Sunday afternoon saw Alyth Belsize’s various club sides take part in JNMJFL action…
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U11
Alyth Belsize Black 3 Hendon United Blue 1
What a performance and what a result today! We have never scored a last-minute winner before, we are masters at conceding goals late on but today was different.
The team defended like lions, throwing themselves in front of the ball whenever our goal was under attack and they ran themselves into the ground – possibly the best ever performance from this group of players.
I felt we were unlucky to go behind to an ‘offside’ goal from Hendon’s first attack but we never lost heart, we kept plugging away and fully deserved our equaliser from Aran Haber.
The second half saw both teams have chances but then, with the referee looking at his watch, Jamie Richardson latched onto a long ball, kept his balance and rifled it in – the celebrations on the pitch were funny.
We still had time to score a third – Sammy Kebede, who had a great game, got a well deserved goal.
I thought lots of players had good games but I am giving out a joint Man of the Match today – Shai Koskas for coming back after his performance last week with a string of good saves and general good play and of course Jamie – what a hero!
Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U10
Alyth Belsize Belsize 3 HMH Negev 2
This was our first match in Division One following the league split and if we needed any boost of confidence that we can compete in this division we got it today with an absolutely fantastic, brave performance from the Reds, who fought like lions to a man, dug deep and managed to come from behind and beat our closest rivals in an exciting game of football!
Indeed we were under the cosh for some periods in the first and second half but the team spirit never dropped and we showed again today we are made from stern stuff. Despite missing Nadav Jacobs, who felt poorly a few hours before the match, everyone gave that little bit extra to carry us over the line and earn a sweet, long-awaited win over Negev.
We started the game a bit slowly and for the best part of 9-10 minutes were on the back foot playing far too deep into our own half giving the ball away too easily in danger areas. Negev were putting a lot of pressure on us although they didn’t create any clear-cut chances until Leo Morad rather clumsily wrestled down a Negev player from behind in our box and the young ref had no choice but to award a penalty to the home side. With Ben G on the spot kick it was never in doubt – 1-0 Negev early on.
It took us a few more minutes to get over that and start putting some passes together, which gradually brought us back into the match. Jonah Rose and Harry Leibling Blitz on the flanks and Jamie Isaacs down the middle started creating a few half chances with a number of dangerous efforts which missed the target, and with a bit more support from the back three, whom we now encouraged to push further up the field and not sit back as deep as they had done up till that point. This support proved priceless when Adam Tyler won the ball on the halfway line and continued his run adventurously towards the Negev goal before unleashing a powerful shot which took a slight deflection on its way into the back of the net! Super determination and a really good hit from AdamTyler for his first of the season!
At half-time the team were introduced to the new snack regulations – due to our apparent dip in second half performances in most of the season I thought it will be better to limit the HT consumption to a light snack and leave the crisps bonanza to the end of the match. The team reluctantly accepted but given their performance in the second half I think we would all agree this is the right way forward!
Ok, the start to the second half wasn’t quite so brilliant…one minute in we gave the ball away rather cheaply in midfield and one pass forward was enough to slice our defence open. Asher wrongly decided to come out for the ball but was beaten to it by the quick Negev striker, who rolled the ball into the empty net. 2-1 Negev, so frustrating!
We responded well to going behind with a few half chances of our own but were very lucky not to go two behind when we didn’t manage to clear our lines out of a scramble in the box and the ball was cleared off the line by Leo and somehow we managed to keep the second and third attempts out too!
Then came probably the most crucial moment of the game when Ben G dribbled his way through our defence and his effort from just outside the box made its way to the top corner only to see Asher Cohen acrobatically flying in the air and punching the ball out for a corner. Top class save by Asher, which proved to be match-winning for us.
We grew in confidence and started to ask some questions down the Negev end of the field. The breakthrough came from a Jamie corner ball, brilliantly delivered, which Jacob Mellman met so very sweetly with his right foot volley, three seconds after coming on from the bench! A real master stroke from the managers… what a finish by Jacob for his first of the season too!
This goal gave us a massive lift and the team felt they could go on and win, going hard into the challenges and putting some extra pressure on the Negev back two. The final goal was a direct result of this pressure, led by Jamie, who worked hard throughout the match tracking back and making some key tackles. He won the ball bravely in the Negev half, the ball fell to Harry, who also had a cracking game today, he stormed down the left and delivered in a fantastic cross that Jonah Rose, with a super trailing run from behind, managed to steer home and send us high in the air celebrating! Such a well worked and well deserved winning goal.
The final three-four minutes were just about defending this lead and seeing off this match, which we did very well with one or two nervous moments, but in the end it is all smiles as we go level on points with Negev in joint third-place!