Dominant PHC make light work of Village
PHC Zebras 2 North Village 0
PHC Zebras clinched their third piece of silverware this season with an impressive victory over North Village in a Friendship Trophy final that failed to live up to expectations at Wellington Oval yesterday.
The Zebras, unbeaten in all competitions, took the lead through a brilliant solo effort from the irrepressible Marco Warren before Darren Usher added a second to leave little doubt over which team would pop the champagne corks after the final whistle.
PHC were not at their sharpest in the attacking third where they squandered a plethora of chances, which should have ended the match as a contest by the interval.
But what they lacked in their finishing was more than compensated in the superb manner in which they remained organised on both sides of the ball and managed the game after Warren broke the deadlock. Man of the match Tre Ming also put in another solid shift in midfield.
Quinaceo Hunt had a quiet afternoon in goal and the rare occasions when he was beaten the Zebras defence was there to deal with the threat.
Victory did not come without a cost for the Zebras who lost defender Kadeem Abraham in the first half to a knee injury. Abraham had a tough day at the office as he also suffered a cut to his face in another tackle, which held play up for several minutes.
Village got off to a promising start with Keishen Bean and Shayne Hollis causing concerns with their pace on the break.
Village’s best chance of the first half fell to midfielder Jecoa Thomas who steered Terryn Fray’s free kick wide from close range.
After weathering the early storm, PHC took control and should have opened their account when Warren broke through. The Zebras forward showed the Village defence a clean set of heels but his lob was saved by goalkeeper Tahj Bell. Village survived another scare when unmarked Zebras midfielder Marquel Waldron scooped Abraham’s cross over the bar with Bell stranded in no-man’s land.
Both teams went close moments before the half, the unmarked Warren heading Ming’s cross wide with Bell well-beaten, while at the other end Hollis’s inswinging corner was cleared off the line after Hunt failed to collect at the near post.
Zebras started the second half with a greater sense of urgency.
Keishon Bean got behind the Village defence only to see his inviting cross go untouched while defender Rakeem DeShields headed Bean’s free kick just over.
By now Village were holding on for dear life and the goal PHC’s dominance warranted finally arrived with a piece of magic from Warren.
The forward dribbled past two defenders just inside the box before slotting into the far bottom corner from an angle to make amends for his glaring misses in the first half.
Griffith nearly doubled his team’s lead when his clearance from inside his own half bounced just wide of Bell’s near post.
Bell would not be as fortunate moments later, though, as Usher pounced to kill off any hopes of a Village fightback. Ming’s angled shot came back off the underside of the crossbar leaving the unmarked Usher to slot into the empty net.
Village almost pulled one back in the dying stages when Bean, the captain, had a shot cleared off the line by Jalun Hassell. Bell then produced an excellent reflex save to deny Cecoy Robinson, the PHC captain, to keep the scoreline respectable as Zebras added the Friendship Trophy to the Dudley Eve Trophy and Charity Cup titles they have won already this term.
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