Hood can find no way past speedy Zebras
Robin Hood (4-3-3): J Simons — J Pereira, P Froncioni, C Boyce (sub: A Nelson, 45min), C Fosker — L Simmons, N Peskett, D Cox — K DeSilva (sub: T Dill, 65), A Russell, L Simmons (sub: M Thomas, 65). Substitutes not used: J Titterton, D Andrade, T Dill, M McGowan, E Outerbridge.
PHC Zebras (4-4-2): D Johnson — D Usher (sub: J Raynor, 65), M Lambe, N Griffith, J Carpenter — M Waldron (sub: R Richardson, 75), R DeShields, D Dowling, C Robinson — S Smith, C Castle (sub: J Smith, 65). Substitutes not used: Q Hunt, J Ball, A Kadeem.
Referee: E Holmes.
Robin Hood 0
PHC Zebras 3
A Cecoy Robinson brace and a first-minute goal from Casey Castle helped PHC Zebras to a comfortable win over Robin Hood in the Premier Division at Goose Gosling Field yesterday.
Hood, who are second in the table, fell behind almost immediately from the kick off when Castle finished smartly past Jason Simons, the Hood goalkeeper, after getting on the end of a Shakir Smith cross.
The home side were struggling to cope with the speed of the PHC front line, and found themselves further behind in the 24th minute when Robinson scored his side’s second, following up after his initial chipped effort had been well saved by Simons.
A lacklustre Hood conceded again soon after the interval. Robinson raced on to a through ball and placed his shot beyond the reach of the onrushing Simons with the outside of his right boot.
The visiting side, who have climbed to third just one point behind Hood, almost added a fourth but Smith lifted a left-footed shot from inside the box over Simons’s crossbar.
Smith had another chance moments later but headed Kenji Griffith’s left-wing cross harmlessly over.
At the other end Nathan Peskett, the Hood midfielder, came close to reducing the deficit with an acrobatic overhead kick that whistled just wide of Daniel Johnson’s left-hand post. It was closest Hood came to scoring all afternoon.
Mark Wade, PHC coach, said he was delighted his team had returned to winning ways in the league having lost 2-0 away to North Village two weeks ago.
“We definitely needed the three points and I was pleased the boys picked themselves up [from the Village game],” Wade said.
“I was disappointed that we played the ball in the air so much.
“I would have liked us to play on the surface a bit more, especially at a place like Goose Gosling Field [which has an artificial surface].”
Wade praised his side’s defensive display against Hood who have failed to score against Zebras in three matches this season, losing both their previous meetings 2-0 in the league and the Dudley Eve final.
“I thought defensively we were very solid,” said Wade, a former PHC defender. “I think we showed a lot of grit and overall I’m pretty happy.
“I think we played the windy conditions a bit better than they did in the first half.
“We knew Hood posed some aerial threat and we coped with that and I think we handled the wind a little bit better [than them].”
PHC’s win leaves them 13 points behind runaway leaders Dandy Town Hornets, who they meet in the league next weekend at PHC Field.
“We’re still trying to keep the pressure on the teams above us but we know we need some help to do anything in the league this season,” Wade said.
“We’re just plugging along and taking it one game at a time and making sure we get what we need.”
Hood are at home to relegation-threatened Southampton Rangers next weekend, who lost 5-1 at home to Boulevard yesterday.
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