PHC made to pay for missed chances
PHC 1 Southampton 1
PHC picked up their first point of the season but will consider it two points lost after they wasted a host of good scoring changes in the second half against their landlords at Southampton Oval.
Both goals came in the first half, with Kevin Lambe scoring from a fine effort after 13 minutes and defender Milton Ferreia equalising for Rangers in the 33rd minute. After that neither team could produce that something special to secure a winner as both sides lacked that final decisive touch in and around the penalty box.
PHC were guilty of the first miss inside the opening minute when a good chance fell to Ajai Grant on the edge of the six yard box but he sidefooted a weak effort straight at the keeper Jason Smith.
Southamptons Stephen Astwood nearly produced a spectacular goal against his former team three minutes later when the veteran striker showed good skills to create space before unleashing a fierce drive from 30 yards that Troy Hall in the PHC goal tipped over the bar.
And when Lambe did break the deadlock with a spectacular effort the match promised plenty of excitement for the small crowd. Lambe stretched out a leg to bring an awkward ball under control and in one motion turned and smashed a shot past keeper Smith from 25 yards. The goal sparked a reaction from Rangers as Ezekiel Stoneham drove a low shot just wide.
Rangers, who shocked defending champions Dandy Town 1-0 in their opener last weekend, were finally rewarded just past the half-hour mark when the ball was played around inside the PHC area and before it could be cleared Ferreia blasted a shot into the roof of the net.
PHC should have regained the lead late in the half when a free kick by Marquel Waldron deep on the left was completely missed by Rakeen DeShieldss intended header in front of goal. Then Cecoy Robinson put a good effort over the bar before Stephen Astwood went close again when his partially blocked effort grazed the top of the crossbar.
Frustration set in in the second half as neither team could find a second goal. Cofield Robinson was booked for a reckless tackle on Stoneham, though he argued he got the ball, and then substitute Marco Piper was booked for a foul on Janeiro Tucker who was struggling with a hamstring injury he picked up in the first half. PHC were creating the better chances and captain Cecoy Robinson went close to scoring the winner in the 88th minute when he drove a low shot just past the far post after a through ball from Waldron opened up the Rangers defence.
PHC: T. Hall; c. Robinson (M. Piper 79min0, M. Lambe, R. Richardson, S. Smith, R. DeShields, J. Sealey, M. Waldron, C. Robinson, K. Lambe (M. Simmons 66min), A. Grant (J. Dean 61min).
Subs not used: T. Place, T. Brown, A. Smith.
Goal: K. Lambe (13min).
Yellow cards: J. Sealey, C. Robinson, M. Piper.
Southampton: J. Smith; J. Charles, M. Burch, K. Simmons, C. Woolridge (D. Russell 46min), M. Ferreia, J. Tucker, Y. Bean (J. Bean 64min), E. Stoneham, S. Astwood, V. Perinchief (K. Astwood 75min).
Subs not used: D. Pearman, K. Jones, S. Perinchief, J.Hill.
Goal: M. Ferreia (33min).
Yellow card: J. Tucker.
Man of the match: M.Waldron (PHC).
Flanagans Onions 1 Robin Hood 0
Premier Division new boys Flanagans Onions are the unlikely league leaders after defeating traditional rivals Robin Hood at Goose Gosling Field on a rainy Saturday night., writes Stephen Wright.
Onions, who pulled off a surprise win over St Georges last weekend, are the only Premier Division side to have claimed maximum points from their opening two games of the league season.
In a match devoid of individual brilliance or calamitous mistake a well-taken set-piece will often be the defining moment. And so it proved in this match between two teams tipped to struggle this season with Martel Laws striking the deciding blow with a second half header.
Yet it would do Onions a slight injustice to suggest a training ground set-piece was the only factor that separated them from an ineffective Robin Hood.
The expat outfit arguably shaded a forgettable first half, with Onions captain Keston Lewis going the closest after wriggling his way through the Hood defence before hitting a weak effort with his wrong foot straight at goalkeeper Juan Federico.
Heavy rain continued after the break as both teams struggled to craft much in the way of clear-cut chances. Gavin Thomason did rattle the woodwork with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box before turning provider when his set-piece found Laws who made no mistake with his close range header midway through the second period.
Onions skipper Lewis, a former PHC and Bermuda Hogges striker, admitted his side couldnt have hoped for a better start to life in the top-flight.
Im ecstatic about (our start), and to have six points on the board at this stage is great for us. he said.
We worked really hard during the pre-season, running on the beaches, and I think our fitness could be a key factor this season. I felt our fitness saw us through (against Hood), and it was a valuable victory.
We have a really good team spirit, the banter is great, and Im really enjoying playing for Onions.
Flanagans Onions: S Gould, M Laws, P Donnelly, S Butler, J Knight, L Osborne, S Lister, B Amoro, G Thomason, K Lewis, P Robey
Substitutes not used: K Szmieck, K Ronaldson
Goals: Laws, 67
Robin Hood: J Federico, R Wilson, D Reitze, J Crockwell, S Dietz, M Wood, (M Watson, 18), F Mascarenhas, D Albouy, M Thomas (S Franks, 47), H Chioke, C Hews
Substitutes not used: M Pace, T Figuerido
Referee: A Francis
Man of the match: G Thomason (Onions)
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