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Teen makes dream debut for Village

The three most successful teams in the 50-year-old Friendship Trophy, North Village, Somerset and PHC, live to fight another day after all won their quarter-final matches yesterday.

Village and Somerset both needed extra time yesterday before coming out on top in seven-goal thrillers at Bernard Park and St John's Field.

PHC were also pushed all the way and beyond by Devonshire Cougars, with Marco Piper's strike eventually separating the two sides at Devonshire Recreation Club.

Village, who have won the trophy 11 times, scored three times in extra time to record a 5-2 victory over Southampton Rangers, while Somerset edged by Boulevard 4-3 in extra time at St John's Field.

PHC, who have ten Friendship titles along with Somerset, squeezed Devonshire Cougars 2-1 at Devonshire Recreation Club, while Hamilton Parish picked up their first victory of the season when they beat Devonshire Colts 1-0 with a late goal from Patrick Richardson.

Parish, who are rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division, proved that league form counts for little when it comes to cup competitions, and Phillip Burgess, the Parish coach, said that his team would look to take the battling qualities they displayed yesterday into their fight against relegation.

“Our guys have been giving a lot of fight and not backing up from anybody,” Burgess said. “We need to keep looking up and believing in ourselves.

“In the second half of the season we'll be looking for better results.”

Despite their margin of victory, Village didn't lead Rangers until three minutes into added time when 16-year-old substitute Enyche Zuill headed home a debut goal for the senior team, which turned out to be the winner in a cup tie that was full of emotion and excitement.

Rangers, who led 2-0 after 61 minutes on goals from Vernon Perinchief and Ezekiel Stoneham, had two players sent-off late in the game as Village launched a second-half fightback to ensure themselves a spot in the semi-finals on Boxing Day.

“I thought Rangers did a good job of being organised so we struggled a little bit just to penetrate in the first half,” Richard Todd, the Village coach, said.

“We talked about it in the changing room, but the goal we went down to was an excellent free kick, so we can't say anything about it other than we were giving away a lot of fouls in the defensive third.

“When we went 2-0 down there was still a half-hour left, and the guys showed character and certainly with the [yellow and red] cards for Rangers it had an impact on the game.

“We're pleased with the win, it puts us into the Christmas tournament and gives us an opportunity to utilise some of the players who are coming back.

“We've seen the benefit of having Jalen Harvey and Tre Durham back, and with Dakai Grant getting his first minutes today.

“Hopefully we'll get stronger and look to see if we can go all the way.”

Todd was happy with the way that Zuill took his goal after coming on as a second-half substitute.

“Enyche Zuill only turned 16 this week, so we included him for his debut,” Todd said.

“We weren't sure if we were going to use him, but the game was screaming for somebody to come on offensively and do something for us.

“I thought he did well, he took his chance and it will be memorable for him.”

The competition will have a new winner this year with defending champions Robin Hood knocked out in the preliminary round last week along with Dandy Town.

Lean on me: Zari Simmons, left, of Devonshire Cougars and PHC's Julian Carpenter give nothing away as they battle for a loose ball at Devonshire Recreation Club (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 14, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 14, 2015 at 12:17 am)

Teen makes dream debut for Village

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