Sunday afternoon saw Alyth Belsize’s various club sides take part in JNMJFL action
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U11 Cup:
Alyth Belsize Black 3 Brady Maccabi 3 (Brady won 3-2 on penalties)
It was a bitter pill to swallow losing today given we were 3-1 up with a few minutes to go. I thought the game should have been stopped when Ely Tiefenbrun got injured before Brady’s equaliser, and of course we scored a phantom goal that was not given (or the penalty, as the goalie never actually ‘saved’ it, it was their defender).
I thought we played and battled quite well, without really reaching the standards of our normal displays. Ethan Cohn came in and did well; he has good positional sense and made a few nice bursts. Sam B scored again (that’s three in two matches) though he needs to practice his celebrations! Sam Cohen scored a great opener (trust me Wendy!), and there was lots of energy in the midfield – Sacha Brozel, Ethan, Chopper and Ely caught the eye. Sammy Kebede had a great game – possibly penalty shout in the first half and a great goal.
Man-of-the-Match: There were no real standout performances but Sam C scored a great goal and Shai Koskas made a fantastic save, so those two share it.
Two evenly matched teams lined up for the early kick-off this week at 2.30pm.
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U9 Mystery Competition:
Alyth vs HMH Tel Aviv
Alyth vs HMH Blue!!!
Alyth vs HMH Negev
Today’s match report starts with a big thanks to all the parents for their monumental support. As ever the Alyth Belsize parents were the loudest and most joyous of all – if there was a fans’ tournament we’d be nailed on winners!
The first game started 10 minutes early, which was too soon for Alyth as we were short of two of our squad. Tel Aviv, playing with the swirling wind behind them, proved a handful and launched a series of attacks with Jonah Howe defending resolutely, and fine support being provided by our midfield maestros, Aron Nelson, Alex Bentwood and Danny Gordon Boyd. Max Marcuson, our peripatetic playmaker, was nominally a defender but proved himself very adept throughout numerous Alyth attacks!
The game was very even until … calamity. Josh Bruck took a goalkick; had the ball travelled as far as his boot Alyth would have had a good attack. Unfortunately it didn’t and went straight to a grateful Tel Aviv striker who snaffled up the easy chance. Spirit was lost but Alyth kept on trying and Jonah Levy and Danny were unlucky not to be able to make more chances to score. Towards the end of the game Tel Aviv won a corner from which they scored a quality goal and our referee blew up for full-time shortly after.
The score line was a little harsh but we were given 30 minutes for the team to re-group, and Alyth Belsize came out ready for action against HMH Blue. We started very strong, with Aron and Josh ably supported by Becksy Rossiter in her defensive midfield role, stopping every Blue attack in its tracks. This meant Natan Boyd, goalie for this game, did not have too much to do, but when required he repelled all the Blue shots. Going forward, Alyth kept ‘just’ missing out on a final killer ball. Wave after wave of attack was launched – the noise from the fans was incredible. Alyth were getting ever closer. An accurate shot was taken by Danny that just didn’t have the legs to beat the Blue goalie. Then, minutes later and a move in which Jonah L and Danny played a part led to a loose ball in the middle of the Blue penalty area, which allowed Max to take a swing with his right foot and ………….. GOOOOOOOAAALLLLL!!!!! Wellington, Nelson, Boudicca, Winston Churchill, Bobby Charlton…… Alyth had a 1-0 lead.
We made a daring double-substitution minutes later to bring Alex and Jonah H back into the fray and for the last few minutes Blue were kept from incurring too far into Alyth’s penalty area. Then our referee blew the whistle for the end of the game and Alyth Belsize’s FIRST VICTORY of the season! 30 weeks of hurt, football’s coming home….the celebrations were very special indeed – a moment to be relished by players and fans for years to come.
This correspondent thought there was no way to beat this, but how wrong he was! Following straight after was a match against Alyth’s arch-nemesis HMH Negev, the James Bond villains of the league, who have wielded their oligarch’s cheque book and poached so many of Alyth’s finest players in the past. What an extraordinary game.
Initially Alyth did get some good play but gradually Negev turned the screws and counted on their strength and pressing play to win through. Attack after attack was launched, but time and again Alyth put their bodies on the line and stopped Negev from scoring. Even when Negev broke through, Alex would either pull off a fine save or the post would do its work in Alyth’s favour. As the game wore on, Negev became more frustrated and Alyth really believed they could pull off something special.
As the minutes counted down, there was hope that Alyth could put together a convincing attack and nick a goal – it was close but Negev’s attack was too strong. Then came calamity, again. After a flawless game Alex took a bizarre goalkick whereby had he made contact with the ball it might have led to a goal, but he didn’t, and Negev looked certainties for a goal with Alex way out of his goal. However, Alyth defenders were there to do just enough to put the Negev striker off and save Alex’s blushes! Shortly after the ref blew her whistle for full time and a 0-0 ‘victory’ that will be remembered for a long time!!
Roll on next week – Alyth Belsize are on a run – unbeaten in 2 games!
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U8:
Alyth Belsize vs Hendon United Red
Even though we lost this match, I think it’s fair to say we dominated the play, keeping the ball in our opponents’ side for the majority of the time, but unfortunately falling short of putting the ball in the net on too many occasions. However, Hendon Red are one of the strongest teams in our league, and the only team to have beaten Alyth Belsize Black, so we should keep our heads high and be proud of our achievement.
Hendon scored their only goal early on in the match from a free-kick, and then struggled to take control. Our midfield was strong, and continually managed to tackle and push the ball upfield. We had our two new recruits, Bo Fraiman and Jaren Ziegler playing, along with Theo Brass, back from almost three months of injury time. Having not seen Bo play before, I was impressed with his determination and ball control. Our midfield was completed with the ever trusty Dylan Margolis and Otto Terry, both of whom had a good game. Oliver Shaw and Benny Landeck both played a strong and reliable defence, and of course, Raffi Goodman made a few valuable saves when called upon. Both Louis Marcus and David Rahamim worked hard as strikers, but unfortunately never quite made that finish.
After half-time, we changed things round a little, putting Otto up front, moving Louis and Oliver Shaw into midfield, and David into defence. We played a great game, and the changes put us in an even stronger position than in the first half…and yet, as mentioned earlier, we just couldn’t seem to finish the opportunities we created. As we often see in football, the best team does not necessarily win!
As a piece of general advice for all the team, I’d say we need to look up, take fewer touches on the ball, decide what we’re going to do, and do it!
Man-of-the-Match: Oliver Shaw for playing two very different positions well throughout the match.