Hamilton FX Olim League round-up: March 11
A goal from Lolu Hibbert and a late brace from Calev Ben-Dor saw Jerusalem maintain thier title challenge with a 3-0 victory over England B.
Both teams started the game brightly, yet England B were made to pay for an early penalty miss when a mix-up between two England defenders allowed the skillful Ben Rosen to dribble down the left and pull back for the irrepressible Hibbert to side-foot a shot beyond the keeper for his ninth of the season.
England B looked to hit back immediately, but Jerusalem's backline – marshalled expertly by the evergreens Dan Kosky and Danny Newman – weathered a classic English storm.
The second half began tensely with chances for both sides. However, England's hopes of a comeback were dealt a heavy blow when Jerusalem striker Moishe Lewis sped down the left and Ben-Dor met his pinpoint pass with a powerful drive from the edge of the box that flew past the despairing England keeper and into the roof of the net.
Despite their valiant efforts, England could find no way through Jerusalem's unflappable stand-in keeper Jason Lurie, and as the clock wound down, another Lewis cross from the left was dummied by the onrushing David Preston, allowing Ben-Dor the time and space to calmly curl the ball into the net with the last kick of the game.
The result means the Yellows go marching on, and now sit only two points behind league leaders Rananna with three games left to play.
Jaffa FC 4 Aviv City 1
Jaffa FC ran out 4-1 winners over Aviv City in their latest Hamilton FX Olim League match.
With both teams effectively out of the title challenge after losses last week, Jaffa and Aviv met on a warm night in Jaffa. Both teams came out looking for an early goal, with Nir Ha’Cohen forcing Aviv’s goalkeeper, Rob Bradman, into an excellent save after a long field pass from Rani Madmon.
After half an hour, Jaffa broke the deadlock with a highlight real goal - Simon Berkley floated in a perfectly weighted cross and Madmon’s bicycle kick floated over Bradman.
Jaffa continued to surge forward, though Aviv held resolute with Yossi Navarro anchoring an impressive backline and ensuring the score line remained 1-0 at half time.
The second half whistle saw Aviv push forward in hope of finding an equaliser. They were duly rewarded within 10 minutes when a long-range shot from Ariel Peretz found the top right-hand corner.
With Aviv committing more numbers forward looking for another goal, Jaffa scored a goal against the run of play. Ha'Cohen picked up the ball on the edge of the box, and his powerful half volley left Bradman with no chance.
Bradman continued to keep Aviv in the game, keeping out a free-kick and denying Madmon on the counter-attack. However, his luck ran out when Eyal Hoffman found Madmon on the edge of the box, and the striker placed the ball in the left corner.
Aviv were finding it harder to get through Jaffa's defence, which was brilliantly marshalled by Argentinean debutant Esi Bildosola and Daniel Berkeley.
Berkeley sealed the points in the close stages with a close-range volley following a corner from Asaf Shapira corner, leaving Jaffa as worthy 4-1 winners.
Aviv City's next match sees them take on league contenders Jerusalem, who are a two points behind Ra’anana, who will be playing Jaffa next week.
With only a few games remaining, these fixtures are likely to be key in deciding who will likely unseat England FC as 2011/12 Anglo League champions.