Doff­man was the dif­fer­ence, says Rich­man

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BYDANNYCARO

FOOT­BALL ROBRich­man­described goal­keeper Jake Doff­man as the gamechanger af­ter hold­ers North Lon­don Raiders boosted their tre­ble hopes by reach­ing the semi-fi­nals of the Cyril Anek­stein Cup with a 5-1 win over Har­men. But only af­ter a scare.

NLR looked in trou­ble early on as top­scorer James Ger­sh­field put Har­men in front from the penalty spot and they were only de­nied a se­cond by the re­flexes of Doff­man who kept out a sweet­lystruck ef­fort from Sam Cas­tle.

Ricky En­gle­man hauled Raiders level be­fore they were handed a nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage af­ter Ger­sh­field was dis­missed for al­legedly kick­ing out at NLR full-back Alex Bloch.

Doff­man was forced into a se­ries of im­por­tant saves and his ef­forts were re­warded as David Dinkin (2), Nick Lewis and Jor­dan Marks ended Har­men’s hopes to move Raiders to within 90 min­utes of a re­turn trip to Win­gate & Finch­ley.

NLR­bossRobRich­man­said:“We are de­lighted to have got through this tricky tie. We had a tough 10-minute spell af­ter con­ced­ing first but as soon as we man­aged to equalise through the ex­cel­lent Eng- NLR’s Alex Bloch on the march le­man I felt con­fi­dent we would go on and win the game.

“Ob­vi­ously the send­ing-off af­ter half an hour made our task a lot eas­ier but we made sure we were pro­fes­sional and clin­i­cal to se­cure a re­ally pleas­ing win. “There were some very good per­for­mances through­out but for me the turn­ing point of the game was a su­perb save by Doff- man with the score 1-0 to Har­men. If he doesn’t make the save then we could be look­ing at a very dif­fer­ent re­sult.

“We have reached the cup fi­nal for the last two years and are de­ter­mined to make it three in a row.”

Har­men joint-man­ager Oliver Les­lie agreed the red card in­ci­dent cost his team. He said: “We dom­i­nated the first half and in truth should have been a few goals ahead, but if you don’t take your chances against the cham­pi­ons then you will get pun­ished and that is ex­actly what hap­pened.

“We’ll keep our heads held high and move on from a game that could have fin­ished very dif­fer­ently.”

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