Sporting history was made on Sunday morning when Hendon C and a Maccabi Masters Rep team contested the longest-ever penalty shoot-out in Jewish football.
Tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes of their Peter Morrison Cup tie, the sides then exchanged 27 penalties, before Gab Saul stood up to convert the 28th spot-kick, and send them through to the second round.
While the shoot-out fell somewhat short of the all-time English record – an epic 46-45 between two U15 sides in 2004, the sides can though lay claim to being involved in the longest-ever shoot-out in Jewish football.
Tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes of play, the sides then played out a 30-minute penalty shoot-out which Hendon eventually won 10-9.
Amazed at what he had seen, Hendon player-manager Adam Glekin said: “I’ve only ever been involved in two shoot-outs, and neither of them had anything like the drama of this game.
“At the start of the shoot-out, I was fairly relaxed. I don’t think we’re going to win the cup so my main focus has been on the league but as the shoot-out went on, the nerves began to come. It didn’t help that I couldn’t do anything about it as I got injured during the game and wasn’t able to take one.
“I was confident to begin with, our goalkeeper Yak Goldin had a great game and has a great record in penalty shootouts so I knew he would come up trumps for us. But as we missed chance after chance to win the shootout, I began to fear it wasn’t going to be our day. Thankfully, we scraped through in the end!”
And despite having a conversion rate of ten out of the 14 his side took, Glekin insists his side don’t practice them. “We probably have two penalty takers in the team, Ben David and Alex Elf. Ben scored both his penalties and Alex scored his. The rest of the team were not exactly experienced penalty takers, but for the most part held their nerve.
“Though there were a few iffy penalties which had my heart in my mouth, 13 out of 14 were on target!”
Masters player-manager Daniel Collins converted one of their nine efforts – the first time he’d kicked a ball since the Maccabiah Games in the summer. “Even I came off the bench to score one!” he said. “I’ve never been involved in anything like that before. Shoot-outs normally only last for maybe five or six kicks, by the time it got around to 10 and 11, there was a lot of squirming going on!
“We don’t practice penalties at all, this was in fact the first time I’ve been able to field a Rep Team from all the teams in the division and in fairness we should have beaten them.
“That U15 match must have been very exhausting, but I’m glad to have the Jewish record though.”
Taking charge of the shoot-out was Martin Fox. He said: “The penalties took longer than extra-time would have done! I’ve never officiated in anything like that before, in fact I wasn’t able to make a note of all the takers as I ran out of paper!”
TALE OF THE SHOOT-OUT:
James Temple – SAVED Ben David – SCORED
Adam Gishen – SCORED Gab Saul – SAVED
Braham Hochenberg – SCORED James Neidle – SCORED
Gavin Sherman – SCORED Alex Elf – SCORED
Richard sacks – SCORED Jaimie Grossman – SCORED
Jeremy King – SAVED Chaim Strom – SAVED
Tony Plaskow – SCORED Joni Kleiman – SCORED
Andy Bloom – SAVED Jono Nesbitt – SCORED
Martin Leslie – SCORED Yaacov Goldin – SAVED
Marc Cutler – MISSED Ezra Dulberg – MISSED
Daniel Collins – SCORED Ezekiel Jacob – SCORED
Nigel Goldthorpe – SCORED Gideon Caller – SCORED
James Temple – SCORED Ben David – SCORED
Adam Gishen – MISSED Gab Saul – SCORED