Maccabi GB Futsal encountered their first defeat of the season and lost in a very lacklustre way. The side travelled to Swindon to play their away leg against Oxford Futsal, who had just come off the back of two wins against Carlisle Futsal in emphatic fashion.
Oxford knew they had to win to keep their dreams alive of a chance of qualification into the Semi-Finals of the FA Futsal Cup, whereas a win for MGB would have meant one foot in the next round. Talismanic skipper Scott Shulton was missing and the team knew they would have to work in unison to get a result.
MGB started off hesitant as Oxford came flying out the blocks and put their opponents under severe pressure. But it was the away side who had the first clear opening when Olcot let fly to the back post. Norman was there and connected well but the ball went the wrong side of the upright.
From there it was all Oxford. Relentless pressure and good work off the pivot ensured Davidson’s goal was under siege. The breakthrough inevitably occurred when a parry from Davidson was rebounded in to make it 1-0 to Oxford.
Maccabi GB were gaining slight momentum, but a lack of movement meant they were finding it hard to penetrate the energetic Oxford defence. Bernstein came close from a whizzing effort but apart from that solo effort, the home team were once again running riot.
The second goal came shortly after when a quick counter saw a 3 vs 1 situation and a tap-in resulted in a 2-0 advantage to Oxford.
After the break Maccabi GB finally started stringing passes together with Kurrant, Rubin and Olcot moving better and making Oxford have to defend. Kurrant managed to breach the Oxford defence and a cut back allowed Rubin to get his shot away, but just missing the target. Moments later, the best chance of the game for Maccabi GB came when Olcot pressed, impressively won the ball back, rounded the keeper but, off balance, he poked his right foot at the ball to see it agonisingly hit the post and return back into play.
This proved pivotal as Oxford countered to go 3-0 up and then 4-0 in quick succession. It evidently took the wind out of Maccabi GBs’ sails and, after the Community’s premier Futsal side switched tactics to power play, it had little effect and Oxford romped to a deserved 8-0 victory, smashing the undefeated record that Maccabi GB Futsal had proudly acquired in the process.
This result now completely opens up the FA Futsal Cup Quarter Final Mini-League group. If Maccabi GB get a victory in Carlisle this Sunday; Oxford, Kaunas and MGB will be on 9 points and they all have to play each other again once. The top two qualify to the Semi-Finals of the competition, so this really could go down to the wire!
1. Jordan Davidson
3. Alex Olcot
9. Gideon Barnett
11. Jamie Bernstein
12. Jon Kurrant
4. Taylor Gershon
5. Max Radford
6. Alex Norman
7. Charlie Rubin
14. Oron Sheldon