De­fence nine tenths of the law for re­silient Oak­wood

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY DANNY CARO

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

(far right)

PHOTO: MARC MOR­RIS

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