Town prevail in 12-goal thriller
X-Roads 5 Dandy Town 7
A seismic eruption occurred at Garrison Field on Saturday with Dandy Town and X-Roads causing more than a few tremors to be felt during a 90-minute flow of goals, bursting forth over the island’s easternmost ridge
Town emerged best but not unscathed from the ash and rubble of their victory after their first-half symphony of thunderous strikes was followed by a near calamitous, melodic crash as the home side produced responsive temblors with a furious second-half fight back that gave credence to their “Warriors” moniker.
Appearing dead and buried by Town’s marauding first-half attacking display led by Angelo Simmons, who was simply unplayable with his improved pace and exquisite ball skills, scoring a hat-trick before the home side could blink.
Noticeably lighter in build compared to previous years Simmons, after Kwame Steede in the fourth minute and Oneko Lowe in the nineteenth had each tallied during an early period of high pressure, converted a string of goals in the 28th, 32nd and 35th minutes to put Town up 5-0 as X-Roads defence were surgically dismembered by the intricate ball work produced by Town.
X-Roads finally were able make a response in first-half injury time as Patrick Richardson got on the end of a well-directed left-wing cross from an overlapping Rico Beek to slam home past goalkeeper Treadwell Gibbons Jr
However, a minute later Steede was on hand to notch his second after another lightening attack by the visiting side.
Demoralised and embarrassed by this first-half showing X-Roads regrouped at half-time and came back reinvigorated for the second stanza as the match became a classic tale of two halves.
Held as a nonentity for the opening period, Donovan Thompson unleashed himself as a man on a mission, single-handedly torturing and overpowering Town’s ragged defence to strike home in the 59th, 70th and 74th minutes to reduce the deficit to two goals at 6-4.
Simmons though struck back in the 79th with his fourth, however, a minute later X-Roads were filled with more hope when Richardson tallied his second, which would end the scoring.
Afterwards Simmons told of his satisfaction of scoring four times and the team’s demonstrated attacking prowess early on which had been part of the game plan, that of using high pressure tactics from the outset.
“We played very well in the first half, we were sharp in all areas but we came out too flat in the second half and let them back in the game, but the main thing is that we got three points even though we conceded five goals in the second half,” said Simmons, who has led the league in scoring the past four seasons.
“I have slimmed down a bit from last season that was an objective of mine.
“I’m happy with they goals but more important was the three points, goalscoring has always been there for me, I just look to be calm in front of goal, take my chances and get better and better.”
Likewise, Aaron Denkins, the Town assistant coach, admitted to his men running low on fuel after an explosive opening, but noted the early attacking blitz to have been their plan, although their latter defensive failures would bring cause for concern.
“We spent a lot of time talking about how we don’t kill games off in the first 15 minutes,” Denkins said.
“We’ve dominated teams all season early but we don’t put the ball away, so we worked hard on that in the first half, we really worked hard and over-attacked and the second-half legs were gone, minds were gone, so there was a lot of mental and physical fatigue but we got through it, that’s the main thing.
“Credit to X-Roads for not putting their heads down and continuing to fight and it ended up a really good game.”
Meanwhile, X-Roads coach Larry Smith was yet not disheartened considering his men’s show of heart, but admitted there was much work to do with his side going forward.
“We made some adjustments at half-time and it was a game of two halves,” he said. “If you’re going to go down six you might as well go out with a lot of heart, put your body on the line, put your mind on the line and a thought a goal or two would change the complexity of the match. They [Town] played well, but they played well in the first half.
“This we regarded as a must win, regrettably we didn’t win it, but the season’s still young and we have a lot of games left to play and we have to tighten up for the rest of those games.
“Dandy Town are always going to be a good challenge for us, they have a lot of youngsters an we just need to tighten up.”
Dandy Town: Simmons 28, 32 35, 79 Steede 4, 45+2, Lowe 19
X-Roads: Thompson 59, 70, 77, Richardson 45+1, 80
X-Roads (4-4-2): J Burrows (sub: D Cooper, 13min) — R Beek (sub: D Ossett, 46), K Wilkinson, J Furbert, C McDowell — T Burgess, M Hill, J Lottimore — J Sanchez (sub: D Woolridge. 46), P Richardson, D Thompson. Booked: McDowell.
Dandy Town (4-4-1-1): T. Gibbons — J Richardson, S Wade, N Smith (K Wade, 59), E Blankendel — O Lowe, L Emery, K Steede, M Parsons (sub: J Furbert, 74) — C Darrell (sub: O Wilson, 59) — A Simmons.
Referee: M Wyer.
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