Brady Maccabi outgunned Chigwell Athletic to lift the Henry Swerner Cup – and avenge last season’s final defeat.
Henry Swerner Maccabi Masters Football League Cup Final:
Brady Maccabi A 2 Chigwell Athletic 0
Thursday, 27 April, 2017
In an evenly contested final, sponsored by Visualeyes Opticians and Sunglasses Barnet, a second half header from Ashley Davidson secured an unexpected win for Brady.
Having won the trophy for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012, Brady lost out last season as Chigwell took the trophy with a 4-1 victory, and the holders began this year’s final as clear favourites.
Chigwell started the brighter of the two teams with Adam Stolerman and Steve Summers looking sharp and menacing up front, but Brady held their nerve and were rewarded on 25 minutes when Scott Warren broke down the right wing and his far post cross was headed in by Mark Wagman.
Chigwell very nearly hit back immediatel,y but Steve Summers cross from the left was met by Rob Donn whose header hit the underside of the bar before being cleared.
Five minutes later, however, Chigwell did level things, when a rasping drive from Adam Stolerman was brilliantly saved by Paul Gelernter in the Brady goal, but he could only parry the shot to Russell Yershon, who buried it into the bottom right-hand corner.
The remainder of the first period belonged to Chigwell, and they came agonisingly close to scoring on several occasions, with Brady goalkeeper Gelernter making a series of exceptional saves to deny Chigwell.
After the respite of half-time, Brady emerged with greater purpose, and were soon back in front when Ashley Davidson headed in a corner from close-range. They had a chance to extend their lead soon after when they found themselves three on one in the Chigwell area, but Scott Warren blazed over.
As the game opened up, with chances at both ends, Brady looked the more assured of the two teams, their defence holding strong and midfield increasingly in control, meaning their eventual victory was well deserved.
Presenting the trophies, Guest of Honour Gary Swerner praised the effort and spirit of all the players, and singled out Paul Gelernter for special praise in keeping Chigwell at bay, but nominated Brady’s Mark Wagman as the recipient of the Peter Moss Man of the Match award.
And as a member of the North West Neasden team that won the inaugural Henry Swerner Trophy back in 2006, it was fitting that Gary should be the one to present the Cup to this season’s worthy winners.
Brady manager Daniel Collins said: “I was absolutely delighted with the cup win.
“Having lost to them five times in a row, I was extremely nervous going into this final, but I didn’t need to me. My team delivered in every way , they gave Chigwell no time on the ball, were 100% focused and committed and wanted to win more than Chigwell on this occasion.
“All the team performed heroically.The pace of Scott Warren up front together with the skill of Mark Wagman terrorised their defence and with Graeme Grossman who normally plays up front ably stepping in at the back to partner Gavin Sherman, the normally clinical pairing of Stolerman & Summers up front for Chigwell had few chances and when they did get a shot away, Paul Gelernter in a goal was in devastating form and produced a number of fantastic saves
“A truly memorable win for Brady especially when you consider most of the squad are old enough to compete in Division Two of Masters Football.
“My thanks to Chigwell for playing the game in such a good spirit and being extremely gracious in defeat.”