With the last instalment a longer edition, I’m going to leave the schedule and league table below and then just discuss any talking points and summarise what’s happened over the course of the next section of games.
We hit 20 league games and things have been good in the league so far. We’ve continued our good start in the league while stuttering a bit in the State Cup, both cup fixtures went to extra time and on both occasions, we didn’t perform to the same level as we have been in the league. The ‘Eighth Final’ round we eventually went out in thankfully was the expectation from the board, but from a personal standpoint, a cup run would’ve been great for our rep, especially with our earlier disappointment in the Toto Cup.
Kutalia is the top scorer at the club this stage, with 11 in 20. Right winger Ganon leads the assists with 8 and leads the average rating for the team with a 7.14. Despite this, it’s been the left sided forward Joof who has impressed me the most, as an IF (A) he is a constant threat, he has developed an excellent relationship with Kutalia, who it feels more often than not is the provider when Joof scores. Joof has notched 9 times in the league and has 5 assists, not far from either Kutalia or Ganon who lead their respective stats.
Out 21st game of the season came against 2nd placed Hapoel Petach-Tikva. So I wanted to summarise this one as it’s the best indicator to show if we are performing above our station so far, or if we do in fact have enough about us to compete at the top of this division.
We started excellently, 60 percent possession and all the chances coming our way, we opened our account with that man Joof, a ball whipped in from Shreh the right-back saw Joof peel off his marker and was unopposed as he tapped in at the far post. At half-time it was all smiles, 1-0 up and defensively exceptional, just 1 shot, which didn’t hit the target from Tikva, we were more than good value for our lead. We didn’t take long to make it 2-0, left-back Malul crossed deep into the edge of the area and Ganon met it on the half volley and fired home, a goal fitting of a player with his quality.
After being dominate and comfortable throughout, Tikva managed to score 2 late goals, a ball over the top into the left of the box on the 87th minute was met first time over the shoulder on the volley at which crept into the near post. After holding on it was one of those sucker punch Football Manager goals, again a ball launched forward towards the edge of the box was met by Tikva stiker bringing it down, for Abeba (our CB) to make an excellent last ditch slide tackle, which of course went towards the goal and was met by an unmarked Alterovich to tap in and steal a point. Sickening.
We bounced back in some style in the next game, 4-0 inside 20 minutes saw some of the best attacking play we’ve managed this season. Kutalia with a hat trick in that time, Joof made it 4 before Ganon completed our front line goal scorers just before half-time. It finished 5-1, 5 goals from 1.38 suggest a slight overperformance on the day, extremely clinical and a good way to bounce back from the previous disappointment.
UP NEXT… END OF SEASON 1