JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
FC TEAM A 0 HENDON UTD SC A 2
A goal in each half from Greg Corin and Josh Bentley saw title hopefuls Hendon complete a hard fought win over new boys FC Team A in Borehamwood.
FC Team could not have been handed a tougher start when the fixtures were published with Hendon United, last years runners-up and a lot of people's tip for the title this year, visiting them on the opening day of the season.
Making their debut in the MSFL's Premier Division, it was FC Team who started the brightest with Craig Edwards and Matt Drage linking up well and putting pressure on Hendon's back line.
The first real chance came after five minutes when Team's Jason Wood let rip from 30 yards but failed to hit the target.
It took Hendon a good quarter of an hour for them to really get going but once they did years of Premiership experience showed. A glorious chance fell to David Korman midway through the first half. A great cross by the insturmental Yishael Last found the head of Korman but his powerful header was well saved by Dave Grossman.
At the other end, the trickery and pace of Shai Davidi tested stalwart defenders Alex Rosenthal and Smulovitch in the Hendon defence.
The opening goal came on 29 minutes when Smulovitch's long throw found the unmarked Corin who toe-poked home from three yards.
FC Team did not let their heads drop and the influentuial Richard Salmon started to get into the game and was causing problems for his opponents with his height and presence.
The hosts had a great chance to equalise on the stroke of half time when Edwards latched onto Matt Drage's through-ball but hit his shot just wide of the upright.
Hendon started the brighter of the teams in the second half and had the ball in the net after a minute but the offside flag was up.
Three minutes later and Bentley had a good shot which was tipped over the bar.
Jake Weiner then went on a mazy run for Team but his effort struck the post. Edwards was next to test Hendon's resilience but after turning his marker his tame effort went wide.
It was evident now that Team were throwing everything at their opposition as there were gaps left in their midfield and Hendon wrapped up the points in the dying seconds when Bentley slotted home after good work from record signing Ben Lauffer.
Hendon boss David Garbacz told JC Sport: "We were delighted to get our season off to a winning start. We were up against a very determined FC team who were not lacking in any motivation.
"The pitch conditions made it difficult to play our normal flowing brand of football and we had to resort to more battling qualities. Overall we deserved our win as their keeper must have produced three or four excellent saves to keep them in the match.
"All 14 players contributed well today including our three debutants but the stand out performances came from Alex Rosenthal, who was faultless at the back, and Ari Last who battled hard in midfield.
"The season is up and running but today showed how competetive this league will be this year. I expect FC team to more than hold their own this year so good luck to them . As for us a really important win in the quest for the holy grail."
FC Team boss Mitch Young told JC Sport: "We created lots of chances but at this level you get punished if you don't take them.
"Our aim for the season is to consolidate as a unit and if we can throw a few surprises and upsets I will be really happy."
FC Team: David Grossman, Gideon Moss, Jon Toby, Jake Weiner, James Korn, Jason Wood, Simon Peterman, Matt Drage(sub: Jonny Breger), Craig Edwards (sub: Cohen), Shai Davidi, Richard Salmon
Hendon: Russell Corin, Martin Smulovitch, Ben Kon (sub: Motti Colman), Alex Rosenthal, Josh Lipman, Avi Last, Ben Lauffer, Josh Bentley, Yishai Last (sub: Avishai Kestenbaum), Greg Corin, Dovid Korman (sub: Dany Kon)