Hendon United Sports Club A showed their Premier Division credentials after a hard fought 2-1 win against Oakwood A.
Zac Lewis struck both goals to inflict a first defeat of the season on the defending champions.
Hendon moved into a share of third place alongside Oakwood and Maccabi London Lions Blue – four points behind leaders Brady Maccabi and a win adrift of Redbridge Jewish Care A.
With games in hand on all their rivals an exciting battle ensues.
“It was a great result,” said player-manager Greg Corin said. “Oakwood pushed us the whole way, but our quality showed in the end and we’re delighted with the result.
“Some of the team may be passed their best years, but this has to be one of the most talented squads we’ve been able to put together over the last few seasons.
“Larry Cohen provides us with a fantastic option at the back when he is available and together with Avi Korman it was a commanding display in defence.
“Zac’s technical ability is so high and if he can work on getting himself fitter then I really think he will be head and shoulders above the vast majority of players in the league.
“I was delighted for him today, he was due a couple of goals in this fixture.”
“A very well contested game where a draw would probably have been the right result,” lamented Oakwood boss Daniel Kristall.
“Hendon started strongly and we couldn’t really get into the game. They scored a very nice goal in the opening stages but we dominated the second half and got a deserved equaliser through Dave Woolman.
“We were then on top but got caught out on the break with a brilliant strike by Lewis.
“Hendon broke well all game and did look the more dangerous side in front of goal. They also defended very well throughout the match but we had the ball and territory for the most part. We just lacked that bit of patience and quality in the final third.
“Our starting midfield haven’t played over the last three months and it showed. Credit to all of them though because they stepped in for the team, for that we thank them because they were so determined to play. If we’d have been at full strength, and especially in that area, we’d have won.
“Also, Joe Botchin made some fantastic saves to thwart Hendon on his home debut.”
Kristall added, “To go fourteen months unbeaten in the league shows what a great team this is. We will bounce back.
“We are incredibly proud as a management team how far we have come and now expect a reaction in the next few weeks where we turn our attention to both cup competitions.
“As for the league, we know how strong the division is and teams will drop points. I believe it will be the most open race in years and am confident we will be in the mix at the end.
“Don’t write us off, many did that last season and look what happened.”
Mill Hill Dons won a 4-3 thriller at Straw Hat Pirates to move into second spot in Division One a point behind Bayern Mincha with a game in hand.
The visitors fell behind to a free kick but leveled before half time after a goalmouth scramble when Jamie Nagioff scooped the ball home.
Mill Hill edged ahead after the restart through Zach Cohen, and after Straw Hats equalised, retook the lead through Cohen before Adam Isaacs sealed the points.
“I’m delighted with the result today, it was a very hard fought game and a well deserved victory for the boys,” said Mill Hill boss Brandon Hammé.
“Jamie (Nagioff) bossed the midfield battle today, his trickery on the ball was wonderful to watch, an all round great performance and Richard (Reback) made crucial saves including a great double save early on.
“Zach (Cohen) was involved in three goals and Adam Morrow epitomised the role of a modern day balling playing centre back.
“Things are looking really promising and if we keep on picking up results, the sky is the limit for this team.”
FC Team defeated Real Hendon 4-0 courtesy of a Richard Salmon hat-trick and Jon Breger strike in the division’s other clash.
There were goals galore in Peter Morrison Cup second round clashes.
Premier Division Brady Maccabi led the way with a thumping 14-0 victory over Division Two side North London Raiders C.
Reiss Mogilnerhot hit five goals and Stanley Offord a hat-trick. Ben Kohler (2), David Cohen, Jordan Nathan, James Joseph and Marc Rister also scored for Brady.
Maccabi London Lions White enjoyed a 5-1 at Camden Park in an all-Premier clash.
Conor Perl (2), Tyler Smith (2) and Eshed Calman hit the Lions goals.
Player-manager James Gershfield described the win as a “professional performance”.
“For the first 30 minutes this was an even game but some very poor defending gifted Lions three goals,” said Camden manager Stirling Kay.
“Lions scored a early goal in the second half then we had our best spell of the match and were rewarded with a Kane Gilbrey goal. This was a deserved reward for the team who kept going when the game was out of reach.
“On the plus side were debuts for Richard Silver and Jordan Silverstone, and the return of Gilbrey for his first game this season.
“Congratulations to Gersh and his boys, they were very deserved winners and we wish them good luck in the next round.”
Redbridge Jewish Care A defeated League One Faithfold A 8-0.
Steve Summers and Nathan Sollosi scored hat-tricks, Sam Sollosi and Ben Sollosi also hit the target.
“A proper score line saw normality restored and Redbridge advance to the next round of the cup,” commented Redbridge joint-manager Jon Jacobs.
“The memory of the shock win earlier in the season was well and truly forgotten.
“This is the standard of play that we have come to expect and served as a good warm-up for the big Premier league games to come.
“We wish Avi and his boys the best of luck for the rest of the season.”
“I don’t like making excuses because it happens to everyone but we had too many key players missing,” said Faithfolkd boss Avi Markiewicz.
“Against teams in our division we can cope but against Premiership opposition you need all your best players available.
“People pulling out Sunday morning doesn’t help, it baffles me how people can do that.
“As for the game, we had our chances and didn’t take them, a couple of poor refereeing decisions didn’t help either but that doesn’t mean for one second we deserved anything from the game.
“Redbridge were the better team on the day and I’m sure will relish their revenge. We can now concentrate on the league.”
Redbridge Jewish Care B won 6-1 against Faithfold B
Daniel Gordon (2), Adam Noble, Dan Lipman, Lee Cutler and Dan Andrews scored the Redbridge goals.
Fairlop FC won 10-1 against Hertswood Vale.
James Jaconelli hit a hat-trick, Daniel Bean (2), Max Freedman, Daniel Rosen, Bradley Gayer and Adam Goldman also scored.
Josh Cohen struck Vale’s consolation goal.
“Despite scraping a team together on the morning of the match, we decided to go ahead with the game and not call it off,” said Jacob Emanuel of Hertswood.
“Credit to my guys who played today for putting in the effort but we conceded too many goals from sloppy errors and made it far too easy for Fairlop.
“Back to the league, where we’ll have some of the boys returning in a bid to move on from today.”
Division Two team Bayern Mincha almost caused the shock of the round after a 6-5 penalty shoot defeat at Maccabi London Lions Blue following a 1-1 draw.
Catford and Bromley Maccabi came out 5-3 shoot out winners against HMH Old Boys (Masters) after a 1-1 draw.
“We won on penalties and deserved it,” player-manager Jeff Gotch.
“They were an extremely young side littered with ex-Prem players and we matched them fully for the whole game.
“Both teams had chances to win the game in the 90 minutes, but it wasn’t to be.
“In the shoot out we converted our penalties. Captain Joel Lassman tucked home the decisive kick after our goalkeeper Guy Ben Aroya had saved their previous kick.
“It’s a great result that gets us back to winning ways.”
Los Blancos defeated North London Raiders B 4-1 courtesy of a Simon Moses hat-trick and Gav Kreiger strike. David Simnock scored the Raiders goal.
“We bossed the game and should have scored more,” said Joel Barnett of Blancos.
“A solid back four were largely untroubled and some slick attacking movement ensures the game was won.”
North London Raiders A were 5-1 victors against Temple Fortune A after extra time.
Zack Neiman (2), David Dinkin, Josh Goldstein and Josh Green scored the Raiders goals.
Declan Spiro scored a consolation goal for Fortune.