Chaos reigns as semi ends in confusion
Southampton Rangers won their FA Cup semi-final in a penalty shootout to deny St. David's their first ever trip to the showpiece final amid controversy at Bernard Park.
Akeem Wolffe and Jahma Charles both had to retake penalty kicks after the assistant referee deemed both St. David's keeper Corey Richardson and Rangers shot-stopper Sean Perinchief had jumped off their lines before penalties were taken.
For Perinchief, it was more frustration than anything as he faced Wolffe three times from the spot before the saga was ended with Wolffe finally scoring his third kick to continue the shootout.
What made the finale even more confusing was when referee Anthony Francis and his fellow officials walked off the field, leaving many to believe that the match was won by Rangers.
This wasn't the case, however, after the officials re-emerged from the dressing room to allow Wolffe to retake his spot kick, which he finished.
The ending scenes of the match clouded both team's efforts as they battled for 120 minutes for the right to play defending FA Cup champions Devonshire Cougars at the National Sports Centre.
In a bright opening 15 minutes, both sides looked to stamp their authority on proceedings and Rangers were the first to have a chance to take an early lead when Kwame Tucker was upended in the area in the 13th minute.
But it wasn't to be as skipper Jermaine Dill sailed his effort high and wide of the target, not even challenging Richardson in goal.
Two minutes later, it was St. David's who were awarded a penalty after striker Angelo Cannonier was hacked down in the box, and he stepped up calmly to slide his effort home.
Neither side produced any real cutting edge chances for the remainder of the half, although Donte Albuoy for the Islanders and Ezekiel Stoneham for Rangers gave their respective sides good outlets to attack down the flanks.
Whatever was said in the Rangers changing room at half-time worked, as they were level in the first minute of the second half courtesy of Charles who he hit a pile driver from 30 yards that went into the far corner.
Rangers then took the lead in the 60th after a penalty was awarded for an apparent push on Dill.
Defender Ijahmon Mallory stroked his kick home to reward his side for their attacking endeavours.
With both sides pushing for the all important next goal, it was substitute Otis Minors who struck the telling blow when he beat a sloppy offside trap to send a rocket of a shot in the back of the net from the same range as Charles' effort.
Both Charles and striker Dennis Russell had chances to win the match in extra-time, but both good defending and woeful finishing saw the teams head into the dreaded penalty shootout
The first four penalty takers for each side did their jobs, but when Stoneham missed his effort it was left to Dano Outerbridge to kick-start the Islanders celebrations.
It wasn't to be, however, as he missed followed by Dill's second miss of the game and Aaron Lugo's also going wrong.
The steady procession of takers to follow scored up until the 14 kicks, where Michael Williams scored before the controversy of Wolffe's kicks.
Perinchief seemed visibly disturbed by the decisions going against him and made his feelings known to the linesman as tempers were close to boil point.
After Wolffe's three kicks, Charles immediately went up and saw his kick saved but was called by the assistant referee for an infringement on the part of Richardson.
The second effort was also saved and the match's outcome rested on the boot of Diego McCallen who could only do as his team-mates had done before in the wining position, as he sailed his effort over the post.
The deciding moment came from Mallory after 14 penalties, and the man who scored a hat-trick of goals from the spot, scored his effort to leave the pressure on Landro Minors.
Minors could only hit his effort right at Perinchief who remained calm during the celebrations when the rest of the Rangers players were celebrating the win.
“This is the way the game goes sometimes, it went to penalties and it didn't go our way on the day,” said St. David's defender Aaron Lugo. “We played hard and fought until the end and the coaching staff did a good job of preparing us for the match, so my hat goes off to them as well.
“Congratulations to Rangers for their win, but this is a hard way to lose. It is always hard to lose on penalties but we have to accept it.
“It was real hard with the conditions, the wind made it hard to play and both teams created a fair amount of chances.
“It was an evenly poised game which is why it went to penalties. To the victor goes the spoils but this is gut wrenching at the moment.”
St. David's: C Richardson, D McCallen, D Butterfield, D Outerbridge, A Burchall (F Sewell,103), D Paynter (A Wolffe,72), F Crockwell, L Minors , A Lugo, A Cannonier, D Albuoy (O Minors 61).
Subs not used: S Pitcher, A Crockwell.
Booked: A Lugo
Southampton Rangers: S Perinchief, D Charles (V Perinchief, 90), M Williams, K Simmons, I Mallory, Khimo Harrison (K Symonds, 70), Ezekiel Stoneham, J Charles, K Tucker (M Iris, 74), J Dill, D Russell
Subs not used: A Burrows, J Caisey, Y Bean.
Booked: M Iris
Referee: A Francis
Man of the Match: J Charles (Rangers)