Ten-man Colts end season on a high
Devonshire Colts 2 PHC 1
A season of much disappointment for Devonshire Colts ended on a bright note yesterday when they came from behind to beat PHC Zebras in the PDL KO Cup final.
Colts, hit by a number of injuries to key players and eventually relegated from the Premier Division, stunned PHC with a winner just seven minutes after being reduced to ten men following the sending off of Eli Smith for a second booking in the space of a few minutes. PHC missed a penalty with five minutes remaining.
PHC were forced to call on a few senior players to make up the team, including Blenn Bean from the Masters team which won the Knockout Cup final the day before at Wellington Oval. One of those players, Kevin Lambe, gave them the lead after just two minutes when he converted a cross from the right after being left unmarked inside the six-yard box.
Nazari Woods missed the chance to double the PHC lead late in the first half when he had a breakaway but failed to keep the ball under control as goalkeeper Gregory Rose came off his line to block the effort.
Colts, also fielding a number of first team players, scored both their goals from free kicks by fullback Richard Jones. Unlimited substitutions were allowed and one sub, DeAndre Wainwright, equalised for Colts just before the break when he rose high to meet a high ball into the box and place a powerful header past Shaquille Trott in the PHC goal.
Lambe wasted a couple of chances for PHC in the second half, first slicing an effort wide of the far post after miskicking inside the six-yard box. Colts were reduced to ten men minutes later on the hour mark when Smith was sent off.
However, Colts were not deterred and scored their winner just seven minutes later when Jones’s ball into the box was not cleared after Wainright challenged and Kyle Jones pounced to stab home the loose ball from a sharp angle.
“It definitely popped up for me, I didn’t expect it to come off like it did but I just had to capitalise and get the win for my team,” Jones said. “I wanted to do like my mentor [Didier] Drogba and make it a crucial finish.
“The team played with a lot of heart, hopefully now they can bring it into the First Division next season and bring us back up to the Premier Division. If my youth are going to stay then I’m definitely going to stay with them and help bring us back up.”
PHC had a couple of good chance to equalise late in the game, when a perfect free kick by veteran Omar Shakir was curled to the far post where Kole Hall put his free header over the crossbar. Goalkeeper Rose turned up to make a crucial penalty save for Colts in the 85th minute when he saved Lambe’s spot kick to his right.
“With the Under-16s winning the league and then winning today, this is from the good work we’ve done throughout the season and the determination, character and unity that we have,” said coach Quinton Jones, still recovering from a serious leg injury that ended his season against X-Roads in the FA Cup.
This may also be his final season as a player. “Possibly, I’ll see how it goes, but in my mind I’m done,” he said. “It can change. I’m very happy to win my first trophy as a coach.”
Wainwright 42, Jones 67
Devonshire Colts: G Rose, R Jones, M Isaac, Q Simmons, A Hart, D Davis, J Paynter, D Lambe, J Burgess, E Smith, K Jones. Substitutes: S Burgess, S Mitchell, M Pond, D Wainwright, J Bean-Lindo, J Maybury, V Lambe, K Wilkinson.
PHC: S Trott, D Davis, O Shakir, J Hassell, D Smith-Lightbourne, B Bean, K Hall, D Lodge, N Carpenter, K Lambe, K Matthie. Substitutes: J Ball, R Edwards, A Dowling, N Woods, J Sealy.
Referee: S Seepersad.
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