JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
Redbridge Jewish Care A 2 Hendon United Sports Club A 2
A stunning strike from Steve Summers helped defending champions Redbridge knock Hendon off top spot following a four-goal thriller at Fairlop.
RJC started well after went ahead through what Hendon believe was a "harshly awarded" penalty converted by top-scorer Adam Bolle after 15 minutes.
Hendon then stepped up a gear and played well for the rest of the half, winning the midfield battle to go into the break 2-1 up with strikes from Yoav Kestenbaum and man-of-the-moment Greg Corin.
RJC re-grouped at half time and levelled when Summers converted an "absolute worldy". Bolle came close to winning it with two good chances, but it was Hendon who finished the stronger, peppering Dan Lee's goal in the last 20 minutes with the Team GB keeper forced into three superb saves.
The match ended in controversy as Redbridge finished with nine men after the Hakimi brothers - Adam and Danny - were sent off - one for a professional foul, the other for foul and abusive language.
Hendon boss David Garbacz told JC Sport: "This was a game that swung one way and then the other. We fell behind to a soft penalty, reacted brilliantly to take the lead before half time, then conceded an equaliser and were under the cosh for a while in the second half.
"When Redbridge had two players sent off late in the game we might have nicked it, but unfortunately did not really have enough time left to take full advantage.
"Overall a draw was a fair result and it is a point we probably would have settled for before kick off.
"Redbridge are a fine team who are very difficult to beat and in the cold light of day we will see this as a big point gained rather than two lost.
"I thought the ref had to put up with a lot of backchat and ultimately did a good job in quite difficult circumstances.
"We weren't quite at our best today, but it is a long hard season and we move on still well and truly in the box-seat."
Redbridge manager Eilon Kennet told JC Sport: "That's another outstanding performance from the boys. We couldn't ask for anything more.
"The passion and commitment they showed yesterday was outstanding.
"No doubt that some individuals were superb, but the real pleasure was the overall team performance and the way they played for each other. Brilliant stuff.
"If we can keep this up in the run in to the end of the season, who knows what might happen."
RJC coach Danny Berg told JC Sport: ""I thought we were very unlucky not to come away with the three points against Hendon.
"Considering we had two boys in the starting XI who haven't played for three months, 12 players not available due to being away or injury and also a 16-year-old who played the full 90 minutes it was a very good team performance from us.
"The boys came out like champions and played like champions. When you have players like Summers on top form and Adam Bolle up front you are always going to cause a defence a problem.
"With players like Berny, Josh Kennet and Nyman missing, along with Joel Berg and Brad Frankel at the back it was going to be tough. Steve Gevertz and Danny Sugarman stepped in superbly at the back, along with Adam Hakimi and Sam Mccarthy and were solid. The players who came in performed really well and were a credit to Redbridge.
"The boys were top-class and we're looking forward to playing Hendon again in a few weeks time and having a good battle as we always do with them."