PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND TWO
OAKWOOD A 0 RC UK FC 1
The day didn't start well for RC UK when our keeper, Nati Kind, called manager Avi Markiewicz at 9am to say he couldn't play due to family photographs! Markiewicz rushed back home to dust off his goalkeeper gloves, thinking as the gaffer "I would have to do the honourable thing". Thankfully Kind turned up 10 minutes before kick off and he never looked back.
RC UK knew Oakwood would be good on the ball and on such a large pitch, they set up to counter that. The visitors played five at the back, sat deep and allowed Oakwood possession in their half and sought to counter-attack and it worked to perfection.
Oakwood probably had around 75 per cent of possession but for all of that possession, RC had the better opportunities. Oakwood didn't have a single clear-cut chance from open play. They were reduced to efforts from corners and pot-shots.
RC, on the other hand, could have had four with some lightening breaks. RC scored with one of those breaks. Gideon Caller won the ball deep and wide on the left, fed a lovely ball to Jonti Aremband on the half-way line. Aremband left three Oakwood players in his wake sucking on their dummies before letting fly with a fizzing drive from 20 yards that perfectly found the bottom corner.
Most of Oakwood's long-range efforts were comfortably dealt with by Kind "or the fencing behind the goal". They did have one shot that looked a certain goal until Kind, at full-stretch, managed to tip the ball on to the bar and over. Kind had a flawless game "but it speaks volumes about our team that he is not being nominated for Team of The Week despite a clean sheet against a Premiership team".
Markiewicz commended several players; Yisroel Lewis, who isn't the tallest player, was the rock at the heart of the RC defence and won everything, heading away corner after corner with nothing getting past him all game - man-of-the-match. The whole defence deserves a mention and were magnificent. David Brown, Josh Marlow, Aaron Luftig and Gideon Caller. RC's midfield were equally as wondrous, Avi Mocton and Dudi Edreyi in the middle worked seamlessly together to shut down Oakwood over and over again and then broke tirelessly to take advantage of the counter. Likewise on the wings, Zalmy Cohen, Jonti Aremband and Eli Shebson who were up and down the entire game.
Reflecting on a memorable morning, Markiewicz told JC Sport: "The key to the game was discipline and shape and RC didn't lose focus for a second. Leor Harel turned up at 60 minutes after rushing from a family Bris and added much needed legs to the midfield and more than played his part in seeing the game out.
"Credit must go to Oakwood, it is not easy to lose to a team a division below, never mind two but they remained positive and didn't get on each other's backs. They were then very dignified in defeat, gracefully congratulating us on a the win."
Asked what the result meant to the club, Markiewicz replied: "Best win of the season? Surely must be so. We are fourth in Division Two and we beat a team who are third in the Prem, have the best defence and have lost one game all season. Am I surprised? Absolutely not.
"The predictions had a massive 4-0 win to Oakwood, almost as bad as some of Lawro's predictions, I think it's time for someone to eat their words.
"There are no additional superlatives can I use to describe this astonishing team. I think the result and the scoreline says it all.
"We now have no excuses when it comes to any team in our division. The downside to all this is that I am going to be a fair bit out of pocket, promising that if we win, first round is on me. Jonti's mum won't be happy with that so he gets a Capri-Sun for his efforts. Having said that the cup run and the gate receipts that come with it will bring in a much needed cash injection into the RC coffers."
Oakwood managers Daniel Kristall and Ric Blank both missed the tie, but on hearing the result, Kristall told JC Sport: "Sunday was a bad day at the office for Oakwood. Certainly the lowest point in recent times, but I don’t want to labour the excuses.
"Blanky and I were away but we have had the thoughts of stand-in manager Adam Levine. We dominated the ball without any penetration and were hit on the break.
"We had to play the second half with 10 men due to injury and lack of player availability. The same excuse has now cost us in both cup competitons and we know that isn’t right.
"We have over 50 players registered and in both cup games, we have been down to 11/12 players which means shuffling players around into unatural positions, rushing players back from injury and asking players that don’t usually play to come in and do us a favour. This is NOT the key to success and not the key to winning cups.
"Let's take nothing away from our well-organised opposition from the lower league. They turned up with a game plan and RC UK deserve their win and I wish them all the best for the rest of the season."
Oakwood currently lie third in the MGBSFL Premier Division. Kristall continued: "Our season hangs by a thread … we must win almost ALL of our entire league fixtures to have a chance of silverware. That begins with the visits to Brady and Lions pre-Chanukah."