No pressure on underdogs Hood, says Lightbourne
Kyle Lightbourne, the Robin Hood coach, believes that being the underdogs in their FA Cup semi-final against Dandy Town on Sunday could actually work in their favour.
Hood, who won the First Division title on goal difference over St George’s last weekend, take on the Premier Division leaders in the opening match of a double-header.
Yesterday, the Bermuda Football Association switched the venue for the second time this week, moving the matches from Southampton Oval to Wellington Oval, having originally changed them from Goose Gosling Field.
“We have a coaching session tonight [last night] and will put in another session for Saturday just to really prepare us so that everybody knows their jobs,” Lightbourne said.
Hood reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1991 when they were a Commercial League team.
Ironically, it was Lightbourne who helped to prevent Hood from reaching their first final, scoring twice in PHC’s 3-0 win at Lord’s that day.
“All the older guys at Robin Hood remind me of it, that they played PHC and I knocked them out,” said the former professional, who has made a handful of appearances this season as a late substitute.
Lightbourne knows that Hood’s task of reaching the final will be just as tough 23 years on, against a Dandy Town team who beat North Village in the Cup Final in 2012. Village face Devonshire Cougars in the second semi-final on Sunday.
“With my guys, the pressure is off and, hopefully, we can be like Ireland Island Rangers last Sunday,” said Lightbourne, referring to the Dockyard side’s 2-2 draw with Hood last weekend.
“A couple of their guys were saying, ‘You’re not getting promoted on our ground.’
“You know what the underdogs can do at times and if we’re up for it on the day, it can be a difficult game for Town.
“That’s the only thing I can hope for my guys; that they are up for the game.
“For some of my guys, it is their first time playing league football and they have done really well to get promoted at the first attempt. It will be a good test for them, definitely.
“Last week was the first time that Robin Hood have won any silverware since they have been in the league. The last time they came up was as runners-up.
“In the last couple of weeks, it was understandable that we were cautious. I’m just hoping my guys go out there on Sunday and play freely.
“I’m kind of disappointed they changed the venue; we were happy with it at BAA but they said [the switch] was because we were the home team and put it at Southampton Rangers. I don’t know the reason for them switching it again.”
Hood recently played St George’s twice at Wellington Oval, winning the Cup quarter-final tie and then drawing in the league.
“You definitely need luck to win games and we’re going to need some luck,” Lightbourne added.
“It’s a big pitch down there and it is harder to close spaces down. Promotion was our main goal and we talked about having a good cup run because it keeps your season alive.
“Last year we got knocked out in the quarter-finals by Rangers after a replay. Now we’ve gone one step farther and, hopefully, we can keep going and reach the final.
Two teams are going to make it and two teams are not.”
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