Raiders boss dismisses ‘daft’ title talk
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Raiders boss dismisses ‘daft’ title talk

Jonathan Adelman sees side make it three wins from three, but is only looking to be competitive in every game.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Jake Gilbert steers home Raiders' fourth goal. Picture: Amy Leigh
Jake Gilbert steers home Raiders' fourth goal. Picture: Amy Leigh

North London Raiders B manager Jonathan Adelman says his side are not focusing on the title, but rather on being competitive in every game.

MGBSFL Division One:
Faithfold B 3 NL Raiders B 7
Sunday, 25 September, 2016

(MATCH PHOTOS)
(GOALS PACKAGE & MATCH HIGHLIGHTS TO FOLLOW)

North London Raiders B moved three points clear at the top of the table as they claimed their third straight win of the season with what was an ultimately comfortable victory.

However, refusing to get carried away with their flying start, Adelman said: “Anyone talking about the title at this stage is daft! It’s a very long season and the league is going to be competitive. Every week the results will depend on whether sides can put out their strongest XI. All we can do is aim to be competitive in each game.”

The first 45 minutes certainly proved to be competitive, with the sides going into half-time level at 2-2. David Esterkin and Jake Gilbert both fired them ahead, though Jonny Horwitz and Dan Kosky both equalised.

The second half proved to be a different matter though, as Alex Goodman’s double, along with strikes from Jake GilbertDanny Bloom and Will Ufland sealed an ultimately emphatic win.

Reflecting back on the game, Adelman said: “To be honest it took until the second half for us to figure out the best way to play on a narrow and very fast surface. Once we realised that short passing and good movement was key, we did much better. Overall it wasn’t a great performance however, our finishing was a real highlight, we scored some excellent goals including a ripper of a free-kick from Danny Bloom and a sumptuous long-range effort from Will Ufland.

“I think the boys know that we weren’t on it in the first half, regardless of anything Zack or I said at half-time, the boys knew they had to up their level in the second half, which they did.

“We also knew that with Faithfold missing important players and not having any substitutes, the higher tempo we played the more they would tire – it’s not a surprise that our flurry of goals came after the hour mark.

“I feel for Rob and Dan – it’s tough enough running a Sunday football side without players pulling out at late notice and leaving your plans in tatters. When they can get all their best players on the pitch they will cause problems for anyone in the division.”

Also commenting on the penalty incident, when Faithfold had a spot kick at 5-2, and scored it, only for the referee to disallow it for a staggered run-up and award Raiders a free-kick, he said: “I know they were incensed at the ref’s decision to give an indirect free-kick for the stuttered run up for the penalty. I happen to think it’s a daft rule but in fairness all the clubs were made aware of the law changes before the season started and I’m not sure the ref’s have any choice but to implement the letter of the laws of the game.”

The only down side for the visitors was an injury picked up by Esterkin. “He suffered a broken shoulder today which will keep him out for a few months”, Adelman said. “A cruel blow for such an important player who missed all of last season with injury. We all wish him a speedy recovery.”

While not entertaining talk of the title, he is though happy with their start. “You’ve got to be happy with three wins from three” he said, “but we know that we not as compact and controlled this week as we were against Scrabble.”

(MATCH PHOTOS)
(GOALS PACKAGE & MATCH HIGHLIGHTS TO FOLLOW)

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