X-Roads touch the heights
BAA 0 X-Roads 4
X-Roads reached new heights yesterday when they went to the top of the Premier Division for the first time after a comfortable victory over BAA.
Dandy Town, the joint leaders going into the weekend, were beaten by Robin Hood on Saturday night, leaving the way for the Warriors to go somewhere they haven’t been before in their short time as a top-flight club.
Donavan Thompson got them going with his third double of the campaign, before two more goals in the second half enabled X-Roads to win with some panache. They retained a perfect record after three straight wins, keeping their first clean sheet of the season in the process.
“The team showed character and played together as a team,” X-Roads coach Farid El Karfa said.
“BAA are a difficult team who play good football, but we were able to shut out their threats by pressing harder. We didn’t expect an easy game.”
At this stage of the previous season, X-Roads had not picked up a solitary point, but now they sit on top of the pack, having scored 12 goals in the process.
“It is a good feeling to win the first three matches, but we realise it is a long season and we’re taking it one game at a time,” the coach said.
Thompson broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when a well-struck shot at the far post after Rico Beek helped set up the chance on the left side before the ball found Thompson who drove his shot into the bottom corner.
Midfielder Tymon Daniels went close to adding a second a few minutes later, but goalkeeper Daniel Johnson tipped his free kick over the crossbar. At the other end, BAA went close, too, from a free kick, when captain Tyrell Burgess saw his effort deflect off the wall before goalkeeper Dashun Cooper turned the ball over the bar.
Thompson doubled the X-Roads lead midway through the half when he drilled home a shot from inside the box after Beek was again involved in the move on the left side. It was Thompson’s sixth goal in only three games.
A lob by Paul Simons grazed the crossbar as X-Roads continued to penetrate. BAA enjoyed a brief period of possession late in the half, as they tried to string some passes together. The home team introduced Morricko Iris for Jonas Schroder at the start of the second half, but it was a substitution by X-Roads that had greater impact.
Jahron Dickinson, on for Daniel Baker in the 56th minute, curled a first-time left-foot shot inside the near post from 20 yards after a short cross from the left. Dickinson suffered a setback in the 76th minute when he pulled a hamstring stretching for a high ball and had to be replaced only 20 minutes into his cameo.
However, the points were already in the bag at that point, with Dickinson’s replacement, Nasir Richardson, almost getting in on the scoring in the closing minutes. Thompson fed him a back-heeled pass and Richardson’s shot from 25 yards was turned around a post by Johnson diving to his right.
Defender Jamin Furbert closed out the scoring in the 90th minute when he met captain Patrick Richardson’s corner from the right and headed home inside a crowded box.
El Karfa was still taken by goal number three at the end. “It was a brilliant goal [by Jahron],” he said. “He started to impact the game very positively, but was quite unlucky and we had to make another substitution.
“It was an excellent performance from the whole team, I’m very happy with the boys.”
Thompson 7, 21
Dickinson 63, Furbert 90
BAA (4-3-3): D Johnson — Q Lema, T Burgess, Z Robinson, N Gibbons (sub: R Murphy, 77min) — J Schroder (sub: M Iris, 46), T Tucker, K Bean — D Bascome, J Lottimore (sub: K McQueen, 62), E Butterfield-Tankard. Substitutes not used: M Brangman, A Carvelho, A Darrell, S Thomas. Booked: Butterfield-Tankard, Burgess, T Tucker.
X-Roads (4-3-3): D Cooper — L Simmons, K Wilkinson, J Furbert, A Burgess — P Simons, T Daniels, P Richardson — D Thompson, D Baker (sub: J Dickinson, 56; sub: N Richardson, 76), R Beek (sub: T Lowe, 70). Substitutes not used: O Williams, K Hamilton, T Smith, N Johnston.
Referee: M Wyer.
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