MGBSFL DIVISION THREE
LOUGHTON ORIENT 3 TEMPLE FORTUNE 4
Jonathan Cohen believes that Temple Fortune's victory over Loughton Orient is a sign of how far the team has come.
Fortune were over-powered 6-0 by the east Londoners earlier in the season, but strikes from Maccabiah gold medallist Laurence Swerner, the in-form Dave Sawyer (2) and Zach Rich helped them exact revenge and climb off the foot of the table.
Cohen told JC Sport: "I thought for the first 20 minutes we were excellent, our keeper had virtually nothing to do and we were worth the 2-0 lead we had though Dave and Zack who are in a rich vein of form. We then really dropped our level of performance, allowed them to play some nice football and the scored a cracking half valley from just inside the area.
"The game then changed with the deliberate handball on the line resulting in a penalty and red card for the Loughton player, no complaints from anyone about the decision. David Sawyer scored the rebound to make it 3-1 at half time.
"I thought we started brightly in the second half also and only wasteful finishing stopped us from extending the lead by three or four, before a superb finish from Laurence Swerner gave us the cushion that as much as killed the game off.
"Then Loughton were reduced to nine men, again with little complaint, and I have to the give credit to the nine players that finished the match that pulled the game back to 4-3. In the end we held on for the points, but it was no more than we deserved given the sheer volume of chances we created and spurned. On another day we could have scored eight."
"I would like to commend my players attitude for not reacting to any of the overzealous and cynical challenges that they endured in the second half, and also the ref for being brave and not allowing only one or two players to intimidate him."
Looking at his team's improvement, Cohen went on to say: "We lost eight league games in a row last year, but I have always remained confident that things would change around. As the players have got to know each other better we have improved and that's been reflected by the results."
Josh Jacobs (2) and Barry Green registered for Loughton who finished with nine men after two red cards - one of handball on the goalline and another for foul and abusive language.
Cohen added: "I'm pleased for the team and I hope we can finish what has been a difficult season with continued progress."