OLIM LEAGUE CUP FINAL
JERUSALEM 5 ENGLAND FC 2
Two goals from Moishe Lewis helped Jerusalem crush England FC’s double hopes as they won a compelling Olim Cup final 5-2.
England went into the game as favourites having recently clinched the league title, but with only 12 men available, they were missing some key players including Tal Stern, Omer Peleg, Jacob Kalms, and keeper Ariel Solomon. Roy Zenou started between the sticks, and both Lewis Kaye and Daniel Scott are in the squad despite lacking match fitness.
Jerusalem went into the game with a full-strength squad other than centre half Natan Weisenberg who was replaced by the veteran Danny Newman. Eli Warner was preferred to start as lone striker ahead of Lewis Kaye.
Motti Colman had the first chance of the game inside three minutes but his speculative lob forced a smart save
from Fran Salgado in the Jerusalem goal.
The pace of Adam Jaffe kept the Jerusalem defence on their toes, but the stood firm before going in front after 13 minutes. England keeper Roy Zenou was at fault, fumbling a seemingly harmless shot into the path of Eli
Warner and the former North West Neasden marksman made no mistake from close range.
The match became niggly, with both teams putting in some strong challenges as the Jerusalem backline proved hard for England to break down.
Jerusalem made an early change midway through the half, with the combative midfielder Jason Lurie thrown into the action at the expense of Rafi Wreschner.
Warner was causing all sorts of problems to the England defence, linking up well with Avi Korman. Akiva Zniemer almost doubled the lead only to be denied by the woodwork with Zenou beaten.
With Jerusalem’s Gav Cohen and Avi Korman dominating the midfield exchanges, England were relieved to hear the half time whistle trailing by a single goal.
England rejigged things at the start of the second half, with Zenou moving outfield and Terry Newman taking the gloves. He was soon called into action, saving well from Amit Dinowitz and Lolu Hibbert in quick succession.
Jerusalem doubled the lead on 56 minutes when Zneimer evaded the offside trap to fire a low shot past Newman.
England then made their third change in goal when Newman returned outfield, with former FC Heath striker Lewis Kaye going between the posts.
England enjoyed a good spell, with Chad Waldman missing a gilt-edged opportunity before Kaye was called into action to deny the dangerous Zneimer.
Livewire Jaffe then hauled England back into the game, drilling the ball under Jerusalem keeper Fran Salgado. It wasn’t the best of strikes but it gives England the lifeline they needed.
The game was turned on its head a minute later as England drew level. Nicky Plotnek delivered a peach of a cross that was fumbled by Salgado, allowing Tomer Saban an easy tap-in from five yards.
England had barely finished celebrating their equaliser but parity was restored just 30 seconds later as Dinowitz placed a terrific curler past Kaye from the edge of the area.
The England keeper breathed a sigh of relief minutes later as he was shown a yellow card after a wild challenge on Daniel Cohen outside of the area.
The introduction of Cohen caused all sorts of problems to the England defence. It appeared England only had one answer to his rampaging runs, with Josh Hantman the next to clatter into him.
Jerusalem moved into a 4-2 lead as Lewis is rewarded for his hard work as he turned past Yoni Sidi inside the England box and slotted the ball in.
The drama increased as Hantman was shown a second yellow card following a challenge on Jason Lurie, that forced him off, but the referee forgot to pull out his red card.
Lewis ended England’s hopes of a comeback two minutes from time with another composed finish past Kaye to wrap up a 5-2 victory.
David Preston said: "To win some silverware for the second consecutive year is a real achievement.
"The team has been made to work hard all season and this trophy is a fitting reward for their efforts."
England player-manager Yoni Sidi commented:"“Well played Jerusalem, and especially Danny Newman and Dave
Preston who were deserved winners. They soaked up our pressure well and played a good game-plan to counter-attack us.
"Kosky and Newman were like rocks at the back and I think the crowd saw the two best teams in the league tonight go toe to toe and it was a great game.
"We were missing some key players and that was disappointing, but my lads have given it everything like they have done all season."
"We're happy we won the league and will need to come back stronger next year if we want to win the cup."
Jerusalem: Fran Salgado, Yoel Finches, David Preston, Danny Newman, Dan Kosky (capt), Avi Korman, Rafi Wreschner, Gav Cohen, Amit Dinowitz, Akiva Zneimer, Eli Warner. Subs: Lollu Hibbert, Mosihe Lewis, Jason Lurie, Daniel Cohen
England: Roy Zenou, Yuval, Terry Newman, Yoni Sidi, Tomer Saban, Motti Colman, Nicky Plotnek, Josh Hantman, Lewis Kaye, Adam Jaffe, Chad Waldman. Sub: Daniel Scott