Crofton ensures first orders go United’s way
West End United 1 Robin Hood 1
West End United win 6-5 on penalties
West End United had to go the distance before beating Robin Hood on penalty kicks to win a third straight Coronita Cup last night at Goose Gosling Field.
The Corona League champions dominated the first half but had only striker Dylan DeSilva’s goal to show for it, having had an early effort ruled out for offside and then missed a penalty.
Lamaul Crofton who would later score the deciding penalty, had a shot inside the first five minutes called back as West End had a bright start. It looked like getting brighter in the nineteenth minute when Crofton was fouled inside the box, but DeSilva blasted the spot-kick just over the crossbar.
Jason Simons, the Robin Hood goalkeeper who played for their Premier Division team a couple of years ago, made a spectacular one-handed save from a 20-yard effort from Shane Dietz, tipping it over the bar.
West End took a deserved lead in the 33rd minute when a long ball forward from right back Cody Lima put the Hood defence under pressure. James Nicholson’s header back to Simons was too weak and DeSilva nipped in to lob the goalkeeper.
Robin Hood were back on level terms in the first minute of the second half when Matthew Madeiros’s corner from the right drew miskicks from at least one defender before captain Colin O’Sullivan drove a low shot past Calvin Thomas.
After that the game remained open, with both teams creating good chances to break the deadlock. A Crofton header was parried by Simons at the far post, before Mackih McGowan, the Robin Hood substitute, lifted a shot over after the United defence cracked under pressure.
Adolphus Lambert laid on a good chance for Trevor Corday with his cross from the left, but the midfielder headed over from a good position. Jake Fox went close for Robin Hood minutes later when his shot brought off a smart save from Thomas, who tipped the ball over the bar.
The match went straight into penalty kicks and it looked like being a much longer night as the first ten efforts were converted before goalkeeper Simons had his kick for Hood saved by Thomas to his right.
The pressure was on Crofton to win it for his team and the former Somerset Trojans player scored to seal a 6-5 victory for the defending champions.
“I just had to pick my spot,” Crofton said. “I knew he was going to move one way, so I just picked my spot. Overall, it was a rough game. They are our rivals and we battle with them every season, so we knew it was going to be a tough one.”
West End beat Footy Kings 3-0 in last year’s match but this one was much tighter, with both teams putting in a big effort in the first match of the season.
“One-all was a fair result, we just happened to come out on top with the penalties,” Crofton said. “We did miss a penalty earlier, but he [DeSilva] got our first goal to open it up, so he redeemed himself.
“I love the league; it’s good for the guys who have retired and want to come out and have a kick.”
Steven Simons, O’Sullivan, McGowan, Jevon Roberts and Dietz scored from 12 yards for Hood, while Ricardo Madeiros, Corday, Kevin Cabral, captain Shawn Simons and Jensen Rogers scored for West End before Crofton netted the decider.
West End United
D DeSilva 33
West End United (4-4-2): C Thomas — C Lima, K Cabral, J Rogers, J Mallory (sub: K Bean, 81min) — T Corday, S Simons, D Almeida (sub: D Brangman, 65), A Lambert — L Crofton, D DeSilva (sub: R Madeiros, 73). Substitutes not used: A Ford, E DeSilva, T Lee.
Robin Hood (4-4-2): J Simons — J Fabrel (sub: J Roberts, 83), C O’Sullivan, J Nicholson, K Robinson — M Madeiros, S Dietz, F Divoulo (sub: M Armstrong, 70), L Morrison (sub: S Simons, 81) — J Fox, S Burchall (sub: M McGowan, 52). Substitutes not used: L McNaughton, N Lines, C McCabe.
Referee: A Francis.