Alyth Belsize junior club round-up:

Alyth Belsize junior club round-up:

Alyth U10’s

Sunday afternoon saw Alyth Belsize’s various club sides take part in JNMJFL action…

Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U11
Alyth Belsize Black 2 Brady Maccabi 0

It was a great match on Sunday, and the team’s display on Sunday made me forget about events in Manchester.

We played quite a physical Brady side but we competed well, we fought for every ball, we kept our shape and eventually scored the goals we deserved. Shai Koskas in goal did not have a save to make and we limited them to a small spell of pressure in the second half.

The deadlock was broken by Sam Cohen, who did well to force the ball in during a goalmouth scramble – too often we do not take advantage of these type of chances, and if he can become a regular goal poacher the team will benefit.

The second was a wonder goal by our captain, Sammy Kebede. Although I had left, I saw we had a free kick and cheered from the sides with Sam – great goal and great celebrations !

My Man-of-the-Match this week is Sam and Sammy – it’s not often a joint award but this week they both impressed me.

We will finish the first half of the season with a 6-1-2 record – we have played well in every game and if anything deserved not to lose or draw against the Hendon sides.

Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U10
Alyth Belsize 1 Brady Maccabi 1

Cannot really say this season is quite going to plan so far. Football as we all know and love is about putting the ball in the back of the net, and when you struggle to do so you find it hard to win football matches.

Only three in our last three matches is a very poor goal ratio indeed and, averaging just over two a match for the season, this is fast becoming a real issue for us. This was the second time this season that we dropped points against teams outside the so-called top four, and slipping to seventh in the table is not something we can be too pleased with at this point, a few matches away from the winter break after which the league will be split into the top and bottom six!

Andrew and I had a little debate at the end of the match today; he reckons club coach Ivan should work with the team on finishing whilst I’m of the opinion that you can’t really teach finishing. For me it’s all about being calm in front of goal and making the right decision with the final pass, which I’m not sure you can teach. I also think that in order to score 3-4 a team should create at least 10-12 good chances, and I cannot say we are creating enough clear-cut chances in a match, maybe down to lack of creativity in the final third.

Saying that, we still created enough chances to get that elusive second goal and win this match today, and it was very frustrating for us on the lines again as well as for the players, who really gave it their all, especially in the last 10 minutes when we pushed for the winner and very nearly got it! In fact I was already halfway in the air when one minute from time Nadav Jacobs won the ball in the Brady half, took on two players and superbly slid the ball right into the path of Jamie Isaacs, who had all the time in the world to pick his spot and clinch a dramatic well deserved late winner, but his shot down low to the right corner fizzed wide by the post. So unlucky, you would have had your bet on Jay to put this in 9 times out of 10. We had quite a few good openings in those last 10-12 minutes after Nadav Jacobs’s fantastic equaliser, volleying from close range a fantastic Jonah Rose corner, but to be honest I cannot remember the Brady keeper having to make a real save, as we didn’t really hit the target with the few half-chances we created, most notably twice when Jonah fleeced his defender on the right, played a wicked low cross right in the face of goal but no one could produce the faintest of touches needed to guide it on target.

Brady played their part, keeping us out with some really determined defending especially by their big guy in the centre of defence, who was winning lots of tackles for them and was a real physical presence that was hard for us to deal with, apart from the one time Nadav went shoulder to shoulder with him and managed to  knock him off balance and win the ball. They also had their chances in this second half, one which came on the counter as we were caught short, but a last-ditch Jacob Mellman tackle after covering some considerable ground saved the day. Really solid performance from our big guy, who was strong in defence together with Adam Tyler and Leo Morad and made some really important challenges as well as playing some nice passes forward. Another Brady chance earlier in the half still at 1-0 was cleared off the line by Leo after an attempt from close range we couldn’t clear, very similar to the goal we conceded late in the first half but thankfully we kept it out this time. Going 2-0 down would have been a mountain to climb.

The first half was generally pretty dire and scrappy with the highlight being a fantastic Jamie effort from outside the box, which had beaten the keeper but only managed to rattle the bar; it would have been an amazing goal had it gone in. A few good one-twos between Jake Shindler and Nadav at times, a good brave header by Jamie from a Jonah corner which flew over the bar, and yet without creating even one chance Brady managed to go 1-0 up after some rare shambolic defending on our part where one Brady player managed to get in between three defenders. A few soft tackles didn’t manage to clear the danger and the ball – which Ethan Zybutz claims he had his hands on already – was poked into the net somehow, very much against the run of play.

Guys, we have to look forward, keep working hard, improving and most importantly stay together and enjoy our football, that’s what it’s all about!

Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U9
Alyth Belsize vs Hendon United Blue

With great anticipation the mighty Alyth Belsize took to the pitch. With the game being 8-a-side, the decision was taken to play Jonah ‘the dribbler’ Levy in defence. With the extra space afforded by the new goal-kick rule (retreat line), Jonah was able to utilise the space in front of him and show off his silky skills. Jonah was ably supported by Jonah Howe and Alex Bentwood, two giant granite pillars in defence who would make Sturridge and Suarez quake in their boots.

The midfield of Aron Nelson, Becksy Rossiter and Natan Boyd were everywhere; they had the engines of a Land Rover, never stopping, and the speed of a Ferrari – Hendon must have thought Alyth had 10 people in midfield! Leading the team from the front was mighty Max Marcuson, he had the guile of a fox and the strike ability of a cobra – a defender’s nightmare. In goal was Josh, still high from last week’s performance.

The game kicked-off with no one dominating the ball, the teams evenly matched and waiting for the other to make the first mistake. Alyth Belsize began to get on top with some exciting attacks and some goalkeeping out of the top draw (Josh has turned down an advance from Manchester City citing it would be difficult to get to school every day all the way from Manchester). Unfortunately, against the run of play Hendon scored a scrappy goal. This only made the guys more determined and the effort was doubled; however, Hendon’s defence seamed impregnable, holding back the attacks and corners Alyth threw at them.

At half-time the team were treated to a pep talk from Simon ‘Abramovich’ Cutner, the Alyth Belsize Chairman. The team seemed more interested in whether he had Abramovich’s millions than his  tactics but the talk was much appreciated by the guys and they went out with even more determination, if that was possible.

The second half very much followed the first, the teams evenly matched, with perhaps Alyth Belsize slightly on top but unable to convert the attacks into goals. Unfortunately, Hendon again scored a goal, and despite even more attacking pressure Alyth were unable to get one back.

Despite the result, the enthusiasm and enjoyment the team exude is second to none and a credit to football. Our win will come, and when it does we will hear the biggest cheer in North London.

Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U8
Alyth Belsize White vs Alyth Belsize Black (White perspective)

Before this game against our club ‘rivals’ the team were telling me how excited they were. We played with eight-a-side, so no subs. There were some outstanding performances from the team though overall our passing still needs to be worked on.

We went down a few goals but still didn’t give in and then scored and had a lot of possession in the second half. If we continue like this I am sure that better results will come our way soon.

Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U8
Alyth Belsize Black vs Alyth Belsize White (Black perspective)

Today saw us meet another sister team – Alyth Belsize Whites – for the first time and we played 8-a-side, which meant only one sub in the freezing cold… Our first goal followed a surging right-wing run by Adam Gonen, our captain for the day, who cruised past/through the opposition defenders like they weren’t there.  The ball came through to one of last week’s hat-trick heroes, Sam Mocatta, who had packed his same goal-scoring boots and finished well.

Throughout the first half we passed the ball beautifully and were rewarded by a second courtesy of the whole team and finished by Adam.

In the first half there were few White threats. This was in large part due to Tyler Richards’ role as defensive captain where he was asked to take charge of the line that the defence held throughout the game – great job Tyler!  His partners Oscar Russell and Sam Greenspan helped ensure there was only one scare in the first half – which was coolly snuffed out by Sam Mocatta, showing how to excel at both ends in one half.

In the second half there were two more goals from Adam and Sam Greenspan, with some delightful support play from Daniel Tyler (really impressed with his passing) and Ethan Cantor (ran the attacking show today and deserved a goal for his selfless team performance).  Defensively we remained strong with Tyler, Jack Kanareck and Noah Shapiro holding their line well.  Jack made a stunningly well-timed tackle in the second half that looked thoroughly out of place in an U8 game.  As Whites increasingly threw numbers forward, we were caught out with a well worked goal before Oscar Russell scored our goal of the day – a top corner rasper to bring the score to a satisfying victory.

Move of the day was courtesy of Noah Shapiro, who managed to bamboozle two White defenders so they collided in a heap on his mazy route to goal – this one didn’t end up in the back of the net but it was still great to watch.

Today we asked a lot of the team: firstly the boys were asked to keep the ball below head height throughout the game (including corners and goal kicks) – this builds on the work they do with Ivan on Wednesday training; and secondly, we requested that no goal could be scored without 5 Alyth Black players having touched the ball in the build-up.  Unsurprisingly, given their experience, many of the boys struggle to look up and pass to their team mates and this is something we’re going to continue to work on for the rest of the season.

Jewish News Maccabi Junior Football League U7
Alyth Belsize vs HMH Eilat

With Manager Casey Phillips absent this week it fell to me to look after the match so I roped in experienced Under 11 Red Manager Simon Cutner to assist.

We started brightly enough with Ely Boyd in goal, Zoe Cutner and Tom Dolan in defence, Rafi Rosenfield and Ami Morad in midfield and Ben Craig up front. For the first ten minutes we looked the better team, but then against the run of play HMH scored and from that moment on they were in the driving seat, offering more energy and better concentration.

We were unlucky not to score, with Ben finding himself in front of goal on several occasions but today none of his shots would go in – either safely stopped by HMH’s excellent keeper, going wide or one memorable shot rebounding agonisingly off the post.

In the second half we moved the players around putting Zoe up front to see if she could shake things up, but it wasn’t to be our day.

Ben stood out (and not just because he was wearing green socks!), though everyone did their best, running hard and putting in some good challenges. We have some way to go still and working on passing is a good place to start. So, parents, as per Simon’s advice, set the Sky+ and get the kids watching Match of the Day regularly. Let’s see their game improve as their footballing awareness and vision develop – then I’m sure we’ll be coming out of games like these victorious!

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