Hendon manager David Garbacz believes his side are going to deliver “a very special second half to the season”, and insists his side could well win a league and cup treble.
Cyril Anekstein Cup Fourth Round
Woodford Wanderers 1 Hendon United A 6
Sunday, 16 February, 2014
Garbacz saw his side cruise into the semi-final of the Cyril Anekstein Cup on Sunday morning, while they are also into the last 16 of the Peter Morrison Cup, and have nine games in hand on the Premier Division’s runaway leaders.
And while they may face something of a fixture backlog, the Hendon boss has warned the rest of the League his side mean business as the season approaches its climax.
He said: “We only have a small squad this year but they are all top quality and everyone plays for each other. We are miles behind in terms of games played in the league but there is a real belief that we can start bridging the gap as soon as we get some more games under the belt.”
And warning Norstar to keep the title champagne on ice, he said: We’re going well in both cups and we fear no one. Assuming everyone stays fit, we could be in for a very special second half of the season and I wouldn’t be cracking open the champagne just yet if I was in the Norstar camp. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon I can assure you.”
Sunday’s game could have proved something of a potential banana skin for them given they were up against the joint-Division One leaders who have already accounted for Premier Division opposition in the Cup this season.
However, Hendon always looked the more assured side in control of the tie, and got off to a perfect start when Avidan Last broke the offside trap and cooly slotted home past Ben Rosenthal in the Woodford goal.
Buoyed by the opener, Last soon claimed his second of the match when he finished off a slick move, steering the ball into the roof of the net, despite Rosenthal’s best efforts to keep the ball out.
In complete control, Rosenthal was called upon to produce two stunning saves to keep the score down, and they looked all the more costly for Hendon when Jason Goldstein halved the deficit just before the break when he cheekily finished Mitch Hahn’s cut-back, leaving Russell Corin in the Hendon goal flat-footed.
With the score now tantalisingly poised at 2-1, the next goal would have a big say in the outcome of the game, and so it would prove to be when Yishai Last made it 3-1, superbly curling the ball into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Having restored a two-goal advantage, Woodford also seemed to have had the wind taken out of their sails, and before long it was 4-1 when Danny Kon volleyed into the corner after Woodford failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Yishai Last put the game beyond any doubt when he dinked the ball over the on-rushing Rosenthal for the most impudent of finished, before Ari Last put the icing on the cake, , passed the ball into the corner having been set up by Danny Kon.
Delighted with the performance of his side, Garbacz said: “Considering we have had so little football recently, I thought we were superb today – we passed the ball around slickly and the running off the ball was excellent. We had players missing at the back which caused a bit of a re-shuffle but everyone fitted in very smoothly.
“We were sharp, quick and the attitude was spot on . In truth we have played very well all season, it’s just that with all the breaks it might have gone unnoticed. We are still unbeaten domestically and there is a real determination to carry on that run as far as we can.
“There were a number of quality performances today with Avi Korman great at the back and Yoav Lebens as dominant as ever in midfield. But the two who really shone for me today were Danny Kon who had a top game in an unfamiliar midfield role and Yishai Last who was brilliant up front and ran rings around the Woodford back line. I thought our second goal today brilliantly finished by Avidan last was up there for one of the goals of the season.”
Also praiseworthy of their opponents, Garbacz said: “6-1 was emphatic but I don’t think Woodford should be too harsh on themselves – they caught us on a really good day with the boys desperate to be back playing. We could really have scored more but overall we were satisfied with the margin of victory.
“They got one back just before half-time but we were so dominant in the first half and were playing the ball around so well, that the confidence was high . We probably gave them a bit too much space at times in the first half on the counter and once we tightened that up we didn’t look like conceding again . It was a great finish from Yishai for our third goal and it did enable us to relax a bit more for the rest of the game.
“Woodford seem like a good bunch of lads and we wish them well in their push for promotion this year.”
Woodside manager Tony Charles said: “Today was a great opportunity to rotate the squad and try out some new things in a game that disrupted our outstanding league campaign. Some of what we did worked and some didn’t, those that didn’t work affected the result.
“The main difference was that they scored more goals than us. Look I’m a coach. I’m not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real.”
And now able to focus solely on the league, where they currently sit joint-top, he said: “Our league campaign has been disciplined and consistent and winning the league always goes to the most consistent team.”