Onwards and upwards for five-star Jerusalem
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JERUSALEM 5 RA'ANANA 1
Jerusalem continued their march up the table with a convincing 5-1 victory over a strong Ra'anana side.
A few weeks ago, Jerusalem flew out the traps scoring after just 23 seconds in an entertaining 4-4 draw between the same two sides.
Although not quite so quick off the mark this time, the hosts almost took the lead within the first two minutes, when Zack Lewis's goal-bound shot was expertly tipped over by the Ra'anana keeper for a corner. The rreturning Calev Ben Dor's flag-kick was expertly headed into the net by make-shift centre-back Eyal Toledo with less than three minutes on the clock.
Ra'anana almost hit back immediately with a free-kick on the edge of the box that forced a fine finger-tip save from new signing Daniel Boestra. He came to Jerusalem's rescue again after a misunderstanding in the Jerulsam midfield.
Jerusalem then played their best half hour of football this season, as they went on attack after attack, only to be thwarted time and again by the phenomenal Ra'anana keeper.
The hosts eventually doubled their lead when Akiva Zneimer ended a great run by releasing Moishe Lewis who fired home with confidence.
It was almost 3-0 a minute later but Lolu Hibbert's wicked shot from another corner was stopped on the line by a Ra'anana defender, who knew very little about it, resulting in a nose bleed and enforced substituion.
Jerusalem continued to attack, and four minutes before the interval, after Zneimer made it 3-0 after a flowing passing move.
Ra'anana started the second half the stronger and almost pulled one back when Danny Rebuck's shot from 30 yards was tipped onto the bar by Boestra.
Jerusalem soaked up the first five minutes of Ra'anana pressure and started getting back in their free-flowing game. A series of shots were well saved by the Ra'anana keeper, but Jerusalem got their fourth when Gav Cohen scored at the second attempt, after his first effort was well saved.
Ra'anana pulled one back on 70 minutes when an excellent through ball found Nathan Ben Ari whose composed finished gave the away side a glimmer of hope. They almost clawed back a second 4 minutes later, but the free-kick came back off the post.
Zack Lewis put the game to bed with 15 minutes to go with a great piece of individual skill, juggling the ball in the area over a defender before lobbing the keeper.
In the closing quarter of an hour, Ra'anana had two shouts for a penalty - the first controversially turned down by the referee, the second correctly awarded as a free-kick on the edge of the area. Either way, the decisions would not have changed the result as Jerusalem finished the stronger with another gilt-edged chance missed by Moishe Lewis, before the final whistle went and three well-earned points for the hosts.
Jerusalem: Daniel Boestra; Yoel Finches, Eyal Toledo, Dan Kosky, David Preston; Calev Ben Dor, Gav Cohen, Lollu Hibbert, Amit Dinowitz; Daniel Cohen, Zack Lewis. Subs: Yigal Grayeff, Akiva Zneimer, Moishe Lewis