Ra’anana climbed joint-top of the JC Olim League after completing a 5-3 victory over Aviv City.
In the weekend’s only match, City, who went into the game without a win, started faster and more positively. They came out of the blocks well, forcing a couple of fine saves from keeper Robin Burkeman Ra’aana.
It was City who made the breakthrough after 10 minutes. A great move and Daniel Rahamin set up Ben Nassim who fired home from an acute angle – the first time that City have led a game.
Ra’anana responded well and received the encouragement they needed when a well struck long free kick by central defender Vaughn Margolias saw a horrific goal-keeping error by Aviv keeper, Amnon Portner, with the ball slipping through his hands and into the goal.
The visitors then settled into a rhythm with Kanichowsky brothers - Rafi and Naftali playing up front - who eventually managed to get a through ball across the back line for Rafi to tuck away from a left field run.
A third goal by Ariel Langer in a one-on-one and then a fourth all in the first half confirmed the defensive problems Aviv City have been having all season.
Man of the match left back Rafi Shachat then played the ball through to Naftali Kanichowsky who produced another quality finish to match his brother’s early effort.
4-1 down at half time, Aviv managed to recompose themselves at the beginning of the second half but an unforgivable miss by co-manager Uri Schneider, two yards out and facing an open goal, would have made it 4-2 and given Aviv City a chance. It was not to be and instead Ra’anana made it 5-1 in 65th minute.
Aviv City still showed great character and instead of dropping their heads, they kept battling and actually pulled two goals back. It was all too little, too late and Ra’anana held on 5-3 victors taking them joint top with England FC.
Ra’anana manager Avi Wiesenberg said: “Credit to Aviv. They continued to give us a game for most of the 90 minutes even when 5-1 down. We played well and continue to improve. When we get the chance to settle into a rhythm we have the ability to play some fantastic football.
“It is still very open and we have some tough games coming but I think we showed we could be title contenders.”
Avit City manager Richard Binstock said: “We needed this one, but yet again, a horrendous first half with unnecessary goals conceded, left us too much to do. We finish 2010 without a single win which is not great for a debut season to a club.”
Next week it's Jaffa v Jerusalem and England go up to Netanya.