Fierce rivals England and FC Jaffa were forced to share the points in the latest round of matches in the Hamilton FX Olim League.
Jaffa and England locked horns on Saturday night as the title chase continued. Last week, Rannana’s unbeaten run was broken by Jerusalem and both Jaffa and England came into the fixture knowing that three points would put them right back in contention for the title.
Jaffa started off the brighter with some excellent runs from pacey winger Nir Hacohen, but England led by Yoni Sidi were not looking to give away anything cheaply as young starlet Jakob Kalms and Josh Hantman kept the England fighting spirit up.
Jaffa seemed more up for it as they introduced subs Diana Redman and Rama Crevato to pile more pressure on England but It seemed that both teams were lacking the final ball and would go into the half goalless.
However, it was Jaffa who broke the deadlock on the 38th minutes. Having won a corner, centre half Stephen Caffrey rose perfectly to head the corner in the back of the net 1-0 Jaffa.
At half time both teams had a lot to talk about. Jaffa’s coach Peter Berkeley and England captain Yoni Sidi both knew a win was achievable and they sent their teams out with a lot more passion and aggression to the second half which resulted in the inevitable cards that seem to be part and parcel of this derby. With just a few minutes of the second half being played Roy Ben Zihou added another goal to his tally with a header from a Josh Hantman free kick, 1-1.
Minutes later Jaffa’s Rama Crevato was sent off for a vindictive foul just outside the box and a lot of focus was then brought on to a challenge by Hantman on the first female player in the league, Dianna Redman, which Hantman managed to escape a red card for.
England’s half time substitutes Jonathan Binke and Ben Zihou were proving to give Jaffa a run for their money and a 10-man Jaffa were rapidly tiring, but there was to be another twist to the tale as England’s center mid JJ wrestled a Jaffa player to the floor and received the second red card of the day, reducing England to 10 men.
Yoni Sidi who had received a yellow earlier in the game was cautioned again after tangling with Jaffa’s Nir Madmon and the game seemed to be headed to a bitter ended draw.
With minutes left England’s midfielder Thomas took a free kick which majestically managed to curl over the wall but he was denied by the post and the final whistle came.
Man of the Match: Nir Madmon (Jaffa)