Wagner wonder goal lifts HMH

Avi Goldberg saluted red-hot striker Oscar Wagner who scored one of the goals of the season as HMH leapfrogged Maccabi London Lions following a 4-1 win at the Hive. But that only tells half the story in a game that could have benefitted from VAR.


This match had it all - talent, quality football, refereeing decisions, sin bins ... the lot.

The first half was well fought with both sides looking dangerous. A five-minute cameo from the manager, Avi Goldberg, almost saw HMH take the lead in the first five minutes as a one-two with Oscar Wagner almost ended up with Wagner scoring, but a good defensive block rescued the Lions.

After a good 10 minutes, Lions found their way into the game and started to dominate but the HMH defence and new goalkeeper Jake Doffman stood firm.

HMH took the lead after 30 minutes when Adam Abadi headed home a free-kick - his fourth goal in two games.

Lions then saw appeals for what they thought was an equaliser by Daniel Green waved away by referee Andy Myerson, who ruled the whole ball had not crossed the line. Their frustrations boiled over and two Lions' players were sin binned for their protests - one permanently sin-binned for the remainder of the game, as well as a temporary sin-bin, taking the down to nine players for the last 10 minutes of the first half. MLL joint-manager Max Kyte told JC Sport: "Whilst there is much talk of whether VAR should be installed into the various stadiums across the MGBSFL, it wasn’t required for this clear-cut situation."

The reprieve was shortlived, however as Lions equalised via a superbly struck shot from David Dinkin, who smashed his shot past former North London Raiders team-mate Doffman.

HMH regained the lead on the stroke of half-time with a neat free-kick from Ethan Krell sending Sam Monjack clear In the inside right channel who crossed for Sammy Kingston to convert from close-range.

The second half was different story, as Lions started with nine men for another five minutes. HMH took control and dominated possession, particularly in midfield with Alex Moss, Nir Wegrzyn and Monjack imperious.

Lions created openings for Adam Arnold, Jono Gaon and Charlie Cohen to equalise, but no-one could beat Doffman.

The chances eventually came and Wagner killed off the game with a double, including a stunning Goal of the Season contenders - as he took the ball waist height first time and with outside of the boot buried the ball in the top corner from 30 yards.

Jubilant HMH boss Avi Goldberg told JC Sport: "Today we tamed the lion. The first half was difficult and arguably they were the better team half and perhaps it should have been 2-2 at the break. Not for the first time this season VAR at the Hive would have helped.

"However, there was only one winner in the second half as our imperious midfield of Moss, Wegrzyn and Monjack dominated, backed up by the defence led by Tom Prais, allowing Oscar Wagner to continue his ruthless streak with a truly outrageous technically phenomenal strike from 30 yards. On to Hendon next week.”

Lions joint-manager Max Kyte told JC Sport: "It was a must-win game for both sides to have any chance of challenging for the title. In the end it was a deserved win for HMH on the day, and we hope we can reverse the result at our next meeting."

Commenting on the 'goal' that wasn't, Kyte went on to say: "Regardless, the goal was disallowed and unfortunately the discipline of our players was not acceptable towards the ref, and we suffered a permanent sin-bin as well as a temporary sin-bin, taking us down to nine players for the last 10 minutes of the first half."

LIONS: Jordan Sharifian, Daniel Behar, Ed Brafman, Alexander Taylor, Charlie Cohen, Richard Gold, Sam Hamerton, Reiss Mogilner, Benji Weinberger, David Dinkin, Adam Arnold, Reiss Mogilner. Subs: Jono Gaon, Daniel Green, Adam Hassanali

SCORER: Dinkin

HMH: Jake Doffman, Dominic Feldman, Avi Goldberg, George Goldberg, Joshua Goldstein, Sammy Kingston, Thomas Prais, Alex Moss, Eli Wegrzyn, Ben Winters, Oscar Wagner. Subs: Gabriel Arenson, Ethan Krell, Sam Monjack, Adam Abadi

​​​​​​​SCORERS: Abadi, Kingston, Wagner 2

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