Cannonier spot on as Parish go top
Hamilton Parish 1
Devonshire Cougars 0
A disputed first-half penalty sent Hamilton Parish two points clear at the top of the Premier Division at Goose Gosling Field last night.
Angelo Cannonier’s penalty earned Parish a hard-fought victory over Devonshire Cougars in a game played at a blistering pace that could have gone either way.
The home team were awarded a contentious penalty after Casey Castle, the Parish midfielder, went tumbling in the box as he cut in from an angle.
Cougars vehemently protested referee Lyndon Raynor’s decision, arguing that the player had taken a dive and not been fouled.
But the visiting side’s appeals fell on deaf ears and Cannonier made no mistake with his penalty which Kioshi Trott, the Cougars goalkeeper, got a glove to but could not prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Cougars piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser as Parish gradually faded late in the game.
It was some stoic defending by Parish’s back four that kept Cougars at bay and enabled the home side to leapfrog Somerset Trojans into pole position in the table.
The home team invited pressure by sitting deep in their own half and were fortunate not to concede as Cougars pushed forward from the start.
After weathering the early storm, Parish began to press themselves and their confidence seemed to increase with each and every attacking foray forward.
The home side eventually gained control of midfield and after stretching Cougars with their slick passing and pace they began to move in for the kill.
Cannonier’s physical presence was a constant thorn in Cougars’ side and he should have done better after getting behind the defence, but with the goal at his mercy, the striker’s first touch was poor and the chance fizzled out.
Parish threatened again when Anthony Smith, the defender, blasted over the bar after Cougars failed to clear their lines after a corner taken by Chris Caisey, the former Cougars player.
By now it was a matter of when Parish would break the deadlock.
That question was answered in the 22nd minute when Parish were awarded a penalty after Castle, the son of former PHC defender and coach Jack Castle, went down in a heap inside the area.
At times Cougars played attractive possession football and the occasional long ball seemed to irritate Parish.
But although they enjoyed plenty of the ball, clear-cut chances were few and far between for Cougars.
The best chances the visiting side had fell to forward Drewonde Bascome, the son of Andrew Bascome, the Cougars coach, who had a shot blocked by a wall of Parish defenders.
Thanks to some tidy defending in front of him, Nigel Burgess, the Parish goalkeeper, had a reasonably quiet night. However, he was called into action to repel probing efforts from Darius Cox and Machi Battersbee.
Battersbee stung Burgess’s fingers with a thunderous drive from outside of the box. Burgess also had to dive full length at his near post to gather a swerving volley from Cox.
That proved to be the closest Cougars would come to scoring as Parish parked the bus during the latter stages of the game to earn the three points.
Hamilton Parish (4-4-2) N Burgess — Z Bowen (sub: T Webb, 76min), I Mallory, A Smith, C Smith — C Durham, C Castle (sub: D Thompson, 73), C Maybury, S Hollis — C Caisey, A Cannonier (sub: M Walker, 71). Substitutes not used: A Samuels, A Guerrero, J Hunt-Tucker. Booked: Bowen, Hollis.
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3) K Trott — Darren Williams (sub: K DeSilva, 74), A Russell, K Steede, D Cox — Z White, Dominique Williams (sub: M Steede, 80), M Steede — M Battersbee (sub: R Beach, 60), D Brangman, D Bascome. Substitutes not used: C Burns, P Parson, K Franks, D Cooper. Booked: Darren Wiliams, Russell.
Referee: L Raynor.