PHC begin title defence with victory
PHC Zebras 3 Somerset Trojans 2
Tre Ming set up the first and then scored the next two himself as PHC began the defence of their league title with a come-from-behind win at PHC field yesterday.
The Zebras suffered opening losses in the Charity Cup and Dudley Eve Trophy tournament, but new coach Robert Bean looked relieved as his team fought back to give him his first win as coach.
Ming showed no sign of a knee injury he suffered in Panama recently while representing Bermuda, laying on the perfect pass for new signing Aquino Grant to open his account for PHC following his transfer from Southampton Rangers in the summer.
After that it was the Ming show, as the Bermuda international struck just before the half, chipping a good goal past goalkeeper Dequan Crockwell in the final minute of the half, before scoring the winner three minutes after Somerset battled back to level it at 2-2 with a penalty from Jaz Ratteray-Smith.
“Obviously, I’m glad we got the win, but I’m not satisfied with the way we played in both halves,” Ming said. “In spurts we looked good, but hats off to Somerset, we knew they were coming defensively sound with Dennis Brown being the coach. I’m glad coach Bob can get a first win under his belt.
“The first goal shocked me to be honest, Aquino and I were talking before the game and I said ‘if you’re willing to make the run, I’ll make the pass’. I’m glad it paid off.”
The 7-0 loss to Dandy Town in the Dudley Eve Trophy has been the talking point of the early season, but yesterday’s win will go some ways to putting that behind them. “That 7-0 really humbled us, we did a lot of self-reflecting because no one should ever take that sort of defeat,” Ming said.
“Coach Winston Trott keeps reminding us that we’ve got a target on our back. As defending champions. Nothing’s going to be easy. We expect that and are up to the challenge.”
It was Somerset who broke the deadlock midway through the first half when striker Leo Burgess opened his account with a good finish. Latching onto a through ball from Jaz Ratteray-Smith, Burgess kept his composure to steer a low shot past goalkeeper Shaquille Trott and into the far corner.
However, two goals in the last six minutes of the half enabled PHC to turn the match around before the interval.
Ming set up Grant, who steered the ball past Crockwell to level the score in the 39th minute, before the former put PHC in front in the 44th minute with the best goal of the game, a chip from the left corner of the box into the far top corner.
Somerset, who were relegated last season before earning a reprieve when BAA pulled out of the league, were holding their own against the champions, with early second-half pressure paying off when D’Andre Wainwright was fouled by Robert Richardson inside the box and Jaz Ratteray-Smith stepped up to drive the spot-kick past Trott.
Crockwell then made a smart save to deny Ming, but there was nothing he could do moments later when Ming scored what proved to be the winner. Put through inside the box by Diondre Dowling, Ming drove his shot into the far bottom corner.
Striker Wainwright limped off in the 71st minute before he was replaced by Coolidge Durham as Jaz Ratteray-Smith pushed forward from midfield to join Burgess up front in search of an equaliser.
At the other end, Crockwell denied PHC captain Cecoy Robinson as the hosts played out the remaining minutes to claim victory.
Grant 39, Ming 44, 58
Burgess 20, Jaz Ratteray-Smith (pen) 53
PHC (4-3-3): Trott — Shakhai Trott, R Richardson, D Usher, D Smith-Lightbourne — T Ming (sub: D Lodge, 89), D Dowling, M Warren — A Grant (sub: J Sealey, 75), C Robinson, K Hypolite (sub: O Tucker, 53). Substitutes not used: M Lambe, Z Weller, J Warren-Smith, B DeGrilla. Booked: Sealey
Somerset Trojans (3-5-2): D Crockwell — R Quinn (sub: J Stowe, 61), T Ming, M Joell — T Sharrieff-Hayward, J Butterfield, Jaden Ratteray-Smith, Jaz Ratteray-Smith, K Sharrieff-Hayward (sub: D Zuill, 63) — D Wainwright (sub: C Durham, 71), L Burgess. Substitutes not used: Y Williams. Booked: Jaden Ratteray-Smith.
Referee: A Francis
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