MGBSFL Premier Division:
Norstar London Raiders A 1 Harmen 2
Sunday, 2 November, 2014
The weather in Wembley did no one any favours with both sets of players pelted with rain from the warm-up through to the final whistle.
However, in the end it was a great game with both sides looking to get the ball down, the 3G surface suiting both teams.
Harmen took the lead within 15 minutes, when a through ball from Ben Weinberg split the defence and James Gershfield latched onto it before slotting past the keeper.
Max Shields made a couple of great saves to keep the score at 1-0, before turning provider for the second goal. Shields cleared the ball long, the Raiders defence couldn’t judge the bounce of the ball allowing Gersh to finish with one touch over the out-coming keepers head.
Most people would be celebrating going into the break 2-0 up against the team that everyone rates as the best in the division, but Harmen were disappointed having had chances to be four or five up after 35 minutes, the Raiders goalkeeper making some quality saves to keep his team in it.
The second half was more of the same as the visitors had another three or four good chances to extend their lead, but the goalkeeper was determined not to be beaten again. As the half went on, you sensed the urgency from Raiders as they started to click into gear but the Harmen defence stood strong.
A mis-judged header with about 10 minutes to go saw Raiders pull one back through Liron Mannie, but aside from a couple of late free-kicks, Raiders didn’t look like finding an equaliser, with George Fierstone and Marc Foster seemingly having all the time in the world throughout the game, controlling the play from the middle of the park.
Harmen manager Joel Alterman said: “There is no doubting that this was a great result for us but there is still room for improvement from the boys and there is no let off with a tough cup game against Camden coming at the weekend.
“We look forward to the return fixture against Raiders and I know they will be putting a travel ban on Ben Joseph for that one.”
Joe Marsh said: “There was a great feeling today as we set about our business under the Wembley arch straight from the word go. With our tenacity and ability we dominated the majority of the game. The score line suggests it was a tight game, but we should have been three or 4 goals better off. the players were outstanding today from Shields in goal to Gersh up top.”
Oli Leslie said “Not bad for a team expected to get relegated – Raiders win, Faithfold win, Redbridge draw. We are most definitely not expected to challenge but we will make it very hard for those who are.”