A goal from star man Lolu Hibbert earned Jerusalem a 2-1 win over Ashdod in the Hamilton Court FX Olim League.
After a stormy weekend and still some uncertainty as to ‘whether’ the game would still be on, the air dried, (the pitch remained very wet), and left spectators with a cold winter night – perfect football conditions for Jerusalemites. It was game on!
A full-strength squad from Ashdod arrived and ensured to make this game one of the league’s classic fixtures.
The match got off to a flying start with Jerusalem having all the possession. It then went very badly wrong for the home team as on six minutes a defensive lapse allowed in a through ball which their striker pounced on from five yards out and put the visitors 1-0 up.
For the next 40 minutes Jerusalem laid siege on to the Ashdod goal. Their wingers were rampant down both flanks, having about 68 per cent of the possession.
Indeed it appears that Ashdod would go into the break a goal to the good until a throw-in from Ben Rosen landed in Ashdod's penalty area. Hibbert ran onto it and chased the 6’5’’ defender who tried to jockey it out for a goal-kick. Hibbert rounded the defender and ran along the by-line towards the keeper, who thought a low cross was coming in, but a near post strike went in to equalise just before the break.
The second half was a repeat of the first with Jerusalem having most of the possession, with the occasional attack from Ashdod which came to nothing. As the Ashdod team were getting more frustrated a clash between the keeper and Moshe Lewis ignited the game.
The referee had stern words and calm was eventually restored. Play resumed and Jerusalem continued surging forward through midfield and showed more energy and creativity. They had several more opportunities denied by the fantastic Ashdod keeper.
Jerusalem settled the contest five minutes from time. Hibbert latched on to a floated corner and fired home unmarked at the back post.
Man-of-the-match Lolu Hibbert commented: "It was a really hard-fought win for the lads. Well done."
Jerusalem remain unbeaten at home this season.
Elsewhere, a Rani Madmon hat-trick helped Jaffa get back to winning ways as they defeated a resilient Modiin 5-2.
And Raanana destroyed England B 8-1 to move back to the top of the league.