CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP FINAL
HENDON UNITED SPORTS 3 OAKWOOD A 1 (After extra-time)
Top of the table Hendon are now setting their sights on clinching the MGBSFL Premier League title as battling Oakland limped away to lick their wounds after a gruelling two-hour encounter that swung end to end until the final dramatic minutes at Wingate & Finchley Stadium.
John Levy had given Oakwood hope with a cracking opening goal just 10 minutes from the end, but they were reduced to 10 men minutes later when Josh Cuby saw red for a second bookable offence.
And with the clock running down, Chaim Korman rose to meet a high cross into the box to power home a headed equaliser. As the match went into extra-time both sides feared that just like a replay of last season’s final, they would face a dreaded penalty shoot-out. And with the first half of extra-time goalless it looked like that might happen.
But midway through the second period Rocky Spitzer lashed home a stunning shot from some 25 yards that left keeper Joe Botchin grasping at thin air, and in the final seconds Moses Seitler settled it with a chance made easy for him by fellow scorer Korman.
Sapler said: “The match was not a classic and it took some 80 minutes or so to really come to life. It was a hard, physical slog, but it was one my players were more than up for.
“Oakwood’s goal so late on sparked us into action and we really got into our stride and took our chances.
“In the dressing room we spoke about the need to match the height and physical presence the opposition possessed. Of course we had an upper hand when Oakwood went down to 10 men, but it was a great equaliser by Chaim Korman, a player really only 75 per cent fit, while the two goals in extra-time showed our superiority in the end.”
Oakwood’s joint-managers Dan Kristall and David Cohen were disappointed not to have retained the trophy for a second term, but accepted the result was inevitable after losing Cuby to a red card so late in the second half.
“It was a very tight match, end to end and it looked so good for us when Woolman scored,” said David Cohen. “It was a great goal and at that stage we felt really comfortable," said Kristall.
“But it all changed when we went down to 10 men and it is very difficult, especially when you have to then play another 30 minutes of extra-time, and so it proved in the end.”
Kristall added: “When it was 11 against 11 we showed who was going to win the cup, but once we went down to 10 we had to dig deep for as long as we could against a very good side. The player was of course disappointed at being sent off because he had caused Hendon all sorts of problems, but the ref had no choice and we accept that. But we are still very proud of the team and we will bounce back next season.”
Hendon had an early shock to the system when new-boy Jonti Aremband went down under a crunching tackle near the dug-outs, causing a lengthy and worrying delay after just one minute of action.
It was a quick end to Aremband’s Cup Final as he was eventually helped off and later went to hospital for a check on what appeared to be a knee injury.
These two teams know each so well and it was hard to put a tissue paper between them in the early stages. Oakwood’s Josh Bharier rammed a shot into the side-netting, while at the other end Yehuda Korman rattled the crossbar with a powerful header that came back down on the wrong side of the line and was cleared.
Bradley Wine eventually put Hendon keeper Russ Corin to the test, before Cuby got his first yellow card for a fierce tackle on Hendon’s Zac Garbacz. He got his revenge on Cuby with a no-nonsense push into Cuby’s back seconds later and was lucky to escape a similar punishment from referee Richard Jaye.
Cuby was causing Hendon all sorts of problems down the left and his cross from the byeline was almost deflected in by a Hendon defender, forcing Corin into a superb save. Corin was in action again when Bharier broke through on his own only to collide full-on with the brave keeper.
Both sides created scoring opportunities as the half progressed, but neither could find the finishing touch. Cuby was felled in the box, but the ref said no penalty as the first half came to a close.
The roll-on roll-off system for subs saw regular changes of personnel from both sides, but still a goal would not come until the 80th minute.
An Oakwood corner was cleared by the Hendon defence, but the ball fell invitingly from the sky to Woolman, whose high, looping shot sailed into the top corner of the net.
There were whoops of joy from the home supporters but it was not to last.
Within minutes, Cuby was given his red card for a second yellow foul on Seitler and Hendon grabbed the initiative as Chaim Korman equalised.
And he could have added a second moments later with a sizzling shot that was brilliantly tipped over the bar by keeper Botchin.
As the match entered extra time Oakwood fought hard, but the strain began to take its toll with Seitler’s telling runs and clever passing
constantly tormenting them.
The first period was stalemate, but as the second got underway the signs were ominous for Oakwood. And so it proved as Spitzer fired home his rocket in the 114th minute of the match. Seitler’s exuberance earned him a yellow card but in the final minute he coolly tapped in a well -deserved goal after Chaim Korman had gone on a mazy run leaving four defenders sprawling, to complete a glorious afternoon for Hendon.
OAKWOOD A: Joe Botchin, Harvey Kaye, Lee Warner, Alex Lee, Tom Cantor, Dale Bradman, Kyle Bentwood (capt), Toby Levy, Josh Gellman, Josh Cuby, Bradley Wine, Josh Bharier, David Woolman, Louie Libbert, Dan Seligman, John Levy
HENDON UTD: Russell Corin, Mordy Weiler, Zac Garbacz, Jonti Aremband, Simon Peterman, Ari Nevies (capt), Avi Korman, Jonny Kay, Josh Harris, Rocky Spitzer, Yehuda Korman, Zack Lewis, Dovi Fehler, Chaim Korman, Moses Seitler, Gav Noe
SCORERS: C. Korman, Spitzer, Seitler