PETER MORRISON TROPHY FINAL
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A 2 OAKWOOD A 2 AET (Hendon won 3-1 on penalties)
Russell Corin was the hero of the hour as a hat-trick of saves in the shoot-out ensured that Hendon United secured the first part of a probable treble in a nail-biter at Wingate & Finchley.
Corin saved brilliantly to his right to give Hendon the early advantage, before standing up to save two more penalties which were rather more comfortable saves.
Three calm and collected efforts from Hendon, including a beautiful dink from Yoav Levbns and a stroked effort into the corner from Greg Corin secured the result.
"It's only a game," said Corin, who added that "my biggest strength is that I was relaxed. I don't worry, it's a chance for keepers to shine." After stopping Jonny Quinn's effort he was up to the challenge when Oakwood's Josh Bentley, his former team-mate, also went for the right, but found the keeper impossible to pass.
"This is the proudest moment of my career, but I always want to aim higher," he added.
David Garbacz, the Hendon manager, was impressed with his team's "ability to win ugly. We wanted to play more football, but Oakwood seemed happy to break up the play in the second half."
He added that a treble "was very likely now, as we feel confident about our league games."
Sunday's Anekstein Cup final will be, he predicted, "more of a football match that will allow us to flourish. We probably didn't show our flair today, but I felt we deserved it. I wasn't anxious even when they drew level at the end of extra-time as we practised penalty kicks and it showed."
Oakwood joint-manager Ric Blank felt his side "showed that we will eventually come out on top against Hendon. We more than matched them and I am proud of our efforts. I will take the positives as we played a compact and solid game against a very good side."
In truth there was little to separate the teams in an engrossing game that was high-tempo, though scrappy at times. It was the eye-catching Greg Corin, who floated in a delightful inswinging free-kick that Yoav Lebens headed home powerfully just before half-time after. Hendon had weathered an early storm when forward Brad Wine burst through on the right and hit a post.
Oakwood had lost Sam Jacobson to injury early on, with Hendon coming close when captain Ari Last headed just over from a corner. Hendon threatened at set-pieces, expertly delivered by Corin, and Yoav Kestenbaum was also a big threat throughout, running directly on the right, and working closely with Corin and Yishai Last up front.
The second half saw Bobbie Cousins head in from a corner within 90 seconds. Hendon restored confidence with Lebens missing an easy chance and Kestenbaum having an effort saved by the legs of Oakwood keeper Dan Cohen.
The second half was otherwise bity, with roll on subs and persistent fouling the main features.
The tension increased in extra-time, but then Avidan Last showed he continues to have a nose for the big moment, when he headed in from close-range after a cross from the right. However, 90 seconds from the end Quinn latched onto a lofted ball and looped it in to force penalties.
HENDON: Russell Corin, Ben Kon, Ari Nevies, Alex Rosenthal, Avi Korman, Rafi Kon, Yoav Lebens, Ari Last, Greg Corin, Yoav Kestenbaum, Yishai Last
Roll on subs: Jacob Gold, Avidan Last, Danny Kon
OAKWOOD: Dan Cohen, Dave Cohen, Ilan Scorah, Sam Jacobson, Daniel Ailion, Harvey Kaye, Dan Geey, Josh Bentley, Antony Kintish, Bobbie Cousins, Brad Wine
Roll on subs: Jonny Quinn, Josh Rose, Dan Rose, Jonny Beilin
Oakwood - Quinn miss
Hendon - Ari Last score
Oakwood - Bentley miss
Hendon - Korman score
Oakwood - Peters score
Hendon - Lebens score
Oakwood - Wine miss