Dill and Thomas heap misery on hapless Onions
North Village 2 Flanagan’s Onions 0
Goals either side of half-time from Lashun Dill and substitute Marcellos Thomas kept North Village within sight of the leaders and heaped more pressure on relegation threatened Flanagan’s Onions.
Dill put the home side ahead with a crisp finish on the break before Thomas came off the bench to make the points safe in this scrappy contest at Bernard Park yesterday.
The scoreline flattered as Onions frustrated Village for most of the match with their physical approach but were unable to penetrate a well-organised Village defence.
Both sides lacked the creativity and the movement to carve out space and struggled to string passes together in transition which often left their forwards starved of service in the attacking third.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between and in the end it was Village who made the most of theirs to chalk up their sixth league of the season.
The result keeps Village fifth in the table, tied on points with fourth-placed Robin Hood, who have a superior goal difference.
Devarr Boyles, the Village coach, was happy to get the result but admitted his team’s display was far from polished.
“I think over the course of the season you are always going to have matches like this [scrappy] and we are in a moment where we are just missing something,” Boyles said.
“We lacked more quality in the passing and made a lot of unforced errors all across the field but particularly the ball from the middle that goes out wide could have been a little bit better.
“But what I liked today about what we did was the effort was a lot better and I was also pleased with the attempts making runs behind.”
It was only fitting that Thomas came off the bench and scored in a match which saw a minute of silence observed by both teams in memory of his late mother.
“Scoring never replaces your mother, but I think that would help,” Boyles said.
“I am happy that he [Thomas] found a way to participate and to participate with the finish that he got.”
Village’s inability to kill the game off until late left Onions in with a shout. But the visiting side also found the pickings lean up front and were limited to just one speculative shot on target which Tahj Bell, the Village goalkeeper, comfortably saved.
The loss was Onions’ eighth of the season and they remain in the relegation zone, six points from safety.
“It’s definitely all about survival and it’s going to be tough as we still have a few points to catch up,” Mick Ward, the Onions coach, said. “I thought we were always in the match. But right now we are struggling for that urgency and I’m not seeing the sharpness while our passing is a little off.
“When we don’t have the ball sometimes we look a little slower in certain areas and so we need to work on that. I think it’s very much back to basics to be honest.”
Onions asked a few questions but were forced to chase the game when Village capitalised on a lucky break.
Shayne Hollis’s pass from midfield struck the back of a defender and fell invitingly for Dill who dribbled into the box and beat Lejuan Matthews, the Onions goalkeeper, with a low angled drive.
Hollis came close to doubling the home side’s advantage when his inswinging cross was tipped over by Matthews who was equal to the task.
Matthews was called upon again early after the interval to repel Pierre Smith’s effort from inside the box as Village made a promising start to the second half. Onions suffered another setback when striker and former Village player Keston Lewis clashed heads in a challenge for the ball and was replaced after experiencing dizziness.
Village finally pulled away in the dying stages when the unmarked Thomas lashed home Terryn Fray’s cross at the back post.
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