* by Margus Luik
As their rivals continue to drop points, leaders FC Levadia Tallinn keep on winning and tightening their grip on the Estonian First Division.
Still unbeaten after 15 matches, they are nine points clear of second-placed FC Flora with champions FC TVMK Tallinn a further point adrift having played a game more than both the sides above them. Dauntingly for their challengers, Levadia have won their last five fixtures.
Part of the credit for that must go to captain Konstantin Vassiljev, the league's Player of the Month for May. His goals and astute passing have helped Levadia thrive while earning the 21-year-old his international debut in a friendly against New Zealand on 31 May.
June has seen Levadia's most emphatic victory yet as they crushed FC Ajax Lasnamäe 8-0. Vassiljev and company are on an unbeaten run of 19 games in all competitions, although they have some way to go to beat their 49-match sequence between 1999 and 2001.
TVMK and Flora's inconsistency has given Levadia even more cause for confidence. Having halted a streak of three defeats with a 1-0 win against Flora, TVMK went off the rails again in their next game as Oleg Gorjatšov's 63rd-minute penalty condemned them to a 1-0 reverse at JK Trans Narva. .....
...... Flora rally
Since succumbing against TVMK, Flora have claimed two 3-0 victories but their young side will have to produce something special in the remaining months of the season to mount a title bid. The club were last champions in 2003.
Gruznov (above pic) milestone
On 28 May, JK Trans Narva thrashed bottom-of-the-table FC Warrior Valga 4-0. It was a memorable occasion for Trans forward Maksim Gruznov who became the first player to make 300 Estonian league appearances.
The 32-year-old celebrated in style, scoring two goals to take his seasonal tally to 12.
Finally, the last few rounds of fixtures have seen a remarkable number of penalties and red-card offences. Seven spot-kicks were awarded in the last two rounds, while the last three have seen six sendings-off. JK Vaprus Pärnu striker Maksim Pedõk made an unusual disciplinary faux pas as he was dismissed twice in the space of three games.