REDRedbridge manager Sam Rosenthal refused to get carried away over his side’s chances of winning the Premier Division title – despite him seeing them open up a three point gap at the top of the table.

MGBSFL Premier Division:
Norstar London Raiders A 0 Redbridge Jewish Care A 1
Sunday, 4 January, 2015

Rosenthal saw Ben Sollosi’s first half strike defeat, what he calls ‘the best team in the League’ 1-0, and having tipped Norstar to win the title a fortnight ago, believes it’s still theirs to lose.

He said: “I’ve said it before, they are the best team in the league given their youth and pace. That said we more than matched their technical abilities and ultimately the team with the bigger heart came through.

“We’re in a better position now for sure but it’s still in their hands. Do they have the bottle? We will see… we look forward to taking another three points on Sunday against Hendon.”

Rosenthal felt his side’s win on Sunday was merited and conceded they had to dig deep to earn the win, especially when under pressure in the second half. He said: “It was a tight game and panned out very much how I thought it would. They are a class act‎ who were at full strength but we showed that even with a few big guns missing, we had the class and also what is arguably more important in such a tight game, the heart, to pull through.

“We were excellent in the first half, created plenty of chances and probably should have been two up, while in the second half we gave a defending masterclass.

“I thought we thoroughly deserved to win the game, and we probably should have been a couple of goals up at half-time. Despite all their pressing and domination in the second half which resulted in their possession, I don’t recall them having any clear goalscoring chances.”

Raiders manager Rob Richman felt this side should have got something from the game. He said: “We’re all a little disappointed with the defeat, we felt our performance deserved a point but you have to give credit to Redbridge who defended superbly.

“Although we dominated possession and were camped inside their half for the majority of the second half, we didn’t test their goalkeeper nearly enough. Our passing was a little off and at times we held on to the ball just a little too long. We must learn from this and improve as the season progresses.

“In the games against the top sides the first goal is always so crucial and that’s exactly what happened today, once Redbridge took the lead they set up to preserve that lead and we didn’t have the skills on the day to break them down.”

And with the defeat now seeing them sit three points off top spot, but crucially having two games in hand, Richman’s predicting a battle to the end for the title. “The table is now very compact and it promises to be a very close fought out title race,” he says. “Today was obviously a setback, but we will do our utmost until the final game of the season.”