Complacency proves costly as Village bow out of Friendship
Wednesday night’s Friendship Trophy penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands at Flanagan’s Onions was one of the most heartbreaking defeats in veteran goalkeeper Dwayne (Streaker) Adams’ career.
Cruising to an impressive victory around the hour mark after controlling the match with some fluent passing, defending champions North Village were on their way into this weekend’s quarter-finals before Onions scored three times in 22 minutes to fight back from 3-0 down and send the match into extra time at Goose Gosling Field.
Both teams scored again in extra-time before Onions prevailed 4-2 in penalty kicks as Village, winners of three straight Friendship titles, tasted defeat in the competition for the first time since February, 2009, when Southampton Rangers beat them in the semi-finals.
After that they edged Rangers 3-2, Devonshire Cougars 3-1 and Somerset 4-0 to take three Friendship titles in a row. The defeat to Onions left them stunned.
“I don’t think we got complacent, we just made some decisions where we didn’t capitalise on what we were doing,” said Adams who saw the tide change as Onions scored what looked like being only a consolation goal through Kevin Ronaldson in the 68th minute. Village’s defence was then caught cold again as Onions scored two more in the 89th and 90th minutes to draw level against all expectations.
Village did have one final chance to break the deadlock at 4-4 in extra-time when, after playing most of the second period with ten men, Keishen Bean broke through in the last minute to have a shot turned around the far post by the diving Stephen Gould in the Onions goal.
“All the teams in the league have to remember when playing against the Robin Hoods and Flanagans is that they are opportunists around goal,” said Adams who was part of the Village team that lost 1-0 to Onions in the league on October 13.
“We didn’t operate with enough urgency in front of our goal which allowed them to sneak in and change the game. At the end of the day the game is played for 90 minutes and we shut down a little bit when it came to our discipline in certain areas and it cost us big time.”
Village were without veteran Ralph Bean but with Keishen Bean playing a deeper midfield role, he and captain Jemeiko Jennings controlled the tempo of the match as Village looked like the Village of old. Onions, struggling to get something going early in the second half, made a double stitution on the hour mark as Keith Szmierek and Peter Robey replaced midfielder Lee Osborne and striker Keston Lewis. Within ten minutes of the changes Onions went 3-0 down and then pulled one back to give themselves hope.
“We probably played too many balls back into negative positions versus going forward and staying positive,” said Adams. “Just giving teams like Flanagan’s a goal gets them more hungry.
“They are one of the fittest teams in the league so they are going to fight to the end. You saw the game changing and we went a little bit young at the back in terms of experience.
“We should have tried to play more in their half rather than being patient in our half. This is the first time in my ‘short’ career that something like this has happened, I’ve never been in a match like that.
“At the end of the day this is sport and there are all different scenarios that are going to play out in sport and this is just one of them. I thought the guys looked really good for the first 60 minutes of the match. We shut off a little bit after that and we needed to have a killer instinct. At 3-0 we should have been thinking we needed four.”
The other preliminary match also produced some exciting football as PHC had to battle from behind to beat Robin Hood 4-2 as Shakir Smith was unstoppable for the Zebras, scoring a hat-trick after Hood had taken the lead after just 26 seconds. Flanagan’s will meet Somerset in the next round on Sunday while PHC have earned a meeting with Devonshire Cougars next Tuesday.
Sunday’s Friendship Trophy quarter-final between St George’s and Southampton Rangers has been postponed because of the funeral of St George’s Cricket Club life member Alfred (Bob) Hodsoll. The match has been rescheduled for next Tuesday at Devonshire Rec in the first match of a double-header also featuring Cougars against Zebras.