FA National Futsal League Division One South
London United 8 Maccabi GB Futsal 12
Sunday, 9 November, 2014
Making the short trip to Willesden, north London, to face London United at the Capital City Academy, confidence wasn’t at its highest and this was only the second time this season where the side have had close to their strongest outfit. This though gave renewed optimism to MGB’s chances, while Jonathan Cohen, the founder of Maccabi GB Futsal in the National League, was assisting player/manager Kurrant and it was his drive which was another catalyst for what was about to unfold.
The game kicked off 45 minutes late and, on a very tight court, London Utd got the game started and were soon in the ascendency. Barely two minutes had been accrued on the clock and the home side had gone two-nil up. It was becoming apparent that MGB was not able to get used to the tight dimensions of the court. Gradually, the MGB players’ decision-making and movement improved and Olcot and Kurrant were beginning to get up the court with some good interplay and possession. This culminated in many free-kicks for Maccabi GB as Kurrant and Shulton were continuously being taken down.
A mistake from the London Utd goalkeeper, who dropped his goal-throw and picked it up again, resulted in an indirect free-kick to the right of the London Utd goal. Olcot teed up Kurrant and he disguised a back-post pass to Shulton who crashed the ball in-off the bar to halve the deficit; 2-1. Moments later, Shulton blocked a telling pass and down the right hand channel with power before blasting his effort high into the right hand corner; all tied at 2-2.
MGB Futsal were back in the game and creating chances at will. It seemed they had gotten to grips with the court and what their opponents were presenting offensively. This saw them take the lead moments later. Another foul meant a 10m penalty to MGB very early on in the game. Jordan Davidson, usually a goalkeeper but playing outfield, stroked his 10m penalty effortlessly into the bottom left hand corner. Maccabi GB had turned the game on its head only 10 minutes in; 2-3 to MGB.
Schwarz, Kurrant, Adam Bernstein and Olcot were on top and creating chances. However, on the 13th minute, Kurrant blocked a shot on the line which went out for a corner, only for the referee to inexplicably award a penalty for ‘handball’. To further frustrate the MGB player/manager he was sent off for the second time this season. London United scored the resultant penalty and the scores were once again level; 3-3.
Straight after kick-off, MGB took the lead. Brilliant play from Barnett down the left and a subsequent pull back meant Schwarz could smash the ball home to make it 3-4. They then extended their lead when another foul meant another penalty, Davidson smashed the ball into the keeper’s face and it was kept out, but moments later yet another foul and Shulton scored the 10m penalty to grab his hat trick; 3-5. London United got two more back, before Shulton scored two more 10m penalties after some ill-discipline from London United.
MGB did’nt let up after the break. London United came out power-playing and MGB kept firm with some more outstanding defending. When trying to force the play, London United gifted Shulton the ball and, from in his own half, he guided the ball into the empty net; 5-8. London United moved the ball faster with more tempo in the power-play and managed to wrong-foot the defence to get within two again; 6-8.
Wave after wave of pressure was coming from the London United attack, with Lipman parrying save after save, with two saves in particular in the ‘top-class’ category.
Against the run of play, Jamie Bernstein got his shot away that went out for a corner. From the corner there was no visible option for Davidson except to smash the ball across the area. Barnett muscled his way in front of his marker and volleyed the ball past the goalkeeper to once again raise the goal tally; 6-9 Maccabi GB. Olcot scored at the back-post after great work from Shulton to gain an unassailable 6-10 lead, or so the visitors thought! London United grabbed two goals back in a kamikaze game full of intensity, before Shulton put the game to bed with his 7th and 8th goals of the match.
Man-of-the-Match performances: The obvious mention goes to Shulton who had a slow start but managed to single-handedly claw MGB into a winning position. But special mentions to Lipman in the MGB net and to the rest of the team who pulled together brilliantly to keep out the London United onslaught.
The return fixture is next week, London United visit MGB at SportHouse, 4pm KO!
1 Dan Lipman
2 Jordan Davidson
3 Alex Olcot
5 Adam Bernstein
7 Jamie Bernstein
8 Scott Shulton (c)
11 Gideon Barnett
12 Jon Kurrant
14 Aviel Schwarz