Trojans boost survival hopes
Devonshire Cougars 0 Somerset Trojans 2
Somerset Trojans eased their relegation concerns with two second-half goals against Devonshire Cougars to make it a happy return to “the Den” for former Cougars coach Dennis Brown.
Jaz Ratteray-Smith scored a penalty a minute into the second half before substitute D’Andre Wainwright made certain of the win four minutes into stoppage time. Cougars were reduced to ten men in the second period after Zeki White was sent off for handball.
The win lifted Trojans two places in the standings ahead of X-Roads and Southampton Rangers.
Cougars threatened to wipe out that lead with a good period of pressure midway through the second half despite being a man short, as the Trojans wasted some good opportunities.
“One of the things we talked about before the game was that today was like a final and we needed the points,” Brown said.
“I thought we worked extremely hard in the first half. In the second half we came more into the game although Cougars worked extremely hard with their ten men. I thought we could have sealed it.
“We had enough chances to put it away, but I’m happy with the overall performance and the three points.”
Cougars had an effort ruled out midway through the half when Zari Simmons’s ball into the box saw Koshun Durrant, in an offside position when he allowed the ball to go past him, his “dummy” obstructed goalkeeper Dequan Crockwell before the ball rolled into the back of the net.
Cougars were hit by two hamstring injuries as defender Juma Mouchette limped off in the 36th minute and midfielder Calin Maybury suffered a similar injury and did not return for the second half.
Somerset’s best chance of the half fell to captain Leo Burgess who fired well off target after he did well to intercept a pass by goalkeeper Kioshi Trott intended for Mouchette before getting into the box and then wasting the chance with the goal at his mercy. The home team suffered a double blow in the first minute of the second half when captain White was dismissed for a deliberate handball which resulted in a penalty that Ratteray-Smith duly converted.
Cougars almost equalised six minutes later when a ball into the box by substitute Nyhrobi Carmichael saw Drewonde Bascome lift his effort over the crossbar.
At the other end, Dion Stovell curled a shot wide of the near post after a good run and cross by Jaden Ratteray-Smith on the right side.
The game was wide open with Burgess intercepting a pass by goalkeeper Trott but delaying his shot which was eventually blocked on the line by Simmons. Cougars had a good period with Bascome’s free kick bringing off a save at the near post by Crockwell.
Cougars went close again to an equaliser when a free kick 30 yards out by Simmons brought off a good save from Crockwell who tipped the ball over the bar.
Burgess had a good chance to seal the victory for the Trojans in the 86th minute but put his shot struck the post from close range with only the goalkeeper to beat.
There was still some drama in stoppage time as Somerset held on to their lead. First, Bascome’s free kick took a deflection before going over the bar, while at the other end, substitute D’Andre Wainwright put the points in the bag when he steered the ball past Trott after a cross from Damon Swan on the right.
“Cougars are a quality team and will never give up, even when I was with the team,” Brown said. “Even when they went down to ten men they still fought hard.
“We have to take one game at a time and prepare for next week like it’s another final.”
Somerset Trojans: Jaz Ratteray-Smith pen 46, Wainwright 90+4
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3): K Trott — Zekiro White, A Samuels, Zeko White, J Mouchette (sub: N Carmichael, 38min) — C Maybury (sub: A Douglas, 46), Z Simmons, J Fox — J Samuels (sub: N Simmons, 81), K Durrant, D Bascome. Substitutes not used: A Daniels, S Pearman. Booked: Douglas. Sent off: Zeko White.
Somerset Trojans (4-3-3): D Crockwell — R Quinn, C Durham, T Ming, K Sharieff-Hayward — Jaz Ratteray-Smith (sub: Z Smith, 58), D Swan, M Joell — D Stovell (sub: D Wainwright, 90), L Burgess, Jaden Ratteray-Smith. Substitutes not used: J Stowe, J Butterfield, R Seaman. Booked: Joell.
Referee: M Wyer.
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