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Champions end Ra'anana's winning run

    Surprise package Ra'anana hosted last year's champions England FC last night with the tails high after winning all three of their opening games in the Hamilton Court FX Olim League.

    The game was tense from the off with neither team able to take control or create any chances of note.

    It would take something special to break the deadlock and that is what the travelling fans got when Lewis Kaye laid the ball to Yoni Sidi who on the volley from 25 yards blasted the ball into the top corner.

    Ra'anana changed their tactics, pushing more bodies forward towards the end of the half to look to get back into the game.

    England also sat back far too much and were punished when with the last kick of the half Gabi Schachat scrambled the ball home from a throw in that caused havoc in the England box.

    England seemed to step up a few gears in the second half and missed a host off clear-cut opportunities that should have killed the game off as they were able to play their flowing football.

    They came close to scoring when Daniel Scott rose at the back post to smash a header against the bar.

    Moments later, Roy was left all alone with only the keeper to beat but dragged his shot wide.

    Ra'anana found their passing game in the beginning of the second half, but only temporarily. They came close the England's box only a handful of times, with the closest chance through Ariel Langer's free kick, which scraped the top of the bar.

    England eventually took a deserved lead when Zac danced his way to the edge of the area and place the ball in the corner leaving the keeper helpless.

    England didn't stop there and were still pressing for another and whilst Ariel the England keeper was a spectator all half the Ra'anana keeper was alert to keep out Tal Stern and Yarden Barness.

    Ra'anana were keeping men up the field, with midfielder Danny Rebuck moving the ball up towards the forwards, but leaving holes at the back that England just couldnt capitalise on until with five minutes to go when Yarden flicked on to Aviv Shapir who calmly rounded the keeper to slot home into the empty net.

    England FC player-manager Yoni Sidi said: "Today we played as a team and as the season has gone on, we have got better and better.

    "I never doubted us and knew it would take time and as David Beckham said this week - "lots of people have been talking about us and it is nice to prove them wrong".

    "We won every ball tonight and could have had a lot more goals but they will come. I am over the moon with the result and the performance of all the players."

    Avi Cohen, Ra'anana's co-manager, said: "We just did not get into the game. England came out strong and deserved the win.

    With many games still to go during the season, we will need to fix our mistakes and keep our heads up. There are still many games to go."

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