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Cup brings out best in Robinson and PHC

Cup competitions have a way of bringing out of the very best in PHC Zebras.

Last night's hard fought 3-2 Friendship Trophy victory over Dandy Town at Goose Gosling Field proved to be another example, as PHC took their chances, and then held it together when it mattered most.

Led by Cecoy Robinson's hat trick, PHC did just enough to see off a Town side that battled until the final whistle, in a contest that could have gone either way.

“We have had a tough time in the league but are having good runs in the cup games,” Robinson said.

“We knew this was going to be a tough match, and so we had to dig deep, and I think we showed that tonight. Everybody dug deep.”

Robinson said the victory was just reward for the hard work he and his team-mates put in on the training ground in preparation for last night's cup tie.

“We guys have been working hard all week, and tonight all of our hard work paid off and the guys deserved the victory,” he said.

PHC's victory was their second over Town this season. It was also the second time this season that PHC have ousted Town from a cup competition, having bundled their opponents out of the Dudley Eve Trophy last month en route to a seventh title.

“They beat us 4-0 [in the league], so there's still a bit of revenge in that,” Robinson said.

At 3-1 up PHC seemed to be in control.

However, Dominique Lambert, the Town striker, grabbed a second goal to set up a nervous finish.

PHC squandered several chances to kill the game off in the closing stages, and in the end had to sweat it out as Town pressed for an equaliser that never arrived.

“We did live a bit on the line, and I probably could have had four tonight to kill the game off,” Robinson said.

“But I am just glad that we guys got the victory.”

In the First Division Shield, two goals in eight minutes from Jarreau Hayward helped St George's beat St David's for the second time in a matter of days, after their 6-0 hammering in a league match at Wellington Oval on Sunday.

St David's at least scored last night, going ahead through Andrew Paynter in the 32nd minute. However, they could not hold on, and Hayward struck in the 82nd minute and then again with almost the last kick of the game. “Praise to the team for the character shown today, we expected St David's to come out after Sunday's result,” Hayward said. “We knew they weren't going to lay down, but it was down to the character of the team and the preparation by the coaching staff. Luckily I put in two.”

Hayward, 32, is the team's most versatile player, playing in defence last season when he earned a call up to Andrew Bascome's World Cup qualifying squad earlier this year as a defender. He led the front last night and came up with the goods to make it two wins over neighbours St David's.

“I've been working on my finishing,” Hayward said. “I've been all over the place position-wise, so it was good to get 90 minutes up top.

“The more minutes I get up top the more deadly I'm going to be. I'm a utility player and have played everywhere up the middle for St George's, centre back, central midfield and striker, wherever the coach needs me.

“That's the captain's job, to be where I'm needed, so that's what I do.”

Hayward admits he still isn't sure of his best, or favourite position, but with Philip Anderson and Paynter at the heart of the defence, St George's have the luxury of playing Hayward further forward.

“That's been the question of my whole career, but I have the ability to play anywhere, and used to have the fitness and the legs, but I'm getting older now,” he said. “Wherever the team needs me, that's my best position.”

The loss came at a price for St David's who, as well as being without the suspended Allan Douglas, will now miss Shea Pitcher and Diego McCallan, who limped out of the game with knee and hamstring injuries respectively, for Saturday night's top of the table First Division clash with Flanagan's Onions back at Goose Gosling Field.

Mr Versitility: Hayward scored twice at Goose Gosling Field (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 03, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 03, 2015 at 12:40 am)

Cup brings out best in Robinson and PHC

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