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Village spoil PHC’s party

Photo by Akil SimmonsMy ball: Lonnie Bascome and Tyrell Burgess battle for posession at PHC Stadium.


North Village 3

The stage was set for a memorable reopening of PHC Stadium, good weather and a big crowd, but North Village were in no mood to be sentimental.

Village ran out comfortable winners after a brilliant strike from Keishen Bean closed out the scoring in the dying minutes, moving above their opponents and into third place in the table.

To add insult to injury for the Zebras, Johnny Ball, their left back and president, was not able to enjoy the occasion after going off injured with a dislocated shoulder right on half-time before an ambulance arrived in the second half to take him to hospital.

It should have been a day for Ball to enjoy, but he spent half-time on the bench in obvious discomfort after falling on his right shoulder after a challenge from Takeyhi Walker.

“It was indicative of the type of game it was, physical and players were playing from the heart,” Mark Wade, the PHC coach, said. “There were a few other injuries and it felt like I spent more time on the field than I did coaching.

“I thought the occasion got to us a little bit early in the game when we gave up the two goals. We were always chasing the game, but I’m still pleased with the players and the effort they gave. They showed what playing for PHC is all about.”

When PHC opened the ground back in 1965, the first game produced eight goals as Village won 5-3.

It looked like being another high-scoring game in the first match back there in 17 years when the visiting side scored twice inside the first 15 minutes, before Village cut the deficit midway through the half.

Jonathan Briers earned the distinction of scoring the first goal when he scrambled the ball over the line in the tenth minute.

After Lonnie Bascome’s effort was blocked by Troy Hall Jr, the former PHC goalkeeper, Village went 2-0 ahead in the fifteenth minute when Pierre Smith blasted home from close range after a cross from the right by player-coach Ralph Bean.

Zebras pulled themselves back into the game five minutes later when Kadeem Abraham supplied the cross from the right and Khamisi Lightbourne scored at the second attempt.

Moments later they almost had an equaliser when defender Naeem Griffith joined Lonnie Bascome in a move down the left flank before curling his effort just over the top at the near post.

Things got worse for PHC after that as Ball went off injured as PHC finished the half with nine men, with Cecoy Robinson also down with a leg injury, though he was able to return for the second half.

Bean made certain of the points for Village with a well-taken goal six minutes from the end when he curled in a shot from the left corner of the penalty box.

“It was a good atmosphere, just what we expected and I was glad to be a part of it,” Ralph Bean, the Village coach, said.

Although he is one of the oldest players in the Village team, Bean was playing his first senior match at the ground. “I played up here but not in the Premier Division, I played as a junior,” he said.

“You see what it meant to the community, which is why they came out like this.

“You could see the desire from both teams and during that opening exchange we came out with two goals and that helped settle us a little bit. It was a good day; three points were paramount and we got it.”

PHC dropped to fifth in the table and will fall another place after tonight’s game between Devonshire Cougars and Robin Hood at Devonshire Recreation Club.


PHC (4-3-3): J Smith — J Raynor, M Waldron, N Griffith, J Ball (sub: D Usher, 46min) — D Dowling, J Sealey, C Robinson — L Bascome (sub: K Hypolite, 88), K Lightbourne (sub: S Smith, 66), K Abraham. Subs not used: C Trott, M Piper, K Lambe, M Lambe.

North Village (4-4-2): T Hall — T Burgess, J Davis, R DeShields, D Tankard — J Briers, D Daniels (sub: N Smith, 85), R Bean (sub: J Lee, 59), K Bean — P Smith, T Walker (sub: J Dickinson, 79). Subs not used: J Bailey, P Castle, K Knights, J Samuels.

Referee: M Wyer.