Cougars keep Trojans pointless
Devonshire Cougars 3 Somerset Trojans 1
Devonshire Cougars picked up their first league win of the season with this hard-fought success against Somerset Trojans at Devonshire Recreation Club yesterday.
“We are going in the right direction but there is still room for improvement,” Cougars coach Omar Butterfield said. “I will take the three points, though.”
The win puts Cougars on four points and the loss keeps Somerset pointless after the third round of matches.
Cougars let their intentions be known as early as the second minute when a bad clearance by Trojans goalkeeper Yizharyah Williams went straight to Shaki Pearman. His chip caught Williams back-pedalling only to hit the crossbar and bounce out of play.
Justin Corday worked tirelessly in the Trojans midfield and was their playmaker in the early stages. He struck a firm free kick that took a bounce before hitting Cougars goalkeeper Kioshi Trott in the chest and being cleared to safety. Minutes later, Cougars captain Zekiro White conceded another free kick just outside the area, but Corday’s drive went over the crossbar by inches.
Cougars scored against the run of play just after the midway mark when Zari Simmons ran from deep to head a cross back towards goal, where burly striker Mark Steede guided his header past the stranded goalkeeper. Appeals to referee Garic Swainson for offside fell on deaf ears.
Somerset pressed hard after the break and picked up the tempo. A weak punch by Trott to a high cross from half-time substitute Hubert Butterfield created havoc in his area. The ball landed at the feet of D’Andre Wainwright, whose first-time shot was blocked by the recovering Zekiro White on the goalline.
Butterfield would then send in another cross that just beat the outstretched boot of Wainwright.
The Trojans continued to apply pressure and almost scored again when Wainwright was fouled outside the area. Corday’s free kick bounced off the chest of Trott and again was cleared to safety.
Cougars scored their second when Moses Steede gave a through-ball that was only partially cleared, allowing Pearman to pick his spot and bury a shot past the helpless Williams in the Somerset goal.
Jez Ratteray-Smith came on as a substitute and immediately had a profound impact on the game. He impressed with his hard running and dribbling skills to get behind the Cougars defence, which was marshalled by brothers Zekiro White and Zeko White, but lacked that final touch.
It was Ratteray-Smith’s persistence that set up the Trojans goal when he played a perfect pass inside into the path of Corday, whose shot deflected of the advancing Trott before landing in the back of the net.
Ratteray-Smith almost scored himself when his shot on target was deflected by Zekiro White and just cleared the crossbar for a corner.
Cougars scored a consolation goal minutes before the end, courtesy of Williams, the Somerset goalkeeper, who allowed a weak shot from Nyeem Simmons to elude his grasp and left a simple tap-in for Jomeko Mallory to secure the points for Cougars.
Pearman 18, Mark Steede 34, Mallory 86
Devonshire Cougars (4-1-3-2): K Trott — L Tota, Zekiro White, Zeko White, N Carmichael — D Simmons — Moses Steede, Zari Simmons, D Daniels (sub: J Mallory, 85min) — S Pearman (sub: J Mouchette, 76), Mark Steede (sub: Nyeem Simmons, 71). Substitutes not used: C Matthews, O Bascome, W Sinclair, Zion Simmons. Booked: Zeko White, Zekiro White, N Carmichael.
Somerset Trojans (4-3-3): Y Williams — C Durham, T Ming, Jadan Ratteray-Smith (sub: H Butterfield, 46), J Butterfield (sub: Jez Ratteray-Smith, 63) — D Zuill (sub: K Hollis, 63), J Corday — V Perinchief, D Swan, D Wainwright. Substitutes not used: D Lister, J Hill. Booked: Wainwright, Corday.
Referee: G Swainson.
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