Ten-man Hot Peppers lose to Rangers
Southampton 3 Hamilton Parish 1
By Colin Thompson
Southampton Rangers came from behind to beat ten-man Hamilton Parish at Southampton Oval.
Hot Peppers played most of the second half without full back Lorenzo Simmons who received his marching orders from referee Ronue Cann for a second bookable offence (deliberately kicking an opponent) in the 61st minute.
The visitors led at the half thanks to a 41st minute strike from the irrepressible Shayne Hollis.
But Rangers came roaring back with three unanswered goals after the break from super subs Dion Stovell and Janeiro Tucker and fullback Keemo Simmons.
That Rangers were able to turn their fortunes around after falling in arrears owed much to the introduction of Stovell and Tucker who were the main architects behind the hosts' impressive revival.
Stovell netted Rangers' equaliser while Tucker set up Simmons' game winner before adding an insurance strike minutes from full time.
The sight of Stovell and Tucker might've raised eyebrows given they are due to represent Bermuda's national cricket team at next month's ICC global World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Dubai.
In a previous interview with The Royal Gazette national cricket coach Arnold Manders stressed that players chosen for the upcoming World Twenty20 will be prohibited from playing football in the final lead up to the tournament.
Evidently, the directive appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
Parish silenced the home crowd after midfielder Hollis beat the offside trap and buried his shot to give the visitors the lead just before the halftime whistle.
But it didn't take Rangers long to draw level thanks to some slack defending by Hot Peppers. A long punt was allowed to bounce around the area, leaving Stovell with the simple task of latching onto the loose ball and stroking it into the empty net in the 53rd minute And before Parish could reorganise themselves Simmons stooped low at the back post to nod Tucker's inviting cross across the line four minutes later to secure maximum points for the hosts.
Things then continued to go from bad to worse for Parish who were reduced to ten-men after Simmons picked up a second caution for an unnecessary foul.
Tucker then put the match further beyond the visitors' reach after firing home from close range in the 85th minute after a defensive mix up left Parish exposed once again.