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Super sub Minors gives Hornets title boost

Dandy Town 3 PHC 2

Dandy Town Hornets took a giant leap towards a second Premier League championship in three seasons with a hard fought win over nearest rivals PHC at St John’s Field yesterday.

Super sub Brendan Minors leapt from the bench in the 85th minute and scored the game winner in stoppage time with his first touch of the ball to send Hornets five-points clear of Zebras at the summit.

Minors’ coup de grace completed Town’s remarkable fightback after they had fallen behind to Lonnie Bascome’s early strike that put PHC’s noses out front against the run of play.

It might be a gross understatement to say that Hornets coach Jomar Wilkinson got more than he bargained for after throwing Minors into the fray.

“We wanted to get some balance on the left side so we wanted Brendan to give us some service in the last third of the field, make runs off the ball and get behind the defence which he did and it paid off,” Wilkinson said. “He came on and scored the winner.”

Zebras might have felt unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the spoils after making the home team sweat it out on a few occasions. Poor finishing and decision making on Hornets’ part also kept the visitors in the match.

“We definitely made it harder than it should’ve been,” Wilkinson said. “The decision making in the last third was critical and it could’ve came back and haunted us. But I’m glad it didn’t.

“My hats go off to PHC. They stuck to their game plan, worked hard and gave us a fight.

“We wanted to take all three points at home and we did. And we will take being five-points ahead of the second placed team any day.”

With the Premier championship there for the taking, Wilkinson has warned his charges against complacency heading into the home stretch.

“The league is ours to win and I tell my players to stay humble because the job isn’t done yet,” he said. “At the end of the day the fat lady hasn’t sang and so there’s still work to do. It’s still business as usual for us.”

Very little separated these two sides who both created ample opportunities to settle this affair long before Minors’ last gasp heroics.

Hornets looked the better side in the early going but were stopped dead in their tracks when Bascome capitalised on some poor goal keeping by Treadwell Gibbons Jr. Gibbons failed to gather Cecoy Robinson’s innocuous cross in the middle which Bascome scrambled across the line after his initial effort rebounded off the woodwork.

But before the dust settled Hornets were awarded a penalty after Robert Richardson fouled Angelo Simmons in the area. Damon Ming made no mistake with his spotkick which he buried in the bottom left hand corner to draw the two teams level.

Hornets nearly took the lead moments later when skipper Raymond Beach lobbed just wide after holding off his marker.

As the half drew closer Town took their foot off the gas and it nearly proved costly as Zebras came close on a few occasions to regaining the lead.

With the goal at his mercy, Bascome sliced Antwan Russell’s knockdown in the box over and then Shakir Smith’s curling free kick dipped just over the bar.

Bascome had another close range shot blocked by Gibbons when scoring seemed easier while Russell’s pleas for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

Hornets took the lead for the first time in the match when Beach drilled home a partial clearance in the 54th minute.

The home team should’ve killed the game off when they caught Zebras short at the back on a quick raid down the right flank. But instead of squaring the ball in the middle to two unmarked team mates Beach tried to score from a tight angle and the chance went begging.

This missed opportunity came back to haunt Hornets as poor defending allowed Russell to nod home Smith’s searching free kick and draw the teams level for the second time in the match.

But just when it seemed as though both teams would have to be content with a share of the spoils Minors tapped in Simmons’ short pass in the box to leave the visitors completely gutted.

Dandy Town: T Gibbons, D George, K Tucker, A Rocker (T Daniels, 82nd0), A Lowe, S Darrell, D Ming, L Tucker, F Frankson (B Minors, 85th), A Simmons (W Place, 88th), R Beach (capt)

Goals: D Ming (pen, 18th), R Beach (54th), B Minors (90th)

Yellow cards: G Dyer, A Rocker

PHC: T Hall, C Robinson (T Brown, 90th), M Lambe, R Richardson, J Ball, K Lambe, R DeShields, L Bascome, Cecoy Robinson (J Dean, 50th), A Russell (capt), S Smith

Goals: L Bascome, A Russell

Yellow cards: C Robinson, K Lambe, M Lambe, A Russell

Referee: A Mouchette

Man of the match: D Ming (Town)

Dandy Town's Damon Ming (right)tries to take the ball past Phc's Kevin Lambe

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Published February 06, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 06, 2012 at 8:50 am)

Super sub Minors gives Hornets title boost

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