Jennings dips into fountain of youth
North Village 2 Somerset Trojans 1
Keith Jennings rolled back the years to guide North Village to a come-from-behind win over visiting Somerset Trojans in this Premier Division clash at Bernard Park yesterday.
The 41-year-old striker scored twice either side of the interval to complete Village’s comeback and earn them their second league win of the season.
“Keith always brings quality and experience and hopefully the young players behind him can take some notes from him,” Randy Spence, the Village coach, said.
“Keith has played football all his life and I applaud him for coming out at his age and giving back to the club.”
Village’s second league win at home also snapped a three-game losing skid in all competitions.
“Three points is good and it’s also important especially at home where you want to win in front of your own fans,” Spence added.
“The game is earned and we had to come from behind and showed character.
“It took a little while and we lacked discipline in areas to keep our shape and stick to the plan.
“But once we got the ball rolling and started executing the game plan we were able to get on top of them.”
Village created plenty of chances to kill the game off but were unable to make the most of them, which kept Trojans in with a shout.
“We got the opportunities, which is good, but we have to do better with our finishing to take our opponent out of the game,” Spence said. “We still have to be clinical around goal.”
Yizharyah Williams, the Trojans goalkeeper, was forced into action early as he rushed off his line to thwart Che’Kai Caisey, the Village forward, with a key block in the box.
Caisey was denied again moments later when his shot struck a post during another Village raid.
The game turned on its head when Jaz Ratteray-Smith gave Trojans the lead against the run of play. The striker ran on to D’Andre Wainwright’s defence-splitting pass and beat Tahj Bell, the Village goalkeeper, with a low shot from an angle.
Jennings then rolled up his sleeves and took over from there.
The veteran player, who has also played in goal for Village this season, brought the teams level with a beautifully taken goal four minutes later.
Pierre Smith, the Village captain, picked out Jennings with a diagonal cross, which the striker volleyed into the roof of the net after catching Williams standing off his line.
The home side nearly surged ahead before the break, but a wide-open Tareeko Wilson struck the far post to spare Trojan blushes for some poor defending.
Jennings showed his intentions early in the second half when he spotted Williams again standing off his line and unleashed a shot from 40 yards that fizzed just wide of the target.
However, the Trojans would not be so lucky next time as Jennings scrambled in what proved to be the winner from inside of the box after a good build-up involving Jonathan Briers and Terryn Fray.
Trojans afternoon then went from bad to worst when key playmaker Justin Corday went off with a back injury.
Village pressed for more goals with Jennings, Briers, Fray, Smith and Caisey all going close, the latter firing over an empty net standing right in front of the goal.
Trojans were not as organised in the second half as they were in the first but still created chances to salvage something from the match. Jeze Butterfield blasted over after showing the Village defence a clean pair of heels, while Wainwright failed to connect with substitute Dennis Zuill’s inviting cross from inside the six-yard box.
Jennings 23, 59
Jaz Ratteray-Smith 19
North Village (4-2-3-1): T Bell — P Castle, T Fray, J Davis, K Knights — J Thomas (sub: M Thomas, 79min), T Wilson — J Briers, P Smith, C Caisey — K Jennings. Substitutes not used: K Smith, D Dillas, Z Hendrickson, L Dill. Booked: Caisey.
Somerset Trojans (4-2-3-1): Y Williams — H Butterfield, T Ming, C Durham, Jadan Ratteray-Smith — D Swan, V Perinchief (sub: K Hollis, 46min) — J Corday (sub: Z Robinson, 75), J Butterfield (sub: D Zuill, 84), D Wainwright — Jaz Ratteray-Smith. Substitutes not used: R Simmons. Booked: Wainwright, Perinchief, Jaz Ratteray-Smith.
Referee: M Wyer.
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