LEEDS Maccabi maintained their Manchester Jewish Soccer League title challenge with a thrashing of Manchester Maccabi Blue.
A hat-trick from Oli Abrahamson and a Nick Vale strike, together with an own goal from player-co-manager Andrew Hatton, saw the Yorkshiremen travel back over the Pennines with the three points.
Leeds player-manager Adam Kristall told Sportworld: “Maccabi are one of the better sides in the league, but we were clearly too strong for them.
“As each week goes on, our younger players are getting stronger and stronger, too.”
Leeds unveiled a new formation, starting with three at the back in Kristall, Harry Landy and Louis Fisher.
And it paid dividends, with the Yorkshiremen compacting the midfield, making any attacking intent from Manchester difficult.
Leeds dominated the opening exchanges and nearly took the lead in the first few minutes, but Vale shot just wide from Raphy Kaye’s cross.
Vale was a constant danger for Leeds, matching his creativity with an industrious performance. His side broke the deadlock when Hatton headed past his own goalkeeper from a corner.
Leeds doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Abrahamson curled the ball home.
Abrahamson, who has returned to Leeds after studying at university, made it 3-0 to the visitors just before half-time.
Maccabi must have endured an ear-bashing from Hatton and co-manager Mark Mann at the break as they showed more intent in the second half.
Marley Rubins went close, only to be denied by Leeds’ debutant goalkeeper Ben Frieze.
But Leeds added a fourth through Vale.
Maccabi pulled a goal back through Rubins, but there was still time for Abrahamson to get his hat-trick and Leeds’ fifth.
Kristall added: “Oli Abrahamson had just come back to us and he will score lots of goals, which we need as we lost Louis Hewson in the summer.
“Ben Frieze was excellent on his debut and he will hopefully nail down a place as we need a regular keeper.”
Champions Liverpool Haroldeans maintained their position at the top of the table by thrashing Reich 6-1.
Adam Shiffman scored a hat-trick for the Merseysiders, with Paul Harris, Taylor Moss and Eden Harris also on target.
But Harris and Reich’s Rafi Klyne were both sent off by referee Phil Rigby after a first-half altercation, with Haroldeans’ Adam Boyars shown a yellow card. Dovi Klyne netted for Reich.
There were goals galore in the South Manchester derby, with their first team beating their second team 6-4.
Roy Fux grabbed a hat-trick for the 1sts, with Jonny Franks scoring twice and James Rosenberg adding another. On target for the 2nds were Josh Gordon (2), Adam Tuck and Mark Williams.