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Kenley ends resistance of eight-man Sedgley Park

A brilliant header from Michael Kenley helped Lions Blue cement a trip to Manchester in the last eight of the Jewish FA Cup following an epic victory over a Sedgley Park team who finished with eight men.

    PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND THREE

    MACCABI LONDON LIONS BLUE 3 SEDGLEY PARK CELTIC 2

    MJSL table-toppers Sedgley got off to the worst possible start when centre-half Jacob Shapiro was sent off by referee Andy Myerson following a late lunge on Kenley.

    The Lions forged ahead soon after when a speculative ball into the box from Jordan Aspis caught SPC goalkeeper Sam Franks in no-man's land, bounced over him and looped into the net.

    Sedgley Park, who have lost just once in the Manchester Jewish Soccer League this season, showed tremendous character to equalise following excellent play down the left flank by Moses Seitler. He made space before cutting the ball back into the path of Jack Burman who fired past James Harpin in the Lions goal.

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    The 10-men of Sedgley moved ahead early in the second half when Berman was sent clean through and coolly slotted past Harpin. Their joy was short-lived, however, as a second caution for Sam Marks resulted in Myerson flashing his red card for the second time and the visitors were forged to soldier on with nine players.

    This was followed by another red - this time for Ari Steinberger following two cautionable offences - to leave Sedgley with eight. The Lions huffed and puffed but they struggled to break down an organised Sedgley defence. And it needed a moment of magic from Ben Winters to draw them level, as his stunning shot nestled in the top corner.

    Franks had been in fine form in the Sedgley goal but with time running out and extra-time looming, Kenley produced a giant leap and with a flick of the head planted the ball into the roof of the net before wheeling away in delight.

    So, Lions Blue will travel to Manchester Maccabi 2nd in the quarter-finals, while their White team visit Maccabi 1st.

    Lions boss Sam Marchant told JC Sport: “This was a strange game to say the least. We expected a tough physical battle from the Manchester side and they definitely showed that.

    "We weren’t at our best at all today but at the end of the day we’ve won the game, we are in the quarters of the cup and we have an away day in Manchester, so we can’t really complain.

    "We found it difficult to break down then 10 men of Sedgley after their early red card but we dug in deep and kept composure. Going 2-1 down after half time was difficult to take but we reacted well and took more control of the game.

    "We just had to work hard and grind it out. It was a struggle at times for us but we did what had to be done and that is all that matters.”

    Sedgley Park boss Stuart Shapiro told JC Sport he "had no complaints with any of the red cards". He told JC Sport: "Even with eight men we were holding on and it didn’t look like they would score. In the end it took a wonder goal to win it."

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