Russell misses out on penalty hat-trick
PHC Zebras 2 Robin Hood 2
PHC Zebras and Robin Hood battled to a 2-2 draw in a top-of-the-table clash that did not disappoint the neutral fan.
Neither team had conceded a league goal coming into the match, but in an open game of football that had three penalties and four goals, it was clear that they had no intentions of making the game a defensive stalemate.
John Barry Nusum, the Robin Hood coach, was content with a point away from home, although his team led twice.
“I felt we had the better of the early exchanges but PHC grew into the match as the game wore on,” he said.
“Although the momentum was in their favour towards the end, we both had our chances to win and I think a draw was a fair result ”
The action started from the first minute when Antwan Russell was brought down in the box. His ensuing penalty was saved by goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt, diving to his left to push the ball wide of the goal.
However, ten minutes later Russell was again taking a spot-kick when Mikey Lambe, an early substitute for the injured Rakeem Deshields, was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.
This time Russell made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and putting his team ahead.
The Zebras, who had been on the back foot up until this point, responded well to equalise through Cecoy Robinson.
Tre Ming found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Jason Simons after being played through by Marco Warren.
His initial effort was saved but he was able to square the rebound to Robinson, who finished well to draw the teams level before the interval.
The second half started much like the first, when Hood were awarded a third penalty.
Russell was again brought down in the area, and again the striker confidently stepped up to dispatch his spot-kick to the goalkeeper’s left to reclaim the lead.
The league leaders would not go down easily, however, and continued to search for an equaliser. It came by way of a second-half substitute, Dunte Albuoy, who rose bravely in a crowd that included the onrushing goalkeeper Simons to nod home a ball clipped in from deep midfield.
The Zebras now had the momentum, and Warren, who had been relatively quiet for much of the game, was now finding space, and twice came close to putting his team ahead.
He was first denied by a smart near-post save from an acute angle on the left, and then came close with a side-volley from the edge of the box that struck a post.
Hood were still dangerous on the counter-attack and had a couple of late opportunities themselves. Russell first had a shot from the edge of the box saved well by Hunt, and in the dying minutes substitute Zuhri Burgess could not find the target after finding space behind the Zebras defence.
Both teams remain undefeated after four games.
PHC: Q Hunt — D Usher, N Griffith, R Deshields (sub: M Lambe 13min), D Smith-Lightbourne (sub: Keishon Bean 75th), T Ming, M Waldron, C Castle, M Warren, K Matthie (sub: D Albuoy 55), C Robinson. Substitutes not used: D Davis, S Valasse-Paul, J Iris. Bookings: Lambe.
Robin Hood: J Simons, D Leverock, J Bather, J Pereira (sub: P Francioni 83), E Outerbridge, C Caisey, A Russell, L Simmon (sub: Z Burgess 48), L Symonds (D Andrade 71), C Ryan, M Burchall. Substitutes not used: J Titterton, C Fosker.
Referee: A Francis.
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