Bermuda hit for six by ruthless England C
Bermuda 1 England C 6
James Norwood jumped off the bench to fire a second half hat-trick as England C overpowered a youthful Bermuda team before a crowd of nearly 2,000 at the National Sports Centre.
The visitors took the lead in the fifth minute when Chester City midfielder Antoni Sarcevic scored from an angle after being put through by a clever flick on that prised the Bermuda defence apart.
Striker Marlon Jackson doubled England C’s lead from the penalty spot 16 minutes later after Bermuda full back Damon Ming hacked midfielder John Hunt down in the box.
Bermuda skipper John Barry Nusum pulled a goal back to cut the deficit to one at the half before the visitors scored four unanswered goals after the break to extend the match further beyond their hosts’ reach.
Norwood opened his account in the 53rd minute after peeling away from his marker and nodding in fellow sub Andre Gray’s cross at the back post. He then grabbed a second in the 69th minute when he pounced onto a pass up the middle and rolled the ball past advancing keeper Stefan Dill to make it 4-1.
The striker then completed his treble from the penalty spot after Bermuda centre half Roger Lee sent Gray sprawling in the box as the striker raced towards goal.
Gray completed the rout in stoppage time when he poked the ball across the line through a phalanx of legs with virtually the last kick of the match.
England C’s margin of victory could’ve easily been wider.
The visitors struck the woodwork twice, had a goal disallowed for offside and a goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Nusum whose night ended prematurely after he came down with cramp and was replaced by Dante Leverock, one of several local players making their senior national team debuts on the night.
Dill also made two brilliant saves, courageously gathering the ball at Jackson’s feet in the first half and then diving full length to deny Gray’s goal-bound effort in the closing stages of the match.
England C’ declared their intentions from the outset as they pressed high up the pitch and pinned Bermuda in their own half for long spells.
The visitors put on a clinic of possessive football, utilising the full width of the pitch with good ball movement that kept their hosts on the chase.
England’s C’s early pressure eventually took its toll as Sarcevic broke the deadlock with a clinically taken goal after Bermuda were caught flat footed at the back. And before the dust had settled Dill was picking the ball out of the net again after Jackson sent the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The visitors took their foot off the gas in the closing minutes of the opening stanza and paid the price for doing so as Nusum headed home from close range after keeper Preston Edwards parried Reggie Lambe’s goal-bound howitzer into the defender’s path.
The goal clearly lifted Bermuda’s morale and they should have done better right on the stroke of half-time when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area. Fortunately for England, though, Jonte Smith’s free kick sailed over the bar.
Bermuda started the second half with more purpose and confidence with holding midfielder Tyrell Burgess testing Edwards with an ambitious long range free kick.
But any thoughts the hosts had of a comeback were ruthlessly dashed as Norwood rolled his sleeves up and effectively killed the game off with his team’s third goal after the break.
Bermuda played in spurts and perhaps paid the price for their defensive-minded approach that the visitors ruthlessly exploited time and time again.
The hosts were simply out of their depth against a well-drilled and disciplined England C’ side that cut off Bermuda’s supply lines, defended well and made the most of the chances that fell their way.
Bermuda: S Dill, D Ming, J Nusum (D Leverock), R Lee, T Manders (D Bascome), D Coddington (L Simmons), T Burgess, J Smith (A Russell), R Lambe, K Bean (Z Lewis), S Smith
England C: P Edwards, John Hunt, M Jackson, A Cook, H Beautyman, A Sarcevic, R Jackson, S Clucas, M Demetriou, A Acheampong, F Franks. Subs: M Walker, D Bradley, C Stokes, A Gray, J Norwood.
Man of the match: J Norwood
Referee: B Toledo
Match commissioner: D Sabir