There's one game in the cup plus a full league fixture list scheduled on Matchday 11 of the JC MSFL season. Danny Caro looks ahead to the action.
LATEST:JC MSFL RUMOUR MILL
MATCHDAY 10 ANALYSIS
PHOTOGALLERY:LIONS A vs FAITHFOLD A
JC MSFL REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Andy Myerson (FC Team A vs NW Neasden A)
JC MSFL CELEBRATION OF THE WEEK
London Maccabi Lions B - after James Gold's second goal, the Springers ran up to him before receiving Gold's signature and a photograph with their favorite Lions player
YOUR WEEKEND PEVIEW STARTS HERE:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND TWO
TEMPLE FORTUNE A vs CAMDEN PARK
A tie at home to Harmen B is the prize that awaits Fortune and Camden in a match that sees Michael Goldberg line-up against his former club.
Lee Fegan’s troops were involved in a six-goal thriller in which strikes from Paul Walker and a late leveller from Goldberg saw them come away with a point.
Fortune No. 2 Jack Morris is expecting another tough game on Sunday. He told JC Sport: “We’ve been a bit unfortunate this week in that many of our key man are carrying knocks and as such, we will be leaving them at home to rest.
“Our captain Paul Walker and vice captain Jonny Cohen are unavailable and they join other key men Dan Natoff and Ben Isaacs in missing out. There are also two or three others who look like they won’t make it.
“However this gives others a chance to come in and impress, and we’re confident they can do that.
“Our priority this year is keeping our place in Division One after promotion last year, but everyone loves a cup run so we’ll give it everything we have to give a decent account of ourselves despite the situation we’re in with players not available.”
Camden were also involved in a 3-3 nail-biter, against FC Team B. Josh Toff, Josh Marks and David Kanzen salvaged a draw as they dropped points for the first time this term.
Like Fortune, Camden have injury concerns but that will not stop them from trying to give as good as they get.
“We’re expecting another test against a Division One side,” Nick Kagan told JC Sport. “Everyone feels like we've got something to prove after our last two results.
“The boys need to be focused and confident to get through to the next round.”
By the sound of it, Sunday will come down to strength in depth. I’m tipping Fortune to edge it after extra time and it would be fitting if Goldberg fired the winner.
JC team news: Camden are without the injured Nick Kagan but Guy Fenton and Mike Khalastchi are available again after missing out last week. Jake Saunders returns to the squad.
Venue – Gosling Sports Park
JC star man: Michael Goldberg (Camden)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 3 Camden Park 2 AET
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
8 - Mike Pearson (Faithfold A)
7 - Dany Kon (Hendon A)
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs BRADY MACCABI A
A Brady win would see Josh Rosenfeld’s men leapfrog the Lions. That is what the gaffer will be telling his men ahead of kick-off on Sunday.
Without a game last weekend, the Brady bunch have had plenty of time to prepare for their trip to the Lane as they go in search of their third league win.
Having beaten the Lions 3-1 on the opening weekend of the season, the visitors will arrive in Arkley with a psychological edge, but Rosenfeld is taking nothing for granted.
“Every league game is big and we need to start picking up wins,” he told JC Sport. “The division is so tight and as we’ve seen this year, anyone can beat anyone depending on which side turns up on the day. We need to be ready for every game this season.
“We are really the walking and wounded the last few weeks. We just need to be focused and pick up the points this week. We know whatever Lions side we play will be tough.”
The Lions go into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat against Faithfold in the Anekstein. They failed to capitalise on a series of missing chances and paid the penalty. And to add insult to injury, they had Oli Craig sent off in the closing stages.
Managers Josh Newman and Malcolm Newman will be looking for a big reaction here. A spine containing Pete Lazard, Aviel Schwarz and Dominic Cheniart cannot be under-estimated.
Given that Brady have failed to score in four out of their six matches, I can see this being a really tight affair. One goal could settle it and that could come in the form of a moment of magic from the boy Cheniart.
JC team news: Brady are without Lee Platt, Jordan Grant, Paul Hakim and Jordan Nathan. All are set to be out for the next few weeks.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Dominic Cheniart (LML)
DC Prediction: LM Lions A 1 Brady Maccabi A 0
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs FC TEAM A
There’s a hum-dinger in store in Uxbridge when second-placed Raiders B welcome FC Team A who lie fourth.
Both newly-promoted sides have really taken the division by storm and will be looking to give another good account of themselves here.
L’Orange followed up their recent win over Faithfold A with a top-drawer performance against Harmen A last week, with Dan Grossman, Dan Polak, Elliot Espinoza and Mike Hershman on target.
The midfield trio of Josh Aziz, Shim Bensoor and Espinoza have been running the show in recent weeks while the pace of Hershman has been terrorising defences.
Home fans are also expecting to see another quality display from right-back Alex Bloch who has adapted to life in the top-flight like a duck to water.
Fellow defenders Rik Sherman and Dan Grossman have turned into one of the best double acts since Morecambe and Wise. Sherman looked as though he had never been away in last week’s match against Harmen while Grossman’s performance was described by one Raiders fan as “imperious”.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Raiders boss Rob Richman told JC Sport: “Both FC Team and ourselves have secured back-to-back promotions over the past couple of seasons. As such we have played them quite a few times in recent years and we are well aware of the talent they possess.
“Mitch and Johnny have done an excellent job in taking their team up the divisions very quickly and building a side that can compete in the Premiership.
“Their results so far this year have been a testament to the hard work they have both put in and it comes as no surprise at all to me to see them doing so well.
“We are on a good run ourselves of late and confidence is high having won three consecutive games. Sunday will be another good test and if past games between us are anything to go by it should be a really exciting game.”
FC Team were desperately unlucky not to be Neasden last week – a clear sign of how far they have come in a short space of time. Craig Edwards (2), Danny Moss and Shai Davidi were their scorers in a thrilling 4-4 draw.
Star striker Richard Salmon left a lasting impression on NWN joint-manager Darren Yarlett and his battle against Sherman and Grossman will be worth the admission fee alone.
Given that Raiders pipped Team to the Division One title last season, FC Team boss Mitch Young will be out to settle an old score.
Looking ahead to Sunday, he told JC Sport: “We have an injury crisis at the moment after another two going down last week and will have to use one or two B team players between now and the new year.
“Nonetheless, we look forward to the game but know Raiders on their astro-pitch are very strong. They usually beat us on astro and we beat them on grass so I am expecting a very difficult game.
“I know they have injected themselves with more pace and skill this year and coupled with a strong defence they are a very good team."
There is little more for me to say than may the best side win.
JC team news: Raiders are at full strength bar the absence of Australian Jonny Hesselberg.
Danny Moss is a doubt for FC Team after straining his hamstring against Neasden last week.
Venue – Brunel Uni, Ref – G. Silver
JC star man: Dan Grossman (Raiders)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders B 2 FC Team A 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
Neasden will start this game as strong favourites against a Raiders team who are starring relegation down a barrel.
Seven defeats in nine have not quite told the story for L’Orange but they have conceded 33 goals during this time and it’s clear that something must change.
They were well beaten by leaders Hendon last weekend, conceding all four goals in the first half and it’s no surprise to hear that the club have failed to sell their allocation of tickets for their second match at Hadley FC in a week. Rumour has it that some supporters are still across the road at The Gate pub drowning their sorrows.
There were very few positives to take out of the match but the performance of keeper Dan Cohen plus the second-half team display were certainly encouraging. But the bottom line is that they must start faster and play for 90 minutes.
Neasden were far from their best last week with joint-manager Darren Yarlett reading the riot act after the 4-4 draw against FC Team. It needed a late strike from Jamie Shaw, his second of the game, to get them out of jail.
It’s clear that Yarlett and Lee Cash will have their troops ready and focused to go in all guns blazing from kick-off.
Cash told JC Sport: “We are looking to get back to winning ways this week but more importantly, we need a better team performance than we gave last week.
“Darren and I feel the squad has a huge amount of potential and it is only a matter of time before we put out a performance we know we’re capable of.
“Having said that, we know Raiders we be a tough test as it was a few weeks ago and we know we are going to be in for a battle.”
Neasden won the corresponding fixture 4-3 through a late own goal. They will be expecting to put Raiders to bed earlier this time.
JC team news: Neasden have a full squad to choose from this week apart from Max Shields (suspended) and Elliot Stern (away). Right-back David Fox will take over between the sticks.
Raiders welcome back Danny Berliner to the squad following a rib injury. Ben Sheldon is away Adam Jocelyn and Joe Tankel are still some way from fitness. Andrew McMaster this week underwent surgery on both hips and has been ruled out for the season.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – T. McEvoy
JC star man: Matt Sofier (Neasden)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden A 3 NL Raiders A 1
13 - Jamie Kent (Brixton Old Boys)
9 - Glenn Michaels (Chigwell Athletic)
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS A
Bouncebackability is the name of the game for title rivals Chigwell and Brixton in a contest that will not disappoint.
The Chigs went down to their second defeat of the season in the top-of-the-table clash against Norstar last Sunday.
Manager Richard Slater believes that his team were punished after failing to turn possession into goals, claiming “we deserved something from the game”.
But with some key reinforcements bolstering the squad this week, he’s confident of coming away with three points.
“We want to make up for last weeks defeat,” he told JC Sport. “It’s another big one as we welcome Brixton to the May. If we’re serious title challengers we must continue to pick up three points’ at home.”
Brixton boss John Nitka has asked his troops for a change of attitude after the 3-1 loss against Oakwood last week.
Two defeats in three league games is not the start that Nitka was hoping for and it appears that the team’s exertions in the cup competitions are taking their toll. A third defeat at this early stage of the season would leave them with a real uphill battle.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Nitka told JC Sport: “There’s a possibility that we could be missing a few players. However, we will not slip up this time and give up a lead that we had in our previous game with Chigwell.
With this in mind, I’m not sure how much football will be played on Sunday. I can see it turning into a real war of attrition and it could all boil down to survival of the fittest.
JC team news: Chigwell welcome back Paul Lenchner, Jamie Fox and hopefully skipper Daniel Castle and Richard Slater into the squad this week. All four missed the Norstar game last week. Glenn Davis and Lee Hyams are away while Alex Norman faces a late fitness test on a knee injury.
Chigwell squad: Rob Shepherdson, Dean Michaels, Simon Felstein, Jonathan Swead, Paul Lenchner, Russell Brill, Daniel Castle, Craig Pearl, Richard Slater, Daniel Warwick, Antony Mendel, Russell Becker, Glenn Michaels, Jamie Fox, Russell Yershon
Venue – Peter May, Ref – D. Lazarus
JC star man: Russell Brill (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Chigwell Athletic 2 Brixton OB A 1
MONTANA BOCA UNITED vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
Viv Emanuel, the Montana manager, must be considering playing with 10 men again on Sunday following last week’s terrific team performance against Neasden B.
They were struggling for numbers last week but came away with a creditable point thanks to goals from Darren Cohen and Elliot Kennard.
Emanuel knows that Sunday will provide his men with another stern test against unbeaten Redbridge B.
Looking ahead to the big game, Emanuel told JC Sport: “Coming out of last week’s great 10-man display against Neasden B, we want to actually get 11 on the field this week and push for a result against RJC B.
“They are a good side and have not lost this season in the league.
“We have a long injury list to contend with but have a good squad out on Sunday.”
Stirling Kay’s Redbridge have had plenty of time to gather their thoughts after the draw against Temple Fortune.
The east Londoners have already registered two clean sheets in the league and Kay will be looking to keep things tight at the back here.
I can see this panning out as a cagey and somewhat niggly affair and it will come down to which teams wants it most.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Robin Grainger (Montana)
DC Prediction: Montana Boca Utd 1 Redbridge JC B 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN B v WOODFORD WANDERERS
Woodford will look to get their season back on track when they make the long journey to Neasden B.
Alex Aviram’s troops gave an excellent account of themselves in the cup last weekend, going down 1-0 against last season’s double champions Redbridge A.
The heroics of keeper Ben Rosenthal kept them in the game and they gave their illustrious hosts some hair-raising moments towards the end. There was also an exceptional performance at left-back with Martin Sales keeping Sam McCarthy quiet.
Aviram came away a proud man. He told JC Sport: “We were unfortunate not to come away with something from the game. It was a strong performance from theWanderers.
“We were on the back-foot for the first 20 minutes and conceded a sloppy goal. From then on it was solid defending and a string or fabulous saves from ex Redbridge keeper Ben Rosenthal kept us in the game until the break.
“We tried to press for an equaliser in the second half but walked off with our heads held high knowing we gave Redbridge a run for there money. It was a pure example of what potential this club has on our day.”
Neasden boss Daniel Hodes came away frustrated after the draw against 10-man Montana last Sunday. He will be asking his troops to work even harder and start putting away their chances against what will be an equally determined Woodford team.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Hodes told JC Sport: “We’re hope to build on a good first half we played last week and try and do it for the full 90.”
It’s vital that Woodford come away from this game with something to show for their efforts and I can see them squeezing home.
Ref – M. Cohen
JC star man: Martin Sales (Woodford)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden B 1 Woodford Wanderers 2
SOUTHGATE HARMEN B vs NORSTAR A
Phil Peters, the Norstar boss, will urge against complacency when he takes his troops to the Mole for what will be a real battle against Harmen B.
The Stars go into the game on the back of a memorable 2-1 win over leaders Chigwell – a result that took them joint-top.
Star striker Adam Jason is certainly feeling the love after making back-to-back appearances in my Team of the Week.
There were also standout displays from keeper Ben De La Fuente, left-back Jamie Freed and Eli Houri on the wing.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Peters told JC Sport: “Harmen aren’t in great form but we’re taking nothing for granted and will be going all out for another win.”
The Stars boast a 100 per cent record this season so the prize of Manager of the Week could be up for grabs in Harmen upset the formbook .
The boys in black and white have been involved in several high-scoring affairs of late but Cohen will be asking his team to defend from the front in a bid to frustrate a Norstar team that is certainly going places.
Cohen told JC Sport: “After an exciting draw against Fortune, Harmen will be looking to step up a gear against Norstar.
“We are on a decent run with only one loss in the last five league games and we want to build on this.
“We hope to welcome back Paul Stein and Daniel Amram to the squad. They will be a big threat for us this weekend.
“The in-form Ben Rosenblatt will be looking to add to his six goals in the last four games and will be a big threat to the opposition.
“Full credit to Norstar. They’ve had a fantastic start to the season, however all the pressure is on them to continue their run and we are up for the challenge of being the first side to defeat them in the league this season.
The head-to-head between Jason and Rosenblatt will be key to the outcome in what should be a great advert for the MSFL.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – R. Benardout
JC star man: Simon Perlmutter (Norstar)
DC Prediction: Southgate Harmen B 1 Norstar A 3
10 - Ben Simons (Faithfold C), Doron Weinstein (Redbridge C)
FAITHFOLD B vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE C
Faithfold and Redbridge are two of five teams I expect to pull away at the top after Chanukah.
The teams are locked on 15 points with the Superhoops a place higher with a game in hand.
They go into the game on the back of a terrific win over former leaders Hendon B with strikes from Jonny Horowitz and Louis Green. But it needed a dramatic penalty save from keeper James Grabiner to seal the points in a victory that earned Rob Shooman the accolade of JC Manager of the Week.
After the game, assistant-manager Ben Lewis told JC Sport: “The result came down to all-round commitment to the cause and attitude, led by a half fit captain Ben Moss.
“The squad is coming together and really looking to achieve something this season.”
On Sunday they will need to get to grips with an in-form Redbridge for whom striker Doron Weinstein is firing on all cylinders.
The big striker bagged a treble in the 4-1 success over Norstar B last Sunday. Player-manager Dan Gordon finished the job.
I expect Gordon’s men to go for the jugular from the very first whistle. He told JC Sport: “This Sunday takes us over to “the other side” for the first time in six weeks. After winning our last five at home we are in full confidence to continue our winning streak on the road.
“After a comfortable victory last week, where once again we came form a goal down to earn victory, I’m taking a very strong 14 man squad to The Hive to take on Faithfold B.
“I think this will be our hardest game of the season so far and we have to start strongly. I think if we go a goal down this week it will be a lot harder to come back this time.
“We will be working hard on our fitness at training in time for Sunday and the boys know they have a lot of work to do. They will be on their guard as rumour has it that Joey Barton is in the area looking for a scrap!
“Doron Weinstein is playing the best football of his life and I can safely say I thing he will hit the net again this week.”
Barton or no Barton, the RJC boys are up to prove the only way is Essex!
Venue – The Hive, Ref – L. Benson
JC star man: Ben Moss (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 2 Redbridge JC B 2
FC TEAM B vs L’EQUIPE
The decision to move Freddie Marks from midfield to striker worked a treat for FC Team B boss Ben Simon last Sunday.
The magnificent Marks bagged a brace in the draw against high-flying Camden to make it seven league goals and eight for the season.
Now he will be looking for easy pickings against struggling L’Equipe.
Manager Ben Simon came away from the game a very happy man. He told JC Sport: I'm happy with a point considering the opposition’s league record before the game.
“We only had 11 players available for the game so it was a great effort. We were excellent in the first half and were very unfortunate to be 3-2 down at the break. “e fought really hard to stay in the game and it paid off when we got our equaliser in the closing stages. Overall a very satisfying performance.”
Marks will have good memories of the last meeting with L’Equipe. He netted a double in a memorable 6-1 victory. However, I expect things to be a little closer this time.
L’Equipe have lost six consecutive games in the league and they go into the game having conceded 11 in their last two outings.
Sunday could be the day when attack is the best form of defence for the visitors otherwise it could be a long morning.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Freddie Marks (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team 4 L’Equipe 1
GLENTHORNE UNITED A vs FAITHFOLD C
More of the same. That is what Thornes boss Dan Lipman is looking for after his troops finished in seventh heaven against the Hoops last Sunday.
The east Londoners have looked back to their best in recent weeks and depending on which Faithfold team Matty Kleinman plays for on Sunday, they could get more joy here.
Braces from Josh Cohen and Craig Berg plus one apiece from Dan Lipman, Ash Stanton and Scott Jay completed the 7-1 victory last weekend.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Lipman told JC Sport: “I'm after more of the same. We know the opposition well so we are aware of their strengths and their weaknesses. However, we won't take anything for granted.
“Three points isn't a given. We'll have to work hard and put in a strong performance to notch up another win this week.
“The team will be pretty much the same this week as it was on Sunday. No one deserves to be dropped and the boys coming back will have to wait their turn.”
Scott Jay and Gary Tiller were the star of the show for Glenthorne last Sunday. Jay put in a great performance in the midfield engine room in his first game back from injury. Lipman said: “He made the game tick from the middle of the park.” Tiller did an awesome job of keeping the usually prolific Faithfold attack quiet.
Faithfold boss David Garson read the riot act at the final whistle last week. He thought the days of his team shipping seven goals were long gone and he didn’t enjoy picking the ball out of the net so many times.
Garson is looking to bolster the squad. He told JC Sport: “Several players have ruled themselves out as the 25-minute journey to Essex is seen as being too much for them to cope with. There are also potentially two new signings if the transfer deadline can be met.”
I’m not sure if Garson has the resources to bring in Tal Ben Haim from Portsmouth but not even he could stop a Glenthorne team that has the bit between their teeth.
JC team news: Faithfold welcome back keeper Paul Gelertner from Masters duty, allowing the ageless and well-toned David Garson to possibly return to outfield duties. David Sherman returns after a rare fishing injury and Ben Portnoi is back after a weekend of shopping with his girlfriend. He has been told to “man up” by the gaffer.
Venue – London Marathon Playing Fields, Ref – B. Pieters
JC star man: Gary Tiller (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne Utd A 3 Faithfold C 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS B
The Hornets will be looking to get back to winning ways when they entertain Lions B on Sunday.
A strike from Ben Kon could not stop them from going down to their first defeat of the season in a ding-dong tussle against Faithfold B.
Hendon’s frustrations boiled over when joint-manager Chaim Gothold saw red but they could have come away with a draw were it not for a saved penalty.
Hendon’s joint-manager Motty Korman told JC Sport: “We hope to bounce back from last week’s defeat and maintain our good start to the season.
“Lions are a very organised team and we are expecting another tough game on a large pitch at Rowley Lane.”
The were given a major scare in the cup against third division Blizzard Storm last Sunday. They were cruising at 4-1 but some calamitous defending allowed their lower league opponents back into the game. It needed a goal from Sam Senchal to calm their nerves.
Keeper James Castle played his part in the win with a fantastic double save while James Gold’s brace included a goal of the week contender. I’m sure the pair will be looking to impressing the judges once more.
With games in hand, there is still plenty of time for the Lions to haul themselves into the promotion race but it’s vital they bring their A-game to the table on Sunday.
JC team news: Hendon welcome back have Danny Steel but James Josephs will face a late fitness test. Gav Noe is a doubt due to his nephew’s bris.
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – A. Myerson
JC star man: Ben Kon (Hendon)
DC Prediction: LM Lions B 2 Hendon Utd SC B 3
16 – Saul Conway (Shirley Park)
12 - Stefan Benfredj (Shirley Park)
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs LOS BLANCOS
Los Blancos moved back into the promotion slots virtually unnoticed last weekend in an eight-goal thriller against JLGB.
But they will need to tighten up at the back against a Catford team who could cause them some problems.
Benjy Engelsman, Joel Kutner (2) and Adam Hersh steered Blancos to their fifth league win and manager Joel Minsky will be looking for a fast start at Norsemen FC.
The Cats will reveal Plan B on Sunday as they look to ease relegation fears. They were hit for six by Blancos in September in a game where Kutner and Hersh ran them ragged.
Scoring goals remains the biggest problem for the Cats and it will be interesting to see how they line-up on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the big match, Catford joint-manager Adam Lewis told JC Sport: “We've got a few absentees again, but it'll be a good chance to try out some different ideas as it's quite obvious that what we've been trying to do hasn't been working consistently.
“It's all well and good giving a good account of ourselves against Glenthorne and then on Sunday against UJIA, but it counts for nothing unless we start getting some points, and quickly as well.
“Hopefully Lester Jacobs will be back on the sidelines this week and his presence will lift the team.”
Los Blancos have scored five times in both of their away games in the league so the message is clear. Catford beware!
JC team news: Blancos will give a debut to new keeper Yaacov Goldin, formerly of Pinner JFC.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – N. Cohen
JC star man: Benjy Engelsman (Blancos)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley 1 Los Blancos 5
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs BLIZZARD STORM
Blizzard Storm could be the coupon buster on Sunday as Simon Linden takes his men to West Hendon still awaiting that elusive first win.
They showed great character in the cup against second division Lions B, coming back from the dead with strikes from Michael Hagai (2), Adam Speck and a long-range special from the gaffer himself.
Reflecting on the game, Linden told JC Sport: “4-0 down with 35 minutes remaining, we put on a fantastic fight-back.
“We can be proud of our performance. We were like a different team from the previous week. We didn't give up, chased everything and showed what we can do.”
Avi Gelley’s Hendon are licking their wounds after they were well-beaten by Neasden C last Sunday. They have now failed to score in four games this season and it appears that they are in for a testing campaign.
Cheered on by a big travelling support, I’m tipping the Blizzard boys to take Hendon by storm!
Venue - West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – P. Lavelle-Maurice
JC star man: Michael Hagai (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC C 1 Blizzard Storm 3
SHIRLEY PARK vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN C
League top-scorers Shirley Park will be glad to see the back of Glenthorne B following back-to-back defeats in league and cup.
Following last week’s first defeat of the season, player-manager Dave Lusman will be looking to unleash the free-scoring Saul Conway and Stefan Benfredj – two players that have already netted an incredible 28 goals between them so far this season.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Shirley manager Dave Lusman told JC Sport: "It's a big game for Park on sunday. Our previous games against Neasden have always been a close call no doubt Sunday will be the same.
"Last week Shirley gave as good as we got with what we had available and fair play to our boys with another five minutes on the clock we could of shared the points.
"The Glenthorne chaps were all over the place during the latter stages of the game and were in bits. To be fair, we were fortunate their little chap up front's finishing in the nicest possible way was shocking and wasteful and for Park, Saul Conners was no better - missing several clear-cut chances he would usually convert no doubt, but he wasn't 100 per cent due to a viral infection which is going to keep him out against Neasden this week.
"We welcome Dan Oade back in between the sticks, who missed out last week due to injury, as well as Si Shelley, Sam Gold and practically our whole back four, so we go into this one in good shape. Let's see how it pains out. Park life!"
The Shirley boys are averaging more than eight goals a game in the league although they will do well to stretch a Neasden team boasting the likes of Ed Bloom and Adam Levene.
Neasden go into the game on the back of a 4-0 win over Hendon C. Recently edged out 1-0 by leaders Glenthorne, manager Louis Taylor is relishing the chance of pitting his wits against one of the division’s other fancied teams.
“There is a feeling of excitement for the challenge ahead in the Neasden C camp,” he told JC Sport. “We hit form at the right time with a win over Hendon C, but we know it will be a much bigger challenge against a good Shirley Park team.
"The result and performance will go a long way to telling us where we might end up this season, and we’ll be going all out to win what will be a massive game.
"Richie Braham is away but Simon Levene comes back to bolster the midfield. Once again I have a big squad available and there will be some disappointed boys come the squad announcement."
Sunday's match features two teams with players of Premier Division quality. Shirley will be desperate to show everyone that the Glenthorne results were just a blip, so this has all the makings for a real epic.
Venue – Gladstone Park, Ref – Q. Fox
JC star man: Gideon Gold (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 3 NW Neasden C 2
UJIA vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
There’s an intriguing contest in store at the Lodge as surprise package UJIA host leaders Glenthorne B.
Darren Rolfe’s men have surprised many pundits – going toe-to-toe with the likes of Glenthorne, Los Blancos and Shirley but it’s fair to say that we will find out a lot more about them come 12.15pm on Sunday.
Having overcome a dodgy start, the U’s have won five on the spin and are right in the mix. Last Sunday they overcame a stubborn Catford team with strikes from Ashley Freeman and Ben Nassim in a game where left-back Jeremy Leigh was man of the match.
Having put promotion rivals Los Blancos to bed 5-1 recently, Rolfe hopes that his big guns fire here.
He told JC Sport: “Sunday is a big game for us. We have been on a great run of late winning our last five games. However, Glenthorne are undefeated all season. We have two massive players out on Sunday but that’s no excuse as we have plenty of depth and weight in the squad.
“I spoke to my pal Dave Lussman this week to find out about Glenthorne and how to stop them playing. Let’s hope we can rise to the challenge. It will be a good game and we believe we can challenge for promotion this season.”
The Thornes opened up a gap at the top after beating Shirley for the second time in seven days. Ashley Rubin was the star turn in a 4-3 thriller with player-manager Craig Sandford on target again, along with Jamie Bernstein.
Sandford felt that the scoreline should have been even more emphatic and he will instruct his troops to shoot on sight on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the game, Sandford told JC Sport: “Once again, I will be saying to the team that every week is a battle in Division Three. There are a lot of teams in the lower leagues that deserve to be in higher divisions and UJIA is one of them.
“They had a few bad results at the beginning of the season but we are fully aware that they have won four in row and starting to mount a title challenge.
“I remember playing against them a few years ago and they have a lot of strength and experience.”
He quipped: “However, UJIA need to realise that if Ben Radstone plays then he is there weak link and brings the whole team down. Our forward players have targeted him as the weakness and we will all be leaning on him!
“Every game for us at the moment is a cup final and we need to prepare and focus in the same way we have done in recent weeks.”
I didn’t expect Sandford to light the touch-paper before the game but it’s clear that sparks could fly on Sunday.
JC team news: Glenthorne are missing Adam Shafron (holiday) and Richard Rosenthal – (suspended) but Simon Bagel returns after illness.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – S. Levy
JC star man: Ashley Rubin (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: UJIA 2 Glenthorne Utd B 4
16 – Terry Jeffries
BRADY MACCABI B vs BOCA JEWNIORS
Josh Dagul’s Brady will be looking to make it six out of six when they welcome winless Boca to the Lane.
The Reds were on top of their game again last weekend when Reiss Mogilner hat-trick inspired them to an 8-0 success over Brixton B.
At times they played some fantasy football with Dagul (2), new signing Dan Hildebrand and James Joseph completing the route.
I said last week that the signing of Hildebrand will give them another dimension and Brady fans were delighted to see the former Faithfold marksman hit the ground running.
Boca were frustrated by an in-form keeper last Sunday but manager Sefton Monk is advised to double park the team bus on the goalline here.
They have lost eight in a row and conceded an alarming 42 goals. However, Monk came away from the game with many positives including another excellent display from Jamie Weinrich as well as solid performances from goal-scorer Jack Schulman, Bradley Handelaar and Chandler Monk but I can only see them being given the run-around by a Brady team that looks destined for great things.
I suggest home keeper Ben Wallis brings his pipe, slippers, flask of cocoa and a copy of this week’s JC to keep him entertained.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – P. Dobkin
JC star man: Jason Davis (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady Maccabi B 5 Boca Jewniors 0
BRIXTON OLD BOYS B vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
Having been hit for eight by Brady last Sunday, damage limitation could be the name of the game for Brixton here.
Ahead of the game last week, Brixton boss Dan Selt told me that he had a strong squad to choose from, but they simply had no answer to a classy Brady team.
The standard of opposition will be much the same on Sunday with L’Orange having maintained match sharpness with an excellent training camp.
Having played a game more than Brady, Raiders boss Oli Shorts is keen to maintain a three-point lead.
“We had a well deserved week off last week so everyone is really up for this weekends game,” Shorts told JC Sport. “We play a team who have a lot to prove after last week’s result so I’m hoping we don’t get some kind of backlash.
“It’s very important to keep the momentum going in the league so every game is massive. We’ve have a couple of injuries, one to Sam Morell who broke his hand this week so he’s out for a while, and Matt Greene had a set back to his injury problem. On the plus side we welcome back James Franks so that’s a huge boost. We have a great squad so I'm sure we can cope with any sort of mini injury crisis.”
There’s a big difference between an injury crisis and a confidence crisis and it’s no surprise that the visitors are 1-2 on to run out the victors on Sunday, with Matt Bennett, Ben Hart and Toby Katz 3-1 to score first.
Venue – Clowes, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: James Franks (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Brixton OB B 1 NL Raiders C 4
FC TEAM C vs JEWVENTUS
Sunday is a must-win for FC Team C as they look to keep pace with the front-runners.
Beaten 3-0 by Bilbaum last time out, Michael Myers’ men are in for a tricky morning against a Jewve team that appears to have finally found their feet.
Strikers Nigel Sommeck and James Alexander will be looking to maintain their free-scoring ways as the team goes in search of a third straight win.
Gary Conway and Bobsie Cohen will also be key men for the visitors.
I certainly can’t see it finishing goalless.
Venue – Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref – A. Yuchetel
JC star man: Gary Conway (Jewventus)
DC Prediction: FC Team C 3 Jewventus 3
SPEC FC vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
SPEC FC will be looking to get their promotion challenge back on track following last week’s disappointing result against Athletico Finchley.
There was good news and bad for SPEC FC fans at this week’s press conference and in time-honoured tradition I’ll start with the good.
This is straight from the horse’s mouth (with thanks to Ricky Lawrence). “SPEC are hoping to welcome back James Lesner this Sunday for a few games before he goes under the knife because of his shoulder problem. Dan Cohen, who was in great form during pre season, could also make be making his comeback and therefore play his first game of the season. Ricky Lawrence and Adam Wilson are at a wedding (not their own) in Glasgow so they are unavailable.”
Before getting suited and booted, Lawrence went on to say: “We know it's going to be a very, very tough game against an in-form Bilbaum. We are level on points and are looking forward to what is going to be an extremely tough battle."
Travelling fans have been warned to bring their spectacles on Sunday for what could turn out to be a spectacular encounter in Hatfield.
Looking ahead to the game, player-manager Mark Pasha told JC Sport: “Bilbaum are looking to put in a special performance and lift the spectre of last week's Bernebaum pitch fiasco.
“It will definitely be a challenging game against a strong SPEC side and we have been working on specific drills in training this week.
“We certainly don't plan to under-estimate our opponents. However with the wide spectrum of talent available to Bilbaum on Sunday, specialisits are speculating that a strong result may well be on the cards.”
The teams go into the game with similar records, although Bilbaum are more free-scoring while SPEC keep things tighter at the back.
Read into that what you like …
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – H. Raffe
JC star man: James Lesner (SPEC FC)
DC Prediction: SPEC FC 2 Athletic Bilbaum 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs ATHLETICO FINCHLEY
The brilliance of keeper Phil Small inspired Fortune to three hard-earned points as much as the goals of Terry Jeffries, Ben David and Simon Allen against Boca last week.
But if they think they are in for an easier time here, they can think again. That said, Jeffries giants believe they have a score to settle as they go in search of their fifth win of the campaign.
Fortune have the chance to exact swift revenge after Finchley handed out our heaviest defeat of the season just two weeks ago.
Fortune assistant manager Adam Glekin told JC Sport: "To be fair, Finchley played us off the park a couple of weeks ago, but we feel we're a match for anyone on our day.
“I look forward to a good game, and feel confident we can put up a far better showing this time round.”
The Athletico boys have certainly improved in recent weeks. After hitting Fortune for six, they followed with a precious point against SPEC FC. The draw came at a cost, however, with Jon Begner seeing red for two cautionable offences.
Keeper Doug Carson was one of the stars of the show with Adam Goldstein, Aron Keller and goal-scorer Dan Goodman in close company.
So it would be fair to say that the team will arrive at Gosling in high spirits. Club chairman Zach Margolin told JC Sport: “After such a great victory over Fortune two weeks ago, we are certainly looking for another win in the reverse fixture this week.
“Sure enough the Fortune lads will be up for this one and certainly not under-estimating Athletico this time.
“With confidence still on a high from a great result last weekend, we are looking to be victorious - although we know it will be tough with Fortune looking for the same.”
I can see this being an open and entertaining affair with the battle between Jeffries and Carson key to the outcome.
JC team news: Fortune will be without goalkeeper Philip Small, but have adequate cover in the position and are pretty much at full-strength for the visit of Finchley.
Athletico star man Amit Dinowitz will be out for two months. Dovid Kurzer and Isaac Eleini undergo late medicals this week. David Tamman returns to the squad after missing the past two fixtures.
Venue – Gosling Sports Park, Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Doug Carson (Athletico)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 2 Athletico Finchley 2