Colts cause upset in fiery contest
PHC Zebras 2 Devonshire Colts 4
A late mêlée that held up play for several minutes marred Devonshire Colts’ stunning FA Cup quarter-final upset over PHC Zebras at PHC Field yesterday.
Tempers flared in the 87th minute just moments after second-tier Colts went 4-2 up with both sets of players coming together in the middle of the park.
When the dust settled, PHC defender Daren Usher received a red card for violent conduct while Colts’s two-goal hero Diego Richardson was dismissed for a second yellow card.
The incident took some of the shine off of the visiting side’s dominant display that kept 11-times FA Cup champions PHC chasing shadows all afternoon. Colts were by far the better team in every facet of the game and were deserving of their come-from-behind victory which left coach Ray Jones a happy camper.
“A lot of the things came out in the first half that we have been working on in training,” Jones said. “I didn’t feel the pressure when they went ahead because prior to that we created the better opportunities. I just thought if we continued knocking the ball around we would be OK.”
Jones’s challenge to his players did not fall on deaf ears.
“I challenged them to do something special and it started today by beating a Premier Division team,” he added. “It looks like we should be on our way back up [to the Premier Division] so today gives us a measurement, if we follow through, of the level we are going to have to reach.”
Cecoy Robinson, the PHC captain, admits his team were not up to par. “We weren’t good enough, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “They were hungrier than us. We were in the game and then we made too many wrong decisions.”
Colts went into the game as underdogs, however, it became clear from the outset that they would be no pushers overs as they pinned Zebras in their own half with an attractive brand of possession football, which belied their First Division status.
The visiting side created the first real chance of the match when Seanoj Mitchell, the Colts forward, got on the end of a cross but his effort was cleared off the line by defender Diondre Dowling.
Colts continued to press but were pegged back when PHC took the lead against the run of play. Dowling got forward for an attack and whipped in a low cross that Shakhai Trott turned in at the near post.
Despite the setback, Colts dusted themselves off and went about their business of slicing PHC apart with their crisp passing and movement. The visiting side’s relentless pressure finally paid off when they won a penalty after PHC were penalised for a foul in the area. Chemarl Henry made no mistake from 12 yards, sending PHC goalkeeper Coleridge Fubler the wrong way to bring the teams level.
PHC had an appeal for a penalty after midfielder Tre Ming was upended in the box waved off by referee Martin Wyer.
Colts came out swinging at the start to the second half with Fubler producing a brilliant fingertip save to deny Jibri Salaam’s shot from the edge of the box.
On a rare counter attack, Robinson lobbed onrushing Colts goalkeeper Jaden Mills-Furbert, only to watch his effort roll wide of the near post.
Colts took the lead when Richardson latched onto goalkeeper Mills-Furbert’s long kick as the PHC defence stood stationary and kept his composure before slotting past Fubler.
Robinson brought the teams level again when he ran onto a through pass and planted a low shot into the far bottom corner.
With extra time looming, Colts regained the lead when Richardson lashed in a Freeman Lema rebound, which Fubler parried into his path from close range for his second goal of the match.
Henry then completed a brace of his own when his long-range shot took a deflection en route to goal to send Colts through.
PHC Zebras: Trott 14, Robinson 78
Devonshire Colts: Henry 35 pen, 87 Richardson 66, 82
PHC Zebras (4-1-4-1): C Fubler — D Smith-Lightbourne, M Lambe, D Dowling, D Usher — D Lodge (sub: K Hypolite, 90+11min), T Ming, M Warren, J Sealey (sub: K Bean, 46), S Trott — C Robinson. Substitutes not used: S Trott, E King-Mills, Z Lee, J Hassell. Booked: Dowling, Ming, Warren. Sent off: Dowling.
Devonshire Colts (4-4-2): J Mills-Furbert — F Lema, C Trott, T Foote, S Burgess (sub: N Raynor, 84) — C Henry, J Salaam, R Jones, J Burgess — S Mitchell, D Richardson. Substitutes not used: G Gardner, J Francis, V Lambe, A Hart, K Bailey. Booked: Burgess, Richardson. Sent off: Richardson.
Referee: M Wyer.
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