Practice makes perfect for Bather
Robin Hood 1 North Village 0
Defender Jaylon Bather scored direct from a free kick early in the second half to book Robin Hood a spot in the Dudley Eve Trophy final for the second time at Goose Gosling Field last night.
Hood deserved the win after creating the better chances, particularly in the first half, before Bather’s strike settled a close, hard-fought tie.
The chance was created when Jecoa Thomas fouled Casey Castle near the right corner of the penalty box. He was also booked before Bather, the Bermuda defender, stepped up and curled a left-footed shot in off the inside of the near post.
Village tried frantically to draw level after that, bringing on Lashun Dill for fellow veteran Keith Jennings minutes later and then striker Giniko Butterfield for full back Kyler Knights as they threw players forward.
Bather and his defence stood firm as Hood held on, although it was not as convincing as the two group matches in September when they put seven goals past Somerset Trojans and Devonshire Cougars.
“We’re doing the right things and getting in the right positions,” said Hood coach John Barry Nusum. “We were able to get that one goal and play more freely, but Village came out and played a good game.
“They could have got one, but I don’t think Dale [Eve] had too much to do. A win is a win and whether it’s seven or one we’ll take it, especially in a cup game.
“We knew what Village would come with and we just had to match it. The hard part is we play them again on Saturday in the league.”
Nusum praised Bather for his well-taken goal. “Jaylon has been working on that all week and begging us to allow him to take a free kick,” Nusum said.
“It was excellent, in off the post and the goalkeeper couldn’t do anything about it. For Jaylon, it’s a boost and I’m glad it went in. He may be in on a few more [free kicks] now!”
Hood were unlucky not to take the lead early on when they went close on a couple of occasions. Antwan Russell drove a free kick through the wall, but Tahj Bell made the save.
Hood captain Lejuan Simmons put a header over the bar from a good position after a Castle cross into the box from the right side set him up just eight yards from goal.
Hood suffered a setback when Tomiko Goater, who took a knock in the first half, went off early in the second period as Hood made their first substitution.
Robin Hood 1
Jaylon Bather 52
Robin Hood (4-4-2): D Eve — C Castle, D Andrade, J Bather, S Smith (sub: D Williams, 77min) — A Nelson, P Parsons, J Pereira, T Goater (sub: C Ryan, 56) — A Russell (sub: R Wray, 90), L Simmons. Substitutes not used: T Bean, C Ricca, J Nusum, E Outerbridge. Booked: Andrade, Parsons.
North Village (4-3-3): T Bell — K Knights (sub: G Butterfield, 75), T Fray, P Castle, J Thomas — J Briers, T Wilson, J Davis — K Jennings (sub: L Dill, 60), C Caisey (sub: Zanike Hendrickson, 86), P Smith. Substitutes not used: Zaniko Hendrickson, K Smith, D Dillas. Booked: Wilson, Thomas, Briers.
Referee: M Wyer.
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