Village hold off spirited Rangers to cement top spot
North Village 1 Southampton Rangers 0
North Village maintained their position at the top of the Premier Division table with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Sothampon Rangers at Bernards Park yesterday.
After taking an early lead through Keishen Bean from the penalty spot, the Rams were forced to grind out a result against a determined Rangers squad that pushed to the end.
“We realised fairly quickly that the conditions were not favorable for neat football and that it would be more about the battle”, said Village coach Kenny Thompson.
“The information was relayed to the team and I think they did well to adjust and give the type of effort that was going to be required to win the match”
It would not be the only early adjustment that the home team would have to make.
They were also forced to replace Jason Davis in the 12th minute after an awkward fall that resulted in a fractured wrist for the player.
It took a while for both teams to settle and it was not until midway through the half when Bean was presented with an opportunity following a mix up between the goalkeeper and defender.
However, the striker could not capatalise on the chance, hooking his effort wide of the target leaving Rangers players involved thankful for the let off.
However, moments later Bean was in on goal again, this time being brought down in the box as he attempted to get on the end of a square pass from the left, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the peanlty spot.
The veteran striker stepped up and made no mistake, calmy dispatching his spot kick into the bottom corner, giving the Rangers goalkeeper no chance.
Despite the setback, the visitors began to come into the match late in the half and Jahrazinho Bassett had his angled shot at the near post saved by Tahj Bell.
Moments later, Bell was beaten by the flight of an inswinging free kick but Zeon Robinson was on hand to clear the ball off the line, maintaining the slender lead before the interval.
The second half started much like the first, with a strong cross wind and slippery conditions making it difficult to play.
Both managers made substitutions midway through the half that brought some life to the game.
Keishon Wilson’s shot from the edge of the box was heading for the top corner, before Bell got his finger tips on it diving to his left.
Shane Hollis then had a good look from twelve yards but was unable to keep his first time effort from going over the bar.
The best chance came at the other end however, when Che-Kai Caisey-Zuill was on the end of lovely through Ball from Bean. His first attempt was well saved by keeper Shaquille Bean, but the young forward was alert to the rebound which he headed on to the top side of the bar.
The home side was still able to hold on to their slim lead and pick up all three points in the process.
North Village: Bean 20
North Village (4-4-2):Substitute not used: A Darrell, W Shakir, P Castle. Bookings: J Briers, D Daniels
Southampton Rangers(4-4-2): S Bean — K Astwood, M Burch, R Sampson, D Frost (sub: C Henry 78) — M Nisbett-Tankard, K Davis, D Ming, N Smith — (sub: K Wilson 61), D Brangman, J Bassett (sub: S Hollis 73) Substitute not used: R Lowe, J Bean, R Wright, J Hill. Bookings: K Astwood, R Murphy.
Referee: L Christopher
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