England FC win JC Olim League

By Danny Caro, February 23, 2011
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England FC clinched the JC Olim League title a completing a 4-1 victory over Ashdod.

Ashdod came to Tel Aviv for a top-of-the-table clash. England went into the game knowing that victory along with other results going their way would see them crowned champions.

The result never looked in doubt as England forged ahead courtesy of a header from Daniel Scott after 10 minutes.

England carried on probing the Ashdod defence and were rewarded when Yaron Galinsky played in Josh Portnoi who slotted past the Ashdod keeper.

The game was getting niggly as Ashdod nicked a goal on the counter to go into the break only a goal down.

With tempers flaring, England managed to keep their cool and the magnificent Portnoi raced through to make it 3 1.

England hit the bar several times till Yarden Bar Nes pounced after the Ashdod keeper spilled a shot from Tal Stern.

With time running out, Ashdod finally lost their cool as trouble flared following a late challenge from Scott.

Sadly, the game was halted five minutes from time but the result stands.

As the full time whistle, blew, news filtered in that Jerusalem had done England a favour and the title was confirmed.

England captain Yoni Sidi said: “I’m over the moon with the football we played. It was a pleasure to play in and we fully deserved the victory.

“When Josh Portnoi is in that form he is unstoppable, and overall the whole squad has been brilliant.

“We are unbeaten and conceded four goals only.

“We still have a few more games and the cup to play for so we won't stop here."
Elsewhere, Jerusalem beat Jaffa in an enthralling encounter.

Jerusalem welcomed Jaffa to the capital in the first game at their new home pitch in the intimidating shadow of the Katamonim housing estates.

The home team started the stronger and were 1-0 up after centre back Dan Kosky netted with a bullet header from a corner after five minutes.

The lead was extended after a stunning 30-yard strike from Mexican wizard Misa Guarneros.

It was soon 3-0 as excellent link-up play down the right from Avishai Kestenbaum and Yigal Grayeff allowed Eran Ben Ari to score from close range.

It was not plain sailing for Jerusalem who struggled to cope with long diagonal passes out of the Jaffa defence. This left them exposed on one occasion as Josh Berkeley finished off a weighted pass by Tito Elias

Jerusalem restored their three-goal advantage on the stroke of half time when veteran midfielder Raffi Wreschner confidently converted.

Jaffa continued to show fight in the second half and had a second attack cleared off the line. However it was Jerusalem who extended their advantage to 5-1 after striker Ben Ari grabbed his second as he blasted home from a tight angle inside the box.

With half an hour remaining Jaffa reinvigorated the game with two quickfire goals to give them hope. As this end to end battle unfolded the local support urged on the home team and Raffi Wreschner claimed his second of the game. This was followed by Eli Warner who added his name to the score sheet and made the score 7-3.

Still, not finished again Jaffa rallied and converted a penalty, followed by a fifth and a sixth goal with the last kick of the game.

Jerusalem held on 7-6 to record a vital win at their new home.

The teams meet again next week in the quarter finals of the cup.

    Last updated: 10:18am, February 23 2011