Adam Hersh crowned his first start of the season with a match-winning hat-trick as Los Blancos sealed their place in the quarter-finals by knocking out cup giant-killers FC Team.
Cyril Anekstein Cup Third Round
Los Blancos 5 FC Team C 2
Sunday, 17 November, 2013
Team, leaders of Division Two, had beaten Premier Division side London Lions White in the previous round and were looking to see if lightning could strike twice, against a Blancos side are struggling at the foot of the Division One table.
But believing his side’s higher-division status saw them prevail, Blancos joint-manager Jonathan Ison said: “I thought we bossed the game and certainly deserved to come out as winners. It wasn’t easy as the pitch was not so great, but our superiority certainly showed.
“The difference was our quality with the ball on the floor. FC Team are not tall, but they were very good in the air. When we got it on the floor and played the football we know we can, we created chances.”
And praising both of his Adam’s – Hersh and captain Adam Waters, he said: “I think both Adams stood out in terms of stand-out performances for us. Hersh got a hat-trick on his first start for us this season, finishing it off with a well taken penalty, while Waters captained by example. They couldn’t deal with his surging runs, when he took on four or five players at a time!”
Starting the brighter of the sides, Blancos went ahead midway through the first half when Darren Russell converted from the penalty slot. However, their lead didn’t last for long and the visitors were back on level terms ten minutes before the break when David Joseph Cohen headed home from an inch-perfect free-kick.
Buoyed by their equaliser, Team started the second half brightly and felt they should have had a penalty of their own, though the referee waved away their appeals. They were all the more aggrieved as Blancos went straight down the other end and went ahead through Jono Gaon’s neat finish.
Hersh then claimed his first of the morning to give the home side some breathing space, lobbing home from 20 yards, before he bundled in his second from a corner.
Cohen gave Team a glimmer of hope with his second of the morning, scoring from the spot, but Hersh completed the scoring and his hat-trick when with the last kick of the game, he converted the third spot kick of the match.
Admitting the turning point of the match was seeing Team denied a penalty, and then going ahead from the resulting attack, Ison said: “The penalty shout being rejected, then us going straight down the other end and scoring was crucial. Our tails were up, and they just started to moan at the referee, which deflected their attentions from actually trying to get back in the game. From then on we never looked back and continued to solidify our winning position.
“I think the scoreline tells the right story. I can remember our goalkeeper making one top save in the game, otherwise we were not too troubled. They had a fair few corners, but we dealt with them well.”
Into the last eight of the Cup, but not having enjoyed the best of starts in the League, he added: “We are on a run of three wins out of three at the moment, and hope to make that four out of four this Sunday against Neasden. The league is so tight that we could be in the top half if we win on Sunday, which we would be very pleased with.
“We want to end the season in the top half of the table, which is definitely well within reach. We’re in the quarter-finals of the Cup and our confidence is high.”