Treble-chasing North West Neasden A will meet Hendon United A in this season’s Jewish FA Cup final at Wingate & Finchley on Sunday afternoon in a repeat of last season’s showdown.
Neasden came through a titanic Peter Morrison Trophy semi-final against first division North London Raiders A. Matt Sofier put them ahead after 70 minutes only for Raiders left-back James Fattal to level with the last kick of normal time. His curling effort from 30 yards nestled into the top corner, sparking wild celebrations.
With the bit between their teeth, Raiders pressed on in extra time with Neasden keeper David Fox forced into a couple of fine saves. The hosts also hit the woodwork before Neasden’s three substitutes broke Raiders’ hearts with three goals coming in the second period. Adam Levene crossed for Lee Bibring to tap home from close range. Ben Ellis rifled home from the edge of the box before Matt Stock rounded the keeper before slotting home to earn Neasden a 4-1 victory.
After Jamie Cole admitted that "that it had been a hard day in the office", Neasden joint-manager Daniel Fox told JC Sport: "Firstly, I have to pay credit to the Raiders, they were organised and stuck to their game plan, and it almost paid off.
"But luckily for us our quality showed. We dominated and were looking comfortable, but they did score a screamer.
"We didn't really get out of first gear but in extra time we went for it and the result was inevitable. We are looking forward to the final and hopefully we can retain our trophy."
Proud Raiders boss Adam Fegan said: "Our game-plan and tactics were spot on, and we were comfortable for long spells. I'm proud of the boys who showed big hearts and ran their socks off.
"We came very close to causing one of the shocks of the season but it wasn't to be. I doubt Neasden will have a tougher game this season. We wish them good luck in the final."
The other semi-final was decided by late goals from David Korman and Greg Corin as Hendon claimed a hard fought win against Leeds Maccabi AFC in a lunchtime kick-off at the Gledhow Sports Club, Leeds.
An uneven surface made passing difficult for both sets of players. The game was very tight throughout with both defences dominating.
After 81 minutes, Hendon were awarded a penalty after Korman was fouled in the box. Josh Bentley struck the penalty cleanly enough but the Leeds keeper pulled off a fantastic save.
At this point, the Hendon team spirit kicked in and Leeds were blown away by five minutes of relentless pressure. First, Saul Conway saw a smart shot on the turn rebound off the post. Conway then led an attack down the Hendon left and fed the ball into Korman who produced a neat finish to give Hendon the lead on 85.
A minute later, Corin waltzed through the Leeds midfield before sending a fierce drive into the roof of the net. 2-0 to Hendon and game over.
Hendon boss Benjy Wreschner told JC Sport: "Overall, I was delighted with the discipline my team showed for the whole game. It wasn't easy to play football, but they knew what they had to do and I was always confident that with our stirking abilities, we'd create enough chances to win the game.
"Leeds made life really difficult for us and are a quality team. They were also fantastic hosts and we hoe to be able to reciprocate in the future.
"Realistically, we'll probably need to play 10% better if we are to have any chance against Neasden who are clearly the team to beat in Jewish football and favourites for the cup. Before that, we have a Cyril Anekstein quarter final to play against Oakwood. It's a one-game-at-a-time situation for us."