Defence nine tenths of the law for resilient Oakwood
NL RAIDERS A OAKWOOD A
FOOTBALL RIC Blank described defenders Alex Lee and Dale Bradman as the “best in the league” after Oakwood took another step towards the MGBSFL title with a hard-fought win over last season’s champions.
Missing top-scorer Leor Sidle and Zack Collins, Oakwood welcomed back Guy Helman following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Liron Mannie and Oscar Wagner threatened early on for the Raiders, but it was goalkeeper Jake Doffman who was called into action first to keep out efforts from Rafi Stone and Kyle Bentwood.
Oakwood started to take control and Sam Cantor, returning to the starting line-up following a bout of glandular fever, led the line superbly.
Dan Rose produced a last-ditch tackle to deny David Dinkin a clear goalscoring opportunity before Oakwood introduced Josh Cuby for his debut. He added penetration and a cutting edge to a congested midfield before Josh Morris produced an heroic goal-line clearance to deny Dave Woolman.
And it was Woolman who scored the all-important goal with 10 minutes remaining. Great work from Harvey Kaye resulted in the ball falling to Woolman who lashed his shot into the net to extend Oakwood’s advantage to four points at the top of the table.
Oakwood joint-manager Ric Blank commented: “Alex and Dale were absolutely magnificent at centre half, as they have been all season.
“If they can give us that foundation in our remaining two games we will have a very good chance.
“Our next game is a tough one against Redbridge - though we have an equally difficult game against Lions two weeks after that. We’ve beaten a full-strength Hendon
David Woolman twice and Raiders in recent weeks. If we beat Redbridge and Lions it will be an absolutely unprecedented run.”
Blank has identified Redbridge’s main challengers to the title after they destroyed Hendon United 6-0.
He said: “What looked like a tricky run-in for Redbridge now has a different feel to it considering how easily they beat Hendon.
“It would be a shock now if Redbridge dropped points elsewhere so we can’t rely on anyone else. We’ve produced a tremendous run to get into this position and I’m immensely proud of the boys just for that. If we win in Essex great, if not we’ll know we have come on leaps and bounds this season regardless.”
Raiders boss Dan Shafron remarked: “We adopted a slightly different gameplan and it worked for the most part.
“We were compact, structured and used the ball well. The second half was tougher, we ran ourselves into the ground and whilst we had a clear-cut chance to score, we allowed Oakwood to get behind us on a few occasions and gave away too many set-pieces.
“Their goal came from an unfortunate ricochet and we just couldn’t find a reply. I’m proud of the boys who battled hard and can take a lot from the performance.
“As for Oakwood, congratulations to them for a well fought win. They’ve been brilliant this season and I wish them luck in their run-in.”
RAIDERS: Jake Doffman, Alex Bloch, Josh Morris, Justin Spiro, David Cohen, Jono Rochwerger, Oscar Wagner, Jonny Kay, Nick Lewis, David Dinkin, Liron Mannie. Sub: David Rhodes
OAKWOOD: Jonny Blain, Harvey Kaye, Kyle Bentwood, Dale Bradman, Alex Lee, Guy Helman, Thomas Prais, Dan Rose, Rafi Stone, Dave Woolman Sam Cantor. Sub: Josh Cuby REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
FOOTBALL JON Jacobs saluted man-of-the-match Nathan Sollosi as his hat-trick ensured Redbridge Jewish Care continued their pursuit of table-toppers Oakwood A with a real statement victory over Hendon.
RJC goalkeeper Dan Lee was called into action early on, producing a brilliant point-blank save before the match turned Redbridge’s way.
A precision crossfield pass from Daniel Garfinkle released Dean Nyman who took one touch before firing home his 14th goal of the season.
Brothers Ben, Sam and Nathan Sollosi started to dominate before Hendon were forced into a substitution when Yehuda Korman was carried off with an ankle injury.
Redbridge turned their superiority into goals in the second half via Garfinkle and Steve Summers, as well as three superb finishes from the inspirational Sollosi.
RJC boss Jacobs commented: “It was a real team performance and a marker of how this team can play when everything clicks into place.
“The Redbridge management and players would like to send their best wishes for a speedy recovery to Yehuda Korman and also to Simon Peterman after their injuries.”
Hendon boss David Garbacz described the result as “one of the worst days in the recent history of the club”.
He said: “Not only did we suffer our biggest defeat in over nine years, but the sad sight of Yehuda Korman going down with what looked like a very serious injury made the day very sad and depressing.
“I’m not blaming anyone but in my opinion the pitch we played on was not up to standard for a game of this importance – it was too small and not up to the standard of 3Gs these days and was probably the cause of the injury.
“We all appreciate the kind words of Jon though after the match in wishing him a speedy recovery.”
Garbacz went on to say Nathan Sollosi was the difference between the teams. “We couldn’t cope with the Sollosis, especially Nathan who Nathan Sollosi maintained Redbridge’s title challenge