YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
(matches KO at 10am unless stated)
PETER MORRISON TROPHY SEMI-FINAL
HMH vs MACCABI LONDON LIONS
Match of the day sees Premier Division galacticos HMH and Lions go head to head for a place in the Jewish FA Cup final.
For me, there is no particular favourite going into the tie, despite HMH having beaten the boys from Rowley Lane twice in the league this season. Because Lions are Lions and the Morrison is a competition they want to retain. And, as we all know, anything can happen in the cup, where form often goes out of the window.
But to do that they know they will need to stop HMH hot-shot Oscar Wagner, who has scored 17 goals in his last 18 games. Adam Abadi is also in great form, while they are in great shape at the back too, with goalkeeper Jake Doffman in the form of his life, and Sammy Kingston, Josh Goldstein and Thomas Prais on top of their game.
Avi Goldberg has done a fantastic job to keep HMH competing for silverware on two fronts on the team's first season in men's football. Ahead of kick-off, he told JC Sport: "It's been a big week for both clubs. We went top of the Premiership on Sunday and Lions must be congratulated on winning the Herts cup, with a number of their Sunday players apparently featuring in that match.
"The scorelines so far this season might point to an HMH win, but both games were close fought encounters so we are taking nothing for granted with almost all the London based lads turning out to train hard this week in preparation."
Goldberg insists his squad are going into the tie in great shape, and he will urge them to play with no fear. "We have benefitted from a week off, in particular our midfield who were all carrying injuries but who have now had the chance to recover, particularly Ben Winters, who had to come off last time out against lLons after 20 mins with pulled hamstring.
"Everyone loves a cup final outing, so motivating the lads will not be a problem and the incentive to make history with HMH if we do so. It’s rare that I will have a selection headache!"
Goldberg believes "the match will be won on fine margins". He went on to say: "Both teams have strong forward lines and both goalkeepers were in fine form last time out.
"We may know each other well now but, of course, Lions may surprise us by wheeling out their Saturday brigade, but if so that would only make a win even sweeter."
As Goldberg has said, it’s been a memorable few days for the Lions who added another trophy to the Rowley Lane cabinet with victory over Belstone in the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy on Tuesday night. Adam Arnold played a key role and he is expected to feature against HMH. But the question all HMH fans want to know is, will he be joined by anyone else?
Lions have a very settled Sunday side. Yes they were beaten by Hendon United in the Anekstein semis last weekend, but the players will feel they deserve a chance to set the record straight.
So the make-up of their starting XI will be of great interest as they look to shatter HMH’s cup dreams.
Ahead of the game, Lions’ joint-manager Max Kyte told JC Sport: “It’s a season-defining moment for us this Sunday, and with a lot of Arsenal fans in our team, we know all too well about seasons being over within three consecutive games!
“Our last fixture against HMH killed our hopes of any title challenge and last week we fell short in the Cyril Anekstein semi-final.
“We are desperate to reach the final and retain the Peter Morrison Trophy and take home some silverware this year. We have a lot of players away with work and holiday commitments so we are pulling in left, right and centre and there is every chance a manager or two may grace the field.
“We think it is only fair Avi Goldberg gets his kit on too! It will be another great game I’m sure as per our previous fixtures against HMH.”
The JC cameras will be in place to see if HMH can make history as secure a place in what would be their first-ever Jewish FA Cup final. They have an excellent track record when the paparazzi are in attendance, but are fully aware Lions have the resources and pool of talent to shatter their dreams.
In terms of a prediction, this one really could go either way.
JC team news: HMH will be missing George Goldberg, Eli Wezgryn and Jake Norton, who will all be hooked up by video link from the southern Hemisphere to cheer them on.
HMH (from): Jake Doffman, Gab Arenson, Thomas Prais, Sammy Kingston, Josh Goldstein, Max Bull, Dom Feldman, Ben Winters, Leo Berger, Alex Moss, Sam Monjack, Clark Norton, Adam Abadi, Oscar Wagner, Ethan Krell, Avi Goldberg
LIONS (from): David Myers, Jack Franks, Jordan Sharifian, Daniel Behar, Alex Taylor, Adam Hassanali, Ed Brafman, Will Beresford, Jordan Aspis, Richard Gold, James Gold, Benji Weinberger, David Dinkin, Daniel Green, Adam Arnold, Reiss Mogilner, Michael Kenley, Max Mizrahi, Jono Gaon, Joe Salomon, Louis Lazarus, Ethan Kessel, Max Kyte, Sam Hamerton, Ollie Craig, Nick Landesberg, Sam Marchant
Venue – The Hive, Ref – Martin De La Fuente, KO – 9.30am
JC star man: Ben Winters (HMH)
DC Prediction: HMH 1 Lions 1 (HMH on penalties)
MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION
1. HMH Pl. 14, W. 8, Pts. 28
2. Hendon Utd Pl. 12, W. 8, Pts. 26
3. Oakwood A Pl. 13, W. 7, Pts. 22
LOS CAMDEN A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS
Hendon United will look to return to the summit – with HMH expected to be awarded three points after Brady Maccabi forfeited last week’s match – when they take on a Los Camden team reeling from their League Cup exit.
The defending league champions were good value for their 2-0 win over Lions in their Anekstein Cup semi-final last weekend, when Simon Peterman and Gav Noe eased them to victory.
Goalkeeper Russell Corin was a mere spectactor throughout, with Mordi Weiler, Zac Garbacz, Jonti Aremband and Ari Nevies giving him rock solid protection.
Josh Harris, in midfield, and Dovi Fehler, up top, put in real shifts in an outstanding Hendon performance from front to back.
Los Camden will be on a revenge mission as they lost 2-1 to Hendon at the start of the season. They will be hurting from the cup defeat to Oakwood last weekend in a game where they were rattled by the concession of a penalty.
I can see Hendon adopting similar tactics to Oakwood, with Fehler looking to hurt them on the break. The big question is will Camden then drop deep to nullify the pace of Fehler or press high and try to catch him offside. Decisions, decisions …
I can see Camden giving another good account of themselves, but think Hendon have too much quality in the final third.
Venue – Hertswood, Ref – Andy Myerson
JC star man: Zack Lewis (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Camden 1 Hendon 2
OAKWOOD A vs FAITHFOLD DOC MM A
Experimentation could be the name of the game for Cyril Anekstein Cup finalists Oakwood, who will “try a few different things” between Sunday and the crunch clash against Hendon on April 14.
Josh Cuby and Brad Wine starred in the 2-0 win over Los Camden last weekend. Third place in the highest they can finish in the league, so managers Dan Kristall and Dave Cohen have time to tinker with formations and players when they host Faithfold in London Colney.
Josh Bharier has fond memories of the last meeting with Faithfold, when he helped himself to a hat-trick in a 6-3 triumph. Leor Sidle (2) and Rafi Stone added the gloss, but their presence has been sorely missed since.
Ahead of kick-off, Oaks joint-manager Dan Kristall told JC Sport: "We expect a tough match against a competitive Faithfold side.
"We will now experiment with our team/squad until the final and use these games as preparation.
"All 11 positions are up for grabs so we’ll it’s absolutely imperative that we perform well."
Oakwood's league run has been hampered by injuries to key players and availability, but Kristall gave an honest assessment of where they are and said: "Our league form has been scratchy at best this season and we have under-performed.
"We want to get it back on track Sunday by taking the points."
Faithfold ended a run of defeats with a hard-earned draw against Los Camden. Boss Avi Markiewicz has turned to his old guard in recent weeks in a bid to avoid relegation. But they have been running dry in the goals column, while struggling to keep things tight at the back.
Oakwood have lost five league games but this looks like a home banker.
JC team news: Alex Lee and Kyle Bentwood are away for Oakwood, but Simon Davies and Josh Gellman return. Louie Libbert joins the matchday squad.
Venue – Silver Jubilee, Ref – Luke Steele, KO - 9.45am
JC star man: Josh Gellman (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 3 Faithfold 0
1. Redbridge JC A Pl. 15, W. 10, Pts. 37
2. Fairlop FC Pl. 15, W. 11, Pts. 37
No matches scheduled
1. Hertswood Vale Pl. 18, W. 13, Pts. 40 (PROMOTED)
2. SPEC FC Pl. 17, W. 10, Pts. 32
3. Faithfold Doc MM B Pl. 18, W. 9, Pts. 28
4. Redbridge JC B Pl. 14, W. 9, Pts. 28
No matches scheduled
BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY ROUND ONE
FAITHFOLD DOC MM C vs MILL HILL DONS
This match was held over from last weekend, due to a waterlogged pitch, but I’m still tipping the Dons to progress. They’ve beaten both Faithfold C and B 4-0 in recent outings and are in a good moment.
I can’t recall a player making such a big impact in a short space of time as Dons’ dynamo Isaac Virchis, who has been described as the jewel in the crown.
However, Dons boss Brandon Hamme is confident his team can do the job without him. "We are all hoping it's third time lucky this week after this fixture has been called off twice due to Faithfold's home pitch being waterlogged.
"It's been very frustrating to have had three-week break in a period where we have been in some great form, but I believe the boys will be able to pick things up where they left them come Sunday.
"It’s great to finally have our debut Barry Goldstein Trophy campaign. It would be fantastic to enjoy another cup run but we know there are some great teams in this tournament so we will need to put in some great performances to copy over our success in the Peter Morrison.
"Last time we played at Tempsford Green, we struggled to play our style of play, we know we will have to adapt in order to get the win this Sunday."
Faithfold C fans haven't had much to cheer about this season. The draw hasn’t been kind to Faithfold, but Ben Kfir will remind his players they have already claimed one win over the Dons this season.
Their fans hope they will give the Dons a game, but when push comes to shove, Brandon Hamme's men will have too much for them.
The winner of Sunday’s tie will have home advantage against either Hertswood Vale or Oakwood B.
JC team news: Full-backs Adam Freedman and Sam Demby are unavailable the Dons, whilst Josh Moses is out for the remainder of the season (torn labrum).
Ref – Teddy Littner
JC star man: Richard Reback (Dons)
DC Prediction: Faithfold 0 Dons 4
BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY ROUND ONE
JEWDINESE vs SCRABBLE FC B
Darren Lawrence will guard against complacency when his Jewdinese team take on giant-killers Scrabble.
Few had Scrabble down to beat Division One champions-elect Redbridge Jewish Care A, but that’s exactly what Jon Yantin’s men did, and in some style, with a clean sheet for good measure.
The Zebras remain on course for a top-three finish, but they believe the BGT is a competition they can win. They have been excellent defensively this season, conceding just 16 goals in 13 league games, and believe they have the beating of their more senior opponents.
Ahead of the game, ‘Nese boss Darren Lawrence told JC Sport: “With Redbridge and Fairlop having the league all but tied up, we can now fully focus on the BGT.
“We would be delighted to make this the first piece of silverware in Jewdinese history and very much fancy our chances to do so.
“However before thinking about silverware, we have the quarter-final to think about and tough opposition in Scrabble B. Although they sit third from bottom in Division Two, we know that they are capable of a shock result, after they defeated Division One champions Redbridge, something we were not capable of doing over two games this season.
“Therefore, we will not be taking this tie lightly. Scrabble may be a slightly older team, however we know they will be disciplined, organised and tough to break down
“We have already experienced playing an older side in Oakwood Old Boys this season and although we won, it was certainly no easy feat.
“All in all, I believe we have enough quality in our ranks to get through this tie and put our name in the hat for the semi-finals.”
Scrabble were comprehensively beaten by FC Team last weekend on a day when they struggled with the physicality and presence of Richard Salmon. Given ‘Nese have great height across the side, this could be a key factor.
Although Scrabble have some top-notch talent in their ranks, including Hadley Silver and Brad Lazarus, and Mark Wagman could make an appearance, home advantage will be key and I can see ‘Nese doing enough on the day to progress, as long as they remain patient and keep their discipline and focus.
JC team news: ‘Nese are delighted to welcome back Billy Lee after his hamstring injury. Brandon Sassoon and James Ross face late fitness tests. Brad Lander is unavailable
Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Scott Oldstein (Jewdinese)
DC Prediction: Jewdinese 2 Scrabble 1
NORTH LONDON GALAXY vs TEMPLE FORTUNE
I’m expecting a big reaction from the Galaxy boys following last week’s 5-1 mauling at the hands of Redbridge Jewish Care.
That was their heaviest defeat of the season and put their chances of a top-three finish at risk.
Player-manager Luke Lewis didn't mince his words ahead of the game. He told JC Sport: "This is our only chance of silverware so we are wholly focused on winning Sunday and winning convincingly."
Galaxy will be younger, fitter and sharper across the park than Fortune, who warmed-up for the tie with a morale-boosting friendly victory over North London Raiders Masters.
Danny Sherman, Grant Bates (2), Daniel Vandermolen and Gab Stone were their scorers for a Fortune team looking to reach the final for the second consecutive year.
I can see Fortune boss Simon Linden setting his team up to try and frustrate Galaxy, and put great numbers behind the ball. A 4-5-1 formation could be the order of the day and they look to pull off a smash and grab win.
Linden and co know they have nothing to lose going into Sunday's game. "It’s a game that all the lads are looking forward to," he told JC Sport. "Galaxy, by the looks of it, are having a very good season and have to be one of the favourites to win the cup.
"We warmed up with a win against Raiders Masters last Sunday which was encouraging."
Fortune are on a mission to reach the semis, and Linden commented: "Last year's cup final defeat was hard to take, which gives us every reason to give it our all to try and go the distance.
"Galaxy is a tough ask, but on our day you never know - which we have shown this season on a few occasions against some very good sides in our division."
Fortune will clearly be up for it on Sunday. They must use everything in their locker in terms of game-management and hard-work, but even then I can only see one winner.
JC team news: Galaxy have some notable absentees, however they have a lot of boys back from uni, including Nick Barnett "who’ll provide stability in the midfield" and Harrison Baum who will be pushing for a start.
Venue - Ark ElvinAcademy, Ref – Robert Benardout, KO: 9.30am
JC star man: Nick Barnett (Galaxy)
DC Prediction: Galaxy 2 Fortune 0
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS vs SPEC FC
The footage of the recent defeat against Redbridge Jewish Care B didn’t make particularly good viewing SPEC fans.
They conceded a number of soft goals and it looked as though they didn’t compete for 90 minutes. Player-manager Ricky Lawrence expects higher standards, and his players owe him a performance on Sunday.
Indeed Lawrence gave an honest assessment ahead of kick-off, and told JC Sport: “Our season has pretty much come down to the Barry Goldstein Trophy.
“We had a fantastic outing in the cup last time against Fairlop but we massively let ourselves down against Redbridge in the league.
“We’re missing some key players but we’ll be doing all we can to get into the semi finals.”
Having endured a disappointing league campaign, the BGT is big for Raiders and their fans. I expect them to put a strong XI out to ensure they get the job done.
NLR’s David Isaacs told JC Sport: “We are really looking forward to this one, we know it’s a must-win if we want our season to continue on
“It’s going to be a very tricky game, especially as last time they beat Fairlop very convincingly. However, if the boys stick to the plan we have, we are confident that we will be able to make it through to the last four.”
This is another game where I can see home advantage playing a part, but there could be a gulf in class between the sides from Division One and Two.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Richard Jaye
JC star man: Aron Gale (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Raiders 3 SPEC 1
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nathan Sollosi (RJC A)
MANAGERS OF THE WEEK: Sam Rank & Johan Simberg (Redbridge JC A)
GOAL OF THE WEEK: Nathan Sollosi (Redbridge JC A) - GOAL 1
SAVE OF THE WEEK: David Gordon (FC Team)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Dan Kristall (Oakwood A) - "Jordan (Sapler) mentioned in his pre-match to Hendon's semi-final last week that their main threat this season has been HMH and Lions ... In which case, we're just happy to make up the numbers at Wingate!"
PETER MORRISON TROPHY SEMI-FINAL DRAW
HMH vs Maccabi London Lions
Haroldeans or Manchester Maccabi vs Mill Hill Dons (Haroldeans vs Manchester replay April 14)
CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP TROPHY FINAL
Hendon Utd Sports vs Oakwood A
- to be held at Wingate & Finchley FC on April 14, KO 2pm
BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL DRAW
Faithfold C or Mill Hill Dons vs Hertswood Vale
Jewdinese vs Scrabble FC B
North London Raiders vs SPEC FC
North London Galaxy vs Temple Fortune
- Ties scheduled to be played on March 24