Spence makes positive start at Village
North Village 1 Dandy Town 0
Randy Spence made a winning start to his tenure as North Village coach after they beat Dandy Town in the Dudley Eve Trophy at PHC Field yesterday.
Terryn Fray’s first-half header decided the group A opener.
“I was little nervous at first as it’s my first time as head coach,” Spence said. “But we are working for each other — I’m working for them and they’re working for me. It’s good for the team to start off with a win, which builds confidence.
Village seized early control of possession and after stretching Town with their slick ball movement, took a deserved through Fray’s header.
Lashun Dill intercepted a partial clearance and whipped in a cross, which Fray nodded home from inside the six-yard box.
Village were in the ascendancy and continued to pile on the pressure with a lethargic Town lacking penetration.
Dakal Grant, the Village forward, squandered a glorious opportunity when he had a tame shot saved by Troy Hall, the Town goalkeeper, after latching onto Jahquan Smith-DeShields’s defence-splitting pass. Town were forced to make a substitution when forward Oneko Lowe fell ill.
Lowe’s replacement, Omar Wilson, injected plenty of life down the right and Town finished the opening stanza strongly, and were unfortunate not to grab an equaliser.
Keith Jennings, the Village goalkeeper, rushed off his line to punch away a Damon Ming free kick with Kwonde Lathan moving in. Forward Jahnazae Swan then sliced wide after creating some space in the area.
Village nearly caught Town on the break, but Smith’s ambitious lob sailed just over the bar.
Village started the second half on the front foot with Grant dragging wide from a Smith-DeShields pass.
Town responded with Swan firing wide after being picked out by Angelo Simmons, the Hornets captain, while Fray made a timely tackle to thwart Ming.
Town made a tactical change with Simmons moving to striker and Ming to the wing. The shuffle presented Village with a major challenge as the pair wreaked havoc with their pace and creativity.
Village lost some of their potency as fatigue and the heat took their toll but a rejuvenated Town were unable to put away their chances.
Eusebio Blankendal shot tamely at Jennings, while Simmons was unable to control Swan’s cross in front of goal.
Town’s best chance after the break fell to Swan, whose close-range effort was saved by Jennings.
The game opened up when Hornets were forced to make another change after substitute Wilson suffered a leg injury, with Simmons blazing over the bar and Fray and Smith-DeShields forcing Hall to make saves at the other end.
“We had enough chances and at least one of them should have hit the net,” said Calvin Blankendal, who was deputising for Devarr Boyles, the Town coach, who is overseas.
“We definitely played in spurts.”
North Village (4-2-3-1): K Jennings — Z Hendrickson (sub: 46 mins), T Fray, J Davis, K Knights — J Briers, T Williams, D Grant (sub: G Butterfield, 69), P Smith, L Dill — J Smith-DeShields. Booked: Knights. Substitutes not used: K Smith, K Evans, D Dillas.
Dandy Town (4-3-3): T Hall — E Blankdendal, K Lathan, K Steede, N Dante-Smith — L Emery, D Ming, A Simmons — O Lowe (sub: O Wilson, 35; sub: Z Burchall, 76), J Swan, R Tyrell (sub: J Eve, 58). Booked: Dante- Smith. Substitutes not used: D Joel, G Liburd.
Referee: A Francis.
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