MJSL Joan Collins Premier Division
Manchester Maccabi 3rd 1 Leeds Maccabi 3rd 1
Reigning MJSL champions and current league leaders Manchester Maccabi 3rd were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Leeds Maccabi 3rd.
The game was expected to be a fairly one-sided affair, with Manchester expected to romp home to victory.
However, it couldn’t have been further from reality. Leeds gave as good as they got and their fitness was just as high as Manchester’s.
The game itself was a competitive affair played in good spirits. Manchester were in command for long periods of the match but were unable to convert their chances.
The first half saw both teams struggle to create clear-cut chances. The best opening came right at the end of the half, when Manchester’s Jake Kelly fired past Leeds keeper Jamie Rudette.
The second half was a much more entertaining with both teams having numerous chances.
Manchester were awarded a penalty midway through the half. Up stepped Jake Bentwood, son of manager Steve, to try and seal the game. However, he blasted the ball high over the bar.
The miss appeared to lift Leeds who then created a couple of good chances, but again failed to take them.
Leeds built up a head of steam in the final moments of the game and scored a dramatic late equaliser. A beautiful team move ended with a wonderfully whipped in cross behind the Manchester defence and was converted wonderfully by Josh Isaac.
Leeds manager Alex Ullmann told JC Sport: “We’re delighted. To go away to top of the table, with a -21 goal difference and given our start, to leave with a point is excellent.
"We should all be extremely proud of ourselves. We surprised ourselves with our performance, no doubt.
"Our season has now started and we hope to continue by getting our first three points on the board this Sunday.”
Maccabi's Steve Bentwood, who witnessed his son miss a penalty, was not as positive. “I'm very disappointed with the result. I will accept that we didn’t expect such a difficult game, but that’s no excuse.
"It’s a tough lesson to see Leeds score so late on in the game. We need to learn from it and ensure we concentrate for the entire duration of the game.”
Both managers named Leeds midfielder Daniel Goldstone as JC Star Man. Ullmann described his performance as “quality” while Bentwood said that Goldstone “stole the show for Leeds”.