Hendon United A all but wrapped up the Premier Division title on Sunday morning after defeating Oakwood A 2-0.
Hendon United A 2 Oakwood A 0
Sunday, 18 May, 2014
Hendon manager David Garbacz says “it would be criminal” if his side blew away their chance of winning the Premir Division title
Level on points with Norstar following a 2-0 win over the Os on Sunday morning, all Hendon need to do is avoid a three-goal defeat on Sunday against Lions Blue to win the League title, thereby securing a league and cup treble – and becoming the first club to win a Jewish treble twice. Garbacz said: “To throw it away from this position would be criminal and the boys are far too focused to do that. It would be safe to say we are now very confident of finishing the job next week. We saw the Oakwood game as a big hurdle to overcome and just as with all other obstacles we’ve faced this year we cleared it very satisfactorily.
“We will aim to finish [the season] in style. There won’t be a moment’s thought to play it tight or anything like that – we will want to win and win big and make it a real day to remember.”
Their penultimate game of the season saw no quarter given, with Oakwood arguably shading the game – at least on chances – with Hendon goalkeeper Russell Corin called into action to produce some smart stops.
However, the treble chasers went in front a minute after the restart when Greg Corin played in Avidan Last, who fired the ball past Daniel Cohen.
Cohen pulled off a stunning stop of his own as Hendon upped the tempo, and another delightful Corin through ball – aided by referee Adam Lewis playing advantage – saw Yishai Last keep his composure before emphatically blasting the ball into the roof of the net.
Admitting his side had been given a tough encounter, Garbacz said: “We always knew today would be tough. Oakwood are a great side and will be expecting to challenge for the title next year and I’m sure they would have loved nothing more than to halt our run and be the first team to beat us this year.
“Russell as he’s been all year, was ever reliable in pulling off two vital saves in the first half, but I thought we changed gears after half-time and in the end ran out pretty comfortable winners. Once again Ari Nevies was brilliant at the back as was the incredible Yehuda Korman, but for me today was a Greg Corin master class – two more fabulous assists and he must have had a hand in probably 75 percent of all our goals this year – a joy to watch.”
“I wouldn’t say we were nervous today, but possibly a touch apprehensive in the first half. We gave the ball away too easily especially in the final third and were looking to do too much. At half-time we spoke about this, we kept possession much better in the second period and were much more in control. Both goals came from great moves and we played some really nice stuff in the second half.”
And now looking ahead to next weekend which could see them crown off a memorable season by winning the treble, he says: “We will be extremely excited leading up to Sunday. The bus will get decked out for the parade and we are looking forward to finally being able to celebrate all our trophies this year.
“It has been an honour and a pleasure to manage this team and if we finally secure our historic treble on Sunday all the credit will go to each and every one who has been involved. Everyone has played their amazing part which has been why we are so strong. The togetherness and the spirit is irreplaceable and is truly a beautiful thing.”
Oakwood player-manager Ric Blank didn’t believe his side deserved to get anything from the game, saying: “I thought we shaded it in the first half, and had the better chances but we always looked a little shaky at the back with too many missed clearances and elaborate playing out from the back. “The second half was a different story – we did not play well at all and were well beaten by the end.
“To earn anything you have to make no mistakes and play like a team for 90 minutes and we didn’t do that.”
In terms of what he felt was the difference between the sides, he said: “Hendon don’t take chances at the back and don’t make mistakes, this season in the two league games we have done. The first goal we conceded was criminal – straight after half-time. It was as angry as I’ve been all season. We spoke specifically about clearing our lines and failed to do so. We have to eradicate these mistakes if we’re serious about doing well in the league.
“It’s been a long season and perhaps this was one challenge too far for the boys. We’ll assess it and work out what went wrong but Hendon were ultimately worthy winners.”
And looking ahead to next season, he says: “We’re as good as any side in league and we fear no one. We require greater consistency but let’s not forget this is only our second year in the Prem. We’ve learnt a great deal in the past two years and are improving all the time. We’ll be a force next season without doubt.”