Premier Division champions Hendon United Sports made a flying start to the opening round of MGBSFL fixtures which saw 46 goals in none fixtures.
Hendon sharpshooters Zack Lewis (2) and Dovi Fehler struck in a 3-0 win against last season’s runners up HMH at the Hive.
Jordan Sapler’s team demonstrated to title hopefuls that successive titles are on in a stunning display.
Hendon sat deep in the first half allowing the hosts to play from the back. And with defensive unit Jordan Mizrahi, Ari Nevies, Simon Peterman and Yehuda Korman handling HMH’s long ball option, Hendon wingmen Fehler and Lewis proved a handful on the break.
Lewis opened the scoring, stalwart ‘keeper Russ Corin then made a reflex stop from HMH’s George Goldberg in an otherwise dominant first half.
HMH blazed a penalty wide following a free kick after Yehuda Korman was sin binned before Hendon pounced from a counter attack, Fehler doubling the lead on 81 minutes.
Lewis sealed the win with a spot kick after Rocky Spitzer was fouled following a driving run into the penalty box.
“We dominated the game through our tactical play,” commented Sapler. “There was only one team that played football and deserved to win.
“Domination and being on top is not always judged by possession stats, it’s the final score that matters. To keep a clean sheet against HMH shows how hard we worked, the boys can all be proud of themselves. It bodes well for the season.”
HMH boss Avi Goldberg commented, “Hendon were slicker and better in the first and well worth the lead, but the second half was a different story. We penned Hendon in their own half but could not convert possession and territorial dominance into goals.”
Goldberg added, “Hendon are champions for a reason. They are a talented team but we were left to rue an all-important moment penalty miss and Tom Prais hit the bar with a header.”
Camden Park enjoyed a 3-1 win against Maccabi London FC Blue.
Daniel Orgel (2) and Sacha Nusenbaum scored the goals in a great victory.
Faithfold White earned a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Oakwood.
Eli Davila and Avi Garson scored for the visitors, Josh Cuby and Daniel Seligman hitting the target for the hosts who are under new management.
Oakwood bossed the first half but Faithfold were disciplined in defence until Cuby and Seligman scored on the counter-attack.
Faithfold brought Avi Garson and Jack Joseph into the fray for the second half offering the visitors a new dimension.
Oakwood though forced Faithfold goalkeeper Joe Nyman into an excellent stop from 25 yards.
The save gave the Superhoops impetus and soon Faithfold dominated possession.
Davila powered home an unstoppable header to reduce the deficit. Faithold continued to press, Akiva Solomon and Joseph hit the woodwork, then new signing Yoav Kestenbaum went close with a drive before Garson curled home a terrific equaliser.
Joseph went close to completing a remarkable comeback late on against the former champions but the visitors were delighted with the result.
“We should have won considering we were down at half-time against a very good team, it was a good result,” said Faithfold joint-manager Avi Markiewicz, who praised all of his team.
“If we can get a little consistency, we could really achieve something this season.”
In Division One, Jewdinese thumped debutants Brook Farm Rovers 8-2 with new striker Reiss Mogilner bagging four goals.
Sam Stern (2), Adam Gold and Zack Collins also hit the target.
Dan Cohen scored both the Brook Farm goals.
Gold set up Collins for the opener only for Rovers to level the scores with a neat finish.
Rovers though were soon back in front, Collins playing in Mogilner for his first of the game to give his team a half time lead.
Jewdinese outplayed Rovers on the resumption. Gold tucked home a Joe Meisel corner, before Mogilner completed his hat-trick courtesy of Billy Lee assists, before making it four direct from a corner.
Mogliner then set up Stern twice after he entered the action to complete the scoring.
“We did not hold back and were lethal in attack,” said Jewdinese manager Darren Lawrence.
“The second half was men against boys. Stern’s first goal was a fantastic passing move with nearly every outfield player having a part to play. For us to be playing this sort of football in the first game of the season is really positive and hopefully a sign of things to come.”
He added, “I’m frustrated at the goals we conceded, but it was great to see our new signings settling in so quickly. I’m proud of all our players today.”
A Brook Farm spokesman commented, “After a very even first half where we felt unlucky to be behind our heads dropped after two quick fire goals put the game out of sight.
“Our first goal was a lovely team move before a close range header by Cohen.
“It was a tough first game as a club against an experienced team but we move on and look forward.”
SPEC FC earned a hard fought 3-2 win at Maccabi London FC Red with Zack Neiman hit a late winner from a corner at Rowley Lane.
Neiman scored earlier in the game and Josh Green also hit the target for the victors.
“It was a great start to the season,” said SPEC boss Ricky Lawrence.
“The game was poised on a knife-edge and could have gone either way but our keeper made a big save with around five minutes to go. Neiman then delivered the goods as he so often does with a last-minute header.”
Hertswood Vale, following promotion last season, picked up a great win at a higher level against Mill Hill Dons in a six-goal thriller.
James Miller fired home an opening day hat-trick and Jordan Grant struck in a 4-2 triumph.
Vale started strong, Millet missed an open goal following a defensive mix up, his effort coming off a post.
Ben Mandel went close to breaking the deadlock before Vale took the lead four minutes from half time. Charlie Becker, on debut, launched a long throw into the Dons box, Millet nodding home at the back post.
Dons hit back after the break, although not before Millet had fired an effort against the crossbar.
The game turned Dons way as they hit two goals in seven minutes. But Vale came back with three late goals to take the spoils.
Grant rifled home an equaliser after the faintest of touches from Millet following a Jordan Harris corner in the 80th minute. Millet then fired through a crowd of players into the bottom corner after a shot from former Dons player Adam Morrow took a huge deflection.
Millet produced a tidy finish to seal the win two minutes from time after debutant Jamie Steinberg saw an effort rattle the crossbar.
“What a great advert for Division 1,” said Vale’s Jacob Emmanuel. “We had to win our first game of the season after promotion. The fact it was Dons added to the occasion.
“Sporting a new formation, and with three new signings in our starting XI, the boys couldn’t have been more prepared for this game. Today’s win showed just how much determination and fight this team has to compete in Division 1 this season. In years gone by, the team would’ve crumbled at 2-1 down with 15 minutes to go, but we were great value for the win.
“To come into the game with a brand new formation and a number of new signings wasn’t easy, I was really impressed with the boys. Onwards and upwards to our next game.”
Emmanuel added, “The decision to thrust Grant straight into the starting XI was justified particularly his work in marshalling Dons striker Zach Cohen. Jordan was solid throughout and popped up with a debut goal. Right back Justin Mullem was also immense, constantly running up and down the wing.
“Harris at left back is one of our most consistent performers. His work rate and energy were infectious. And central midfielder Charlie Becker had a debut to remember. His contribution and interceptions to break up Dons attacks was crucial.
“Millet scored a hat-trick and was quality throughout. Jamie Steinberg also played an essential role as a super-sub, appearing at the end of the first half and again when we were 2-1 down. He’s a powerhouse, caused all sorts of problems with darting runs across the pitch and played a huge role in our comeback.”
David Garfinkle grabbed a hat-trick as Club de Chigwell thumped Borussia Barnet 7-2 in Division Two.
Harrison Grant, Adam Cole, Stanley Offord and Joe Klein also scored for the Essex team.
Grant set up the opening goal for Garfinkle who added a second after a defensive mistake.
Josh Rose kept his team 2-0 ahead with a smart save before the hosts pulled a goal back.
However, Chigwell hit back following with a Klein free-kick before Garfinkle completed his hat trick with an overhead kick and 4-1 lead.
Cole made it five after good interplay before Grant hit home a 25-yard half volley giving the Barnet keeper no chance. Offord completed the scoring with a neat finish from a Garfinkle pass.
Barnet grabbed a consolation late on.
FC Team also were in seventh heaven after routing Paris Saint-Jewmain.
Connor Perl joined the list of hat-trick scorers at the weekend while Richard Salmon and David Cohen grabbed a brace apiece.
FC hit five goals inside 30 minutes before completing the scoring with two scrappy goals.
Paris manager noted, “Whilst the score line tells its own story, we’ve learnt a vital lesson as a new team and can go into the Chigwell game with a clear mind and belief in ourselves.”
He added, “We showed glimpses of what we can do as a team, but it wasn’t enough today. This is a big wakeup call on the physicality of Sunday league football, you need aggression and a willingness to win the ball to survive.”
FC player-manager Mitch Young added, “It was a great way to start the season. We were totally dominant from start to finish.
“We would have liked a stronger test but you have to beat what is in front of you, I was very pleased with our shape, organisation, fitness levels and application.”
“We got a bit slack in the final third towards the end of the match. It is always tough as a new side to get going so we wish PSJ well as we move on to tougher tests.”
North West London Bears and Temple Fortune shared the points in a hard-fought 1-1 encounter.
Zacki Doumou opened the scoring for the newcomers to the league before Eshed Rahav levelled the scores for a draw.
After an even opening Bears struck first when Doumou powered through to slot home just before half time.
The hosts looked to double the advantage but slack defending from a throw-in enabled Rahav to pounce for the equaliser.
Simon Lousky and Doumou went close to snatching the win. Doumou also had a penalty shout turned down on 70 minutes.
Bears joint-manager James Harpin felt his team struggled to find any passing rhythm until the late on.
“It’s our first game in the league and a wake-up call that we can’t just turn up and expect a victory,” he said. “Temple Fortune set up to make it difficult for us to break them down and defended very well using their experience to their advantage.”
Bears co-boss Sam Fresco added that the experience would enable his team to push on.
Fortune boss Simon Linden praised his team for putting in a shift.
“I’m proud of all the boys, we were focused, showed great experience and made life extremely difficult for a good Bears side,” he commented. “On another day we could have nicked it.”
By David Saffer