his troops why they were top of the league and there was still plenty of time to pull back the deficit".
Moving Zack Neiman up top and giving RJC a focal point saw the game change and this time Camden were on the back foot and "happy to concede free-kick upon free kick with cynical challenges".
It took a worldie from 25 yards from Cole whose left-foot shot fizzed past Camden keeper who had been excellent through out.
With 25 minutes to play, it seemed Redbridge had the game to play for but just didn’t make the chances that their possession deserved.
Referee Martin Fox blew the final whistle and Camden celebrated wildly the scalp of the league leaders.
Camden manager Max Saunders told JC Sport: "We have had to endure the most ridiculous start to the season so far. Our 7 games so far in the league have been against Hendon twice, Redbridge twice, Lions twice and Oakwood once. I'm sure if you asked all those teams, we have been very unlucky to have picked up 0 points prior to Sunday, the performances we have put in have deserved a lot more. If we had been a bit more clinical in some of those games, no doubt our points tally would have been a lot more handsome, we were due a result like this. So, although it may have been a shock to many, to us it was ‘about time.
"2-1 with 25 minutes to go, most weeks Camden would have collapsed and allowed Redbridge to undo all our good play. However, this was a resolute Camden performance and in the end, we restricted Redbridge to only a few half chances.
"Team of the week nominations will be very difficult because, honestly, everyone in the team did more than what was required from them, I don’t think anyone was below a 7/10! Hopefully now we can move on to a less ridiculous fixtures list and start moving up the table!"
RJC boss Jon Jacobs told JC Sport; "This game is a defining point for Redbridge and it is up to us to go again and go on another run of straight game wins.
"I am very disappointed how we started today and we really missed the focal point of Dean Nyman up top, but that doesn’t excuse how poor we were in the first half.
"Full credit to Camden, they had a clear game-plan that they executed perfectly and with that performance, repeated, they will move up the league table very quickly.
"We will train hard on Wednesday night, get this game out of our system as we know we haven’t played to the high standards we have set.
"This could be the kick up the backside we need; titles aren’t won or lost in November, they are won at the business end in March/April.
"We look forward to welcoming Camden to our home for the cup quarter-final and they had better expect a much better performance than what we gave them today.
"We are still very much in the title hunt and have to take defeat on the chin and move on to next week."
Responding to Jacobs' comments on Camden's tactics, Saunders added: "I'd sincerely like to thank Jon Jacobs for giving us credit and kindly stating based on that performance we would move up the league.
"However, claiming that we won because of a “perfectly executed game-plan…of niggly fouls and constant wind up's” is not a fair representation of the game at all.
"Before the game I told my players the pressure is off and to go out and enjoy the game. It worked wonders.
"We completely out played Redbridge in the first half. We played some brilliant football, our forward players were linking up beautifully and our midfield dominated Redbridge’s. Their players were getting wound up, sure, but not because of our ‘wind ups’ but purely out of frustration. They turned up very complacent, and we punished them for it.
The respective managers also had their say on the penalty award which led to Camden's second goal. RJC boss Jon Jacobs commented: "We have seen them given and not given but today fortune was in Camden’s favour but understandable penalty given and converted.
Saunders replied: "Contrary to what Redbridge think, it was the most stone wall penalty I’ve seen for years. I think Martin Fox got all the big decisions right. We film our games and if they want a freeze frame of the incident we’d be happy to provide it."
CAMDEN: Adam Zaidman, Dan Baneth, Kane Gilbery, Max Gordon, Robert Hershkorn, David Khalastchi, Michael Khalastchi,
Joshua Marks, Sacha Nusenbaum, Jake Saunders, Max Saunders. Subs: David Kanzen, Guy Marks
GOALS: Josh Marks, Rob Hershkorn (pen)
REDBRIDGE: Dan Lee, Daniel Berg, James Berkley, Ryan Cole, Daniel Garfinkle, Russell Goldstein, Danny Hakimi, Samuel McCarthy, Zachary Neiman, Ben Sollosi, Sam Sollosi
GOAL: Ryan Cole