A flying start, scoring two goals in the opening eight minutes, helped the Raiders book their place in the last four of the Barry Goldstein Trophy.
Barry Goldstein Trophy Quarter-Final:
Oakwood B 2 Norstar London Raiders B 4
Sunday, 12 April, 2015
The wild and windy conditions made for some challenging conditions for defenders and the opening few minutes saw some slapstick defending at both ends. The game was ultimately settled within the first eight minutes as Raiders swept in to a two-goal lead. First Nicky Woolf side-stepped a challenge and picked out the run of Josh Green, the diminutive striker racing clear to clip the ball over the onrushing keeper before celebrating with a back flip! The lead was doubled shortly after as Simon Buchler ghosted in at the far post to nod home an Adam Posner free-kick.
Rather than sit back, Raiders clicked through the gears to press home their advantage. The third goal when it came was a thing of raw power and beauty. Woolf, who has missed much of the season with a back injury picked up the ball 35 yards out, outmuscled his marker and hammered a curling effort in to the top corner. Moments later the game was effectively over as Jacob Gold applied the calm and precise finish to a flowing move involving Poser, Buchler and David Esterkin.
With a 4-0 half-time lead, Raiders knew that Oakwood would come strong in the second half. The pressure was largely absorbed and Raiders had plenty of chances to increase the lead on the break only to be denied by multiple (correct!) offside decisions and the excellent form of Oren in the Oakwood goal.
With 20 minutes to go Oakwood pulled a goal back and they then grabbed a second inside the final ten minutes. But there was no panic from the men in Orange as they saw out the victory that sees them 90 minutes from a return to Wingate.
Raiders manager Jonathan Adelman said: “Considering we’ve had one game in eight weeks I was really pleased with the way we started the game. The hunger and intensity that has been missing since the turn of the year was back and we looked like our old selves. We scored some lovely goals but the boys also know we missed too many opportunities in the second half and we’ll need to be more clinical if we can to add another trophy to the Raiders cabinet.
“All credit to Jason and his team, you can see why they’ve been on such a good run. Plenty of teams would just have wilted at 4 down but you know with Oakwood that they will keep going strong for 90 minutes and it was good for us to have that physical battle – it will no doubt have helped us get back in the groove and the boys can’t wait for the semi final. With our A’s already in the Anekstein Final we want to make it a second season running where both sides run out at Wingate on the same day.”