There are some real David versus Goliath style battles in the second round of the Cyril Anekstein Cup this weekend, as Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action and goes head-to-head with MGBSFL stalwart Gabriel John of Catford & Bromley in Challenge Caro ahead of Matchday 8 of the season.
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND TWO
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs LOS BLANCOS
There’s a real humdinger in store in Harrow when Division Two high-flyers Raiders B take on Division One strugglers Blancos. No doubt one or two of you have this down as a potential shock. I know Phil Peters does!
L’Orange dropped points for the first time this season in the eight-goal thriller against FC Team C. It needed a late effort from Dave Esterkin to earn them a draw in a gripping encounter.
Manager Jonathan Adelman bemoaned availability problems ahead of the tie, with several key players having season tickets at Spurs so they’re unlikely to be at full strength.
Adelman told JC Sport: "Sunday is a big test for us, a chance to go up against a team a Division above us and who took a few Raiders boys last summer.
"Whilst Anthony Goodmaker is back from the US, Simon Buchler, Josh Fineman and Andrew McMaster are all out. Our injury and absence crisis shows no sign of letting up so I've dusted down my boots and may be forced in to action."
There’s also a couple of players in the Blancos camp who may feel they have a point to prove as Darren Russell and Nick Grosse go up against their former employer.
Blancos go into the game on the back of a brilliant performance against Brady B. All that was missing was a point or three as they had a draw snatched from them after a stunning late strike. Benjy Israel and Jono Gaon were the marksmen for a team who reached the last four of this competition not so long ago.
Blancos part-time, interim, short-term caretaker-manager Jon Ison told JC Sport: “Although we’re still short on players, we go into this game with a sense of optimism as we know we can perform well.
“After last week’s good performance but disappointing result, this week we are looking for that good performance to be replicated, but also the result to go alongside it.
“Our priority is the league this year, but to have a good cup run will be a bonus and the players are certainly looking forward to this Sunday’s match.”
I’m predicting a five-star contest that ticks all the boxes, and Blancos edging through as they need a result right now.
Venue – John Lyons, Ref – Laurence Thorne (Games 5, Yellows 7, Reds 0)
JC star man: Benjy Israel (Blancos)
DC Prediction: Raiders 2 Blancos 3
GJ Prediction: Raiders to win in extra-time
OAKWOOD B vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
Ian Tussie this week admitted he is still “excited” by the magic of the cup.
The Oaks boss was almost lost for words as his team finished second best against Blizzard last Sunday and he hopes his troops can inflict more misery on an out-of-sorts Hendon B.
Tussie told JC Sport: “I never knew Cyril Anekstein, but I'm told he was a big Oakwood fan - having grown up watching the mighty Oaks team of the 1960s with the likes of Mike Oxbrown, Doug McCockin and Huw Janus. Cyril famously travelled to Essex the night before his O-Level home economics practical test to watch the Oaks lose to Redbridge on penalties in the quarter final of the National Trophy.
“I've told the lads of Cyril this week and they're fired up for the game. We want to do well in the cup this year and feel we have the team and squad to cause an upset or two. We also need to put to bed last week's demoralising defeat to Blizzard Storm.
“We face Hendon B from the league above us on Sunday and it's going to be a difficult tie, but we go as underdogs and the pressure is off us in that respect. Except that people are fighting for their places and I'm therefore reapplying the pressure!”
Hendon have made a disastrous start. They just can’t stop conceding at the minute and even though they have good pedigree in this competition, all the signs point towards an upset.
JC team news: The Oaks are without a few, including Eric Lewis and Mark Abrams which Tussie describes as “a blow as both have been in good form this year. Who else? Oh yeah, no Dave Epstein who is still AWL (absent with leave) from the squad due to the ongoing contractual dispute (we don't want to pay him)”.
Ref – Neal Cohen (Games 6, Yellows 9, Reds 1)
JC star man: Carl Peters (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 3 Hendon 1
GJ Prediction: Oakwood 3 Hendon 2
AC MILL HILL vs FAITHFOLD B
Faithfold B appear to have rediscovered their mojo, but they face another big test in the shape of Mill Hill on Sunday.
Dan Yoss’ boys produced some exhilarating football in the entertaining draw against FC Team B. Oliver Telvi, Ben Rosenblatt and Doron Hershkorn registered to earn them a point in a game where keeper Dan Kosky put in a performance that earned him a place in my Division Two top team.
Ahead of Sunday’s tie, Yoss told JC Sport: “We're in good nick as we head into the game against AC Mill HIll. There were some standout performances last Sunday from Daniel Kosky, Matt Smith, Ben Rosenblatt, Mikey Rocha-Keys and Doron Hershkorn, although the whole team put in a shift.
“More of the same expected against AC Mill Hill. We're a different team to when we played them in the league a few weeks ago and I've got a feeling it will show on Sunday.”
Mill Hill go into the game with the psychological edge having beaten the Hoops last month. Alex Olcot, Ben Zloof, James Levy and Mark Truman saw them home 4-2, so Faithfold will be keen to settle some scores.
Joe Levy has asked home fans to get behind their heroes with a place in round three up for grabs. He told JC Sport: “We will look to return to winning ways this weekend. We know Faithfold b well, with a few ex players now wearing the ACMH badge.
“We know they have improved from the team we beat earlier in the season and expect a tough game.
“Jonny Horwitz will be itching for a start against his old side and competition for places is high.
“Having already made it further this season in the cup, albeit via a bye, we expect to be in the hat for the next round.”
Fitness could be a key factor on Sunday on what will be a heavy pitch, but only a brave man would bet against a Mill Hill team possessing the predatory Zloof.
JC team news: Faithfold player-manager Dan Yoss is rated 50/50 with a hip injury. Ben Loftus is out injured and Oliver Telvi is at a specialist in Eastern Europe who is nuts.
Ref – Darryl Colmans (Games 2, Yellows 3, Reds 0)
JC star man: Mark Truman (Mill Hill)
DC Prediction: Mill Hill 2 Faithfold 1
GJ Prediction: Mill Hill 3 Faithfold 1
BLIZZARD STORM vs FAITHFOLD A
Zuriel Solomon says “nothing will be taken for granted” ahead of the trip to second division Blizzard Storm.
The Superhoops are going strong right now, with Jonny Haik and Mike Pearson registering doubles in the 4-2 win over Oakwood last weekend and with his front two firing on all cylinders you have to fear for the Blizzard boys.
Ahead of the game, Solomon told JC Sport: “We played Blizzard last year and came through unscathed. We know little about them, but are not sure what they will be like this year.
“Nothing will be taken for granted and we make sure we turn up for the game.”
Blizzard go into the game in buoyant mood after beating a strong Oakwood B side 2-1, thanks to goals from magic man Matt Jaffa and Louis Taylor.
Keeper Oli Simons and Adam Levene look set to be big players for them on Sunday, with Levene needing all his top-flight experience ahead of what could be a busy morning for Linden’s men.
You could hear the excitement in Simon Linden’s voice when he sport to JC Sport ahead of the game. “Faithfold A, they don't get bigger,” he said.
“With a whole host of players missing, I'm going to give a few reserves a go and see where it takes us.
“We will enjoy the occasion, I'm looking forward to it. My team are no pushovers and will fight for the full 90.”
Man for man this won’t be a contest. Only a top-class performance from Simons will make a game of it, but I can only see one winner.
JC team news: Faithfold are still without Alex Kaye and Sam Lewis, while Alex Taylor faces a late fitness test. Captain Alex Levack misses out as he’s on a scouting mission in Barcelona.
Ref – Laurie Benson (Games 6, Yellows 18, Reds 0)
JC star man: Daryl Phillips (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Blizzard 1 Faithfold 4
GJ Prediction: Blizzard 0 Faithfold 7
BRADY MACCABI B vs CAMDEN PARK
Division One joint-leaders Brady B go in search of a cup shock when they welcome Premier Division new boys Camden to the Lane.
It needed a moment of magic from Josh Laurier to earn the Brady bunch three points against Blancos, with virtually the last kick of the game. Brady never know when they’re beaten and with Reiss Mogilner in the form of his life, it’s clear Camden must bring their A-game to the table.
Josh Marks’ men were desperately unlucky not to earn their first win against Brady A last Sunday. No doubt Josh Dagul will have spent much of the week on the blower to messus Nathan and Rosenfeld to get the low-down on Camden and he would have been mightily impressed by their work-rate and technical ability.
There will be key battles all over the park on Sunday and it will all boil down to which team wins their individual and collective battles.
It’s definitely one to watch.
JC star man: Jake Saunders (Camden)
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Adam Yuchetel (Games 7, Yellows 8, Reds 0)
DC Prediction: Brady 2 Camden 3 AET
GJ Prediction: Brady 2 Camden 3
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
Catford are missing several key players for the visit of first division Chigwell, but midfield general Gabriel John believes the feel-good-factor can take his team over the line in what would be a major shock were it to happen.
The Cats have been in glorious form, winning all but one of their seven league matches this season. Captain Adam Luria spoke of the “belief” in the camp after the hard earned 3-1 win over Jewdinese last week, which came courtesy of strikes from Jamie Sinai, John and the captain marvel himself.
I managed to get a quick word with skipper Adam Luria ahead of the game. "We're looking forward to this week," he told JC Sport. "There are a few players missing, but we'll have a strong squad out and it will give Lester the opportunity to introduce some fringe players to the team if he so desires. The strong spine of the team is still there and we'll look to give a good account of ourselves.
"If I'm honest, I'm sure everyone would rather be playing in the league every week at the moment, such is our great form. However, this will give us a great chance to test ourselves against higher opposition and we'll definitely be looking to grab it with both hands."
But the threat posed by an experienced Chigwell team is a totally different proposition. Their manager, Richard Slater, would’ve studied the PHOTOS of Catford’s most recent game. He would’ve seen Gary Hill putting in some big tackles and will feel that they can put keeper Guy Ben-Aroya under pressure from set-pieces. It will be all about the delivery on Sunday. Beat the first man and you could be quids in lads!
"I'm hoping we win are in the next round,” Slater told JC Sport. “Cup games against lower league teams are always tricky. You want to make sure you're not the upset of the round (and splashed all over the backpage of the JC!).
“Catford seem to be in good form and are top of their league, so we won't be taking them lightly. We're missing a few this week as usual, but hopefully we will have enough quality to get though'.
Strength in depth will be the name of the game on Sunday and we could see quite a few goals, but no upset this time.
JC team news: Jeff Gotch, Joel Isaacs, Yonni Bord and Ryan Kangisser all miss out for Catford. Eli Baraty returns after missing the last three weeks, while Gidi Matlin and Ben Swart are back in contention and we could see a first appearance of the season from Jonny Lee.
Venue – Norseman FC, Ref – Steve Levy (Games 6, Yellows 3, Reds 0)
JC star man: Lee Hyams (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Catford 1 Chigwell 3
GJ Prediction: Cats in extra-time
FC TEAM B vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
All the signs point towards a Woodford win on Sunday, and a big one at that.
Tony Charles has worked wonders since taking charge of the team, who are no longer overly reliant on talisman Mitch Hahn. They are going great guns, flying high at the top of the Division One table, on goal difference for the moment.
Harrison Midda is in top form, while the energy and enthusiasm of Jerome Marks is clearly rubbing off on his teammates.
The Wanderers are now handily placed in the league, so Charles may use this game as a chance to rotate his squad and it wouldn’t surprise me if Hahn starts on the bench.
FC Team B have yet to win this season. They drew 3-3 with Faithfold B last Sunday, a result that hardly fills their fans with confidence against one of the league’s form teams.
Clearly this game has come at a bad time for the north London boys. Gordon told JC Sport: “My hope is that the game gets postponed until we have some more players back!
“I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the amount of injuries and unavailable players, week in week out, is quite incredible.
“It seems like every time we get a player back, another one gets an injury. I’m thinking about asking Mitch Young to dip into the budget for some horse placenta.
I”t’s nice to have a break from the league and enjoy a cup game where there is no pressure on us. We had a positive performance on Sunday and I hope we can play this game with no fear and just enjoy ourselves.
“Woodford are in great form, and will be rightly confident, and I’ll be very happy as long as we put on a decent display; if we manage to get through to the next round as well, then that will be a bonus.”
Woodford have the bit between their teeth and I expect them to cash in again on Sunday.
JC team news: Injuries rule out Team’s Emile Ben-Atar, Eddie Sternberg, Mitch Lassman and Adam Newsome, while Paul Savitz, Matt Davis and Stuart Haring are unavailable. There’s a late fitness test for Ben Radstone, while Adam Savitz makes his long-awaited debut.
Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – Gary Silver (Games 2, Yellows 5, Reds 0)
JC star man: Paul Billar (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Team 0 Woodford 4
GJ Prediction: Team 1 Woodford 3
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs SHIRLEY PARK
The Anekstein is one of the targets for Hendon this season and manager David Garbacz is expected to name a full-strength squad when Division One promotion hopefuls Shirley Park come to town.
“We were disappointed to have our game called off at the last minute last week so the first thing we need to avoid is any rustiness or lack of fitness.
“We also will need to show our opposition the respect they deserve. They are a team who have come up through the ranks in recent seasons and seem to be getting better and better each year.
“They have a potent strikeforce, including one of our old boys Saul Conway, and I’m sure it will be an emotional return to Hadley for him.
“We love playing in this cup competition and have huge designs to take home the trophy this year. Consequently I will not be rotating and we will aim to play our strongest team available against a team who will probably be playing Premier football next year.
“We will need to be patient and play our football – I’m sure they will come at us strong and midfield in particular will be an area where we will aim to dominate – we must not be on the end of a cup shock but I do expect a really tough match where hopefully our experience and home advantage will see us into the hat for round three.”
Shirley are averaging four goals a game and they were at their deadly best against Brixton last weekend, with Jamie Kent and right-back Gideon Gold arguing over who would take home the match ball after scoring hat-tricks.
The Oranges score for fun, but they don’t keep many clean sheets and I can see Hendon causing them all sorts of problems.
No doubt Conway will have told them as much as he knows about the club he won the title with, but they have freshened up the squad since he left and are capable of winning more than one piece of silverware this season. I believe they are capable of winning the lot, and they will make their intentions clear in the first 20 minutes.
Shirley must defend like warriors – as though their lives depend on it – but not even that will be enough to tame a well-drilled Hendon team who are blessed with searing pace in the final third and quality ball-players in the middle.
JC team news: Hendon new boys Yoav Lebens and Ed Weisz will still have to wait for their debuts as they were not registered in time for this cup week . Yoav Kestenbaum is back at Uni, Dovid Korman has been ruled out for the season, but they have everyone else available.
Ref – Andy Myerson (Games 4, Yellows 5, Reds 0)
JC star man: Jacob Gold (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon 4 Shirley 1
GJ Prediction: Hendon 4 Shirley 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS A
The games are coming thick and fast for L’Orange right now. They’ve scooped virtually every rewarded there has been so far this season, but manager Phil Peters will remind his players that nothing is won by October, when it comes to major MGBSFL silverware.
Indeed Raiders were at their scintillating best as they put old foes FC Team A to the sword with a sensational performance. They executed their game-plan to perfection, with Jamie Wolfson having a field day. Hendon will be glad to hear that they won’t be at full-strength on Sunday, but no doubt the players coming in will be just as keen to impress.
NLR boss Phil Peters told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to getting our cup campaign under way and returning to a former home at John Lyon School to take on Hendon C.
"Whilst we have to avoid complacency, of course this is a game we expect to be winning comfortably and I will be disappointed if I get anything but 100 per cent professionalism from the boys in doing that. As the league leaders there isn't a bigger prize for Hendon than causing an upset, but this is far from being a potential banana skin.
"We don't know much about our opponents, but will treat them with the respect that they deserve and field the strongest possible side available. We have several players missing through holidays and injuries, but will still be able to field a highly capable XI, even if our subs bench will be made up of Raiders managers past and present.
There's absolutely no doubting this is a real fairytale tie for third division Hendon C. They were frustrated by the brilliance of AC Whetstone keeper Ben Pollins last weekend, when Ezra Dulberg and Ben David earned them a 2-2 draw.
But they look set to come against an even better keeper – a stopper who has the lot in his locker. Jake Doffman. He has blossomed since moving to Brunel and is the best thing as sliced bread as far as club chairman Jonathan Adelman is concerned.
The club has a rich history when it comes to goalkeepers, with Yoni Sapir, Avi Noy, Danny Berliner, Stuart Simons and yours truly among former custodians ;)
But there’s some bad news for Hendon fans going into the game. Glekin told JC Sport: “Our hopes of pulling off the mother of all cup upsets has been hit by a string of withdrawals.
“Obviously it isn’t ideal to be playing the current best Jewish team in the country with several important players out, but we’ll be giving it our best shot.
“We’ve still got a strong side available and the pressure is off us, so hopefully we can enjoy the occasion and who knows what might happen. I'm sure Caro will predict a hefty loss and I’m sure Norstar will be fancying their chances of filling their boots, so we'll try and take advantage of them underestimating us.
“I won't be parking the bus, we'll be playing two up front and an attacking midfield so there should be goals one way or another - though perhaps not as many as when our A team faced Boca in the last round!”
If it were a full-strength Raiders then I would genuinely fear for Hendon. Many have written Hendon off already and put Raiders into the hat for round three. I’m one of them so it’s down to Glekin and co to prove us all wrong …
JC team news: Key men Glen Turner, Ezra Dulberg, and the Elf brothers are all unavailable for Hendon, leaving Adam Glekin a somewhat decimated squad.
NLR welcome Elliot Espinoza, Matt Stock and Josh Morris back into the matchday squad, whilst last week's star men Jamie Wolfson and Jonny Kay will miss out, with Ethan Zone and Adam Joselyn facing late fitness tests.
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Martin Fox (Games 4, Yellows 5, Reds 0)
JC star man: Jonny Kaye (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Hendon 1 Raiders 5
GJ Prediction: Hendon 0 Raiders 5
LONDON MACCABI LIONS BLUE vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS
There was relief all round on the Blue side of Rowley Lane when Lions picked up their first win of the season.
With Jamie Kyte and Jamie Gold away, David Kyte took charge of the Sunday second string and he got the best out of his group, winning the inter-club derby 2-0. You can’t knock a clean sheet!
Kyte showed obvious delight, describing it as “light at the end of the tunnel”. Another win on Sunday keep spirits high, although a loss would be hard to stomach.
Brixton suffered a brutal battering at the hands of title hopefuls Shirley Park. Manager Scott Smith is keen for his troops to dust themselves down and go again.
Slowly, slowly is the name of the game for Brixton this season. It’s all about progress. No doubt the Lions will be impressed with Brixton’s brand of total football, but I think the hosts will have too much know-how and they are my favourites to progress.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Sam Senchal (LML)
DC Prediction: LML 3 Brixton 2
GJ Prediction: LML 3 Brixton 1
LONDON MACCABI LIONS WHITE vs FC TEAM C
It could be back to basics for Lions White on Sunday. Either that or I can see them suffering an embarrassing defeat.
It’s all gone Pete Tong for them this season and I expect them to put out a strong and experienced line-up on the pitch at the Lane as Division Two title hopefuls FC Team C will arrive smelling blood.
Defeat in an inter-club derby is not the kind of preparation manager Eilon Kennet and no. 2 Jonny Meltzer were planning. Sam Shooter and Jamie Murray could the eye, but that was about as good as it got.
FC Team C, meanwhile, were denied what would’ve been an impressive win over Raiders B. They ended the last 100 per cent record in a thrilling 4-4, with Rob Sanford their star performer.
On the face of it, a few of the Team boys will be keen to put themselves in the shop window on the big stage at Rowley Lane, but managers Michael Myers and Ben Gilbey will be demanding focus and concentration for the next 90 minutes.
They have both the players and quality to cause a major upset. If they play their normal game and play with belief, we might just have a shock on our hands.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Neil Cooper (Games 3, Yellows 3, Reds 0)
JC star man: David Joseph Cohen (Team)
DC Prediction: LML 2 Team 3
GJ Prediction: LML 4 Team 1
LOUGHTON ORIENT vs L’EQUIPE
There’s a tasty all-Division Three clash in store in Walthamstow this weekend as high-flying L’Equipe make the long journey to struggling Loughton Orient.
The visitors have had an extended break to recover from their recent win over Faithfold C and joint-manager Dan Cordell told me this week that they can’t wait for the first whistle.
Cordell told JC Sport: “The boys are raring to go after a bit of a stop start season mainly due to the stag and wedding celebrations of Julian Goodkin.
“Having looked through the leagues, I think we are one of only four or five teams still unbeaten in all competitions and I fully expect that run to continue on Sunday, with a battling cup game against Loughton.
“We know what type of game to expect and there are always goals against our rivals from the east.
“Richard Fogelman has said he's going to destroy every episode of Flash Gordon should he lose out to Dan in the Golden Boot competition, so I expect him to fill his boots this weekend with the likes of Jonny Kay and Dan Finegold back in action to help the service.
“I'm going to have a video link from Marseille and Josh Lewis and I have gone through every eventuality on Sunday and all signs point, excuse the confidence, to a L’Equipe win.”
Sunday will be the first meeting between the teams this season and Loughton boss Dan Curtis is expected to go with his strongest available line-up in a bid to put down a marker ahead of their forthcoming league games.
There were signs of unrest on the terraces during last weekend’s 4-2 defeat against King Crown, and with important games against Norstar, Faithfold C and Catford to follow, it’s vital they start picking up their level of performance.
Much depends on how they handle the threat of Fogelman, but L’Equipe are packed with quality these days and I think they’ll have too much for Loughton on the day.
JC team news: L’Equipe are still without long-term absentee Perry Chaya who assures Cordell his 2 week jaunt to Miami will be the final push in his knee rehabilitation.
Venue – Peter May, Ref – David Lazarus (Games 3, Yellows 6, Reds 0)
JC star man: Dan Finegold (L’Equipe)
DC Prediction: Loughton 1 L’Equipe 3
GJ Prediction: Loughton 1 L’Equipe 2
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A vs BRADY MACCABI A
Neasden and Brady have had some almighty battles over the years and Sunday looks set to be a real humdinger.
Brady haven’t made the start managers Joel Nathan and Josh Rosenfeld were hoping for, but I expect them to make a statement of intent this weekend, when Premier Division class should tell.
Richard Baum was their saviour last weekend. His late strike broke Camden’s hearts with a last-gasp equaliser in a four-goal thriller, while Michael Kenley maintained his excellent goal-scoring record with another well-taken goal. He is already proving a big player since moving to the other side of Rowley Lane.
Behind him, Matt Sofier and Jonny Ellis provide a rock solid spine for the young members of the team to go out and express themselves. Although we have yet to see the best of Brady this season, they will be looking to step things up, starting on Sunday.
Co-boss Joel Nathan told JC Sport: “A break from the league this week sees us take on a NWN side that I know nothing about … they bear no resemblance to the NWN teams I used to play against, and, as you know, we signed a number of NWN players last season, so they are really looking forward to the tie.
“We come into the game a little bit disappointed after last week’s results, when we controlled the game, but escaped with a draw because we missed numerous chances, but that’s is football.
“I am sure NWN will be up for a great fight and their 7-0 win last week shows they know where the goal is and we will be taking nothing for granted.”
As Nathan says, NWN go into the game full of confidence after their big win over Hendon. Shai David has started the season in style, adding two more goals last week, while Brady old boy Michael Field will be keen to impress.
It's been a busy week in the NWN camp, with Andrew Goldman forced to step down as manager due to other commitments. SEE FULL STORY
In an exclusive interview with JC Sport, Kay commented: "I have managed a lot of the boys before in my spells in charge of Redbridge and look forward to starting this week with the big cup tie against Brady."
NWN's Steve Murad told JC Sport: "We know this Sunday is going to be tough. Brady are a great side and will be strong favourites going into the game.
"There have been changes at the club this week and hopefully Stirling coming in will galvanise the lads into putting in a great performance.
"We played really well last week in the 7-0 win against Hendon, and if we improve on that again then we have as good a chance as any in getting a result."
The first 20 minutes will be crucial on Sunday. It’s important NWN don’t concede. They can’t afford to give Brady any encouragement. I’m predicting a close, well-fought contest, but expect Brady to progress, as long as they remember their shooting boots.
JC team news: NWN have several absentees, including captain Jimmy Lee, Jamie Cooper and Michael Goldberg. Kane Gilbery is also a doubt and there is a late fitness test for keeper Steve Murad, who has been out for five weeks with a broken finger.
Brady are missing Michael Kenley who is celebrating his sister’s wedding in Israel and they have injury concerns over Sam Monjack and Bradley Sharp.
Ref – Warwick Blake (Games 5, Yellows 6, Reds 2)
JC star man: Richard Baum (Brady)
DC Prediction: NWN 1 Brady 2
GJ Prediction: NWN 1 Brady 3
OAKWOOD A vs TEMPLE FORTUNE
The Oakwood boys must be feeling a little like caged tigers right now. Three consecutive defeats has set them back a little, but I expect them to notch up a big score against third division Temple Fortune on Sunday.
Josh Bentley and Anthony Kintish were on target in last week’s 4-2 defeat against Faithfold whose manager Zuriel Solomon told me he feels it’s “only a matter of time until they click into gear”. That will start against Fortune. Mark my words.
Ahead of the tie, Oaks joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: “Though we’d rather get back to league action this Sunday, we won't be taking our cup opponents lightly.
“Every time a team plays a Premier side they're looking to make headlines. We were no different and Fortune will be the same.
“We will pick a strong side and look to get the job done. I will be making changes across the squads to give people as much playing time as possible - but not at the expense of a cup run. My record in the CA Cup is atrocious. I hope to improve it this year.”
Fortune were blown away by Faithfold C last Sunday. One player in particular filled their boots, but they will come up against some of the league’s top talent – a team who has the potential to achieve big things.
Home banker? Put your mortgage on it!
Ref – Stuart Ansher (Games 2, Yellows 2, Reds 0)
JC star man: Josh Bentley (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 6 Fortune 0
GJ Prediction: Oakwood 5 Fortune 1
SPEC FC vs AC WHETSTONE
After a flying start, SPEC FC have been brought back to earth in recent weeks, but they will fancy their chances against Division Three new boys AC Whetstone.
A run of four games without victory does not please SPEC FC boss Laurence Conway, but he won’t panic. I expect him to give one or two squad players a run-out, but the spine of the team will be strong.
SPEC FC’s Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: "We once again know nothing about our opposition, though we hear AC Whetstone are a very young side, so we expect to be running around a lot chasing some young, quick whippersnappers.
“They seem to be fairing well so far this season and I imagine given that we haven't won in our last four games, they may well fancy their chances.
“We're looking a bit depleted at the moment with injuries and with James Segal jetting off to the biggest city in the world. Dublin's gain is our loss, but we will be doing all we can to ensure our name is in the hat for the next round.
“If Bobby Murray can continue with some of his lethal through balls, there's every chance Whetstone will be dancing all the way home."
AC Whetstone are up for the cup and managers Clive Nathan and Anthony Cohen are relishing the prospect of their young guns pitting their wits against a team who has made good progress since joining the league.
Keeper Ben Pollins was rewarded for a superb performance in the draw against Hendon last Sunday with a place in my Team of the Week. I expect him to be busy again.
Nathan told JC Sport: “We are looking forward to Sunday’s game. We have a good cup pedigree having won the Watford Friendly under-15 Challenge Shield two years ago.
“We are once again applying our strict rotation policy which means we are leaving out our two top-scorers in Phillipe Auret and Dan Cohen, plus Sammy Corper will be sitting this one out.
“We are going to enjoy the game and not worry about the score.”
Not playing your two form strikers is a bit of a gamble if you ask me, but fair play to the team for sticking to their beliefs. That said, it could backfire against them in a game where SPEC FC will threaten from set-pieces.
Ref – Barry David
JC star man: Bobby Murray (SPEC)
DC Prediction: SPEC 3 Whetstone 1
GJ Prediction: SPEC 3 Whetstone 0
MGBSFL DIVISION TWO
7 - James Joseph (FC Team C), Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
6 - Jake Gilbert (Bilbaum)
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Redbridge could finish the weekend in top spot if they play their cards right on Sunday.
A win over Mill Hill took them to within a point of FC Team C and Raiders B and three points against Bilbaum would take them to the summit.
The Sollosi boys have been key factors in the team’s climb towards to the top, but last week some other players stepped up to the plate, namely Scott Oldstein and James Berkley.
James Castle, Sam Rank and Berkley found the net in a 3-2 win, RJC’s third win by that scoreline this season. Their brand of sexy football is winning them many new fans, although they must tighten up in defence as they concede on a regular basis, something that will encourage a free-scoring Bilbaum.
The Baums will be out for revenge after losing a five-goal thriller against RJC on the opening weekend of the season. Edward Green and Ben Bell were their marksmen that day. Green was also on target last weekend, when they went down 4-3 against London Haroldeans.
One thing looks certain on Sunday. Goals.
Venue –Fairlop, Ref – Robert Benardout (Games 5, Yellows 2, Reds 1)
JC star man: James Berkley (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge 3 Bilbaum 2
GJ Prediction: Redbridge 4 Bilbaum 1
14 - Dan Gordon (Faithfold C)
12 – Richard Fogelman (L’Equipe)
FAITHFOLD C vs BOCA JEWNIORS
Boca boss Jack Shulman and Viv Emanuel hope the dreaded JC Manager of the Week curse doesn’t strike as they look to avenge last month’s defeat against the Superhoops.
Months of hard work came to fruition last weekend when they claim their first win in 12 months – beating Norstar London Raiders C. It’s been a week of celebration for the Boca boys, with Ricky Zeiderman receiving the JC Goal of the Week accolade for his wonder strike. Dovi Fehler scored the other in a 2-1 win.
The efforts of keeper Michael Sidloff and defender Dovi Vogel should not be ignored either. The pair put in exceptional performances and I expect them to be busy again against a Faithfold team that is scoring for fun.
You can get 7-1 on Boca winning on Sunday and I’m sure I saw Emanuel sneaking into a bookies the other day and he found that price too tempting to ignore.
Ahead of the game, Shulman told JC Sport: “Four games played, four points, a good start by Boca standards!
“Jack and I are ecstatic by last week’s result again a very good Norstar C team. Credit has to go to the team that played as we all have been working hard to get the result. All the players have shown great commitment and fight.
“Oddly enough, although this is only our fifth game, we play Faithfold C again for the second time, another baffling league fixture schedule. After this Sunday we would have only played three teams in five games.
“The last game against Faithfold is one we should have at least drawn based on our second-half performance. Unfortunately we didn’t turn up in the first half and Faithfold were 2-0 up by half time.
“I genuinely believe if we can keep last week form and push for a result from minute one we can win on Sunday. Faithfold are a good team and man-of-the-moment Dan Gordon will need to be stopped. The boy can score as we saw from last week Faithfold result, but of course Faithfold are not just a one player team.
“Our TOTW star man Dovi Vogel is playing this week and he will probably return to his preferred centre midfield position and, of course, this adds to our strength in the middle.
“Sunday sees the return of centre-back duo Adam Kaye and Paul Shinwell, both of which have been instrumental in keeping the goals conceded so low. Apart from Norstar we have the let in the second least goals in the league, something we did not boast last season. It seems based on Michael Sidloff’s performance last week, Ryan Monk has some competition! Both keepers are available.
“I am hoping with all the rain we are having that Chase Lodge will let us play this week as we need to keep the momentum going.
Faithfold could finish the weekend in third place if they complete the double over Boca. The return of Ben Simons has helped Gordon who will be looking to carry on where he left off last Sunday. Having pulled clear at the top of the goal charts, he will be looking to get on the ball as often as possible and make a nuisance of himself.
Manager David Garson expects his team to take maximum points at the Lodge. He told JC Sport: “The boys are finally starting to play and the defence is looking meaner. Add that to the attacking combo of Boris and goal-a-game Flash, we should start picking up a few more wins.”
Given their major goal threats, I’m tipping Faithfold to gatecrash the Boca party.
JC team news: Faithfold welcome back Farrell Monk and Jeremy Teacher.
Venue –Chase Lodge Ref – Steve Russell (Games 6, Yellows 8, Reds 0)
DC Prediction: Faithfold 4 Boca 2
GJ Prediction: Faithfold 5 Boca 2
NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS C vs KING CROWN
King Crown boss Jacob Kadoch was smiling from ear to ear after what he described as his team’s “best performance of the season” following the 4-2 success over Loughton Orient last Sunday.
Kadoch’s troops were quality from start to finish, “playing great football and looking always dangerous” in a game where strikes from Josh Karpf, Dominique Cheniart, Daniel Cohen and Benji Greenblatt saw them home.
The presence of Cheniart – one of the most exciting talents in the league – has given the team a new dimension. Just wait until they stick him up top!
Raiders are reeling after a shock defeat against Boca. Manager Zack Gothelf would’ve worked his boys extra hard in training this week to ensure they return to winning ways.
The remain handily placed in the table and will be looking to consolidate in second place.
NLR go into Sunday knowing that a positive result is needed after a hugely disappointing performance last weekend.
Ahead of the game, Zack Gothelf told JC Sport: "We've got a strong squad going into Sunday's game and we welcome back Nick Haringman after a few weeks away. Liam Stein is on form with two goals in two games. We'll be looking to get back to playing the good football we've shown for the most part so far this season."
An excellent end-to-end contest is on the cards and it might just finish honours even.
Venue – Brunel, Ref – Alex Smith (Games 1, Yellows 1, Reds 0)
JC star man: Dominique Cheniart (King Crown)
DC Prediction: Raiders 2 King Crown 2
GJ Prediction: Raiders 3 King Crown 0
DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 7 OSCARS
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jamie Wolfson (Norstar London Raiders A)
MANAGERS OF THE WEEK
Jack Shulman & Viv Emanuel (Boca Jewniors)
REFEREE OF THE WEEK
David Lazarus (Catford & Bromley Maccabi vs Jewdinese)