On a warm Tel Aviv night England FC and Jaffa took to the pitch to do battle once again.
It was England who got out the blocks quickly, taking the lead inside the first minute. Gabi Balulu chased a ball down into the left hand corner and his hooked cross was only flicked on by the Jaffa defender. Motti Colman anticipated the header and found himself in acres of space on the six-yard line. He made no mistake firing the ball on the half-volley into the corner of the net to give England the early advantage.
The game was being played at a frenetic pace, but it was England who still looked the most likely to score. New signing Zak White was proving to be a real handful up front, whilst the returning Tomer “Rio” Saban looked very assured in defence.
However, it was Jaffa who were to strike next. Within two minutes of the start of the second half, Jaffa had their equalizer. A free-kick floated over the England defence was tracked by Yonni Shelmo, but under pressure he miskicked his clearance back across the keeper for an unfortunate own goal. Jaffa were starting to look more dangerous and with Stephen Caffree marshalling the Jaffa defence superbly, whilst also being the starting point for all attacks.
A substitution from England saw Roy Ben Zihou replace Gabi Balulu, and this pushed Colman into central midfield. Within moments the switch paid off. Receiving the ball 35 yards out from goal, Colman managed to find space away from the ever watchful Hoffman, before hitting a piledriver that crashed off the underside of the bar before bouncing up into the roof of the net.
England had a number of good chances but were unable to convert. It was left to Sam Silverberg to make England rue the missed chances. Picking up the ball inside the England half he skipped past a couple of challenges before rifling an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards to pull the scores level with just eight minutes remaining.
But England picked themselves up and pushed themselves forward looking for the winner. Colman now turned provider. Picking up the ball midway inside the Jaffa half out towards the right touchline it looked like he was going nowhere, but finding a yard of space he was able to dig out a sumptuous 40-yard diagonal through ball that tempted the keeper off his line, but was met first by Ben Zihou. Leaping like a salmon he bravely reached the ball before the fist of the Jaffa stand keeper, Elias Sandler, and his header lifted the ball over his flailing arms into the net to cue wild celebrations from the England bench.
England manager, the jubilant Terry Newman, said after the game: “This is the second time in two weeks that our substitute striker has come off the bench and scored a crucial goal in the last minute of the game. It shows the importance of every member of the squad and the team spirit in our club. We are so much more than a football team. We are a family that fights for each other until the last minute. Long may England FC thrive and propser.”