X-Roads stun Hood as tempers flare
Robin Hood 1 X-Roads 5
X-Roads took a huge leap towards guaranteeing Premier Division safety by stunning the defending champions at Goose Gosling Field last night, but the game was marred by the sending off of Robin Hood’s Shakir Smith for throwing punches.
Kashi Davis-Jones impressed in scoring twice for X-Roads, who blew the game wide open with three late goals after Smith’s dismissal.
Smith was shown a red card by referee Lionel Cann on the hour mark after he reacted to a reckless challenge on the touchline from Jonas Schroeder that led to him flying into the fence. Smith raced back on to the field and came out swinging at the X-Roads substitute, but fortunately the blows failed to connect.
John Barry Nusum, the Hood coach, and X-Roads counterpart Farid El Karfa said Smith deserved his red card, but had a difference of opinion on the initial challenge from Schroeder.
“He got sent off for what happened afterwards, but he can’t react like that,” Nusum said. “He took a hard hit to the fence, but he can’t act like that. It’s a foul and if it had got called it would have never got to that, but that’s hogwash, you’ve got to act better than that.”
El Karfa said: “My player challenged legitimately; it was shoulder to shoulder. He went to the fence, but it was a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge and the way he reacted, he deserved a red card. I don’t think [the initial challenge] was reckless. I was close to the play, there was nothing dirty about it.”
Teiko Lowe gave X-Roads the lead inside ten minutes when he half-volleyed a deep cross from Davis-Jones past Timmy Figureido in the Hood goal.
Colin Ryan, Jason Titterton and Smith all had chances well saved on the line by Jez Burrows in the X-Roads goal in quick succession, but Kahmori Brangman then brought out a diving save from Figureido.
Disaster struck in the Hood defence ten minutes before half-time when centre back Titterton, in attempting to clear, passed straight to Davis-Jones, who made no mistake in doubling X-Roads’s lead,
Brangman then shot inches over for X-Roads before Mazhye Burchall pulled one back, tapping in Lejuan Simmons’s low cross at the far post.
Hood were making inroads in the second half and battled hard after Smith’s dismissal, but X-Roads would pounce late against the tiring ten men.
Davis-Jones forced Figureido to tip the ball wide before Philip Parsons calmly sidefooted home with six minutes remaining.
Jahmel Swan finished powerfully to make it 4-1 with a couple of minutes remaining.
Fittingly, Davis-Jones had the last word. He was bundled over by Titterton in the penalty area and tucked in the rebound after his spot-kick was parried by Figureido.
Nusum bemoaned his side’s sloppy start.
“It was a hard game,” the Hood coach said. “We came out flat. They scored two quick goals and we were fighting after that.
“We still had a couple of chances but we didn’t put them away. But we can’t put ourselves in a hole with the first two goals. We were always fighting uphill and had a man sent off after that. We were always fighting against ourselves, It definitely wasn’t a good performance.
“They played well. They came out hungrier than we were and that’s the truth of it.”
El Karfa believes that his First Division champions are more than top-flight relegation fodder.
“I’m extremely happy,” he said. “We did come here to get a victory, because we need three points, but to my surprise 5-1 exceeds my expectations. But we played very well and deserved to win.
“We know they are a quality team and that it would be a very tough match, but we were ready mentally, physically and tactically. The boys have been working very hard lately, we’ve started to pick up momentum from the last few games and today it showed. We showed a lot of character and a lot of fight and we deserved to have won.
“At this point, I am quite confident to say we’re not going to be playing to avoid relegation. We are playing to advance up the table, for top five at least. After today’s performance, we have the right to be ambitious for more.”
Teiko Lowe 8, Davis-Jones 35, 90, Parsons 84, Swan 88
Robin Hood: T Figureido — L Simmons, J Nusum, A Russell, C Caisey, C Ryan (sub: Z Burgess, 69min), S Smith, L Symonds, M Burchall, J Titterton, E Outerbridge. Substitutes not used: P Fronzioni, J Bather, C Ricca. Booked: Burchall, Titterton. Sent off: Smith.
X-Roads: J Burrows — J Furbert, K Wilkinson, A Burgess, O Williams, T Daniels, P Parsons, J Swan, K Davis-Jones (sub: M McGowan, 90+1), K Brangman, Teiko Lowe (sub: J Schroeder, 54). Substitutes not used: R Beek, Terencio Lowe,
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