Republic of Mancunia defeated Manchester Maccabi 3rd in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in the second round of the Shonn Trophy.
Jamie Lyons scoring the winning penalty for Anthony Bloch’s side as they defeated the Joan Collins Premier Division league leaders.
Bloch was delighted with his side’s victory, and immediately looked forward to a quick reunion with Maccabi in the league. “Maccabi now know that they have a big match on their hands this Sunday and hopefully the title race will be open if we beat them.“
Republic came out of the blocks quickly, playing with confidence and putting the league leaders under pressure, and it was not long until an impressive start was rewarded. Republic had been practising crossing in training during the week, and it paid off as Mike Gastwirth put them ahead with a volley from Jonny Alexander’s delivery from the right.
A buoyant display was further rewarded shortly afterwards as Lyons latched onto a superb reverse ball down the left flank from Dave Eden, and he kept his composure to hit a superb shot from the edge of the box to put them 2-0 up.
2-0 can be a dangerous scoreline, particularly against a side who have won all their league games, as Maccabi have, and they showed spirit and quality to get themselves back in the game before half time, scoring through a Phil End header from a Louie Basso free kick as the whistle approached.
Maccabi were resurgent and started to turn the screw as the second half got underway. It did not take them long to level the game, with Basso again the provider as he delivered a corner from which Mancunia failed to clear, allowing Jonny Rose to fire home from inside the area.
As the game wore on, both sides became instinctively cagier, with both sides trying to avoid opening up too much and exposing themselves in a game so evenly poised. Despite this, there were chances for both to clinch the game in open play, but unable to do so, penalties became an inevitability.
In the shoot-out, Mike Hirshman kept out Maccabi’s first penalty. The save was to prove crucial as both sides scored their next three penalties each to leave Lyons with the opportunity to win the game, which he did, confidently slotting home to send Republic into their league encounter with Maccabi on a high on.
Martin Simons, the Maccabi manager, was gracious in defeat. He said: “It was an excellent game played in great spirit by both teams. It bodes well for an exciting and interesting match this coming weekend.”
Elsewhere, Sporting J.L.G.B delighted manager Gavin Sharpe with an excellent comeback to defeat South Manchester Maccabi 2nd 4-2 to book their spot in the next round. Sporting found themselves 2-0 behind early on as they were hit by two goals from Jake Feinstein, one slotted home following a through ball as their defence went to sleep, and another after they failed to pick him up at a corner, allowing him to head home with ease.
Rafi Bloom won and then scored a penalty before finishing under pressure from inside the box to bring them level at half time. Jarod Cohen put them ahead for the first time at the start of the second half, and Bloom then sealed the win.