DAVID SMITH - Friday, April 5, 2013
Conor O'Brien and the Wild Tigers earned a third straight win at Aalborg while Babajide Ogunbiyi and the Hjørring defense held Brønshøj to a scoreless draw to poke their heads above the surface.
Aalborg 0 - 1 Nordsjaelland
Conor O'Brien went the distance as usual for Nordsjaelland, pairing with Nicolai Stockholm in the team's central midfield as an early own-goal by Aalborg saw them return home with three points.
Replaying a game which had been call off in mid-March due to heavy snowfall, the visitors applied early pressure, which paid off well thanks to a defensive error by one of Aalborg's most legendary players.
In the fifth minute, a short Nordsjaelland corner was played to Uffe Bech at the corner flag, whereupon he advanced to the edge of penalty area along the endline and hit an attempted cross through the box.
Unfortunately for the hosts, the ball bounced off of Aalborg midfielder Thomas Augustinussen and into his own net, handing the lead to the Wild Tigers on a silver platter.
Aalborg quickly recovered and exerted heavy pressure for nearly the rest of the game, thoroughly testing the defensive chops of the usually attack-minded Nordsjaelland squad.
At the half-hour, Kasper Kusk was unlucky twice in rapid succession, having a shot blocked by Jores Okore then seeing his followup rescued by keeper Jesper Hansen.
The hosts continued the attack after the break, and were closest after 70 minutes when Kusk and Nicklas Helenius were both frustratingly close.
As the clock wound down, Nordsjaelland was better able to exploit the holes in Aalborg's forward press, with Dutch attacking maestro Joshua John being of a particular nuisance. However both defenses held strong through the final whistle, with the three points worthily going to the visitors.
The Wild Tigers, who now hold a four-point edge on third-place Randers, will have little rest before hitting the road again, as they must travel to face AC Horsens on Sunday afternoon.
Brønshøj BK 0 - 0 FC Hjørring
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Hjørring put on another fine defensive display to slip away from Brønshøj with a valuable point on Thursday night.
The hosts controlled the first half, with their best chance coming when Michael Jørgensen fired a blast from outside the area that bounced off the crossbar.
Hjørring were more alive after the break, coming close when Lasse Strandberg lost a one-on-one duel with keeper Kim Drejs at the hour mark, and even closer ten minutes later when Jesper Blicher wasted a clear chance in front of goal.
Then shortly before the final whistle, Christian Overby again had the visitors nearly celebrating a win when his acute shot flew off the post.
Both teams finally ran out of time, with the stifling defenses winning the day and a point for each.
The result is still an important one for Hjørring, as it allows them to climb one point ahead of AB Copenhagen and the relegation places. They will return to action on Sunday with a visit from Hobro.
RJ Allen and Skive skipped the midweek round of games, as their regularly-schedule visit from league leaders FC Vestsjælland was been postponed due to poor field conditions.