PHC edge out defiant North Village
PHC Zebras 2 North Village 1
(after extra time)
PHC Zebras advanced to the next round of the FA Cup after edging out a defiant North Village after extra time at PHC Stadium yesterday.
Cecoy Robinson, the PHC captain, popped up in extra time to settle the match but felt that the game could have been decided a lot earlier.
“We created enough chances to have sealed it, particularly in extra time, but that’s how football is sometimes, and in the end I am pleased that we got the job done,” Robinson said.
The win keeps them in contention to claim all available silverware this season as they have already taken the Charity Cup and Friendship Trophy, and are tied for first in the league. “There is still a long way to go with a lot to play for.”
Both teams were very spirited in their approach and from the outset were equally tough in their tackling as DeAndre Smith-Lightbourne would find out in the 25th minute. He was on the end of a challenge from Tahje Burchall that he could not shake off and was replaced by Mikal Simmons.
It took nearly 30 minutes for the first real chance to come, with Darren Usher planting his follow-up effort into the top corner after Detre Bell did well to save Marco Warren’s initial header from a corner.
Moments later, Warren came close to doubling the lead when he was on the end of another cross, but his glancing header went inches wide of the far post with the keeper beaten.
Village would then have a good chance to equalise in the dying minutes of the half, when Marcelos Thomas was brought down inside the box by goalkeeper Shaquille Trott, who was lucky to escape without caution.
However, Pierre Smith was unable to make the spot kick count as his effort grazed the cross bar on its way over the top of the goal.
Ten minutes into the second half, Village were awarded another penalty, when Usher deliberately handled Thomas’s return pass to Tariko Wilson. The defender did receive a caution in the process, and Wilson gave the goalkeeper no chance, firmly stroking the ball to the left to level.
Late in the half, an already tense game threatened to boil over, when Robinson took exception to a tackle from Patraic Castle. Team-mates from both sides came to the scene but cooler heads prevailed and both players received yellow cards for their roles in the skirmish.
Just before regulation time, Bell made another fine save, tipping Robinson’s drive from the edge of the box, over the bar sending the game into extra time. The eventual winner came in the first minute of extra time, when Robinson ghosted in at the back post unmarked, to put the finishing touches to a lovely cross from the left.
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