Colts clinch festive title
Devonshire Colts 1 PHC Zebras 0
PHC Zebras were denied a second title in two days when Diego Richardson’s second-half goal gave Devonshire Colts victory in the Expansion League Festive Tournament final at Goose Gosling Field last night.
However, Colts were robbed of their moment in the spotlight when the lights were turned off minutes after the game finished and just as the teams were lining up for the trophy presentation.
Unable to be turned back on within a 30-minute “cool-down” period, the presentation went ahead in near darkness as fans stayed around and then turned on a few mobile phones so to provide some lighting.
Colts deserved to be crowned champions after a battling performance, which was sealed by Richardson’s goal with 15 minutes remaining.
A long ball enabled Richardson to run through the middle before steering the ball past the advancing goalkeeper Calvin Thomas.
A tactical change permitted Richardson, one of Colts’s overseas students, to move forward from midfield as the game hung in the balance and looked like going to another decider from the penalty spot.
“The teams were evenly matched and there weren’t many chances,” Ray Jones, the Colts coach, said. “At half time we spoke about our activity in the final third and that it wasn’t of enough quality to win.
“We were looking for more penetration and the chance we got was delivered into the final third with the runner coming from deep. He [Richardson] was playing in the No 8 [position] and we moved him to No 10 because they seemed to be struggling with his dribbling runs.
“We decided to move him higher up the pitch and it paid off. The players overseas are not here on a full-time basis, but when they are here they inspire the players who are.
“I’m glad they won something because this is where the investment is going to be as far as getting us back where we need to be. PHC are what we’re aiming to get to and we knew they had a lot of players coming back as well.”
Except for a chance by Richardson in the 38th minute, when he ran onto a loose ball inside the box and drove his effort just wide, there were clear chances at either end in the first half.
With rolling substitutions, both teams made changes late in the first half, with PHC introducing Aaliyah Nolan, a Bermuda women’s team forward and overseas student, as a substitute late in the first half. While she showed some good touches, there were few chances for her to test goalkeeper Jaden Mills-Furbert.
More chances came in the second half as things got more exciting after the break. Chemari Henry, of Colts, ran through into the box before his shot from a narrow angle was turned around for a corner by Thomas.
The game was coming to life with PHC’s Trott going closest with a shot from a free kick on the left side of the box that grazed the far post. Then Kushae Hypolite had another good for the Zebras after being fed a pass outside the box before turning and shooting over the bar.
Just as PHC were enjoying a good spell, Colts struck at the other end for the game’s only goal. After that Colts’ Charles Trott curled a free kick just wide of the far post. Jones was happy to have first-choice goalkeeper Mills-Furbert back in the team after a recent bike accident.
“I’m glad for the shutout; the goalkeeper only had one real save to make, which meant the players in front of him were doing their defensive duties,” Jones said. “He’s our No 1 ‘keeper; he got in a bike accident six or seven weeks ago and since then other people have been filling in. He made himself available today after we called him to see how he was doing.”
Colts: Richardson 75
Devonshire Colts: J Mills-Furbert — J Burgess, J Bean-Lindo, M Isaac, S Burgess, J Talbot-Thomas, C Henry, J Paynter, C Hart, D Richardson, E Smith. Substitutes: D Lambe, C Trott, T Eve, J Francis, M Bean-Brown, S Mitchell, Quilvan Simmons, E Weldon, B O’Connor.
PHC Zebras: C Thomas — M Simmons, J Hassell, S Trott, M Wilson, K Hall, O Tucker, C Booth, K Matthie, N Edwards, J Iris. Substitutes: J Eve, Z Lee, J Sealey, A Nolan, Z Ming-Wilson, K Hypolite, K Brangman, E King-Mills, T Fubler. Booked: Matthie.
Referee: D Jackson.
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