Olim review: February 12
England A got their title bid back on track with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Ashdod.
They went into the game looking to bounce back from last week's defeat to Aviv and they made the better start, with some neat passing moves leading to numerous chances but Omri Hamama and Yarden failed to hit the target.
The opening goal came through centre back Tommer who rose above the keeper and two defenders to meet a Gaby free kick and give the champions the lead on the half hour.
Ashdod’s best chance came when Ariel tipped a close range shot on to the bar. The rebound fell kindly to the Ashdod striker, who had the whole goal at his mercy, but he was unable to get the ball out from his feet the opportunity went begging.
Ashdod had the ball in the net with their next attack when a ball over the top was met by Jean who took it early and buried the ball into the corner to take the teams level at half time.
Having finished the first half on the back foot, England stepped up a gear in the opening stages of the second half. They regained the upper hand when Yarden latched onto a short back pass and calmly slotted past the keeper to make it 2-1.
England fans did not have long to wait for a third goal as a great sweeping move started from the back found its way to Omri Hamama who blasted the ball into the top corner to make it 3-1.
England continued to threaten and rattled the woodwork on more than one occasion, but the next goal came from Ashdod from the penalty spot to set up a grandstand finish.
Ashdod pushed men forward but the England defence stood firm to cement the victory that puts them in second place in what looks like being an interesting finale to the season.
England player-manager Yoni Sidi said: "Again, we created enough chances to win the game by a rugby score but we are just lacking a bit in the final third to finish the game off.
"Credit to Ashdod who are a much better team than last year with some very skillful players and I am sure they will start winning soon."
Elswhere, Aviv City recorded an emphatic 5-1 win over Modiin.
Having beaten Modiin 4-1 earlier in the season, Aviv were confident of maintaining their title challenge, but an upset looked on the cards early on as Modiin's pacy youngsters enjoyed plenty of possessiona and created a plethora of chances.
However, Aviv soon took control of the game with player-manager Richard Binstock winnning the ball in midfield, spinning on a six-pence and flicking the ball on to Ariel Peretz who ran through to slot home.
It was 2-0 a minute later as the influential Binstock released Nigerian Remi Ozoagu with a flick of the head for the striker to power home.
Aviv's superiority began to tell as two quickfire strikes from Adam Jaffe saw them open up a 4-0 lead.
Aviv took their foot off the gas at the start of the second half and although Modiin saw more of the ball, they could not stop man-of-the-match Jaffe from completing his hat-trick with a superb solo effort.
Modiin grabbed a consolation when Aviv keeper, Lior, was caught in two minds over a backpass, allowing Matan Kroizer to seize on the loose ball and bundled it in.
England A 3 Ashdod 2
Aviv City 5 Modiin 1
Jerusalem 4 Raanana 2
Jaffa vs England B - postponed