Hendon Hawks derby finishes all square
Hendon Hawks Rangers held the seven-a-side league champions, Hendon Hawks Rovers to a 1-1 draw for the second time this season.
Hendon Hawks Rangers were determined to get something out of this game and began the Hawks derby adopting defensive tactics. The Rangers were confident that they could keep the free-scoring Hendon Hawks Rovers at bay with the offside trap and men behind the ball. The Rovers passed the ball confidently but midfielders, Joel Leighton, Ben Levi and Yossi Sheldon thwarted their attacks by closing down the Rovers players quickly and effectively.
Captain Shmuli Miller led the Rangers defensive line together with Jonathan Bush and Alexander Lewin forcing the Rovers into numerous offside positions to deny them goal-scoring opportunities.
The Rangers counter-attack caused the Rovers defence some problems in the first half but Matti Karp was on hand to clear up any loose balls.
Both teams went in at half time all square but it was the Rangers who were the happier team.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with the Rangers looking to soak up the pressure. However, the Rovers pressure soon paid off with Avishai Marcus breaking through the heart of the defence to strike across goal into the bottom right hand corner.
The Rangers approach to the game immediately changed with a tactical decision resulting in two strikers and the holding midfielders being allowed to push forward to support the attack and apply some pressure on the Rovers' goal. This decision saw Rangers gain control of the game as they dominated possession and carved out numerous opportunities. The Rangers rattled the post once and had a number of shots fly just wide of the target. Eventually the pressure paid off with Joel Leighton scoring from the edge of the penalty area to bring the Rangers level.
The game became really open with both teams going for the win. Yossi Sheldon had plenty of chances to put the Rangers in front, as did the Rovers top goalscorer, David Amor, who was either caught offside or stopped by Alexander Lewin or man-of-the-match Shmuli Miller.
Isaac Fahidi ensured that the Rangers gained a point with some excellent goalkeeping throughout the game.