Smash and Rab

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT -

FOOT­BALL REUBEN Rab­stein was the penalty shoot-out hero for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive week as Lions A avoided an­other cup up­set to book their place in the fi­nal of the Cyril Anek­stein Cup.

Hav­ing been elim­i­nated from the Peter Mor­ri­son Tro­phy by Lions un­der21’s a week ago, the A-team called up Jack Mat­tey, Max Mis­rahi, Sam Hamer­ton and Rab­stein into their squad. And it proved to be a wise de­ci­sion.

De­fences dom­i­nated in the first half be­fore the lively Sam Arghe­bant started to dic­tate. Sammy Kingston had the B-team’s best chance – his header crashed back of the cross­bar – while Rab­stein pro­duced a stun­ning re­flex save to keep out a close-range header from Ed Braf­man.

There was lit­tle goal-mouth ac­tion of note un­til the lat­ter stages of ex­tra-time when Adam Arnold side-stepped sev­eral chal­lenges be­fore he was clipped in the penalty area. Arnold dusted him­self down be­fore fir­ing past James Harpin from the spot.

With time run­ning out, Lions B threw play­ers for­ward in a bid to keep their dou­ble hopes alive. A free-kick from Ben Win­ters caused con­fu­sion in the penalty area and striker Josh Bloom was on hand to fire home.

Rab­stein then came to the fore, sav­ing the open­ing penalty from Michael Ken­ley. The rest were suc­cess­fully con­verted, with Ben Lam­pert, Max Mis­rahi, Jon El­lis, Arnold and El­liot Stern hold­ing their nerve to send the A-team through.

They now await the win­ner of the other semi-fi­nal be­tween Red­bridge Jewish Care A and Finchley City in the fi­nal at Win­gate & Finchley next month.

Lions B boss Sam Marchant com­mented: “The con­di­tions meant nei­ther side could re­ally play the foot­ball they would have liked. None­the­less the game was a spec­ta­cle.

“Once it goes to penal­ties, it re­ally is a lot­tery. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the

A-team for reach­ing the fi­nal. I hope they can go on to lift the cup. “This cup run was purely a bonus for us, our fo­cus has been on the league. Pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier is now within touch­ing dis­tance and we be­lieve we can achieve it.

“Our heads are held high, it was a strong, pas­sion­ate and spir­ited per­for­mance. It’s now in the past and we look for­ward to fin­ish­ing the sea­son on a high and achiev­ing some­thing great.”

LIONS B: James Harpin, Daniel Be­har, Ed Braf­man, Nathan An­ders, Sammy Kingston, Adam Abadi, Dan Green, Benji Wein­berger, Char­lie Co­hen, Ben Win­ters, Josh Bloom. Subs: Michael Ken­ley, Dom Feld­man, Matt Perl­man, Elias Co­hen

LIONS A: Reuben Rab­stein, Sam Hamer­ton, Will Beres­ford, Ben Lam­pert, Max Has­sell, Jon El­lis, El­liott Stern, Jamie Jack­son, Adam Arnold, Jack Mat­tey, Brad Sharp. Subs: Max Mis­rahi, Sam Arghe­bant, Harry Mar­low

PHOTOS: BEN AN­GEL

Left: Reuben Rab­stein is con­grat­u­lated, while (above) Ben Lam­pert bat­tles with Adam Abadi (right)

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