PHC break down stubborn Rangers
Southampton 0 PHC Zebras 2
PHC Zebras are not ready to relinquish the league title just yet as they fought off a late challenge by a stubborn Southampton Rangers outfit to come away with a victory at Southampton Oval yesterday.
An early second-half strike from Tre Ming and a late, unfortunate own goal by Rai Sampson secured all three points for the Zebras and keeps them in third place and nine points behind leaders North Village with three league games remaining.
The loss for Rangers keeps them two points clear of the drop zone with the same amount of games to play.
“As long as we are mathematically in it, we will fight until the end,” said midfielder Marco Warren.
“The league is about consistency. I give credit to Hood and Village. We haven’t been consistent all year, but we will keep pushing and let the other teams know that we are still on the map.”
The game started in sunny but cold conditions as both teams took to the field.
It would be the visiting side to warm up first with Keishon Bean’s firm side-footed volley denied by the upright with Rangers’ goalkeeper Shaquille Bean beaten for pace followed closely by captain Cecoy Robinson volleying Bean’s cross just over the top.
Rangers slowly came into their game with Cardel Henry making some forceful runs down the wing, but lacked the final touch as he held onto the ball too long trying to beat his man instead of passing.
Keedai Astwood was also impacting for Rangers with his dangerous crosses which were cleared to safety by the Zebras defence.
Damon Ming thought he had opened the account for Rangers when his low, swerving free kick made its way through a crowd of players only to be denied by PHC goalkeeper’s Shaquille Trott’s feet at the last minute.
PHC had the upper hand going into the break, but had no goals to show for it.
Rangers came out the second half with greater intensity and should have scored in the first six minutes when Henry used his speed to pass his marker before his cross found captain Donte Brangman running in at the back post, however, he side-footed wide with the goal at his mercy. PHC capitalised on this miss and scored two minutes later.
Warren’s cross was blocked by defender Sampson and Ming slammed the loose ball hard and low which goalkeeper Bean partially blocked, but was strong enough to roll into the back of the net.
PHC then dominated the next few minutes as De-Aun Lodge’s 25-yard effort smashed against the crossbar.
Rangers were sensing the urgency and started playing long balls over the top in search of an equaliser.
They were unfortunate when striker Jarazhino Bassett’s scorcher slammed off the upright before Astwood hit a tame rebound at goalkeeper Trott then substitute Quadir Maynard had his free kick palmed away at the near post for a corner.
PHC scored their second against the run of play when Maynard was dispossessed by Robinson whose off-target shot deflected off the boot of Sampson which wrong-footed the goalkeeper to end up in the corner of his net.
Rangers should have scored a consolation goal as time was running out when Ming snaked along the byline leaving defender Mikey Lambe in his wake before passing to Travis Wilkinson. His first-time shot rattled the upright before being cleared to safety.
Ming 53, Sampson 81 og
Southampton Rangers (4-2-3-1): S Bean — K Harrison, R Wright (sub: M Burch, 56min), R Sampson, M Nisbett-Tankard — D Brangman, D Ming — K Astwood, J Bassett, C Henry (sub: Q Maynard 60) — K Astwood (sub: T Wilkinson 60). Substitutes not used: J Bean, N Mello, S Hollis. Booked: S Bean.
PHC Zebras (4-2-3-1): S Trott — D Smith-Lightbourne, E King-Mills, M Lambe, K Abraham — D Lodge, T Ming — M Warren, K Bean (sub: K Matthie, 85), K Hypolite (sub: J Joseph, 75) — C Robinson (sub: Z Weller 86). Substitutes not used: C Fubler, M Wilson, T Welch. Booked: M Lambe.
Referee: A Augustus.
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