Salmon serves up double treat for FC Team

A first-half header from strike Richard Salmon helped FC Team B wrap up a league and cup double as they edged past first division Los Blancos at Wingate & Finchley on Sunday night.



Mitch Young praised his players for a "phenomenal" season after a first-half header from strike Richard Salmon saw off a strong Los Blancos challenge and secure FC Team B the Barry Goldstein Trophy to add to their league title this season.

With both teams making their Wingate debuts, it was Division One side Los Blancos who looked most likely to take the lead early on.



However, FC Team had other ideas and it was they who struck first; Lorian Madanes added to his 20 assists for the season with a lovely out winging corner finding the head of Salmon at the near post to give his side an 18th minute lead.

The goal seemed to relax Team who took the ascendency, with captain Jonathan Breger pulling the strings in the middle of the park, Ben Binder had an effort saved by Nick Grosse after the striker used his strength to outmuscle the defender.

Los Blancos looked shell-shocked and it took until the 35th minute for the men in white to regroup. They threatened down the right-hand side, however Team keeper David Grossman was rarely threatened as the game approached the half-time break finely poised.

Team made the first substitution on the stroke of the interval, introducing player-manager Mitch Young, who slotted in just behind the front two of Binder and Salmon. The change was effective almost immedia­­tely after the restart as the powerful Binder latched on to Young’s perfectly-weighted through ball only to be denied by Grosse yet again.

To their credit, Los Blancos continued to threaten, however Tim Heynes was unable to finish off his debut season with a cup final goal, his header watched all the way by the impressive Grossman.

FC Team started to sit very deep, as a result of some tiring legs, which in turn encouraged Los Blancos to play their best football of the game. Despite this, the Division Two champions looked a constant threat on the counter, with the pace and power of Binder and Salmon.

The chance of the game fell to Los Blancos’ all-time top-scorer Adam Hersh, however the former manager was unable to add to his 72 career goals when clean through, thwarted by another fantastic save by Grossman.

The game somewhat petered out in the last five minutes with many tired legs suffering on a difficult surface, but It was FC Team’s day and the side in blue and yellow held on to add more silverware to their ever-growing trophy cabinet.

A delighted FC Team manager Mitch Young told JC Sport “I’m so relieved, it was a really tough game. Los Blancos played their part and were brilliant, but our defence were unbelievable today.”

"I am delighted to win our first-ever Maccabi Cup. All credit to my players, they really have deserved to win this competition, having beaten Raiders and Blancos it is a wonderful achievement and I am very proud.

"It has been a real squad achievement; all 15 players and management have played a real part in this success and everyone was needed and everyone has performed. Our attackers (Salmon, Binder, Madanes and Sheena) have all scored important goals throughout and Salmon popped up with the winner today.

"However, it was our defence that pleased me most today. We had to change things around 30 minutes in after Silverman went off injured which meant two changes in the back four, and the guys who came in were brilliantly, especially Jon Toby.

"We knew we had to keep Simon Moses quiet in order to win the game and he did not have a shot all game so credit to my defensive players. Daniel Breger, sitting in front won every challenge and stopped anything getting through and was my man of the match.

"Blancos were strong, committed and battled until the end and they can hold their heads up high. I am sure their time will come. They are a nice bunch of lads in what seems like a well run club and I wish them well.

"The conditions meant that neither side could play attractive football, but it is often the case in a cup final a scrappy 1-0 win, but we will take that. We haven't had a 1-0 win all season!

"It has been a phenomonal season, to win the double is amazing it is a wonderful feeling and hard to describe. We have big ambitions for this club and we expect to be challenging on all fronts across all our teams.

"It was fitting that this week marked the four-year anniversary of our former club president Peter Moss's passing and we dedicate this win to him.

Speaking on the future, Young, who is also Team's chairman said: “We’re going to look to win more silverware. We’ve done the double now but next season we want to win Division One, with our A-team winning the Premier Division and our C team winning Division Two.”

JC Sport also caught up with match-winner Richard Salmon after the game. He said: “I feel amazing, it was unbelievable. It was great team performance, we couldn’t have done it without everyone digging in there. It’s a big pitch and Los Blancos were brilliant."

Salmon, who was been with the club for six years, went on to say “It’s been a fantastic season. It's been great playing with the Team, they’re all great guys and I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else."

Blancos boss Jonathan Ison told JC Sport: "Firstly, I'd like to congratulate FC Team. I can see why they did so well in Division Two this year, and we look forward to getting our revenge in Division One next year.

"All in all, we are disappointed with the loss, but are really proud of what we have achieved. For many of the squad, it was their first Wingate experience, and I know we are going to fight really hard to be back next year.

"I am really proud of how everyone performed on the day. I cannot fault anyone's commitment or performance.
It was telling how it was only a simple header that was the difference between the two teams. I felt we were the better side for the 90 minutes, playing some nice football, but we do have our centre backs James Joseph and Benjy Israel to thank for some excellent last-ditch challenges when we were caught on the break a couple of times.

"It's never nice to lose a game, especially not a final at Wingate, but now we have had this feeling once, we are going to make sure that next time, we are victorious."

TEAM: David Grossman, Danny Moss, Jon Toby, Daniel Silverman (sub: Mitch Young), Oliver Segal, Dan Breger, Adam Rones, Jonathan Breger (capt), Lorian Madanes, Richard Salmon, Ben Binder. Subs: Richard Sternberg, Julian Noti, Tom Miller


BLANCOS: Nick Grosse, Alex Lewis, James Joseph, Benjy Israel, Joel Barnett, Tim Heynes, Darren Russell (capt), Joe Davis, Adam Hersh, Adam Waters, Simon Moses. Subs - Matt Keston, Josh Gaon, Jeff Gross, Danny Steel, Joel Kutner


Report by Joel Goldman

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