Devonshire Cougars target a top-four finish
North Village 1 Devonshire Cougars 2
Devonshire Cougars have their sights set on a top-four finish after yesterday’s come-from-behind win at Bernard Park took them ahead of BAA on goal difference.
Coach Mark Smith praised his team’s character after coming from a goal down at half time to win on goals by front pair Allan Douglas and Chae Brangman. The win takes them up to fifth in the standings, still two points behind X-Roads and with one game remaining.
The match had a controversial moment at the half-hour mark when Cougars were awarded a penalty for a handball. Brangman converted to goalkeeper Tahj Bell’s right but referee Lloyd Christopher blew for an infringement when Cougars player Zari Simmons moved into the box before the kick was taken. The Cougars players were furious when Christopher then awarded a free kick to North Village for the offence.
“After the penalty call it was a hard-earned performance from our team who dug in hard today,” said Smith who, along with Vance Brown, has guided the team clear of the threat of relegation with four straight wins.
“It was a good week of training and it came out on the pitch today. We’re pushing for fourth place now.”
Cougars suffered another setback four minutes later when Village took the lead from a well-taken goal by veteran Keith Jennings. Midfielder Rai Simons, a former professional in the UK before an injury derailed his career, made a strong surge forward before laying on a pass to Jennings to drive low into the far corner.
Village thought they had a goal midway through the half when a shot from striker Marcelos Thomas was parried by goalkeeper Kioshi Trott before Che’Kai Caisey followed up with a shot that was pushed against the post by Trott. Caisey appealed for a goal, suggesting the ball went over the line.
In first half stoppage time, Demetre Daniels wasted a good chance to pull Cougars level against his former team when his shot from a good position inside the box was put wide of the far post.
Cougars kept that momentum going in the second half as they pressed hard for an equaliser. Zekiro White sent Douglas through into the box before Bell blocked his shot. Then fullback Cashun Brangman blasted wide after Douglas set him up.
The goal finally came in the 75th minute when Chae Brangman sent Douglas into the box on the left side and he kept his composure to steer his shot between the ‘keeper’s legs.
Brangman got his reward minutes later when he struck Cougars’s second goal in six minutes. The ball was played forward by substitute Trey Tucker and Brangman ran through the defence before beating Bell from close range. Village had their best chance to earn a point in the 90th minute when Simons’s shot from 25 yards went just wide of the far post, as Cougars hung on for their second league win over their neighbours this season.
C Brangman 81
North Village (4-3-3): T Bell — K Knights, J Thomas, P Castle, Z Hendrickson — J Briers, R Simons, K Jennings — M Thomas (sub: W Shakir, 80), G Butterfield (sub: P Smith, 73), C Caisey. Substitutes not used: T Wilson, D Dillas, J Smith-DeShields, J Davis. Booked: Hendrickson, Briers.
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3): K Trott — Zekiro White, Zeko White, C Maybury, C Brangman — D Simmons, S Pearman (sub: T Tucker, 63), Z Simmons — C Brangman (sub: N Carmichael, 90), A Douglas (sub: N Simmons, 83). Substitutes not used: C Matthews, J Furbert-Wade, J Mouchette, Z Simmons. Booked: Daniels, N Simmons.
Referee: L Christopher