Simmons scores on Cougars return
Lejaun Simmons made the perfect return to Devonshire Cougars, wrapping up the scoring in a 2-0 victory over PHC Zebras in the Dudley Eve Trophy at Bernard’s Park yesterday.
The Bermuda winger, who rejoined Cougars from Robin Hood in the summer, made the ideal start back at the club where he made his senior debut at 16, sweeping home at the near post from a corner with 11 minutes remaining to settle the tie in which Elisha Darrell had broken the deadlock early on.
Simmons spoke of his delight at making an immediate impact as he aims to help inspire his boyhood club to be more competitive this campaign.
“It doesn’t really get much better then scoring and helping the team to a win on my return,” he said. “It felt good to finally be back out there at the club I started at when I was 16.
“The ambition is to help the team be competitive this season and try and ensure we are not battling in the bottom half of the table again.
“I left as a young lad and I’m back as one of the senior players who is here to help the younger guys.
“The manager [Vance Brown] wants me to be a leader in the squad and use my experience to help guide the squad and be a lot more competitive this season.”
Cougars opened the scoring after ten minutes as a sweeping counter attack down the right-hand side saw Darrell get on the end of a teasing low cross to finish past the helpless Shaquille Trott.
The advantage should have doubled just five minutes later with Cougars causing all manner of problems down the right wing. This time Trey Tucker burst down the byline before picking out Jomeko Mallory inside the area, who failed to keep his composure, wildly blazing over, when he should have done better.
PHC regrouped and came close to levelling just before the half-hour mark as Enrique Russell found Keishon Bean on the left-hand side of the area, whose curling right-footed shot was well pushed away by Chris Caisey.
Simmons was then denied in spectacular fashion as his stinging 30-yard strike was tipped over brilliantly by Caisey, while at the other end of pitch, Russell wriggled his way past three defenders into the area before seeing his low left-footed effort palmed away by Trott, ensuring Cougars went in ahead at the break.
After a tentative start to the second half, PHC had the first sighting of goal with Marco Warren’s curled free kick bringing out a smart save from Caisey just after the hour mark.
With the final ten minutes looming, Simmons settled any lingering nerves as he grabbed a goal on his return.
A quick corner routine from the right-hand side saw a low drilled cross to the front post where the waiting Simmons swept a right-foot shot past Trott and a defender on the line.
As PHC heads dropped, Cougars continued to sweep forward as the final whistle loomed. With moments remaining Simmons came close to doubling his tally as a deep searching cross from the left found the winger at the back post. However, he was unable to capitalise as his volley flashed across the face of the goal and away from danger.
Simmons exited moments later, leaving the field to applause from the bench and Cougars fans alike having made the perfect start to life back at the club.
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