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Somerset fans demand changes after defeat

Somerset Trojans 1

PHC Zebras 6

Somerset Trojans's title defence took a severe beating as they were trampled by a stampeding PHC Zebras at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.

Casey Castle led the visitors' onslaught with a first half hat-trick, while Julian Carpenter, Shakir Smith, and Cecoy Robinson, also got in on act for a Zebras side who have probably never had it this easy against their perennial rivals.

Justin Corday, the Trojans midfielder, replied for the home team, who never shifted out of first gear and were reduced to chasing ghosts the entire match.

Zebras, who were a pace or two quicker than their hosts, hungrier and more organized, took early control, and never looked back once Castle netted the first of his clinically taken treble.

In contrast, Trojans lacked purpose, organization and resolve, and for long spells resembled anything but league champions.

By the time Robinson smashed home PHC's sixth Trojans fans were calling for heads to roll on their team's coaching staff, who looked on helplessly as their players were ruthlessly put to the sword.

Had this been a boxing match, the referee would have surely stepped in and halted proceedings early to spare Trojans further humiliation.

Castle started as PHC's sole striker up top with regular striker Shakir Smith dropping back into an attacking midfield role.

Whatever the reason for the swap, it nevertheless reaped huge dividends as Castle bagged a hat-trick inside sixteen minutes.

Castle broke the deadlock after just 11 minutes capitalizing on a defensive blunder between Dennis Lister, the centre back, and Dwayne Adams, the goalkeeper, who allowed Castle to intercept a loose ball and slot it into an empty net.

Four minutes later, Adams was digging the ball out of the back of the net again after Castle blasted home Carpenter's cross. The PHC left back caused Somerset problems all afternoon, and his cross in the 27th minute that Castle turned past the hapless Adams ended the game as a contest.

Things got worse for the home side, who found themselves 4-0 down after just half-an-hour when Carpenter went from provider to goalscorer, eluding several tackles and firing past Adams from close range.

At this stage it was not a matter of whether PHC would win, but rather by how many.

Trojans pulled one back against the run of play when Corday converted from the penalty spot after Mikey Lambe, the PHC centre back, brought down Alton Trott, the midfielder, in the box.

Desperate to get back in the match, Trojans made two changes at half-time, with Leo Burgess and Ayshaun Smith replacing Lister and Calin Maybury.

Trojans also changed their shape, putting an extra man in midfield in an effort to stop the bleeding.

To get around a congested midfield PHC played with more width, a move that ultimately paid off when Smith blasted Robinson's short pass into the roof of the net after being afforded acres of space out on the left.

Trojans came close to grabbing a second when Burgess broke free down the middle, but his lshot struck the bottom of the far post.

Adams would not be as fortunate at the opposite end as Robinson punctutated PHC's dominant display when he sped down the right side, cut inside the box and drilled a shot inside of the far post.

Leading the charge: Castle's first half hat-trick ended the game as a contest at Somerset Cricket Club (File photograph by Akil Simmons)
<p>Match stats</p>

Somerset Trojans 1

Corday (pen) 36

PHC Zebras 6

Castle, 11, 15, 27

Carpenter, 30

Smith, 54

Robinson, 85

Somerset Trojans (4-4-2) D Adams — R Ford, T Ming, D Lister (sub: L Burgess, 46min), A Lambert — J Corday, C Maybury (sub: A Smith, 46), T Outterbridge, A Trott — T Wade, D Stovell (sub: J Ratteray-Smith, 65). Substitutes not used: J Bean, V Blanchette, S Brangman, F Crockwell

PHC (4-5-1) D Johnson — J Carpenter, M Lambe, N Griffith, D Usher — M Waldron, R DeShields (sub: J Dupray, 75), J Raynor, C Robinson, S Smith (sub: D Dowling, 65) — C Castle (sub: M Piper, 65). Substitutes not used: T Hall, K Richards, K Abraham, M Burchall.

Referee: A Augustus

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Published December 07, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 07, 2015 at 1:11 am)

Somerset fans demand changes after defeat

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