Match of the day sees Redbridge and Hendon go head-to-head in a title decider while there's also the small matter of two JC Barry Goldstein Cup semi-finals with a place at Wingate & Finchley up for grabs. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the big match action.
PETER MORRISON:FAITHFOLD A vs NW NEASDEN A
DIV 1:NL RAIDERS B vs OAKWOOD
CUP FINAL DATES:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY
Final: Faithfold vs Leeds Maccabi, Manchester Maccabi, North London Raiders A - May 15
Semi-final: Leeds Maccabi 1st or Manchester Maccabi 1st vs North London Raiders A
Quarter-final: Leeds Maccabi 1st vs Manchester Maccabi 1st - April 3
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP
Hendon United Sports Club A vs Redbridge Jewish Care A
April 17 - Wingate & Finchley - 6.30pm
JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY
Final - April 17 - Wingate & Finchley - 2.30pm
Semi-finals: Faithfold C vs Temple Fortune B (Hatch End), UJIA vs North London Raiders C (The Hive) - April 3
JC MSFL SEASON 2010/11 ROLL OF HONOUR:
Prem Div: Redbridge Jewish Care A or Hendon United Sports Club A
Div 1: North London Raiders B, Brady Maccabi, FC Team A or Oakwood
Div 2: Champions: TEMPLE FORTUNE A, Runners-up: Brixton Old Boys
Div 3: Glenthorne Utd A or Redbridge Jewish Care C
Div 4: Glenthorne Utd B, Blizzard Storm, Inter Borehamwood, Los Blancos
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
The race for the Premier Division title should be settled when leaders Redbridge make the long trip to north-west London to take on nearest rivals Hendon.
The match is a dress rehearsal for the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final at Wingate & Finchley on April 17 and the chances are that Redbridge will be crowned champions and clinch the first part of a possible double on Sunday.
The Essex boys have smashed 17 goals in their last three league games. They warmed-up for the clash with a 6-0 win over a 10-man North London Raiders team.
Two-goal hero Daran Bern, Steve Summers and Sam McCarthy were the stars of the show. Joel Berg and supersub Alex Lishak finished the job with Lishak hoping that his late cameo would have caught the eye of manager Sam McCarthy to give him a starting role in the team’s last league game of the season.
Patience was the name of the game for RJC last Sunday. They eventually ground Raiders into the ground with the energy of Bern and Mitch Lassman causing endless problems.
Hendon were left frustrated last weekend when their opposition was also depleted. Neasden B arrived with only eight men and two were injured in the first few minutes meaning that the match was abandoned.
RJC go into the match with a nine-point lead. They also boast a superior goal difference with their standing at +36 compared to Hendon’s +15.
Looking ahead to the big match, McCarthy told JC Sport: "We will not be taking anything for granted on Sunday and intend to take this game by storm.
"I believe I have the three best strikers in the league with Nyman, Bern and Summers and I intend to fully capitalise on this by opening up the Hendon backline.
"The Redbridge team are a far better side now then the one that put six past Hendon at the start of the season.
"We have worked on producing a fast-paced attacking side that is starting to now to come together just at the right time. This is a mouth-watering prelude to the final and apart from the league title to win here I'm sure that both teams will be trying to gain the physological edge in the lead up to the cup final."
If the first meeting was anything to go by then this should be a classic. It finished 6-4 in favour of Redbridge with goals coming from Lewis Walker (2), Dean Nyman (2), Lewis Walker
and Ben Sollosi.
Hendon will be looking to put down a marker ahead of the cup final and become only the second team to beat Redbridge this season.
Manager David Garbacz told JC Sport: “We are well aware of the huge threat that Redbridge pose . Their forwards are on fire and they are playing with bundles of confidence.
“We are determined to spoil their title party on Sunday and at the same time keep alive our own hopes.
“We are a strong unit ourselves and will be well prepared for the challenge. We believe we are the best Jewish team in the country at the moment and have been dealt a harsh hand with regards to the teams that have pulled out this year and the effects that has had on our results and goal difference.
“There will be no better way to prove that than by winning on Sunday.
“We will play uninhibited attacking football and this should be a worthy title decider . Bring it on.”
The battle between Bern and Hendon’s Greg Corin is a mouth-watering prospect. Both are strong contenders for MSFL Player of the Year.
JC team news: For Hendon, Yishai Last is away and Avidan last is not 100 per cent fit. The Reds are otherwise at full-strength.
Redbridge welcome back Dean Nyman who missed the Raiders game last week.
Hendon: Russell Corin, Greg Corin, Paul Bentley, Josh Bentley, Ari Last, Dovid Korman, Rafi Kon, Ben Kon, Josh Lipman, Alex Gilbert, Alex Rosenthal, Martin Smulovitch, Saul Conway,
Yoav Kestenbaum, Avidan Last
April 17 – Hendon A - JC Cyril Anekstein Cup Final (Wingate & Finchley, 6.30pm)
April 10 – NW Neasden A (h) - L
April 17 – Redbridge - Hendon A - JC Cyril Anekstein Cup Final (Wingate & Finchley, 6.30pm)
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – C. Stupack
JC star man: Ben Sollosi (Redbridge)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC A 2 Redbridge JC A 3
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN A
There’s an early kick-off in Uxbridge as Raiders and Harmen lock horns for the second time this season.
Raiders hope to welcome back some of the eight players who missed last week’s heavy defeat at Redbridge.
They were down to the bare bones and played the whole game with 10 men. L’Orange showed tremendous spirit and character.
Ben Sheldon and Igal Yahya were the scorers when the teams met last month and although a top three finish is a bigger ask now, the team will be going all out for maximum points.
Harmen go into the game knowing that they could still catch Raiders if they win their last four games. Dan Uzan’s men have lost their last four but they are more than capable of coming away from Brunel with three points.
Scoring goals has been the biggest problem for Harmen in their first season in the top-flight but in Ben Murrell and Ben Graham they have two potential matchwinners capable from scoring from distance.
I’m predicting an open and entertaining affair with goals aplenty.
TBC – Leeds Maccabi 1st or Manchester Maccabi 1st – Peter Morrison semi-final (a)
April 24 – North West Neasden A (a) - L
April 10 – Neasden B (a) - L
Venue – Brunel Uni, Ref – S. Russell
JC star man: Jacob Gold (Raiders)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders A 3 Southgate Harmen A 2
JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN CUP SEMI-FINALS
FAITHFOLD C vs TEMPLE FORTUNE B
Cup holders Faithfold start as strong favourites to make a return to Wingate when they take on outsiders Temple Fortune B.
The Fortune boys deserve a huge amount of credit for reaching the last four. The lowest ranked team in the competition from the outset, they won their first two group matches and although they have lost their last two matches in league and cup, they will be quietly confident about pulling off an upset.
The club had plenty to celebrate last Sunday when their A team were crowned Division Two champions. It would not be fair to compare one with the other but everyone connected to Fortune B believes that victory here would be even bigger.
Sunday’s tie reminds me a little of the 1988 FA Cup final between Wimbledon and Liverpool. Fortune are the unfashionable and unfancied team, coming up against a team that tries to play silky football.
Fortune are a no-nonsense, hard working and direct team with two big strikers. At times, they are happy to bypass the midfield with the experience of players such as Gideon Wetrin, Terry Jeffries, Jamie Simpson Dave Sawyer, Dean Ingram and Simon Allen making them a tough proposition.
The management team of Gavin Levy and Rob Jay know that the result is the be-all and end-all on Sunday, and they will be looking to pull out all the stops on Sunday.
David Garson, the player-manager of Faithfold, finds himself with an embarrassment of riches on Sunday. Their route to the semis has been somewhat unspectacular but if all his big match players are firing, I don’t see Fortune posing too many problems.
Looking ahead to the big match, Garson told JC Sport: “Amazingly, being a cup semi final everyone is available for Sunday with the exception of Simon Beresford who is off to the US to buy a new ipad on the cheap.
“The problem is to try and squeeze everyone in. We welcome back Matty Kleinman to the squad after his recent loan to our B’s and Stephen Moss from his romantic adventure in Berlin.
“We are playing well at the moment and competition for places in every position is high. Temple Fortune have beaten two teams in our division to get here so cannot be underestimated.
“They are in a very similar scenario to us a few years ago when we were the bottom ranked team and went on to win the cup.”
Sunday will be a day for big hearts and Faithfold have two real gems in strikers Ben Simons and Jonny Blain. The two big strikers have excellent all-round games and I can see them punishing the Fortune backline.
April 10 - Redbridge JC C (a)
April 17 - JCBGCF or Catford (h) - L
April 24 - Redbridge JC (h)
TBC - Norstar B (a)
April 10 - Blizzard Storm (h)
April 17 - JCBGCF or Pinner (a) - L
Venue – Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref – G. Silver
JC star man: Josh Sugarbread (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 3 Temple Fortune B 1
UJIA vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
The romance of the cup will be well and truly alive at the Hive as third division UJIA look to avoid an upset at the hands of fourth division Raiders C.
I expect this to be the closer of the two semi-finals in what will be a classic battle of youth against experience, with the likes of MSFL stalwarts Darren Rolfe, Gavin Sherman, Jeremy Leigh, Ben Nassim and Assi Avital taking on the new kids on the block.
One man who looks set to miss out for the U’s is Matt Radstone but I have a suspicion that he might try to nip out for a sneaky 90 minutes on his wedding day. Either way, mazal tov Matty!
UJIA clinched their place in the semis with an impressive 7-3 win over Catford & Bromley. Adam Rosenfeld (2), Dave Cohen (2), Dan Roth, Avital and Sherman were the goal men in a result that saw them top the group.
Rolfe believes that the big match experience of several squad members will stand his team in good stead, come Sunday. He told JC Sport: "UJIA were in the semi-finals of the Barry Goldstein Cup three years ago and lost on penalties to Southgate Harmen.
"We are all excited at the prospect of gracing the Wingate turf.
"I've done my homework on the Raiders who have hit a good bit of form since the turn of the year.
"Pretty much like us, if our season started in January we would be contending for pole position in the league. We will be aware if the Frank brothers and Joe Newton up top.
"However I hope they will beware of the fact that we have scored 22 goals in the four games. We have both strikers fit and available for Sunday in Avital and nassein. However, we are missing our rock in Matty Radstone due to his wedding. Let's hope it will be a double celebration. Besides that we're at full strength."
I don’t think you should read too much into the fact that UJIA scored almost twice as many as the Raiders in the group phase as L'Orange were clearly in a tougher group.
Oli Shorts’ boys are bang in form. They swept aside promotion-chasing Los Blancos without some of their top players and the manager is confident that his troops can produce something special on Sunday.
Shorts told JC Sport: "After last week’s stunning victory, the lads have given me a huge selection headache for the semi-final on Sunday. It's our biggest game of the season and obviously everyone wants to be a part of it.
"I never like to give away team news ahead of any game so once again it'll be up to the opposition to gauge our threat during the warm up.
"UJIA are Division Four champions and I'm surprised that they aren’t higher up the table. However, they have really upped their game over the few weeks and with 12 goals in the last two we will have to be on our toes.
"The players are so up for it and Wingate and Finchley has been the talk of the town and if we want to play there we will need to play to our best. Unlike the group stage there is no room for error and It’s my job to make sure that every player is focused on the task ahead.
"From the start of the cup I always told my players that if we can manoeuvre our way out of the group stage then we have a huge chance of making the final.
"I believe in the players and if they believe in themselves and have the fight and desire shown over the last month then there is no reason why we won’t be playing in our first cup final come April 17."
It's great to see both camps going into a semi-final believing they can win. I think Sunday will be won by the team that holds it nerve and takes it chances.
It should be a thriller.
April 10 - Team JLGB (a) - L
April 17 - JC BGCF or Heath Banta (h) - L
April 24 - Norstar B (h) - L
April 10 - Shirley Park (a) - L
April 24 - Temple Fortune (a) - L
Venue – The Hive, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Josh Colman (Raiders)
DC Prediction: UJIA 2 NL Raiders C 3
April 10 - Brady Maccabi (a)
April 3 – Chigwell (a)
April 10 – Raiders (h)
April 17 – Camden Park (h)
April 24 – Oakwood (h)
FC Team A
April 10 – Chigwell (h)
April 3 – Harmen B (a)
April 10 – Montana (a)
April 17 – Harmen (h)
April 24 – Brady (a)
April 3 – Brady (a)
April 10 – FC Team A (a)
SOUTHGATE HARMEN B vs OAKWOOD
Oakwood’s win over Raiders B last weekend was massive. But it will count for little unless they can take maximum points from Harmen on Sunday.
The Oaks are tucked in right behind third-placed Brady, level on 29 points. Both have four games left although Brady appear to have the harder run-in ahead of a crunch clash on April 24.
Ben Myers was Oakwood’s matchwinner last Sunday, blasting home from 45 yards. But it was the performance of the back four that impressed both sets of managers with Eddie Manson, Ilan Scorah and Adam Levene in magnificent form.
There will be a few more twists and turns in the Division One title race. Of that I have no doubt, but managers Ric Blank and Alex Schock will be targeting six points ahead of two meetings with the Southgate boys in the space of three weeks.
But first things first. Three points on Sunday. “After a great result on Sunday confidence is high and we’re looking forward to the game against Southgate,” Blank told JC Sport.
“It’s the first of two games in three weeks against them and we know that their survival rests on these games. So we know they’ll be full-blooded affairs and we’re really looking forward to battle.
“Their results have picked up recently and they are clearly a good side so we won’t be under-estimating them. We’ve learnt over the years that there is very little between all 10 sides in Division 1 which is what makes it the tightest and most exciting league in the MSFL.
“Every game is a test and Southgate is no different. We are excited for this challenge and I know the boys will put their heart and soul into it. Dan Geey is unavailable but we'll have a good squad out as always.”
As Blank says, it’s also a massive game for Harmen. The sit just outside of the relegation zone but could not have asked for a tougher finish.
Manager Mark Engel has set his team a target for their last two games. He told JC Sport: “We need four points to ensure safety, so the minimum we need from this week is a draw.
“We have respect from Oakwood but having competed really well against Brady the other week I am confident the boys are good enough to pick up the points.”
Neither team is prolific in front of goal but Oakwood’s defensive record is far superior to that of Harmen and if they remain patient, I think they will have too much quality on the day as they look to extend an impressive league run to 12 games without defeat.
April 17 – Oakwood (a)
April 3 - Southgate Harmen B (a)
April 10 - Montana Boca Utd A (a)
April 17 - Southgate Harmen B (h)
JC team news: Harmen are without Josh Sasto (broken hand), Dan Sasto (exam leave) and Robbie Weber.
JC star man: Matt Geey (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Southgate Harmen B 0 Oakwood 2
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs BRADY MACCABI
The Brady bunch will be looking to close the gap at the top to six points when they visit Chigwell on Sunday.
With three game in hand on Raiders B, their destiny remains in their hands following last week’s goalless draw against FC Team.
That was the first time Josh Rosenfeld’s men have failed to register in the league this season in a game where the creative brilliance of Steven Field and Josh Hershman was nullified.
But Rosenfeld can expect no favours from a Chigwell team still gunning for a top four finish. The teams finished deadlocked at 1-1 at the beginning of March when Mark Smith’s opened was cancelled out by a strike from Russell Yershon. Another close 90 minutes is on the cards.
I’m sure Rosenfeld would take an ugly 1-0 but the Brady gaffer is keen to stick to his ethic of playing sexy football.
He told JC Sport: “Sunday is a huge game for us. We know that if we win our next three games, then we’re up.
“Sunday again is our cup final. Chigwell are a strong side and it’s never easy going to Essex. We nicked a point at home against them three weeks ago and we need to play much better than the last game against them.
“We are travelling with three first team regulars out and we know it will be a good battle. We know if we play to our best ability and have confidence we will win the game. It should be exciting.”
Chigwell have fallen well short of manager Richard Slater’s expectations, but it’s clear that he wants his troops to go out with a bang.
Slater has imposed a strict ban on Saturday night activities and banned his entire squad from going down Faces.
'It's our last home game of the season, so we all want to send the fans away happy,” Slater told JC Sport. “We still have a very slim chance of getting into the top three, so while it's still on we'll be giving it our best shot and win our last two games.
“We want to finish as high as possible, it's important for us as a club. Chigwell Athletic teams over the last 10 years have always been in that top half of the table.
“Brady are a strong side, so we must make sure we approach focused and prepared for a tough game.”
I think this game will be won and lost in midfield. Slater has been watching videos of how FC Team marked Brady’s danger men out of the game, or at least those are the videos I’ve been told he watched!
The onus is on Brady. Now it’s time to see if they can deliver again.
JC team news: For Chigwell, Russell Yershon and Rob Shepherdson are away while Mark Conway and Sam Rosenthal miss out.
Chigwell squad: Marc Jacobs, Simon Felstein, Jon Swead (capt), Glenn Davis, Adam Shafron, Dean Michaels, Adam Conway, Adam Goodman, Marc Radzan, Richard Slater, Daniel Castle, Michael Witzenfeld, Craig Pearl, Russell Becker, Glenn Michaels, Paul Lenchner
April 3 - Chigwell Athletic (a) – L
April 10 - NL Raiders (h) – L
April 17 - Camden Park (h) – L
April 10 – FC Team A (a)
Venue – Peter May, Ref – L. Benson
JC star man: Jason Sears (Brady)
DC Prediction: Chigwell Athletic 0 Brady Maccabi 1
FC TEAM A vs CAMDEN PARK
Second-from-top hosts second-from-bottom in Mill Hill with Mitch Young’s men looking for a big win to boost their title hopes.
The Team have really stepped up over the last few weeks with win over Raiders B followed by a deserved point against Brady.
Young praised for keeper Dave Grossman, defenders Ollie Segal and Jake Weiner along with the tough-tackling Jason Wood as Team became only the second team to keep Brady out this season.
Team’s last two games look very winnable and Young appeared in relaxed mood in his pre-match press conference.
“We are looking to enjoy our last two league games,” Young told JC Sport. “We are playing well and we are looking to finish the season on a high.
“We must continue to try and win as Brady and Oakwood could drop points. It will be a tricky game as Camden are battling to avoid relegation but my players are focused and ready to go.”
Only a super-human effort will do for Camden in a very tough run-in. Sunday’s trip to Team is followed by a trip to promotion-chasing Oakwood and it looks like they are doomed.
Things could have panned out very differently last week had they converted a penalty at Redbridge but it appears that their number is up following a 2-0 defeat against their relegation rivals.
Having seen Team in action a fortnight ago, it’s clear they are playing with confidence and passion and if they can pick up maximum points from their last two games, there is a possibility that it could be enough for them to play Premier Division football next season. That is the goal.
An early goal for FC Team on Sunday could open the floodgates and it could be a torrid morning for veteran Camden keeper Phil Caplin, whose jippy back will be asked questions of.
JC team news: For FC Team, Craig Edwards is out, but Andy Sheena should return.
April 10 - Chigwell Athletic (h)
April 17 - Brady (h)
Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – R. Cahill
JC star man: Jason Wood (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 4 Camden Park 0
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE C vs REAL LIFE
Redbridge C will not give up on the title without a fight. Of that there is no doubt. All they can do is winning their last four games and see where it takes them.
Richard Bronzite’s men were back to winning ways last Sunday with Dan Gordon, James Fox and Elliot Fox on target in the win over JLGB.
However, victory came at a cost as they lost stalwart defender Marc Silver who damaged ankle ligaments in a tackle and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Redbridge boys controlled the game from start to finish and I expect more of the same on Sunday, against a team they beat 5-3 in September. Jamie Sinclair, who like Silver is out for the remainder of the campaign, fired a hat-trick with Gordon smashing in another couple.
Sunday is a day when home fans expect goals galore and Gordon looking to fill his boots. Bronzite told JC Sport: “This week we go into the game knowing it is out of hands and only a miracle can help us win the league.
“Promotion is a must so we still have something to fight for.”
Redbridge are not the only team with something to play for. Relegation-haunted Real Life are rooted to the foot of the table and still await that elusive first win. I think the fact that the away end has not sold out speaks volumes.
Zig Zag rubbed salt into their wounds last week when they romped home 5-0 in a relegation six-pointer and I can only see things getting worse for Jamie Beaumont’s men here.
Defensive frailties will come home to roost in what is a home banker.
JC team news: For Redbridge, Jamie Chapman, Daniel Howard, Simon Green, Stephen Clements, Sam Sollosi, Jamie Fox and Anthony Mendel are out Elliot Castle is serving the last game of his suspension. Marc Silver and Jamie Sinclair are out for the season. Lee Ballen returns to the squad and Greg Bookman is also included. Bronzite is waiting on Marc Jacobs and will have either 13 or 14 players available.
April 10 – Faithfold C (h)
April 17 – Zig Zag (a)
April 24 – Faithfold C (h)
April 10 – Norstar B (h)
April 24 – Glenthorne Utd A (h)
Venue – The Hive, Ref – Q. Fox
JC star man: Elliot Fox (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC C 7 Real Life 0
ZIG ZAG vs HEATH BANTA
DJ Neal Cohen, the Zig Zag gaffer, has had a massive smile on his face all week following the memorable 5-0 win over Real Life.
The victory virtually assured Division Three football next season and they can relax a little in the knowledge that the teams below them are unlikely to get any more points in their remaining games.
Cohen has been on cloud nine all week and he’s looking for some more magic from his men before he sets off for Madrid ahead of Spurs’ Champions League quarter-final.
Last Sunday was really a season-defining moment for the Zeds and made everyone connected to the club realise just how worthwhile their efforts have been. Rumour has it that Cohen hasn’t smiled as much since his wedding day!
Josh Toff (2), Joel Winton (2) and Laurence Rosenthal were the goal-scoring heroes as the team recorded it’s biggest victory for several years.
It was not just the strikers who grabbed the glory as the Zig Zag defence came away with their first clean sheet of the season.
A delighted Cohen told JC Sport: "It was a superb performance from all 13 players mainly around James Levy who ran the midfield in our biggest win in four years to help keep us up.
"Life didn't have a shot on target and we dominated the entire game. When I get my full team out like this no one can touch us.
"It was a lovely sunny Zigzag performance and Heath should watch out next Sunday."
The challenge of Heath Banta will clearly be a step up for Zig Zag but now that they have the wind in their sails, it would be foolish for Ben Nathan and co to underestimate them.
Nathan’s men were edged out by champions-elect Glenthorne A. It appears that they will do well to finish higher than fourth now but they must not give up hope.
Their last three games look very winnable and if they can finish no 36 points it would certainly be a good marker to put down.
The clash between James Levy and Heath Banta’s Dan Breger will be key to the outcome on Sunday.
I can see this being a good, old-fashioned game of football between two sides that like to get stuck in.
Man for man, I think the visitors will have the edge, but only just. It finished 2-1 to Heath Banta earlier in the season and the fans might come away from this one with a case of deja vu.
Possible Zig Zag squad: Ben Mandel, Ryan Selsdon, Phil Silver, Danny Fenton, Dan Millar, Adam Landes, James Levy, Laurence Rosenthal, Neil Marcus, Gideon Gale, Joel Winton, Josh Toff, Brett Levene
April 10 – Redbridge JC C (h)
April 24 - Catford & Bromley Maccabi (h)
April 10 – Catford & Bromley Maccabi (h)
April 17 – UJIA (a)
Venue – Montrose Park, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: James Levy (Zig Zag)
DC Prediction: Zig Zag 1 Heath Banta 2
INTER BOREHAMWOOD vs BLIZZARD STORM
It’s the clash of the titans in Division Four as second-placed Blizzard take on third-placed Borehamwood.
It’s a must-win for Simon Linden’s men who although three points ahead, have played three games more.
The teams face one another twice in the space of three weeks and victory on Sunday could be crucial come May.
It’s the clash between a free-scoring team against another that doesn’t concede many. But one thing is for sure. Linden is relishing the challenge. And having done the double over Glenthorne, he will be approaching the game with no fear as they look to make it six games without defeat.
He told JC Sport: “It’s going to be a great game of football. Both teams will be up for it, and with my full squad available, I fancy our chances.”
The Blizzard boys have kept six clean sheets compared to Borehamwood’s four, but unlike Oluseun Thomas’ men, they have scored in every game.
The Borehamwood boys have clicked into the gear at just the right time. Four consecutive wins shows that they have the wheels in motion for one final push.
The match pits together two of the best managers in the lower leagues and Oluseun Thomas can’t wait for kick-off.
He told JC Sport: “This week is, in our eyes, a huge game. We firmly believe a win this week and it will be a huge step in the direction we want. Everyone is fired up.
“We are fully aware of the opposition and there threats and we have been working on shutting that out. I am looking for players like Jerome Colmans to step up from the last few weeks and find the form of earlier in the season.
“I am confident if we show up on Sunday from the whistle and play at a high intensity Blizzard will have to be alert to our threat.
“As always we won’t under-estimate the opposition but we won’t be showing to much respect.
“I will be looking for a collectively strong team performance and the boys knows I will be expecting a very high standard of football for 90 minutes.”
I can see this being a tight and tactical after and it might not be settled until the closing stages.
In terms of a prediction, I’m not brave enough to call an outright winner.
JC team news: Blizzard have a full-strength squad available with Linden describing the return of Adam Nathan, after four months out, as a “huge boost”. Ryan Colet has shrugged off a neck injury and Storm fans are also hoping to see the return of 17-year-old Dan Vandermolen.
April 3 – Borehamwood (a)
April 10 – Temple Fortune B (a)
April 17 – Borehamwood (h)
April 3 – Blizzard (h)
April 10 – Pinner (h)
April 17 – Blizzard (a)
Venue – The Hive, Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Jeff Gotch (Borehamwood)
DC Prediction: Inter Borehamwood 1 Blizzard Storm 1
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
Glenthorne look to be doing their best to throw away the Division Four title. The defeat against Neasden C last week came as a real shock and I’m expecting a big reaction against Hendon on Sunday.
Fabio Revieccio and Daniel Lassman were the goal men when the Thornes beat the Hustlers on the opening weekend of the season and I expect them to be the main men second time around.
The title race appears to be a three-horse race now. It’s really in Borehamwood’s hands but they have yet to play Blizzard. I’m sure Elliot Coulton, the Glenthorne boss, will be telling his troops to just focus on winning their remaining games and then everything else should take care of itself.
The partnership between Revieccio and Lassman has really blossomed this season and I can see them terrorising the Hendon defence.
It’s not Hendon’s way to stick men behind the ball and although they are 12-1 to win on Sunday, I can see them putting out a counter-attacking team.
Benny Goldberg was once again their matchwinner last Sunday, when they edged past Barry Goldstein Cup semi-finalists Temple Fortune B.
Sunday is Hendon’s last game of the season. Clearly they have nothing to lose and there would be no better way to bow out than with victory against the leaders.
That said, I just can’t see it. It’s Glenthorne for me.
Venue – The Old Chigwellians, Ref – K. Gold
JC star man: Dan Lassman (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne Utd B 4 Hendon Utd SC C 1
JEWVENTUS vs LOS BLANCOS
Back-to-back defeats have hit Los Blancos’ promotion push hard. Now they have no room for error.
Even with 17 players back, they were unable to beat Raiders C in a game where the Weinstein brothers netted for the All Whites.
Minsky cut a frustrated figure at the final whistle. He told JC Sport: “We had the lionshare of attacking possession and carved out chance after chance but we could not take them.”
LB were leading 2-1 and Minsky was angry that his men failed to see the game out.
Minsky will settle for nothing less than three points on Sunday as he looks to young hotshot Dany Kon to get them back on the winning trail.
“We need to get our season back on track, and that starts on Sunday. Simple as,” Minsky told JC Sport.
“We need to get that winning feeling back, and as long as there is still a mathematical chance of winning the league that will provide us with motivation.”
Los Blancos still have 15 points to play for this season and if they can win here and at Glenthorne next week, it would really open things up for them.
But they underestimate Jewventus at their peril. Gabriel John’s troops are a tough nut to crack.
It finished 3-1 to Los Blancos in September when Kon and Ariel Weinstein were among the scorers Minsky’s men after Richard Fogelman had put Jewve ahead.
Jewve have failed to live with the weight of pre-season favourites, despite the best efforts of gaffer John. But they have shown that they are a very useful team on their day.
Blancos would be foolish to write them off all together.
April 10 – Bilbaum (a)
April 17 – Glenthorne Utd B (a)
April 10 – Glenthorne Utd B (a)
April 17 – Bilbaum (a)
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – M. Fox
JC star man: Ariel Weinstein (Los Blancos)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 1 Los Blancos 2
PINNER JFC vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN C
Meeting for the first time this season, basement battlers Pinner take on a Neasden team on the up.
Neasden boss Louis Taylor hopes that the dreaded JC Manager of the Month curse does not strike again after being unveiled as my top man for March.
There has been a dramatic improvement in Neasden’s form over the past few weeks and I can see them having plenty to celebrate on Mothers Day.
Wins over high-flying Glenthorne B, Los Blancos, Shirley Park have come in a run of six games without defeat and you can get 1-20 on that they will finish in seventh heaven here.
Having kept five clean sheets in their last five games, Taylor is taking nothing for granted and it’s clear he’s showing Pinner plenty of respect.
Taylor told JC Sport: “We are expecting a tough match on Sunday. We’ve been in a fantastic run of form but I won’t be letting our boys get ahead of themselves just because we’re playing the team at the bottom of the league.
“Pinner have been unlucky in some of their fixtures this season and I’ll be doing everything in my power to make sure my team are prepared to battle and play our football as well as we have been doing recently.”
Pinner have failed to score in nine league games this season. It’s been more than 270 minutes since they last registered and manager Vivian Emanuel has been scouring the markets in a bid to bring in an emergency striker or two.
It’s not great news at the back either with Pinner having conceded 113 goals.
I’m afraid it doesn’t look good and damage limitation could be the name of the game for a Pinner team who could do worse than try to park the bus.
JC team news: For Neasden, Jack Peet is unavailable which means Tony Chadwick could move alongside Adam Levene in the centre of defence. Supersub Daniel Langer will be looking to make an impact from the bench, to add to the two-minute masterclass he put on last week. Player-manager Louis Taylor is looking to shake off his dodgy knee to start up front alongside Elliot Setyon.
April 10 – Borehamwood (a)
April 17 – Temple Fortune B (h)
April 24 – Neasden C (a)
April 17 – Shirley Park (h)
April 24 – Pinner (h)
Venue – Bannister Sports Centre, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Benji Gourgey (Neasden)
DC Prediction: Pinner JFC 0 NW Neasden C 5