Coddington haunts former club on return
Domico Coddington returned like the Ghost of Christmas Past to haunt former side North Village as Devonshire Cougars won 3-1 in the Friendship Trophy semi-final at PHC Field on Boxing Day.
Coddington, arguably the most destructive player on the island in his heyday, scored a second-half brace after coming on as a 60th-minute substitute in his first game for Cougars in more than two years.
Cougars will look to make the most of Coddington’s services before he returns to England, where he now lives, with the 32-year-old offering a sprinkling of experience to an otherwise youthful-looking side.
“Domico’s still got it and I’m happy to have him back,” Omar Butterfield, the Cougars coach, said. “We have to get him a bit of match fitness, but it’s great to have Domico back to give the club a little boost.
“He’s been away for a few years and hasn’t played much so to come back and get a double is pretty impressive. He’s not here too long and goes back soon, but his return is definitely a positive for us.”
The searing pace of the former Bermuda forward provided Cougars with an important outlet during the second half, particularly after Village pulled a goal back in the 70th minute through substitute Enyche Zuill.
Cougars took the lead in the 32nd minute after midfielder Zari Simmons curled in a brilliant free kick that left Jason Williams, the Village goalkeeper, rooted to the spot.
Up until that point neither side had particularly threatened, with Keishen Bean, the Village striker, going closest after forcing a flying save from Kioshi Trott, the Cougars goalkeeper, after good work from Ralph Bean.
Village survived a scare soon after the break when Williams misplaced a pass into the path of striker Che Brangman, who used his strength and power to hold off some desperate Village defenders and tee up Simmons, who fired wide.
At the other end, Ralph Bean had a chance smothered by the outrushing Trott before Coddington opened his account with a left-footed drive soon after coming on for midfielder Calin Mabury.
Cougars’ two-goal cushion was short-lived, however, with Zuill scoring a superb solo effort, cutting in from the right flank before curling in a shot with the outside of his boot into the far corner.
Tempers threatened to boil over immediately after the goal as Trott retrieved the ball from the net, although referee Martin Wyer acted quickly, speaking to both teams’ captains to calm the situation.
Village then threatened briefly, defender Jalen Harvey twice heading over the crossbar from outswinging Shayne Hollis corners, while Keishen Bean’s turn and shot flew inches wide of Trott’s left-hand post.
Cougars extinguished any hopes of a comeback deep into added time with a swift counter-attacking move, with the lively Brangman powering his way through the middle before hitting the bar, with Coddington heading in the rebound.
“They gave us a few nervous moments and I have to give them respect because they’re a good team,” said Butterfield, whose team won the Dudley Eve Trophy last month. “I knew they would come with more intensity in the second half and I was pleased with they way we dealt with it.”
The coach wants his players to remain focused, starting with the Friendship Trophy final on New Year’s Day against PHC.
“It’s a good group and I try and knock them off and make them feel uncomfortable at times,” Butterfield said.
Devonshire Cougars (4-5-1): K Trott — D Williams (sub: K Franks, 85min), Zekiro White, Zeko White, M Rudo (sub: C Burns, 74) — C Maybury (sub: D Coddington, 60), Z Simmons, J Smith, M Battersbee, X Outerbridge — C Brangman. Substitutes not used: N Carmichael, T Tucker, J Mouchette, M Thomas. Booked: Zekiro White.
North Village (4-4-2): J Williams — R Sampson (sub: E Zuill, 62), D Grant, J Harvey, T Fray — T Williams, S Hollis (sub: P Smith, 74), D Daniels, T Durham — R Bean (sub: Z Bowen, 62), K Bean. Substitutes not used: D Tankard, J Davies, P Parsons. Booked: Sampson, Durham, Williams.
Referee: M Wyer.
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