JERUSALEM 2 JAFFA 1
Strikes from Akiva Zneimer and Daniel Cohen earned Jerusalem a hard-fought win over Jaffa in a clash between two of the league's form teams.
The hosts were depleted, with a number of first team regulars sidelined through injury - including top-scorer Zack Lewis. Jaffa went into the game looking for their fifth consecutive victory. The team's fortunes have changed as they were bottom of the table only a few weeks ago and three points here would lift them itno second place.
Historically games between the two have been tight affairs, and chances were at a premium during the first half, with both sides mainly restricted to speculative long-range shots.
Jaffa had a goal ruled out midway through the first half when a shot was tipped on to the bar before bouncing into the path of Sam Silverberg to tap in, but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
A minute later, both sides could have been reduced to 10 men. Some hefty challenges culminated in a clash involving Yosi Sandler and Yoel Finches, but the ref decided to keep the cards in his pockets.
The first half petered out with a few more half chances, but the scoreline remained goalless at the interval.
The second half continued in a similar vein with both defences on top. In the 63rd minute, Jaffa felt aggrieved after appeals for a handball in the Jerusalem area was turned down, with the down, with the referee unsighted. That served a wake-up call and Jerusalem started to get on top and created several good openings.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 71st minute when Cohen cut the ball back into the path of Zneimer who side-footed the ball into the bottom corner to put Jerusalem ahead.
Jerusalem continued to edge the contest, catching Jaffa on the counter, as they pushed up to try and force an equaliser. Jerusalem doubled their lead with 10 minutes to go as Cohen was rewarded for his constant hard work as he scored from a tight angle.
Jaffa took the game to Jerusalem in the closing stages as they desperately tried to get back into the game. They were denied by an excellent save from Daniel Boerstra in the Jerusalem goal, but halved the deficit in the 88th minute as a well-worked move was expertly finished by Adi Ginsberg to set up a frantic few minutes. Jerusalem held on for a hard earned three points that saw them leapfrog Jaffa in the table.
Jerusalem: Daniel Boerstra; Danny Sigal, Natan Wiesenberg, Dan Kosky, David Preston; Akiva Zneimer, Chaim Lev, Eyal Toledo, Yoel Finches; Daniel Cohen, Moishe Lewis. Subs: Lolu Hibbert, Yigal Grayeff, Calev Ben Dor
Goals: Akiva Zneimer, Daniel Cohen
Jaffa: Nir HaCohen, Sam Silverberg, Yosi Sandler, Sam Rudick, Simon Berkley, Benjy Gilbert, Tomer Schwartz, Gilad Becker, Josh Silverberg, Ben Aboudi, Rani Madmon, Adi Ginsberg, Nir Madmon, Aviram Sheetrit
Goal: Adi Ginsberg
Man-of-the-match: Daniel Cohen (Jerusalem)