Maccabi London Lions A reached their first Peter Morrison Cup Final in nine years after a hat-trick from Josh Kennet helped them beat North London Raiders A in a nine-goal thriller on Wednesday night.
Peter Morrison Trophy Semi-Final
Maccabi London Lions A 5 North London Raiders A 4
Wednesday, 6 April, 2016
Lions fielded a full-strength side, using the squad who usually play in the Herts County Premier team, and they looked to be in total control midway through the second half as two goals from Kennet, and one each from Charlie Rubin and Max Kyte put them 4-1 up, after Jonny Kay had put Raiders ahead.
However, goals from Jordan Marks, Matt Stock and Liron Mannie sent the tie to extra-time, before Kennet popped up again to seal a dramatic win, as the Lions look to win the Jewish FA Cup for the first time since 2007.
Despite the win, Lions manager Andy Landesberg was less than happy at the way the match turned on its head, saying: “I warned them at the start, and the 4-1 lead gave them a very false sense of security. Hopefully a few of them will learn that your CV doesn’t necessarily make you a winner.
“We have to count ourselves as a little lucky that it is us in the Final, but we have created the chance to get our hands back on the Peter Morrison Cup. I am sure Hendon will be no easier than Raiders.”
Raiders joint-manager Rob Richman told jewishnews.co.uk: “Each and every week we turn up to play football we want to test our abilities as a team against the very best. Yesterday we got the opportunity to do exactly that against a team packed full of top class players. We gave it everything we had, left everything on the pitch but just ran out of legs unfortunately in extra time.
“If there is any disappointment in our performance, it’s that our first half performance and in particular the opening thirty minutes we just weren’t at the races. We made a few too many errors and against a side as good as Lions that cost us dear. However, the second half we showed exactly what we are about, we showed remarkable courage and desire to pick ourselves off the floor and in the end we had Lions holding out for extra time.
“This is a game that will live long in the memory, thank you to Lions for hosting such a great spectacle and I’m glad that a really good crowd got to see such a riveting game.
“I have to echo Andy Landesberg’s comments regarding Jake Rinsler, he was exceptional all night, he’s already an unbelievable footballer at just 18 years old. Josh Kennett too was the most impressive player I have come up against not just this season but in all my time managing. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to grips with him all game and he deserves all the plaudits that come his way for that performance.
“For us I’m ever so proud of the entire team, we were representing the MGBSFL last night and we hope we did them proud. This was the first in a long line of important games we have coming up, we’ll regroup, rest some weary bodies and go again in 10 days time in the Anekstein cup final.”