Cougars march on to semis
Goals were few but the excitement was plenty as Devonshire Cougars advanced to the semi-finals of the Dudley Eve Trophy with a late equaliser in a 1-1- draw against Dandy Town at Goose Gosling Field last night.
Somerset Trojans avoided elimination from their group when they beat North Village 1-0 in the opening match.
Cougars, who trailed 1-0 from the second minute of the match after an error by goalkeeper Ajai Daniels when, in trying to pass the ball out of his box, only succeeding in giving the ball away to Jahkari Furbert on the edge of the box before he drilled it into an empty net.
Town held on to that slim lead as Elisha Darrell of Cougars hooked a left-footed shot just wide minutes later and then Lejaun Simmons shot just wide of the far post from the right side of the box. Right on half-time Angelo Simmons, the Town captain, had a shot from a sharp angle inside the box tipped over the bar by Daniels.
Cougars applied most of the pressure in the second half with two players, Simmons and Oneko Lowe, booked early in the half after being involved in a scuffle following a foul by Lowe on Simmons. Lowe retaliated when Simmons put his hand on his head and both players were booked by referee Tashun Simons.
Cougars had a goal ruled out for offside on the hour mark, but were not deterred, with Chris Caisey having a header tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Milai Perott. Cougars finally got the equalising goal in the 90th minute when Simmons drove his shot from the edge of the box into the far bottom corner.
There was more drama in stoppage time as substitute Mark Steede had a shot from six yards blocked for a corner. Before the corner was taken Jomei Bean-Lindo, of Dandy Town, received a red card after a second booking for dissent. He was booked in the 70th minute for a foul.
In the opening match, Nacori Smith's 31st minute goal from a free kick against his former team gave Trojans win that keeps group A wide open. Smith drove home a left-footed shot after Tahj Bell fumbled the ball at the near post before it rolled over the line.
Smith had an eventful game, booked six minutes earlier after tripping Jaizel Smith-DeShields, before going off with a leg injury early in the second half.
“It's not even about the goal, it was more about the team's performance, we stuck it out well and were committed through the whole game,” Smith said.
“We scored early and maintained that 1-0 lead. It's good to get off the mark but it's just a start. I actually started my Premier Division career at Somerset at 16, so it feels good to be back home.”
Village stepped up the pressure in the second half, posing more threats after Rai Simons came on early in the second half to provide more muscle and aggression up front. He had a shot on the turn in the 83rd minute smash against the crossbar.