The battle for the Premier Division is hotting up as Hendon United Sports, HMH and Oakwood all picked up wins in the latest round of fixtures.
Hendon thumped Faithfold White 7-0 for a four consecutive win, HMH are two points adrift, having played one more match after a 5-1 triumph at Fairlop while Oakwood two points back.
But all this could change as HMH host Hendon in the match of the day at the Hive on Sunday (10am).
Chaim Korman, with a brace, Josh Bharier, Mordy Weiler, Moses Seitler, Yehuda Korman and Dovi Fehler were Hendon’s scorers against Faithfold.
The game was moved after it was called off at Hadley due to it a waterlogged pitch.
“There strong rumours Faithfold wanted the game to be played as we had a supposed weakened team,” commented Hendon’s Jordan Sapler. “A small cramped pitch would surely play into the hands of a team that wanted to pressure us from the off but that was not the case.”
Faithfold enjoyed the early exchanges and went close with a couple of half chances but Hendon soon had their attack and midfield chasing shadows.
Hendon duly opened the scoring with a set piece, Korman rising at the far post. Bharier added a second from another corner and was then brought down for a penalty which Weiler tucked away for a 3-0 half time lead.
Seitler volleyed number four after great wing play by Korman before the goal of the game when Fehler nodded home a cross from Zac Garbacz.
The Korman’s completed the scoring in a comfortable win.
“We deserved the half time lead and kept searching for more goals,” commented Sapler. “Russ Corin had to make a couple of great late saves to preserve the clean sheet the team deserved.
“At times we were too good for anything Faithfold had. It resembled a ‘men v boys’ training session at points. The game has prepared us well for our clash with HMH.”
Regarding HMH, they were in fine form. Oscar Wagner struck twice against Fairlop. Nate Kashket, Dan Hardoon and Dom Feldman also hit the target.
James Jaconelli scored a consolation for Fairlop who have yet to win this season.
“A trip to Essex heartland to a small school pitch is always tricky,” commented HMH manager Avi Goldberg. “We raced ahead but found it difficult to break Fairlop down as we were sloppy in possession and paid the price from an excellently taken free-kick from their best player. The second half though was a different story as we took control scoring four and creating more. But once again our defence stood tall.”
Goldberg added, “We are unbeaten now in open play for four consecutive league games and this week had the bonus of our forwards bringing their shooting boots. The rest is history and we can now look forward to the table battle against Hendon.”
Fairlop’s Jake Sanders commented, “Jaconelli scored another stunning free-kick, this time an unstoppable shot from 30-yards into the corner.
“There was more frustration as we competed for 75 or so minutes, but our lack of fitness and a squad proved costly as HMH ran riot in the closing stages.”
Oakwood shaded their clash against Camden Park, which saw Percelle Ascott suffer a bad injury in the opening 10 minutes. The match was delayed by nearly an hour waiting for paramedics.
Goals from Daniel Seligman on 35 minutes and Josh Cuby nine minutes from time a 2-1 win.
“At one stage the game was in doubt (due to the injury) but we re-focussed and got the job done,” said Daniel Kristall, Oakwood director of football. “In the end, it was a comfortable victory where the only way I saw the opposition scoring, was from a set piece.
“We managed the final stages well, took our goals well and deservedly got the points.
Division One leaders North London Raiders came from a goal down to defeat Mill Hill Dons 5-1 in a fine away win. Liron Mannie, Max Warner and Aron Gale, plus two own goals sealed the points.
Harry Moss opened the scoring for the hosts before Raiders hit back with vengeance.
“The boys showed tremendous character to dominate for 70 minutes in a game where we could have scored more,” said Raiders joint-manager Gideon Gale. “The most pleasing thing about the game was not allowing to conditions to affect the way we wanted to play, with exceptional transitions from back to front.”
Gale added, “We’re still unbeaten, still going strong, long may it continue.”
“Despite losing the boys could hold their heads high,” said Dons boss Brandon Hamme. “The result flattered Raiders, especially considering we edged the first half however they were clinical and at times unplayable especially in the second half. They had two deflected own goals but we had to throw our hands up and applaud Gale and Warner’s goals.”
He added, “Raiders are the best team we played this season. Against an average side in our division, we would have been out of sight in the first half. The boys put a shift in and forced some great saves out of the Raiders keeper who had a great game.
“We came up against a very strong team, which we were able to go toe to toe with in the first half.
“The boys left everything on the pitch, it’s the first time we have lost a league game by a four-goal margin since our first season as a club. That’s a real testament to how we have improved.
“We now have a manageable set of fixtures so need to start picking up results otherwise we could be dragged into a relegation battle. But I have seen enough in our depleted squad to suggest we have the quality.”
Second place North London Galaxy dropped points as they shared the spoils with Jewdinese in a hard fought 1-1 draw.
Galaxy took the lead when Ben Halmer was quickest to react to a free kick that struck the crossbar to fire home. The visitors proceeded to dominate possession and went close to scoring.
Eventually the pressure told, but not until deep into injury time when Zack Collins found Reiss Mogilner to grab a deserved equaliser.
“I’m proud of our second half performance,” said Jewdinese boss Darren Lawrence. “We controlled the game and it would’ve been a very tough defeat to take had we not equalised. But we showed great fight and determination to keep going until the end and we got our reward.”
Hertswood Vale are in the title mix after a resounding 4-0 triumph against Maccabi London FC Red at Rowley in Division One.
Vale are four points off top spot but having played one game fewer than Raiders.
Dominating from kick off, Vale got off to a flying start with two ‘team’ goals in the opening 10 minutes.
Jamie Steinberg struck first, slotting calmly into the bottom corner after James Millet won possession to set up the opportunity on four minutes.
Vale then doubled the lead with exceptional play. Jordan Harris, who looked dangerous throughout the match on the right wing, drove forward before finding Millet with a perfect cut back who fired home for his 14th of the season.
Maccabi enjoyed possession but failed to create a clear-cut opening against the visitors.
Vale grabbed a third goal early in the second half with a fortuitous own goal as a Jordan Harris corner found Charlie Becker whose header was deflected into his net.
With the result sealed, Vale sat back and absorbed Maccabi pressure.
The hosts went down to 10 men after their keeper was adjudged to have handled outside the box, leaving them to put their third player in goal during the game. Vale grabbed a fourth when Josh Gorb bundled the ball over the line after unrelenting pressure on 10-man Maccabi.
“It was a really enjoyable morning for the Vale boys,” commented Jacob Emmnual. “We look forward to facing Brook Farm Rovers in the league on Sunday.”
Spec FC and Brook Farm Rovers drew 1-1 in a tight encounter.
Leading scorer Zack Neiman put Spec ahead before Alon Pinhas earned Rovers, who enjoyed more possession, a point with a late goal after fine work by Rafi Terespolsky.
Rovers pushed for the winner to no avail.
“A draw was probably the fair result in a well contested game,” said Spec player-manager Ricky Lawrence. “Rovers were impressive. They are a young, hungry team. Fair play to them going straight into Division One rather than starting in the bottom division.”
“It was a cagey affair for large parts of the game with Rovers having the bulk of possession and the chances,” said a club spokesman. “We have a thin squad who worked very hard and played nice passing football until SPEC scored against the run of play.
“Rovers didn’t let their heads drop and showed real character to get back in the game with a great goal from Pinhas. We were in the ascendancy from there and had chances to win it late on.”
Division Two pacesetters FC Team enjoyed a dominant display running out 5-1 winners against Hampstead Ducks.
Gideon Moss, Mitch Young, Richard Salmon, Ben Sollosi and Eitan Ben-Zion struck the goals.
Jack Wagner grabbed a consolation for Hampstead.
“We killed the Ducks within the first 25 minutes after playing some scintillating football,” said FC Team player-manager Mitch Young: “We then shuffled the team around and were guilty of missing around 10 more chances as the game progressed.”
He added, “We are a third of the way through the season and to have a return of 16 points, unbeaten and top of the league I am very pleased. We now have a week off before our next game where we welcome the returning Connor Perl to our quality squad.”
Borussia Barnet are three points adrift of Young’s charges and routed Scrabble 6-0 in a resounding triumph.
Ollie Hart, Michael Kenley, Sam Lipton, Oli Smith, Joe Woolf and Oron Sheldon struck the goals.
Hart opened the scoring from a tight angle, Smith then doubled the lead with a neat finish. Kenley made it 3-0 with a penalty before Lipton scored from an Adam Bowman free-kick.
Woolf added to the lead before Sheldon struck the goal of the game from long range.
“We were much more ruthless today and finally got the goals our dominant play deserved,” said Borussia boss Brad Papier.
Joint second Temple Fortune came out on top of a hard fought contest 2-0 against North West London Bears where a Simon Cohen brace secured the points.
“It was a very well-drilled win,” said Fortune boss Simon Linden. “We got our goals early and put in a disciplined performance with a great work ethic and a lot of passion. The Bears are a good footballing side but a bit of Cohen quality and experience won the points which puts us in a good position.”
Faithfold claimed a first win of the campaign as they edged a seven-goal thriller against Club de Chigwell 4-3.
Josh Marlow (2), Jamie Kent and Motti Herzog scored for the hosts. Saul Green (2) and Daniel Garfinkle were the Chigwell scorers.
“We really fought hard,” said Faithfold manager Ben Kfir. “We let in a few cheap goals, very much against the run of play but the guys fought hard and played like a team. They also started taking our chances.”
Kfir added, “We are pleased with our first win if the season and are starting to look like an outfit. Things are gelling together. Hopefully we will keep up this momentum.”
By David Saffer