The long road to Wingate & Finchley starts for several teams on Sunday, while for others it's the bread and butter of the league. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action on Matchday 4 of the JC MSFL season.
REFEREE OF THE WEEK: Stuart Ansher (NL Raiders A vs NW Neasden A)
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JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND ONE
NORSTAR A vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
The magic of the cup will be well and truly alive in the shadows of Wembley Stadium when first division Norstar welcome ambitious Glenthorne B.
It should be a real cracker with the Thornes starting the season in great form on the back of some excellent summer signings.
They have really hit the ground running with back-to-back wins and no goals conceded. You can’t really ask for more than that.
I expect the Thornes to arrive quietly confident of pulling off an upset.
Looking ahead to the tie, manager Craig Sandford told JC Sport: “We know how well Norstar have done making there way up the leagues and I'm aware that it would be the team’s toughest game over the last two seasons.
“We believe that we can give any team outside the Premier League a close game.
“Most of our players have played in the Premier or Division One over the last couple of seasons so we have experienced heads when playing against good opposition.
“We go into every game believing we can win. It could go the distance as both teams rarely concede goals and then penalties is a lottery.
“That's why people love the cup. We go into the game with nothing to lose whilst Norstar will have the pressure of having to win against lower league opposition.
“My players can really go out and enjoy and express themselves. This could spoil the coupon!”
Norstar started the season with a resolute 1-0 win over Temple Fortune A. The only problem is, that was almost three weeks ago.
Phil Peters’ is slightly concerned that his troops may be lacking a little match sharpness but he hopes that his men give as good as they get.
“After the disappointment at having last week's game postponed, we're looking forward to getting back to winning ways after defeat in the FA Sunday Cup a fortnight ago,” Peters told JC Sport.
“Whilst we're missing a few big names, the intention has always been to rotate our squad for the cup games and Sunday will give some players a chance to come in and impress.
“We're not taking Glenthorne lightly - we know they're a very strong team who have had an excellent start to the season and we'll respect that but I'm hoping we'll still have too much for them.”
Man for man, there will be little to separate the teams but I can see a moment of magic from a member of the visiting camp settling it.
JC team news: Glenthorne will be missing Adam Shafron who is in Miami but striker Lewis Walker is set to return. Mitchell Ross is out for the season with a thigh injury. The team have named Daniel Jackson as the new No. 1
Venue – Ark Academy
JC star man: Richard Rosenthal (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 1 Glenthorne Utd B 2
BLIZZARD STORM vs SHIRLEY PARK
One of the top ties in the opening round of the JC League Cup sees an all-Division Three clash between the Blizzard boys and the superheroes from Shirley Park.
Both teams were in Division Four last season and are aiming for promotion again this year.
Blizzard boss Simon Linden has not hit the panic button despite defeats in the team’s opening two games.
The Blizzard faithful are still holding out for a big name striker to replace Joel Kutner, but as yet the board will not release any funds to sign anyone on Linden’s shopping list.
Speaking after the defeat against Glenthorne, Linden told JC Sport: “I'm confident we can turn it around quickly and do very well.”
There’s a chance that Dan Oade and Dave Lusman, the management team at Shirley, could use the match as an opportunity to rotate their squad and give a run-out to some of their squad members.
However, having had a 21-day break after the 18-0 demolition of JLGB, it’s clear that cup fever is in the camp and all their big guns are hungry for more of the same.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Lusman told JC Sport: “We’re be looking for Ilan Shaki to control the back-line. It will be a close call but we hope to progress to the next round of the cup.”
I will put my mortgage on this tie not finishing 18-0 to Shirley, but think that they will have too much firepower on the day.
Sunday will give the Shirley boys the chance to put down another marker and land a psychological blow with two league meetings still to come.
JC team news: Shirley Park will be missing Dave Lusman and Gideon Gold through injuries. Dan Beckwith is ineligible as he was not registered in time for the cup game. Saul Conway, who scored six goals on debut against JLGB, will lead the attack, supported by Sacha Benfredj and Simon Shelley. Nicky Plotnek and Lee Bushall make the long journey back from university.
JC star man: Simon Shelley (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 1 Shirley Park 3
FAITHFOLD C vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
Goals are guaranteed on Sunday when Faithfold C take on first division Temple Fortune A.
Faithfold David Garson, the league’s longest-serving manager, would like nothing better than to make an immediate return to the twin towers of Wingate & Finchley after coming away with the JC Barry Goldstein Cup last April.
The Superhoops lost their opening two matches in the league but there will be absolutely nothing to lose on them on Sunday, once that first whistle blows.
Looking ahead to kick-off, Garson told JC Sport: “The pressure is off as this is a cup game and they are in the division above.
“Hopefully we can play to our full potential and maybe cause an upset.”
With players of the calibre of Ben Simons and Matty Kleinman within the Faithfold ranks, Fortune underestimate them at their peril.
The boys in yellow and red are still acclimatising to life back in Division One.
They know that Faithfold pose something of a banana skin, and the management team of Lee Fegan and Jack Morris will be doing their homework on Sunday’s opponents.
Fortune gaffer Lee Fegan told JC Sport: “We had a very good training session last night and our team is looking very sharp and hungry for Sunday.
“We know Faithfold C will be up for this but we are fully prepared. We have no injuries to report. There is nothing better than playing in a Cup fixture on a Sunday morning.”
Fortune No. 2 Jack Morris added: “We have a large and strong squad this year and we are looking at players to impress this week in the cup to stake their claim for a regular starting spot.”
I’m tipping Fortune to win a five-goal thriller. May the best team win.
JC team news: Faithfold welcome back Ricky Stoltzman and Joe Levy to the squad.
Fortune hotshot Ben Isaacs is out for the season with his cruciate injury.
Venue – The Hive
JC star man: Paul Walker (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 2 Temple Fortune A 3
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B vs FAITHFOLD B
Stirling Kay is another candidate for JC Manager of the Month.
He has put a smile back on the face of his squad, who dare I say, look like the B’s knees.
With Mark Zealander and Daniel Orgel scoring for fun, I expect them to have just enough for a Faithfold B team who have also made an encouraging start.
Sunday poses a slightly different challenge for the Redbridge boys. Wins over Woodford and Harmen B have been most rewarding but they start this game as favourites and home advantage should help them book their place in round two.
Keeper Ollie Franks has been in excellent form although he will be hoping to be no more than a spectator on Sunday.
Faithfold have also benefitted from an influx of talent over the summer although some may be lacking a little in the match sharpness department.
Adam Grossman and Daniel Hildebrand found the net in Faithfold opening match but they will face a step up in opposition here.
Debutants Jonny Horwitz, Louis Green, Richard Winton, Sam Lewis and Dan Ejdelman impressed assistant-manager Ben Lewis in the derby as did the experienced Dan Harris and Leor Harel.
Speaking after the last game, Lewis told JC Sport that he believes Faithfold are “looking strong for the season”. A trip to Redbridge will be a good indication of how far they have come.
Venue – Fairlop
JC star man: Jonny Horwitz (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC B 2 Faithfold B 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN C vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
After helping the B team to victory over Jewventus in extra time, player-manager Louis Taylor returns to lead the line for Neasden C.
Division Two is where Neasden want to be next season and they will do well to match a Glenthorne team that is clearly going places.
With a strong squad behind him, Taylor is confident his troops won’t let him down. He told JC Sport: “I'm certain it's going to be tough but we'll get the ball down, play some football and see how it goes.”
There is great competition for places at Glenthorne these days and it’s clear that player-manager Dan Lipman likes to see each player playing for the shirt – King Kenny style.
They were the model of consistency in Division Three last season and should have more than enough for Neasden on the day.
As for the cup, it’s clear they are in it to win it. As Lipman told JC Sport: “We have high hopes for the cup this year. This game comes sandwiched between two derbies against Redbridge so it's vital that the boys don't take our opposition this week for granted.
“Sunday is an opportunity for some of the boys to play their way into the team for next weeks big game in the league.”
I can see this tie going the distance with Ed Bloom, Adam Levene and Jack Peet doing their best to keep things tight at the back for Neasden, while Taylor must will work his socks off to ensure that the home side offer something in the final third.
I’m tipping the Thornes to break Neasden’s hearts in extra time.
JC team news: For Neasden, the return of Jack Peet at the back will sure things up as Jamie Isenwater is away and Tony Chadwick has a broken bone in his hand.
Glenthorne will be missing Adam Kantor.
Venue – Hadley FC
JC star man: Jack Peet (Neasden)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden C 1 Glenthorne Utd A 2
UJS NORSTAR B vs CAMDEN PARK
There’s a tasty all-Division Two clash in store between the have’s and have-nots.
Camden have maximum points from three games while the Stars have lost their first two.
But points won’t make prizes on Sunday, although a place in round two shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Summer signings Darren Davidson and David Khalastchi steered Camden to a 4-1 success over Faithfold C but they should expect a tougher match here.
Jonny Bunt is ready to make some big decisions and it will become clear that he does not have any favourites come 10.30am on Sunday
He knows that victory against Camden could be the start of something special. “We have plenty of availability for this weekend so we expect to have a strong side out, as we did when Camden got the better of us a few weeks ago.
“We are keen to get our first competitive win of the season after a protracted start and to show Camden Park we are a match for them.
"Obviously we don't have many expectations in the cup but it would be nice to be knocked out by one of the big boys rather than a side from our own division!"
Sunday will come down to which team takes their chances and which team wants it most.
Venue – Ark Academy
JC star man: David Khalastchi (Camden)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 1 Camden Park 2
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C vs BOCA JEWNIORS
The Raiders are red-hot at the minute and I can’t see Boca stopping them on Sunday.
Oli Shorts and Richard Abrahams have put together a really strong squad and they have started the season like a house on fire with consecutive victories.
James Franks is living up to his early season promise although he will face a good battle against Jamie Weinrich.
Also watch out for Josh Fineman, Joe Newton, Matt Greene and Rob Samuelson – players that look capable of taking L’Orange to the next level.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Shorts told JC Sport: “After two big wins against two in form teams, we go into this cup game full of confidence.
“We need to make sure that this confidence doesn't turn into arrogance and that we can put in a good performance.
“We don't know Boca that well but they've had some tough results of late yet from what I've heard from a couple of managers is that these results might have been a little harsh.
“We've picked up a few injuries over the last week but our squad is strong and I believe the team can put in a performance.”
Boca have got off to a shocker but there is plenty of time for them to get it right.
Manager Sefton Monk is still looking to bolster the squad with a new centre back top of his list. Rumour has it that he has 8,000 shekels to spend on a player.
Thumped 10-1 by FC Team C last time out, damage limitation could be the name of the game for them for now.
Venue – Hatfield Uni
JC star man: Josh Fineman (Raiders)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders C 4 Boca Jewniors 1
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
3 - Jamie Wolfson (Raiders A), Jason Lindsay (Neasden A)
2 - Adam Bolle (Redbridge A), Danny Kon (Hendon A)
FAITHFOLD A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
A change of luck is what the Raiders need right now. The team has endured a tough start with matches against Redbridge and Neasden sandwiched in between a derby against their B team.
One point out of a possible nine is not the start they were hoping for, and things won’t get any easier on Sunday when they travel to title hopefuls Faithfold.
L’Orange have been hit hard by injury and availability problems with Danny Berliner, Joe Tankel, Adam Joselyn, Alex Olcot and Jacob Gold notable absentees in recent weeks. But the management team will not use this as an excuse as they have more than enough quality within the ranks to get points on the board. Jamie Wolfson has started the season well, scoring a goal a game, while David Rhodes has been on top form and Andrew McMaster had his best game in a Raiders shirt last week.
They led three times against Neasden last Sunday but came unstuck to a late own goal. That is how things are going for them at the moment but they cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves.
Faithfold started the season with a win a fortnight ago. They battered the Raiders into submission in the corresponding fixture following the early dismissal of Berliner.
Stalwart striker Daryl Phillips helped himself to a hat-trick while Mike Pearson grabbed the other. Both will be licking their lips when they see that Raiders have conceded 13 goals in their first three games.
The Superhoops have plenty of options going forward with their wingers looking to attack at every opportunity.
Alex Levack and Alex Kaye also bossed the game against Raiders last time. Quite simply, the boys in Orange could not get to grips with the tight pitch or Faithfold’s tactics.
If you’re looking for matchwinners on Sunday, it appears that Faithfold hold all the aces.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – W. Blake
JC star man: Daryl Phillips (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold A 3 NL Raiders A 1
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS A
Rob Richman’s Raiders go into their third match of the season still unbeaten.
They followed the 4-2 derby win with a goalless draw against a Brady team featuring Paul Hakim.
Central defenders Dan Grossman, captain Rik Sherman and Elliot Espinoza were the standout performers last weekend but Richman will have to do without two of them for the visit of the Lions.
L’Orange beat the Lions in a pre-season friendly but Richman knows that his troops will have to perform even better, when it really matters.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Richman told JC Sport: “We are expecting another stern test when we play Lions this Sunday.
“They had an excellent result in their last league game and, having played them in the cup last year, we are well aware of the quality they possess.
“Every game at this level is tough but we will try and carry on playing the football that has served us well the past 18 months."
The Lions had a fantastic win last time out when they cancelled out Hendon. Ollie Craig was the matchwinner that day in a match were Jacob Lew and Pete Lazard nullified the Hendon attack.
Joint-manager Josh Newman knows that Sunday is a big test for his team. They were the underdogs against the Hammers but there is nothing to separate them for the Raiders ahead of kick-off.
I can’t see there being much between the sides on Sunday. I think it will come down to small details and if the Raiders can get the ball to the likes of Mike Hershman, Nicky Woolf, Shim Bensoor and Lions old boy David Dinkin, they might just edge it.
JC team news: For Raiders, David Dinkin, Mike Hershman and Jonny Hesselberg are all carrying knocks but Richman is hopeful that all three will be available for Sunday. Dan Grossman and Rik Sherman are away but Gilad Kestenbaum, Shim Bensoor and David Simnock all return.
Venue – Brunel Uni
JC star man: Shim Bensoor (Raiders)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders B 2 LM Lions A 1
FC TEAM A vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN A
FC Team and Harmen will be looking to get their first points on the board when they go head-to-head on Sunday.
It’s been a tough start for Mitch Young’s troops who have gone down 2-0 and 3-1 to Hendon and Redbridge respectively.
Welcoming back two big players, Young and co will rock up confident of coming away with maximum points.
“We are looking to really kick start our season this weekend having played last year’s champions,” Young told JC Sport. “However it doesn't get much easier when you hear Harmen have signed two of the best Jewish footballers and most experienced out there in terms of Craig Ellis and Matt Davis.
“This is where we went to be and it will be a pleasure playing against Harmen and the likes of those big names.
“We want to win the match and will be giving it our all and come the end of 90 minutes I will know a lot about the ambition and courage of my team.
“I have full faith in my squad and know on our day we can win matches and hopefully this will begin on Sunday."
Harmen boss Dan Uzan knows that the team will have to improve their away record this season. The Southgate boys won four matches out of 14 last season and he hopes that things will get easier following defeats against Neasden, Faithfold and Hendon.
News of Harmen’s big new signings sent shockwaves across the division but until they get points under their belt all it will do is put bums on seats.
There is every possibility that fans will see two of the most solid spines in the MSFL. Lining up for Team will be keeper Dave Grossman, Dan Ossack, Matt Drage and Richard Salmon, while Harmen could start with Ziggy Lichman, Jon Morris, Craig Ellis and Alex Bourne.
This match is sure to have the X-Factor and sparks could fly.
JC team news: Dave Ossack will make his FC Team debut while Richard Salmon returns. Ollie Segal is still sidelined through injury.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – A. Myerson
JC star man: Richard Salmon (FC Team A)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 2 Southgate Harmen A 1
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs BRADY MACCABI A
Josh Rosenfeld, the Brady boss, must be relishing Sunday’s trip to Fairlop. Last season his team were playing against the likes of Camden Park and Lions B, but now they are well and truly mixing it with the big boys.
I have no doubt that Rosenfeld will remind his troops that Sunday is what it is all about, taking on the champions in their own backyard.
His summer signings have bedded in nicely, with Jordan Grant even finding some unusual ways of keeping the ball out of the net.
Not many Brady players would walk into the Redbridge team, but they have one that definitely would. Paul Hakim. He played the entire 90 minutes of last weekend’s goalless draw against Raiders B and it would be fair to say that Redbridge hope he opts for a lie-in on Sunday.
Jon Ellis, Jon Green and Hakim are just three of the tasty additions to the Brady squad this season. Rosenfeld has purchased very well and his team look well-equipped for what will be a long and testing season.
Looking ahead to the big day out, Rosenfeld told JC Sport: "We are reakkt looking forward to the game. This time last year we never dreamt of playing the champions of the Premiership in the league.
"It’s a big step for our boys, one we will relish and I am sure we won't disappoint. We aren’t here to make up the numbers this year."
With Rosenfeld away on Sunday, Simon Hakim will take charge of the team although he cannot stay until the end so it will be interesting to see how organised the team is during the closing stages.
Redbridge have had a fortnight to recover following the 3-1 win over FC Team. The battle between new striker Adam Bolle could hold the key as to which team comes away with maximum points.
Fairlop was a fortress for the boys in blue and they won’t be taking any prisoners on Sunday. The team is once again jam-packed with quality with Team GB stars Ben Sollosi, Russell Goldstein and Steve Summers among the big names.
New boss Eilon Kennet is still coming to terms with just how much talent he has available at his disposal. They have all the ingredients to make another title push and it will take a good team to beat them.
JC team news: Jon Ellis and Jon Green return for Brady, as does Josh Hershman from suspension. Alex Hershman returns, however, Nick Smith and Nick Berman are away.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – G. Silver
JC star man: Adam Bolle (Redbridge)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC A 2 Brady A 1
4 - Gary Cohen (Montana)
3 - Glenn Michaels (Chigwell), Mark Zealander (Redbridge JC B), Jerome Marks (Woodford)
MONTANA BOCA UNITED vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
There’s a good game in store at the Hive where three points are up for grabs between promotion-seeking Montana and Chigwell.
Montana were indebted to a fine performance by keeper Mike Perkin in the 2-2 draw against Oakwood last Sunday.
Gary Cohen and Mitch Green were the marksmen for Montana, with Cohen maintaining his purple patch to make it four goals in three games.
Manager Viv Emanuel is enjoying life in the fast lane. Looking ahead to Sunday, he told JC Sport: “We are have another strong squad for Sunday’s match. With the players we have available, I hope we will be able to battle just as hard as we did against Oakwood.
“Team spirit is good at the moment and I hope to push this into Sunday’s match against highly-fancied Chigwell.
“In my opinion, Montana can beat anyone on our day and I hope Sunday will be our day.”
The Chigs claimed their first win last weekend with Paul Lenchner the standout performer in a 4-3 victory against Harmen B.
Happy Hammer Glenn Michaels (2), Craig Pearl and Dan Castle registered in a hard fought win.
Chigwell are missing a number of key players but they have real strength in depth season and if they keep their heads, I can see them having just enough on the day.
The fans have yet to see the best of Anthony Mendel and I can see him coming good here.
JC team news: Montana are without Raymond Harrod and Zaki Kramer. Both are out for another two weeks.
Chigwell will be missing Jamie Fox (wedding), Lloyd Becker (ankle), Simon Felstein (work), Rob Shepherdson (groin) while assistant-manager Glenn Davis faces a late fitness test.
Chigwell squad: Marc Jacobs, Lee Hyams, Alex Norman, Paul Lenchner, Glenn Davis, Dean Michaels, Russell Yershon, Daniel Castle, Craig Pearl, Jonathan Swead, Richard Slater, Adam Goodman, Marc Radzan, Antony Mendel, Glenn Michaels
Venue – The Hive, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Antony Mendel (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Montana Boca Utd 1 Chigwell Athletic 2
SOUTHGATE HARMEN B vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
Morale is high in the Woodford camp following back-to-back wins - in a friendly against Neasden B and a solid performance against UJIA in the Cyril Anekstein Cup - following the derby defeat against Redbridge on the opening weekend.
The JC cameras were there to see another Jerome Marks masterclass. It appears that Marks saves his best for the cameras. He also fired a hat-trick against Zig Zag the season before last but he will be disappointed to hear that my snapper won’t be at the Mole on Sunday.
Momentum is no the game for Woodford. Ahead’s of Sunday’s trip to Southgate, manager Alex Aviram had this to say. “Nothing less than three points are expected to kickstart our title bid.”
Elliot Gold was another star of the show last week and I can see him given Harmen a torrid time with his pace and silky skills.
It’s been a tough start for Harmen boss Marc Cohen. Defeats Montana, Redbridge against and Chigwell makes this an even bigger game.
Cohen admitted that a double lapse in concentration gave his men an uphill task last Sunday. He will find out that the talent in east London is not just restricted to one club.
Dave Marcus got Harmen back into the game with a crackerjack of a goal while Josh Sasto had his best game in a long time.
Speaking after the game last week, Cohen told JC Sport: “We are growing week by week and with a bit more time and once we get some confidence, we will be a very strong team and a tough one to beat.”
Harmen have a decent squad to choose from this week as they look to get off the mark.
Cohen said: "We have been getting better as a team and after being narrowly beaten last week I think this weekend we will pull together and pick up an overdue win.
"David Marcus and Bradley Cohen will be a vital this weekend and Harmen will be looking for them to pull the strings in the middle of the pitch.
"Dan Amram looks back to his best and will be a constant threat this weekend.
"Obviously it hasn't been the ideal start to the season. However, I think if we keep it tight at the back then we should have enough firepower going forward to be too strong for our opponents this weekend."
It’s hard to see past Woodford on Sunday, regardless of whether or not Harmen give them a headstart.
JC team news: For Woodford, summer signing Nuriel Avraham, nicknamed the beast from the east, is on international duty in Israel. Darryl Green returns from suspension, which comes an added boost to the back four. Skipper Harrsion Midda in doubt due to knee injury and faces a late fitness test. Samm Pearey may be forced to come out of retirement for this season. Bradley Gayer is a doubt due to travels.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Darryl Green (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Woodford Wanderers 3 Southgate Harmen B 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN B vs OAKWOOD
Neasden will be missing two of their best players for the visit of Oakwood in what looks set to be a top game.
They were given a major scare by fourth division Jewventus in the cup last weekend, with extra time strikes from Jonny Cutter and Louis Taylor squeezing them through.
Heavy legs could play a part for Neasden and I expect manager Daniel Hodes to play a formation that will make them hard to get through.
The Oaks were held by Montana last week with Matt Geey on target in a 2-2 draw. They came up against a red-hot keeper this week but joint-manager Ric Blank hopes that his troops will be more clinical on Sunday.
"We are really looking forward to our game against Neasden,” he told JC Sport. “Historically the games between the two sides have been thrillers and I think Sunday will be no different.
“We know they're a good side and always have some A team players to draw from so we are expecting a really tough contest.
“We are up for the challenge - which goes without saying.”
I think that Neasden will huff and puff but ultimately, Oakwood will blow their house down.
JC team news: Neasden will be missing Max Fieldgrass and Ben Wulwik who remain sidelined with medium-term injuries. They will also be without several players returning to university.
Oakwood are without striker Anthony Kintish, Vic Librae and Ben Myers, but Blank said: “Other than that we are in good shape."
Ref – Q. Fox
JC star man: Dan Geey (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden B 0 Oakwood 2
4 - Joey Lazare (LM Lions B), Raph Noe (Hendon B)
2 - Adam Goldsmith (FC Team B), Adam Grossman (Faithfold B), Ben Menahem (Norstar B), Guy Marks, Darren Davidson, David Khalastchi (all Camden Park)
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE C vs L’EQUIPE
Sunday is a must-win for Redbridge, according to player-manager Dan Gordon.
The Redbridge boys were left red-faced by Division Four new boys Brady B last week, and now Gordon is looking for a big reaction.
Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Gordon. “We have to get it spot on on Sunday. We are getting closer but we still haven't got it right.
“Sunday becomes massive as we are still awaiting our first three points of the season.
“With most of the same squad as last year, the transitional period has been tougher than we thought but we can't keep making excuses.
“Time is running out. The confidence of the boys is 100 per cent and I feel once we get our first three points you will then see a different Redbridge.”
After player manager Daniel Gordon rested himself in the cup, RJC fans will be relieved to hear that he will be back leading the line on Sunday.
He added: “We have a full squad to chose from for Sunday and will be looking at all the boys in training to work out our best line up.
"This Sunday has become huge."
L’Equipe have also found the going tough – conceding 12 times in the first two games.
But manager David Prager believes that they are close to turning the corner.
“Travelling away to Essex is never an easy task but if the boys can match Redbridge’s work-rate and commitment then I’m sure we will get a positive result.
“We have a full squad to pick from for Sunday’s game with the only absentee being club captain Mark Singer who is still recovering from a long term lay off.”
I can see it being a nervy 90 minutes for both sets of supporters.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Lee Grodent (Redbridge)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC C 2 L’Equipe 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs FC TEAM B
Hendon will be looking to make it three out of three in the league when they take on FC Team B.
The Hornets recorded their fourth win of the season last weekend when they hit their C team for six in the cup.
Gav Noe (2), RA Noe (2), Chaim Gothold and Pinty Baddiel were the goal men in the derby and they will be looking to give FC Team a torrid morning here.
The Reds have been playing some fantasy football this season but that may not be possible this weekend.
Joint-manager Motty Korman told JC Sport: “We are struggling with a few injuries. Chaim Gothold, Gav Noe and Chanania Engelsman will have last-minute fitness tests and Parys Hammonds will be serving the first of his three match suspension.
“Gav Noe and Pinty Baddiel excelled last week, whilst RA Noe scored another two last week.
“We will be facing a well-organised and strong FC Team B and have concerns over our injured players, but new signings Eytan Storfer and James Josephs could play a vital role on Sunday.”
FC Team B were knocked out of the cup, conceding four times against a team from the division below.
They were unable to cope with Catford’s pace and movement and is be something that Hendon will look to capitalise on.
An early cup exit is not always a bad thing for certain teams and I think FC Team B fall into that category. They can now focus on trying to put results together in the league and first thing’s first, get enough points to ensure relegation is not a word that they will be associated with this season.
The best way forward on Sunday could be to try and frustrate Hendon for the first 70 minutes and then try and pinch something on the break.
Caution must be adopted by the visitors or else I can see Hendon picking them off at will.
It’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
JC team news: Hendon welcome back Ari Nevies who has returned from Israel.
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Eytan Storfer (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC B 3 FC Team B 1
6 - Joel Kutner (Los Blancos), Saul Conway (Shirley Park)
4 - Nicky Plotnek (Shirley Park)
TEAM JLGB vs CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI
The Cats travel to Walthamstow riding on the crest of a wave following last week’s thrilling cup win at FC Team B.
Yonni Bord was the star of the show – winning JC Player of the Week following his matchwinning display capped by a wonder goal. Table tennis teammates Eli Baraty (2) and Ashley Stokes sealed the win.
Attention now turns to the league where they will be looking to get points on the board at the third time of asking.
The mood in the camp will be high and as joint-manager Adam Lewis tells JC Sport, the Cats are aiming for another famous away win against a JLGB that has also lost their first two in the league.
Lewis said: “We’re hoping to have a strong squad this week, with some returning players and a largely unchanged team to field.
“After a great performance on Sunday, we'll hope to take that into the rest of the season now.
“We've started poorly in the league with two defeats, so we're under no illusions that we need to do much, much better.
“The annoying thing is that a performance like the one on Sunday would have seen us compete in both of our league losses so far, so with any luck we can get some consistency now and concentrate on getting some points on the board.
“We won't underestimate JLGB as they gave us a good game last year with only nine men and like us, they’ve had a couple of tough opening fixtures.
“However, we'll be concentrating on making sure we're fully focused on our own game and as long as the pitch is favourable, will try to play the ball on the floor.
JLGB will be hoping to build on the performance against Hendon where although the result did not go their way, the performance was encouraging.
Barry Green will be a big miss and manager Rob Silverman is away, leaving the club in the hands of Dan Curtis. Other than that it will be pretty much the same team as two weeks ago.
I managed to catch Silverman for a few words before he set off for the airport. “I am desperate to pick up some points this weekend,” he said. “If luck is on our side, then I can see us picking up the win.
“It is never an easy game against Catford, but we need to make home advantage count.”
I can see this being an open and entertaining affair, with goals aplenty.
Venue – Peter May Sports Centre, Ref – A. Yuchetel
JC star man: Yonni Bord (Catford)
DC Prediction: Team JLGB 2 Catford & Bromley Maccabi 3
LOS BLANCOS vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
Los Blancos and Hendon experienced contrasting fortunes in the cup last weekend.
Joel Minsky’s men rode their luck before running out convincing winners against SPEC.
Sami Birnbaum plus one apiece from Dovid Greenberg and Benji Englesmen were the marksmen in a 4-1 victory.
The performance left a lasting impression on SPEC’s Ricky Lawrence who has tipped them to have a strong season.
It’s back to the league for the Whites who have won three out of three in all competitions.
Consistency is the name of the game for Minsky and with record signing Joel Kutner set to return, it could be a busy morning for the Hendon back-line.
Avi Gelley’s troops were hit for six by their B team in the cup last weekend and not even a backs-to-the-wall job may be enough here.
Benny Goldberg was their scorer again in the derby, but I think he’ll be feeding off scraps against a well-drilled Blancos team. However, one thing is for sure. The battle between Goldberg and Kutner will be worth the admission fee alone.
While the efforts of Kutner have been there for all to see, the name of Yosh Radomsky is not familiar with many outside of Division Three. The boy has enjoyed a terrific start to the season and has shown his true colours. Ability is the name of his game and I can see him playing a starring role in another LB win.
JC team news: Los Blancos are without Daniel Minsky. Other than that, manager Joel Minsky has a full-strength squad, although he advised that there will be late fitness tests for Julian Gertner and Trevor Silverman. The gaffer told JC Sport: "We're raring to go."
Venue – Ref – South Oxhey, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Yosh Radomsky (Los Blancos)
DC Prediction: Los Blancos 3 Hendon Utd SC C 1
4 - Jamie Kent (Brixton B), Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B)
3 - Daniel Bell (Brixton B), Jamie Weinrich (Boca Jewniors)
BRADY MACCABI B vs SPEC
There’s a real treat in store here as Brady Maccabi look to extend their perfect record against ambitious SPEC.
Josh Dagul hopes that the dreaded JC Manager of the Week curse does not strike again after getting the nod for the team’s cup heroics against Redbridge C.
It needed a moment of inspiration from Kane Alexander to put Dagul’s dynamos in dreamland.
Now all eyes are on Sunday where three points would put Dagul in contention for JC Manager of the Month.
Dagul is already showing a great maturity beyond his tender years, and it’s clear that he’s a dab-hand at the old mind games. In a rare interview, he told JC Sport: “SPEC were the pundits’ early season favourites, so really the pressure is on them ahead of this game.
“Whilst we have started the season brilliantly, we are just enjoying our football at the moment and hope to continue that this weekend.
“Our squad has been hit by people going back to uni and injuries, but we're confident that we can get a result.”
Dagul was quick to point out that his is not the only brain behind the team’s encouraging start. He said: “I get lots of great assistance from my brother, Elliott, father, Warren, and good friend, Josh Black.
SPEC are looking to bounce back from a couple of defeats. The went down 4-1 against Los Blancos in the cup last Sunday and manager Laurence Conway will be looking for a reaction here.
Adam Lenz was their scorer in a game they hit the woodwork no less than four times. So it’s fair to say that Conway and co are hoping for a change of luck. SPEC’s Ricky Lawrence is under instruction to prevent squad members from walk under ladders or opening umbrella indoors in the build up to the match.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Lawrence told JC Sport: “We are looking to go into this huge game with a squad almost at full strength.
“We know it's going to be an extremely tough game against Brady who defeated Division Two opposition in the Cyril Anekstein Cup last week and have won their two previous league games.
“I've only heard good things about them and I'd imagine they have a great chance of winning the title along with Raiders C and Temple Fortune B.”
A sell-out crowd is expected and I can only see the teams putting on a five-star show.
JC team news: For SPEC, Oli Levy, Dan Cohen and Rob Murray are out injured, along with long-term absentee Michael Rhodes. Ashley Lawrence has his son's birthday party. Craig Cohen and Adam Wilson return from trips away and they are hopeful Ricky Lawrence and Elliott Wallis will pass late fitness tests. Lee Duskwick will also has a fitness test and depending on the results, could make his long-awaited debut in goal for the Bananas.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – M. Fox
JC star man: Kane Alexander (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady B 2 SPEC 2