Brad Wine fired Oakwood A back into the Premier League mix with a 95th minute winner against Camden Park.
But this was a close call for the defending champs who came from behind to win against an improving bottom of the table side with two Dave Woolman strikes on top of Wine’s vintage effort.
Camden gave debuts to Max Martin and Grant Bates who both hit the target.
Daniel Kristall’s team goes into the New Year in a four-way race for the title with league leaders Brady Maccabi, Hendon United and Sports and Redbridge Jewish Care A.
“This was a very hard fought win and we were lucky, but having said that, the preparation wasn’t ideal as the referee through no fault of his own was stuck in traffic meaning a late kick off, which I believe suited our opponent,” acknowledged Kristall.
“We completed our warm up early and couldn’t get going for 20 minutes, by which point we were a goal down.
“Credit to Camden, I said it a month ago and they have strengthened since then. They battled hard, were well organised and had a good game plan.
“If they keep playing like that, they will cause a surprised or two. I firmly believe they can stay up.
“We scraped past a few teams last year on route to the title and its impossible to play champagne football every week.
“It is a results business at all levels of the game and we got the result. If you can win when you aren’t at your best, it’s a sign of a good team.
“Once again we showed our battling character with Brad’s late goal and this could prove to be a big win. But we must improve we have got nowhere near our best yet.
“The second half last season we were much stronger and I expect that to be the case again.
“Having said that, we end 2017 unbeaten away from home in the league, with one league defeat in the entire year and re the current MSFL Champions, which is not bad.”
“The better team did not win, Oakwood came off the pitch embarrassed to have won the game,” said proud Camden boss Stirling Kay.
“Max and Grant showed the character and ability we were looking for in our players.
“After being one up we were forced into early changes, lost our shape and momentum and Oakwood went ahead with two bad clearances that ended up in goals.
“In the second half we ran the game and got a deserved equaliser.
“We continued to press but the ball would not bounce kindly for us. We were forced into more changes and again got punished when we didn’t adapt quickly enough. Oakwood had their first shot on goal and scored.”
Kay added, “The result was hard to take as we battled hard through out, but undoubtedly we finish 2017 on a high with this performance. We have been hit with so many long term injuries and players not being available so getting a team out each week has been a achievement.
“We are really looking forward to having five or six players back from injuries and other commitments from the beginning of the New Year. With our ne signings we are very confident we can climb the table and carry on our Cup run.”
The Premier clash between Maccabi London Lions White and Redbridge Jewish Care A was postponed.
Oakwood B moved into contention for the Division One title following a 3-1 away win at promotion chasing Scrabble.
Simon Davies, Max Clynes and own goal claimed the spoils for Jason Stein’s team.
Stein described the match as “a brilliant win”.
“A top class performance from the boys,” he commented.
“This game really mattered and they did a thoroughly professional job, controlling the game from start to finish. In typical Oakwood B fashion we missed a number of chances and were briefly pegged back to 1-1 but we had more than enough to see it over the line.”
“Full credit to Oakwood today, they just about had the edge on us where it mattered,” Scrabble boss Ray Abrahams said.
“Their goals came from corners though and it was good to see us defending well in open play. We looked more comfortable when we changed to a 4-5-1 in the second half and shored up our midfield.”
He added, “I’m proud of the way the boys performed, they worked so hard to turn our recent form around. Hopefully everyone will benefit from a couple of weeks without a game and we can come back in 2018 with key players back in the squad.
“In this league, one or two players can completely change a game and we’ve been lacking options in our last few matches. We are on a bad run but the boys will continue to work hard and we just need a result to get us back on track.”
The clash between Redbridge Jewish Care B and Fathfold A was postponed.
Elsewhere in Division One, Temple Fortune A issued a statement after being unable to raise a team against North London Raiders B.
‘Due to a dire shortage of players, the Club has been forced to postpone tomorrow’s Division One fixture against North London Raiders B. With the second team playing tomorrow the club has been extremely stretched on the availability front this week. One could count forfeitures by Temple Fortune FC on one hand covering many seasons – the policy has always been to fulfill fixtures and only forfeit as a last resort. So many of the squad have been unavailable for one reason or another and despite Simon Linden’s commendable efforts this week he could not raise more than nine players, which included at least two second team players.’
“We loathe forfeiting any fixture,” said club chairman Nigel Kyte. “But despite signing up to play, knowing that we have regular matches to fulfill, all too many players make themselves unavailable when we need them. Of course, we have a few out injured and others away that we knew about, but all in all we are facing a difficult situation regarding the commitment from some individuals.
“Simon is working hard to turn this around because we refuse to go the way two other clubs have already gone this season,” he added.
“The manager hopes to bring in new additions who want to play for TFFC. This is an unfortunate blip, which hopefully will be rectified by those still committed to the cause – plus some newcomers.
“The forfeiture is extremely disappointing but we will work hard to complete the season. Our apologies go to NLR for pulling out at short notice and to the referee.”
Fairlop skipper Bradley Gayer struck four goals in a thumping 7-0 win against Temple Fortune in Division Two.
James Jaconelli, Adam Goldman and Jordan Kara also scored.
“The lads played some very silky football,” said manager Aaron Dias.
“The only thing I can fault was poor finishing, it could have been 15 if our forwards brought their shooting boots today.
“That’s two league wins in a row and we are hitting some decent form as we enter the winter break.”
A Joe Metliss hat-trick was the standout display as Hendon got back on the winning trail after coming from a goal down with a 5-2 victory at Faithfold B.
Gav Noe and Lolu Hibbert also hit the target for the visitors.
Centre back Stuart Haring scored The Greens goals.
Faithfold started strongly, bundling in the opening goal from a corner. But despite the early set back, the Bees rallied quickly.
Yoni Cohen bossing the midfield with the defensive trio of Addlestone, Shooter and Kolt keeping the dangerous Avi Markovitz, and debutant target man Jonny Blain, at bay.
Metliss drove in a deserved equaliser and Real got on top by half time.
Early in the second half, Noe turned the ball home then Metliss picked the ball up on the right wing to score wonder solo goal prior to completing slotting home his third after a scramble in the box.
But Faithfold weren’t finished as Hibbert hit number five.
“After a really bad run of form, we put ourselves back on the map today with a classy performance,” said manager Rafi Addlestone.
“It was an excellent result for Hendon matched by an excellent performance.
“Absentees Martin Smulovitch, Yossi Goldberg, Gilad Kestenbaum and Jordan Alex will be asking themselves whether they will be able to make it back into the side after the holiday break.”
Hirshberger, and scored the Hertswood Vale goals in a terrific 3-2 win at home to FC Team.
and Danny Moss scored for the visitors.
Ashley Hirshberger opened the scoring for Vale with a long range effort only for Mitch Young to level after a defensive error.
Vale regained the lead with a strike from skipper Josh Wood before Harry Graham slotted home following a swift counter attack to seal the win three minutes from time.
Josh Cohen saved Young’s spot kick deep into injury time only for Young to knock in the rebound but the points were already in the bag for Vale.
FC player-manager Young said, “In a game where we missed no less than 15 comfortable chances, we are bitterly disappointed to lose.
“They scored a fluke 60-yard goal and then had a player in goal where his performance was one of the best individual performances I have seen from any goalkeeper in 15 years.
“Without him we would have won 6-3 and if we had been more clinical we would have won.
“Well done to Vale, but we move on to 2018 where we look forward to continue to challenge.”
Straw Hat Pirates enjoyed a runaway 5-1 away day triumph at North London Raiders C.
Aron Gale (2), Gideon Gale, Sammy Assil and an own goal claimed the points.
“An outstanding win matched by an outstanding performance from all the boys,” said Pirates boss Elliot Kukier.
“Today was a top-class performance from the boys. We have had games when we have been frustrated and let it show in the way we have played, but everyone knew how important it was to come away with a result today.
“The boys were extremely composed, controlling the game from start to finish. After a frustrating first half where they barely tested our keeper, we came out to absolutely dictate the game.
“After a couple of frustrating results, today’s outstanding win puts us in great stead for 2018.”
Kukier described his man of the match nomination, Gideon Gale, as “unplayable”.
“Gideon dictated midfield from start to finish,” he said.
“He cut out the few Raiders attacks that they had, distributed the ball perfectly and with such composure consistently tested the keeper, and scored a great goal.
“His natural eye for goal was out in full force.”
The match between Catford & Bromley and Mill Hill Dons was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.