English flounder in Holland


We Hate Arsenal Football Club (WHAFC) finished 15th at the Jom Havoetbal competition in Amstelveen, Holland.

The only English team at the event after South Manchester Maccabi withdrew, they failed to win a match in a tournament won by local team Maccabi Tennis, who last won the title in 1993.

Adam Lustigman's men went down to a controversial penalty in the opener against LJG Rotterdam. Eventual runners-up Laromme put the north Londoners to the sword 4-0 in the next match. The final group match ended in a 3-1 defeat against Ark Van Tof with Ben Simons grabbing a consolation.

The Plate Playoff clash against Ijar United was decided on penalties after a brace from Darren Saffer resulted in a 2-2 draw. Zuriel Solomon and Saffer failed to hit the target.

WHAFC's squad became depleted when Saffer, James Bloom and Nick Roman picked up injuries. Saffer was unable to continue after hurting his knee, re-enacting an incident that he felt should have led to the award of a penalty with teammate Jason Friend.

Keen to avoid the wooden spoon, WHAFC lined up against Schmattes in their final playoff match for 14/15th place. They found themselves 4-0 down after 15 minutes with Lustigman and co confused by their opponents' celebrations for the opening goal, only to later find out that it was their first of the competition. Simons pulled two back but it was too little, too late.

WHAFC player-manager Adam Lustigman said: "It all went according to plan. We ate well, slept well, walked loads, sat down loads and came last in the football without winning a game.

"The weekend started badly when the team was told that the hotel chief had burnt down the kitchen which meant that there would be no hot breakfasts.

"Everything that we expected happened, apart from the fact that we scored more goals. I hope that the fact that we went out on penalties is not a bad omen for the World Cup. We choked."

WHAFC: David Garson (Faithfold), Zuriel Solomon (Faithfold) Jamie Lustigman (Camden Park), Darren Saffer (Camden Park), Nick Roman (Faithfold), Jerry Asher (Faithfold), Ben Simons (Faithfold), James Bloom (Faithfold Masters), Andy Hearn (Faithfold Masters), Neville Roach (North London Raiders Masters), Jason Friend, Jay Beckman. Player-manager: Adam Lustigman (Faithfold Masters)

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