Cougars give Steede hope for future
Robin Hood 0
Devonshire Cougars 0
Kwame Steede, the Devonshire Cougars player-coach, said he was encouraged by his side's determination and willingness to fight against high-flying Robin Hood at Goose Gosling Field.
Cougars had lost their previous five league matches but earned their first point of the season yesterday, leaving Steede optimistic his young side can build on their encouraging performance and climb out of the relegation zone.
Steede, who led by example in a deep-lying midfield position, feels his team's dismal run of defeats have not been a fair reflection of their performances and hopes the draw can be the turning point of their season.
“I don't think anything really changes in terms of our performance today,” said Steede, whose side remain bottom of the table. “We have been in games all season, it's just that individual mistakes have been costing us.
“We've been on top of teams, but that one mistake has triggered a domino effect and we've been losing games by three or four goals. Today we didn't make any individual mistakes and I felt it was a good performance.”
Steede, who is in his second stint as Cougars coach after replacing Dennis Brown at the end of last season, believes his team could have nicked a win had they shown more composure in front of goal.
“I thought we definitely had the chances to win the game but overall it was a fair result,” Steede said.
“I'm sure Kyle [Lightbourne, the Hood coach] would have looked at our league position compared to theirs and been confident of a win. But he knows we came out and played today and a point away from home is a good result for us.
“We needed something to kick-start our season and this draw will be a good confidence booster for the players.”
Cougars arguably shaded the first half with Steede going closest to scoring with an acrobatic volley from a corner that flew over Timmy Figureido, the Hood goalkeeper's, crossbar.
After the break Hood threatened briefly with Shannon Burchall and his midfield partner Daniel Andrade, who captained the side in the absence of the injured Jaylon Bather, both firing speculative efforts over the bar.
In a game full effort and endeavour but short on quality, Cougars showed glimpses of attacking intent with Mark Steede, the lone striker, heading wide from Vincent Minors's inswinging corner, while at the other end Andrade forced a low save from Ricardo Brangman, the Cougars goalkeeper.
Substitute Christian Albouy had a late chance for Cougars, but his shot from the edge of the box failed to worry the experienced Figureido who gathered the ball cleanly.
In the dying stages Hood thought they may have grabbed a winner when substitute Kenny DeSilva fired at goal from an acute angle, but his effort struck the side-netting much to the frustration of Lightbourne and the home bench.
Steede, who is now 35, feels it is important he prolongs his playing career given the youthful nature of his squad.
“I still think the players are capable, but they do need a little bit of experience,” Steede said.
“They need someone to keep on them. When you're in the dugout it's different, but when you're on the field next to them they know they have to listen to you because you're running just as much as them.”
Robin Hood (4-5-1): T Figureido — J Perreira, P Froncioni, C Boyce, J Titterton — L Simmons, D Andrade, S Burchall (sub: T Dill, 65, sub: M McGowan, 86), M Braganovic (sub: K DeSilva, 65), A Nelson — A Russell. Substitutes not used: D Reitze, A Ivo.
Devonshire Cougars (4-5-1): R Brangman — J Darrell, K Franks, Zeko White, Z Simmons — M Battersbee (sub: J Smith, 76), J Smith, K Steede, V Minors Jr, L Tota — Mark Steede (sub: C Albouy, 76). Substitutes not used: J Mallory, J Furbert-Wade, Zekiro White, N Carmichael, K Trott. Booked: Darrell.
Referee: E Holmes.