DAVID SMITH - Monday, May 23, 2011
A players' strike left all the action in Norway to the lower leagues, with Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam getting the best of Steve Clark's Hønefoss and Kyle Helton making his injury comeback for Mjøndalen.
Ham-Kam 1 - 0 Hønefoss BK
Jonathan Borrajo and Steve Clark both played the full 90 minutes for their respective teams, however Ham-Kam would ultimately take all the spoils with their 1-0 home win over Hønefoss on Sunday afternoon.
While both teams were kept scoreless in the first half, the game was hardly a defensive battle with a failure of each to execute in front of goal more to blame than any lack of desire.
Borrajo set up one of the biggest tests for Clark in the 26th minute, picking out Ham-Kam teammate Kristoffer Hagen near goal for a headed attempt which the American keeper was able to grab.
The hosts did manage to take the lead in the 66th minute, as John Anders Rise fed the ball to Vegard Bjerke for a fine 16-yard volley which Clark had no chance of saving.
Either team could have scored on multiple occasions over the final minutes, however a a continued lack of execution and good work by Clark and his counterpart in Ham-Kam's goal kept the 1-0 scoreline in-tact.
Ham-Kam still remain in the drop zone despite the three points, although only by goal differential. They have one week off until they visit Alta IF in league play on Sunday.
Hønefoss remain in tenth place, and will try to stay focused for Wednesday's third-round Norwegian Cup game against Stabaek before returning to league action four days later at home against Strømmen IF.
Asker 1 - 1 Mjøndalen IF
Kyle Helton made his return from injury on Sunday, taking the field as a 64th minute substitute for Mjøndalen IF as the team held on for a point at Asker.
Mjøndalen defender Rhett Bernstein is in the early stages of recovering from severe knee injury and is out for the season.
The game started out slowly for Mjøndalen, who needed 40 before generating their first scoring chance, but were sure to make the most of it.
Veteran attacker Petar Rnkovic brought the ball into the corner of the 18-yard box, where he dropped the ball off to Joackim Solberg Olsen for a blast just inside the far corner to give his team the 1-0 advantage.
Asker earned an equalizer seven minutes past the halftime intermission, with English defender Christopher Joyce rising high to head Stian Solberg's corner into goal.
Helton took the field four minutes past the hour mark in place of goalscorer Olsen as the team looked to add a fresh spark to the attack, however neither team was able to break through with a share of the points going to each team.
Mjøndalen fall one spot to fourth place with the draw, and will host Strømsgodset IF in Norwegian Cup action on Wednesday, then welcome Løv-Ham for Adeccoligaen play on Sunday.
All Tippeligaen games during the weekend were postponed due to a players' strike, meaning that Mikkel Diskerud, Sean Cunningham, Josh Gatt and Joseph Bendik all had a few days off.
Sandefjord backup keeper Colin Burns did not take the field for the team on Sunday as they took a tight 1-0 victory against visiting IL Hødd.