JC MSFL DIVISION TWO
BRADY MACCABI B 7 CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI 1
Brady found their shooting boots in some style today, as they swept Catford and Bromley aside with consummate ease at the Lane.
Having come unstuck against a resilient Glenthorne in their last outing in front of their home fans, Brady were eager to make amends, and it did not take them long to do so. Soon after the opening, a cross from the left was swung in, being controlled excellently by James Joseph on the edge of the area. On the half-volley, he lashed home, easing the Brady faithful's nerves.
Buoyed on by the opener, Brady pushed forward in pursuit of a second. Winger Reiss Mogilner had the beating of his marker consistently, but chances were squandered by Mogilner, Joseph and Daniel Hildebrand.
At the other end, keeper Josh Lewis - making his triumphant return in goal in place of Sam Castle, who has joined Harmen - had to be alert to a long-range strike which threatened the goal.
When Brady's second did come, it was a just reward for their attacking intent. Joseph played a delightful slide-rule pass through the Catford defence, which Mogilner ran on to, striking confidently across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
Soon after, Brady's player-manager made it three. After a trademark marauding run down the left flank, left back Ben Hildebrand whipped a sumptuous cross in towards the back post, where Josh Dagul met it with a looping header - not only probably his first-ever headed goal, but maybe his first ever header - leaving the Catford goalkeeper stranded.
Not content with their lead, Brady soon made it four. Having never scored a header in his life, Dagul scored a second in less than five minutes. A chipped through ball sent Daniel Harrod clear, and whilst the goalkeeper did well to close Harrod down and prevent the lob, he could do little to stop the rebound ricocheting off Harrod to Dagul, who headed past a defender into an empty net.
Brady added a fifth before the interval, with Joseph striking home clinically from 18 yards.
Despite being five goals down, Catford came out in the second half with a renewed sense of purpose and an intention to restore some respectability to the scoreboard. Brady were unable to clear a corner, and Catford skipper Adam Luria was able to strike goalwards. The ball crashed off the bar, and was cleared by Harrod, but the referee deemed the ball to have crossed the line. Until goal line technology gets the green light, controversies like this will be a part and parcel of football.
Brady refused to let such controversy derail their focus, and as Catford pushed forward, Sam Frohlich and the evergreen Jason Sears held firm at the back. Any signs of a possible fightback were quashed, as Daniel Hildebrand finished off smartly after nice work down the left.
Brady took their foot off the gas as the game meandered towards its conclusion, but there was still time for a moment of magic from Mogilner. In a manner that a certain Argentinian winger would be proud off, Mogilner picked up the ball by the touchline on the left flank, headed towards the byline, cut inside into the area, beating men as he advanced, before striking home to the jubilation of the crowd.
Indeed, it could, and perhaps should, have been eight for the men in red, as Ben Ranny Sanj Miguel Santos Hildebrand gallivanted forward, sauntering into the area before losing his composure at the vital moment, and ballooning his effort over the bar.
After the game, manager Josh Dagul spoke with glee at his side's display, commenting: "It was nice to get a win in front of our fans, and even nicer to do it in the style we did. Displays like this were commonplace last season, but this year we have produced this kind of thing too irregularly.
"The spirit today was key; people were playing and smiling, which you love to see. I think the team were in disbelief when I scored my headers... I think they'd have expected to see Messi score a header for Brady before me!"
Meanwhile, the Catford skipper and manager, Lester Jacobs, waxed lyrical about the quality of this young Brady bunch.