Nisbett-Tankard strikes late for Rangers
Devonshire Cougars 0 Southampton Rangers 1
Southampton Rangers secured the Friendship Trophy title after a late header by Maquel Nisbett-Tankard against Devonshire Cougars at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.
Both teams cancelled each other out with some scrappy play in the first half, but the Cougars had a few clear chances.
The second half saw a few early chances created by the Cougars, most notably a shot by midfielder Jahzardae Samuels which was well kept out by Rangers goalkeeper Shaquille Bean in the 53rd minute.
Cougars ramped up the pressure with yet another chance, this time Elisha Darrell scuffing his shot from just outside the penalty area.
With both sides struggling in the final third, Cougars coach Vance Brown made the first change, bringing on Allan Douglas for winger Shakii Pearman in the 63rd minute.
Rangers had a chance of their own a few minutes later, this time Jarazinho Bassett’s header crashed off the bar before falling into the grateful hands of goalkeeper Ajai Daniels.
Cougars controlled possession and nearly found another opening 15 minutes from time, but left back Juma Mouchette was unable to keep his shot down.
Coach Jomar Wilkinson made another tactical change, bringing on Khimo Harrison for Jahkai Hill, primarily to move playmaker Rai Sampson into midfield.
Cougars created another opportunity, this time Samuels lashed his shot well over the crossbar.
Brown made an attacking change in the 68th minute, bringing on striker Nyeem Simmons for defender Damian Simmons. Darrell, who was starved of quality service for the majority of the game, was clear on goal yet again in the 81st minute, but he skied his attempted chip well over the bar.
Rangers created their best chances from set pieces. They finally scored in the 86th minute against the run of play, this time from a corner. The ball was delivered by substitute Keedai Astwood and headed in by Maquel Nisbett-Tankard. Goalkeeper Daniels got a finger on it, but the header beat him for pace.
Knowing that they had to chase the game, Brown made one final change, bringing on Koshun Durrant for Chris Caisey to try and liven up the team for the final stages, but to no avail. Rangers held out for the final moments to continue a run of winning at least one trophy in the past three seasons.
Donte Brangman, the Rangers captain, hailed his side’s belief and perseverance.
“It was a very scrappy game and we didn’t play the way we wanted to,” said the Bermuda defender. “At the end of the day, we came away with the victory and that’s all that matters.
“It seemed as though the game was going into overtime, but the goal came and we couldn’t have hoped for better than that.”
Southampton Rangers: Nisbett-Tankard, 86
Devonshire Cougars (4-2-3-1): A Daniels — L Tota, D Cox, D Simmons (sub, N Simmons, 68min), J Mouchette — Z Simmons, Z White — C Caisey (sub, K Durrant, 87), J Samuels, S Pearman (sub, A Douglas 63) — E Darrell. Substitutes not used: D Williams, C Maybury, K Trott, A Samuels, L Millett. Booked: J Samuels, C Caisey.
Southampton Rangers (4-4-2): S Bean — R Sampson, J Hill (sub, K Harrison, 65), M Nisbett-Tankard, K Davis — D Brangman, I Taylor, M Burch (sub, K Astwood, 70), S Hollis — K Wilson, J Bassett. Substitutes not used: D Frost, R Wright, N Mello, J Bean, T Wilkinson. Booked: Taylor, Davis.
Referee: L Christopher.
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