Cougars on the up
Devonshire Cougars 3 North Village 1
Devonshire Cougars picked up three big points and managed to knock North Village off of the top of the table with their well-deserved win at Devonshire Recreation Club yesterday.
Cougars, who were impressive throughout the game against their higher-placed opponents, got goals from Juma Mouchette, Cashun Brangman, and Machi Battersbee.
Shayne Hollis put Village on the scoreboard with a penalty in the second half. Coming into this weekend, Cougars had been on a good run, particularly at home, having recently beaten Flanagan's Onions at Devonshire Recreation Club. in the league and beating PHC Zebras in the Dudley Eve Trophy final.
However, Cougars recent revival would face a serious test in the form of North Village, the undefeated league leaders.
From their first clear chance, Cougars would take the lead. In the fourteenth minute, Mouchette escaped his marker and drilled a shot at goal from the edge of the box. Pierre Smith, the Village goalkeeper, got a hand to the shot but he could not prevent it from bouncing off of him and rolling into the net.
In the nineteenth minute, Village won a free kick in a good position after midfielder Ralph Bean was fouled. Keishen Bean, the Village forward, took the free kick and came within inches of bringing Village level, but his curled kick went over the bar.
Moments later Cougars had their own free kick after Khyler Knights, the Village full back, was adjudged to have used his hand but Smith managed to tip over the resulting free kick from Mikiel Thomas, the Cougars midfielder. Knights would then sustain an injury and would have to be replaced by Azende Furbert before half-time.
Cougars came out just as hungry in the second half and they would again score early after good link-up play from their forwards.
In the 48th minute, Charmari Burns played a through ball that took the Village defence out of the equation and put Brangman in on goal. Brangman had no hesitation and put his shot away to double his side's lead.
A minute after Brangman's goal, Lashun Dill got on the end of a Zenawi Bowen cross, but could not keep his shot on target and then Village won a free kick after Bowen was brought down on the edge of the box, but Jalen Harvey's kick sailed over the bar.
Having at last gained a foothold in the match Village made two quick substitutions, in order to capitalise, with Thomas Watson and Jonathan Briers coming on. Village would finally make a breakthrough. Hollis was brought down in the box and Village were awarded a penalty. Hollis stepped up and duly converted.
Cougars responded to Hollis's goal by making a substitution of their own, with Battersbee entering the fray. Less than four minutes after he came onto the field, Battersbee scored a brilliant solo to give Cougars a 3-1 lead. Battersbee dispossessed the Village midfield of the ball, dribbled into the box and then planted the ball inside the near post.
Already chasing a 3-1 deficit, Village's day soon got even worse. In the 79th minute, Bowen was shown a straight red by referee Lyndon Raynor after he protested a free kick which was called against him for handball.
In spite of losing a man, Village were still able to find late chances to score and could have cut their deficit, but Keishen Bean and Ralph Bean were both unable to put the ball away from close range after the Cougars goalkeeper flapped at a cross.