JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND TWO
FAITHFOLD A 2 FC TEAM C 1
League leaders Faithfold were made to sweat before progressing against Division Three table-toppers FC Team C at Chase Lodge, with stalwart striker Daryl Phillips breaking their hearts.
Playing the team at the top of the top was always going to be a challenge for the Division Three superstars. However, FC Team were not here to make up the numbers - FC Team were here to show the entire MSFL who they really are. Having only ever played teams within their division, Team were excited about their first ever big challenge. Top of the third division against the top of the Premier, FC Team C were the clear underdogs. A match where the boys in yellow and blue were going to have to play out of their skin to even compete.
Welcoming back a new and improved, browner than ever David Breslaw to the sidelines was all FC Team needed for that extra boost of encouragement. The whistle blew and the game begun. The spectators turned up in there numbers expecting to see an onslaught, however they were soon spotted drifting off to watch the goals fly in as Jewventus were smashing it in classic fashion on the adjacent pitch.
Both teams started well. As expected Faithfold were dominating in possession, spreading the play very well and testing FC Teams full-backs. Jacob Symons stepped up to the plate today at right back and put in a magical performance. Not letting anyone past him. It was as if his dad was there to watch and was just showing off… oh wait.
With Daniel Rothman the footballing maestro out due man-flu, Oliver Senchal stepped in. Little and Large became Large and Large as Senchal and Sanford were taking charge of the middle of the park. As the game went on FC Team built in confidence David James Cohen playing a little further forward then usual was testing the Faithfold back line and Adam Aminoff as always was giving the defence a tough time.
FC Team were coping and soaking up a lot of pressure. The two Team centre-backs, Ben-Zion and Breslaw put in a huge performance at the back, reading every through ball and frustrating the Faitfold forwards. The cool calm and collective mentality of FC Teams star man Eitan Ben-Zion rippled through the team and has an extremely positive knock on effect, while the man by his side captain Jamie Breslaw was having an eqully magnificent game. These are clearly a pair that teams find difficult to break down.
It was only until a long ball into the box was scuffed off the back of Dan Howard's head and dribbled into the back of the net that Faithfold were able too make a break through. 1-0 Faithfold A.
Heads did not drop in the FC Team camp as it was evident from the first 25 minutes that they had every chance of winning. 36 places below the Premiership leaders and FC Team C did not look out of place. Underdogs? – perhaps - outplayed? Most certainty not.
It was not long before half time that the crisp play between the FC Team midfield pulled Faithfold out of position. A now becoming trademark through ball from David James Cohen was played out wide to the oncoming run of Jamie Cooper. With plenty still to do, Cooper cut inside drove into the penalty area and smashed the ball home beating the Faithfold keeper at his near post. Team went wild! Half time came and it was all level.
With the ever vocalist that is FC Team manger Ben Gilbey absent, it was the voice of Mike Myers that was heard at half time. It was all positives and Team were on the front foot. Faithfold came out fighting and were starting to create numerous chances. However, there was one man in the way, Mike ‘England's no. 1’ Myers. Making numerous saves from the in-form Faithfold forwards.
FC Team were very much still in the game. Some brilliant hold up play from Avi Nejad and the pace of wingers Cooper and Aminoff were continuing to cause havoc. Time was running out and Senchal and Sanford were standing strong in midfield and frustration from the boys in green and white was starting to show.
With all substitutions made and playing three upfront Faithfold were still struggling to break down the FC Team back line. 89 minutes had passed and the game had been very evenly fought. A young FC Team C had lived up to the reputation of there seniors and gave as good as they got.
With what was the one of the last touches of the game, a ball was played into the FC Team box with a that man Daryl Phillips leaping into the air to nod the ball into the back of the net. It was clear to see from the reaction of Faithfold that there was clear relief. Possibility that the unthinkable was going to happen was resting on their shoulders all game.
The FC Team boys walked off the pitch with their heads held high and to a standing ovation. The most jubilant defeat in MSFL history had come to a close and it is without a doubt that within a few seasons FC Team C will be competing with Faithfold A for the Premier Division title.
No-one expected FC Team to win today – but equally no-one expected the game to be so close. The boys in yellow and blue did themselves proud and can walk away having given the highflyers a run for their money.
Faithfold boss Zuriel Solomon told JC Sport: "FC Team C should and will take a lot from their efforts. The pitch made the game a bit of a leveller but should not have made a difference to us.
"We did create second half but failed to hit the back of the net. The pleasing thing was Paul Babai returning after six months out and playing the last 20 minutes."