Nusum hoping Eve goes on to bigger and better things
John Barry Nusum, the Robin Hood coach, does not expect Dale Eve, the Bermuda No 1, to rejoin the team this season, but hopes experienced goalkeeper Jason Simons will return from injury for their top-of-the-table match away to North Village on Saturday.
Eve has missed the last few games as he pursues professional opportunities in Britain, with Simons returning to the team to fill the gap, although he missed their 1-1 draw at home to Southampton Rangers on Tuesday as Antwan Russell filled in again between the sticks.
With defender Dominique Williams serving a ban after his red card against Rangers, Hood will need the experience of Simons as they face Village pursuing a first league title since the 2010-11 season.
“Dale is going to be a big miss anyway, but Jason has come and filled in,” Nusum said. “We’re having goalkeeper issues a little bit, but it is what it is, we’re not going to cry about it.
“Dale, hopefully, is moving on to something bigger and better, and now we’ve got Jason, so we’ll see what happens. I don’t expect Dale to be back. I hope he’s not going to be back because that would mean he’s doing something better.
“Antwan has filled in a lot of different positions this year, so I have to give credit to him for his maturity level. Whenever we’ve needed him to fill in he’s come and done a job for us, even as goalkeeper. Most people who know Antwan know that’s probably the last place on earth he would want to be.”
A lack of consistency this month, drawing their last three games, has seen second-place Hood fall off the pace in the title race. They are, however, only three points behind Village.
“The bottom line is we will have to beat Village in order to do something, so we’re in the same position of this being a must-win game,” Nusum acknowledged. “What it does now, though, is make the other games must-win games as well.
“It doesn’t change much as far as the thought process for this weekend. It was always going to be a game that either us or Village would have to win for our title aspirations. The positive outlook from last night was that we were able to squeeze out a point in the last minute, which could be a vital point.”
Hood were able to protect their unbeaten run in the league and remain the only team without a defeat in the two divisions, although Nusum insists the team is not preoccupied with that record.
“It’s never really been a goal of ours,” Nusum said. “We’re just trying to get three points as opposed to one.”
Hood lost Williams to a straight red card for kicking Rangers’ Keedai Astwood during an altercation in the seventeenth minute. However, they fought back to earn a point with a stoppage-time equaliser by defender Jaylon Bather.
“We were down a man already, so it showed a bit of character,” Nusum added. “We had enough chances where we could have capitalised and taken the points. This year we’ve had a lot of opportunities that we’re not putting home, and some games have come back to bite us.
“Last night we were able to squeeze out a draw, though we’re not getting the three points that we need.”
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