Coke magic sinks Wolves
Hamilton Parish 1 Wolves 0
A stroke of genius from Ian Coke earned hosts Hamilton Parish a victory they probably didn't deserve at Wellington Oval.
The diminutive forward scored the game winner midway through the second half, curling the ball around a maze of legs into the bottom far corner of Jahhi Shakir's goal to send the newly-promoted Hot Peppers to the top of the Premier Division.
The goal arrived just moments after Wolves' talisman Vince Minors ballooned a shot from four yards over the bar.
The glaring miss ultimately came back to haunt the visitors as Coke scored against the run of play to earn Parish a second straight win of the season.
Wolves were also denied when midfielder Troy Tucker thundered a shot onto the crossbar with a fierce right footed shot from outside the 18-yard box.
“The performance wasn't up to what we would've liked,” said Parish coach Kieshon Smith. “But results are important especially in these early stages to keep our momentum going.
“Both teams worked hard but it was all about putting away the chances you create. Wolves had us on the run but we were able to maintain form and get the required results.”
The dejected look on the face of Wolves coach Mark Jennings perhaps best summed up his team's frustrations after coming away empty-handed from a match they dominated for long spells.
The visitors played with plenty of width and utilised good ball movement but lacked the killer instinct in the attacking third.
Wolves created more scoring opportunities but could not crack open a Parish defence back up by ‘keeper Nigel Burgess who was forced into action on several occasions to keep the Wolves at bay.
Parish relied on the counter attack for the most part and in the early going looked threatening on the break.
But they didn't really get a foothold in the match until midway through the second half after Tucker went close to scoring for Wolves with a blast from outside the area that struck the woodwork and the usually clinical Minors inexplicably fired over from close range when scoring seemed easier.
Coke finally settled this wide open affair in the 62nd minute with a goal out of the top drawer.
The forward gained possession just outside of the area and with composure bent the ball around a crowded penalty area past the fingertips of the diving Shakir who was beaten for pace.
Wolves tried their best to respond at the other end in the dying stages of the match but could not penetrate a Parish defence that held firm until referee Stephen Allen blew the final whistle.
“It's a great start,” added Hot Peppers coach Smith. “We are pleased to get off to a good start of a long race and the team can get much better.”
Parish: N Burgess, I Coke, C Hansey, S Hollis, P Richardson, R Smith (K Richardson, 80th), D Thompson (L Simmons, 70th), Q Glasford, K Williams (C Hill, 65th), T Caines-Dill, R Richardson
Goals: I Coke (62nd)
Wolves: J Shakir, L Paynter, D Simons, A Brangman, M Laws, T Tucker (A Francis, 65th), Troy Tucker, R Ford, S Pearman, V Minors, M Iris (K Brangman 60th)
Booked: A Brangman
Man of the match: I Coke
Referee: S Allen
PHC Zebras 1
Dandy Town 3
Fabian Frankson scored a brace as Dandy Town beat PHC at Southampton Oval.
Frankson opened the scoring in the 16th minute before doubling the lead in the 62nd.
Youngster Ryan Tyrell scored the visitors third ten minutes before the final whistle with Malachi Jones ending the scoring in the 83rd with his first goal of the season.