DAVID SMITH - Friday, September 30, 2011
Jonathan Borrajo and Ham-Kam took a huge step towards promotion to the Norwegian top flight, moving into one of the Adeccoligaen's two automatic promotion spots with a crucial win over Alta IF.
A largely drab opening half was highlighted by the one major chance for either team in the 22nd minute when an Alta breakway ended with Thomas Braaten being sent through on goal, however his shot was blocked at the last second by Borrajo.
Following the intermission, Ham-Kam were clearly the better of the two teams, and put the game away in a flurry midway through the half on a pair of goals by Alexander Kirkevold.
After Oddbjørn Lie was knocked down in the area, Kirkevold took the ensuing penalty, sending his shot to the left side of goal as the keeper dove in the opposite direction for the 65th minute 1-0 lead.
They needed just two minutes to extend the lead, as Emil Dahle slid a short pass to Kirkevold at the top edge of the 18-yard box for a strike perfectly on-target.
Alta had no way back into the game, and a rather routine final 20 minutes was interrupted only by the second yellow shown to Lie in the 89th minute, reducing the team to ten men for the final seconds of the game.
The victory pushes Ham-Kam into second place, tied on points with leaders Sandnes Ulf but trailing by a slightly inferior goal differential.
They currently hold a two-point lead over third-place Hønefoss, who they will visit on Sunday in a pivotal battle which could have a major bearing on the race for the automatic promotion spots awaiting the division's top two teams.