No excuses for defeat, says Bascome
Just like they did in the First Division a couple of weeks ago, BAA and Southampton Rangers provided another entertaining match filled with goals in the Shield Trophy semi-final at PHC Field on Boxing Day.
The tie was finally settled in extra time when Rangers captain Ezekiel Stoneham drove home a rebound from close range after a free kick on the edge of the box.
The tense match had more drama in the second half of extra time when Drewonde Bascome, a late transfer from Dandy Town to BAA, and Rangers defender Jahkai Hill were sent off after an altercation.
“We have to learn to accept decisions that don’t go our way and stay level and find a solution,” said BAA coach Andrew Bascome, the father of Drewonde.
“Those are the challenges of the game and players have to understand that. Both teams experienced the same ref, but it’s how are you going to manage it.”
The league meeting between the sides finished 2-2 after BAA came from two goals down in the second half at Southampton Oval. This time they led three times before Rangers finally went ahead in extra time to deny the two-times defending champions a third straight final.
“It was a good cup game, good for the holiday,” said Bascome, who took charge of the team in the absence of head coach Kenny Thompson who is overseas.
“We managed to get some kids who are away in college and put them in the squad.
“It wasn’t the best football, but it was a game of chances and Rangers made the most of theirs. It was a lack of concentration; we went up one, then they came from behind.
“We went up 2-1 and they came from behind.”
BAA gifted Rangers a second equaliser just before the half when goalkeeper Eunico Trott allowed a shot from Stoneham to roll out of his hands and over the line. Five minutes into the second half, Bascome had a header from a cross ruled out for offside.
“We went up 3-2 and they made it 3-3 and once they took the lead it was going to be tough,” Bascome said. “We tried to look for every other excuse, the ref or a bad call. It’s not disappointing as the guys can use a rest as our objective is to get promoted and everything else will be a bonus.”
The league schedule is set up for a possible promotion or title decider on the final round of games on April Fool’s Day when BAA host Rangers.
“We’re going to see more of them,” Bascome added. “My concern is for some of the players who haven’t had a break, who we’re going to need going down the stretch.”
The promotion and the Shield Trophy title is still on for Rangers. Coach Jomar Wilkinson hailed his captain, Stoneham, after he led from the front with his hat-trick.
“That validates the work we’re doing at Rangers,” Wilkinson said. “The skipper led from the front. In recent games he’s been moving further forward.
“He believes he can score goals and is showing his coach that he can score goals. I’m very happy for him and hope he goes from strength to strength and continues to score for us.”
Wilkinson added: “We understand our schedule is going to be pretty tight in the upcoming weeks, but we have a squad of players and have been preparing since May. We’re up for the challenge of whatever comes our way.”
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