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Faithfold nine-goal thriller against North London Raiders

Four-goal Daryl takes Faithfold off the bottom

    Daryl Phillips rises at the far post to head home and he had time to mesmerise the Raiders with a showboat
    Daryl Phillips rises at the far post to head home and he had time to mesmerise the Raiders with a showboat

    Faithfold 5-4 North London Raiders

    Faithfold player-coach James Bloom insisted Daryl Phillips is still "among the best finishers in Jewish football" after his four goals won a nine-goal thriller against North London Raiders.

    Running the show in this Maccabi Masters Division One contest alongside his MSFL colleagues Zuriel Solomon and David Garson, Phillips' speed over five yards and opportunism proved too much for a Raiders team who until recently still harboured title ambitions.

    After going behind to an early Ezra Mordechai header, Faithfold clicked into gear and deservedly led at half time thanks to two moments of magic from Phillips; the first a looping header from 15 yards over Raiders keeper Martin Leslie, the second a half-volley at full-stretch from a cross.

    Raiders were again caught napping early in the second half as a fine pass from Solomon set up Clive Nathan for his first goal in three years.

    Phillips struck again 20 minutes from time when, receiving a Kline pass 35 yards from goal, he surged past the right-hand side of the Raiders defence and prodded the ball under Leslie's body.

    There was still time for some late drama as Ashley Davidson exhibited his own finishing school - with a hat-trick sandwiched between another from Phillips from a Garson cross.

    Phillips said: "It was wasn't my greatest performance but it was nice to help out the Faithfold Masters. In the end, it was a real team effort to win the game and get off the foot of the table.

    "Obviously, my priority is the A team, but Faithfold is about a club, people of all ages playing football with their friends and enjoying it and different levels and ages."

    Raiders player-coach Richard Sacks believes that the concept of bringing in players from the MSFL is okay, but there's a danger it can "unbalance games". He said: "We all have the same opportunity to call in a couple of younger players, but sometimes it can prove the decisive factor in a match. The fitness and ability of Phillips in particular was crucial against men 10 years his senior."

    For Faithfold player-coach Bloom, who had called upon former Manchester City midfielder Barry Silkman the previous week, the most important thing is that his side is heading in the right direction: "That's three wins in four in all competitions. Hopefully we can have a good end to the season."

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