Rolfe: Practice made us perfect
UJIA NORTH WEST NEASDEN C (AET - UJIA WON 4-2 ON PENALTIES)
Darren Rolfe was the hero as UJIA made amends for last season’s cup final defeat by beating Neasden on penalties to lift the trophy.
Player-manager Rolfe was mobbed by his team-mates after producing a crucial save to see off their Division Three rivals at Wingate & Finchley.
The stopp e r d i v e d low to his right to keep out a spot-kick from Neasden substitute Elliot Setyon to give his team the advantage after two penalties in the shoot–out in the final on Sunday. A miss by Benji Gourgey sealed the win.
Rolfe said: “We made errors l ast year and made up for it this time. We showed character to come back from one down — and to put to rest the disappointment of last year.
“We had the better of the first half and were very unlucky to fall behind. After getting an equaliser it became a game for defences. We practised our spot-kicks and that, in the end, won us the lottery.”
A first half of few openings saw UJIA’S Tony Plaskow fire a brilliant 30-yard shot just wide of the post and strike partner Ben Nassim hit a good effort straight at Michael Perkin. Neasden forged ahead with an a c r o b a t i c s c i s s or s - k i c k from Oli Joseph, which came against the run of play on 40 minutes.
UJIA came out for the second period strengthened by the introduction of veteran Jeremy Teacher and they drew level when a long throw was partially cleared to full-back Ben Radstone who finished with aplomb from 10 yards.
The remainder of normal time passed by without much positive play and with the match frequently interrupted for fouls.
The final briefly came to life in extra time when Rolfe made a miraculous reflex save to keep out a header from Joseph.
A minute later, Plask o w hit a stupendous 4 0 - y a r d drive that forced a brilliant save from Perkin. UJIA held their nerve in the shoot-out to score with all four penalties, with Assi Avital, Matt Radstone, Gavin Sherman and Ben Radstone converting, while Neasden succeeded with two out of four.
Neasden manager Louis Taylor said: “We should probably practise spotkicks next time. We are disappointed
but we gave it our all.” Neasden: Perkin, A. Levene, Isenwater, Chadwick, Benjamin, S. Levene, Cohen (sub: Braham), Engel (sub: Lewis), Gourgey, Taylor (sub:
Setyon), Joseph UJIA: Rolfe, B. Radstone, Rhodes, Sherman, Leigh, Freeman, M. Radstone, Russell (sub: Sokel), Avital, Nassim (sub: Teacher), Plaskow. Subs not used: Rodin, Norman
Celebration time: UJIA players go in search of ’keeper Darren Rolfe after his heroics helped them win the JC Barry Goldstein Trophy at Wingate
Rolfe and Sherman ( right) lift the cup