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Summers knocks Oakwood off top spot

Jon Jacobs praised midfield maestro Ben Sollosi as Redbridge Jewish Care ended a run of poor results with a hard-fought point against leaders Oakwood A.

    After a cagey opening 20 minutes, there was a lengthy delay in play following a sickening clash of heads that saw RJC's Richie Caplin and Oakwood centre-back Dale Bradman. Both players were forced to leave the pitch and after hospital tests Jacobs confirmed Caplin was fine and told JC Sport: "We send our best wishes to the Oakwood player who stayed and watched the rest of the game."

    Oakwood forged ahead midway through the half when RJC failed to clear their lines and the ball was swept home from the edge of the area. The visitors dominated but were unable to create further clear-cut openings as RJC defended resolutely.

    Redbridge improved in the second half and veteran Steve Summers equalised with a neat close-range finish on the hour mark.

    Oakwood livewire Josh Cuby had a chance to win it for the defending champions but he was denied by a smart save from Daniel Lee, who saved with his feet in a one-on-one.

    Redbridge finished the stronger and driven forward by Sollosi, they could have won it but his cross-shot flashes inches wide.

    RJC joint-manager Jon Jacobs told JC Sport: "It was a good game on a difficult and muddy pitch, but on reflection a fair result. After a difficult last few weeks for the club, today was all about the squad standing up and playing for each other and being a solid group."

    Oakwood surrendered top spot to Hendon United, who have a game in hand, following the draw. Joint-manager Dan Kristall told JC Sport; "It was a tough day out in Essex for us where I felt we just edged the game.

    "The pitch and conditions were atrocious and really levelled the game up. It restricted us playing our fast-flowing attacking football. Our injury list mounts with two enforced changes before the 20-minute mark to join the big-hitters in the treatment room. If we'd had a couple of those guys, I am confident we would have had too much for Redbridge.

    "Twelve months ago in our title-decider and at the last minute, Redbridge themselves switched us from this pitch at Fairlop to a massive local 3G round the corner. This year they didn't which to me speaks volumes for how they saw the game going.

    "As for our hosts, our poor run in Essex continues (I think its four years since we have beaten them now). 

    "They battled well and scored in their good 20-minute spell in the second half. Although I felt we dominated the opening hour of the game, we tired as the game wore on and in the end it could have gone either way. I can't really argue with the result."

    Paying tribute to Redbridge, Kristall went on to say: "Jon [Jacobs] is a good guy (for a Leeds fan) and organises them well, and if they get that sort of team out on that pitch every week, they will go back to beating the better teams in the league like they were last season.

    "It shows how far that we have come as a team, that we are so disappointed with this draw in Essex which in the grand scheme of things is a good point."

    Looking at the title race, Kristall added: "The league is strong, Hendon are now big favourites and it's certainly theirs to lose but we came from nowhere didn't we? Like us, Hendon also have some tough tests to come so nothing is decided yet.

    "We will keep fighting and once we recover our injured players, we will be in the mix at the end of the season."

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