Oakwood A has blown the Premier League title race wide open following a stunning 2-0 away win at league leaders Hendon United Sports.
Wins for HMH and Los Camden A, against Brady Maccabi and Fathfold A respectively, piled further pressure on the defending champions in what is developing into a fascinating title race.
Oakwood is four points behind Hendon with two games in hand. HMH and Los Camden A are a point further back, having also played fewer games than the current pacesetters.
Brad Wine and Josh Bharier struck crucial second-half goals for Daniel Kristall’s Oakwood team.
“This was a stunning win. Nobody fancied us but we keep believing in ourselves and we back our ability,” said a delighted Kristall. “When we hit our top level, we’re the best side in Jewish football. Our issue over the last 12-18 months, since we won the title, has been a lack of availability and inconsistency of performance.
“We are playing really well at the moment. Since our early season inconsistency, we have made a system change and its working. We were fast, energetic, powerful and effective. That was as good as we’ve played in over a year. To keep our first clean sheet since March is really pleasing too.”
As for the game, Kristall noted, “We took control from the 10th minute onwards and dominated the match. Our keeper didn’t have a save of note to make which, shows how well we played.
“We missed clear-cut chances in the first half, and when we hit a post early in the second half, it looked like it could be one of those days, but we never gave up, Brad scored a great goal then Josh added to it late on with a tidy finish.”
Assessing the title race, he commented, “It’s a long old season and we have to build on this win as ultimately it is only three points, but the title race is wide open and a few sides will be smiling with this result. It’s a competitive division with teams all beating each other. But we will keep our feet on the ground, not get carried away and take it one game at a time.”
Hendon boss Jordan Sapler was gracious in defeat.
“Oakwood wanted it more and deserved the win,” he said. “We weren’t good enough but we will look to put it right when we play them again (December 16).”
Los Camden A came from behind to secure a hard-fought 2-1 win at Brady Maccabi.
Both teams missed chances in a goalless first half before Rob Cohen opened the scoring for Brady on the hour.
Camden got a foothold in the game and equalised when Shai Revivo, on his club debut, latched on to a poor backpass before slotting home on 72 minutes.
The visitors picked up the win when Rick Harris flicked a ball on for Roc Hershkorn to power into the bottom left-hand corner five minutes from time.
“Brady will feel hard done by to lose a game where they gave so much, but this win is extra sweet after our injury problems,” commented Camden boss Stirling Kay. “I am so pleased for the boys, another win and we are moving up the league, we had to rely on some players that hadn’t played for the ‘A’ team this season and they were excellent in getting us over the line.”
Kay added, “Brady was fantastic today and are a credit to the league, they will feel very unlucky
at the string of saves made by our keeper Steven Murad.”
“We are in a strong league position and need to keep our positive momentum moving forward. With a few of the missing lads back, we will be strengthened and hope to kick on up the table.”
Brady boss Joel Nathan felt his team controlled the game but lost due to defensive errors.
HMH got back to winning ways with a 5-1 win against Faithfold A.
Ethan Krell struck a hat-trick, Alex Moss and Josh Dreyfuss also scored for the victors.
“This was one of our performances of the season, we controlled the game for long periods with some clever play despite being reduced to 10 men after the 30th minute,” said HMH manager Avi Goldberg.
Faithfold player-manager Avi Markiewicz scored his team’s consolation goal.
“HMH were very much on top during the first half, created three chances and scored them all,” he said. “We improved in the second half, missed a few good chances, but in the end, we weren’t good enough and HMH deserved it.”
Fairlop FC edged a seven-goal thriller against Oakwood B 4-3 to move a point behind leaders Redbridge Jewish Care A in Division One.
The visitors led 2-0 and 3-2, Dan Ash, Dani Dennison and Harvey Kaye scoring the goals before Fairlop sealed the points with a James Jaconelli tap in three minutes from time.
Bradley Gayer scored a long-range effort for Fairlop’s opening goal, Kai Vale then entered the fray on 20 minutes and changed the game. Played in by James Jaconelli, Vale dinked the ball home to level the scores at 2-2.
Harrison Grant equalised on 90 minutes before Jaconelli completed the comeback.
“In an embarrassing first half, the boys did well to get in at 3-2 down,” said Fairlop’s Aaron Dias. “But unlike every other team in this division who would have crumbled at 2-0 down, we kept our composure and knew chances would come. We are winning machines, that’s what we do, and that is why we will be champions come the end of the season.”
Oakwood manager Simon Field summed the match up as “another disappointing defeat”.
He added, “After a really positive first half performance we qwere unable to carry it through to the second half. Sloppy mistakes led to us losing, there were some positive signs but we have a lot of work to do in order to move up the table.”
North London Raiders A came from behind to move alongside Bayern Mincha in the league table after a terrific 5-2 victory over Bayern Mincha.
Scott Waissel (2), Charlie Kasler, Aron Gale and an own goal sealed the win.
Division Two leaders Hertswood Vale extended their lead to three points over Faithfold B with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Mill Hill Dons.
The Dons took the lead in the 82nd minute only for Faithfold to push forward and level two minutes from time, James Millet notching his 13th goal of the season from the penalty spot.
“Pre-match hype didn’t quite live up to expectations, but faced with a mighty challenge, the boys showed incredible courage to equalise at the death after the Dons scored late on,” said Vale boss Jacob Emanuel.
“Going into the game, we were hit hard with last minute dropouts in midfield, which forced us into reshuffling but fair play to the lads, they didn’t look fazed. The game was even, with few chances for either side but our keeper Adam Zaidman pulled off a class save mid-way through the second half.
“It was good performance from both teams, and fair play to the Dons for another great battle throughout. Also, I thought the referee, Martin Lavender, was absolutely outstanding. He kept control of a difficult game when it threatened to boil over.”
Faithfold lost ground to Vale after a 5-2 defeat at SPEC, who moved into third spot with a comprehensive victory.
Zack Neiman, Josh Green, Craig Cohen, Matt Leader and Ricky Lawrence scored for SPEC.
“It was great to get back to winning ways and our second half performance was possibly the best we’ve played all season,” said SPEC player-manager Lawrence. “We had a very good referee and two footballing teams made it a decent game without any aggro from either side.”
Gav Noe and Chaim Cothold scored for the visitors.
“After dominating we only led 1-0 at the break then somehow contrived to concede five goals in the second half,” said Faithfold’s Doron Shooter. “But full credit to SPEC for taking advantage of our lacklustre display both defensively and offensively.
“We only have ourselves to blame for throwing away what should have a been a comfortable three points. The lads are gutted but hopefully we can get back to the races against Temple Tortune and continue our promotion push on Sunday.”
Temple Fortune meanwhile moved above Scrabble B following a comfortable 4-0 midtable battle.
Danny Sherman (2), Daniel Vandermolen and Gab Stone earned Fortune successive wins.
Maccabi London Lions defeated Redbridge Jewish Care B 2-0 after extra time in the last of the Peter Morrison Cup.
Michael Kenley and Reiss Mogilner scored the goals to book a second round spot.
Lions joint-manager Max Kyte said his dominated most of the game, whilst Redbridge boss Richard Bronzite acknowledged the better side had won, but was impressed with his squad who demonstrated character and determination.
Scrabble A, Los Camden B and North London Raiders Masters forfeited fixtures against Redbridge Jewish A, North London Galaxy and FC Team respectively.