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High-flying Hornets are finally grounded

My ball: Andrade puts his foot on the ball as Darius Cox shapes up to shoot at St John’s Field (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dandy Town 0

Robin Hood 1

Antwan Russell sent his former team crashing to their first league defeat of the season when he scored deep into added time at St John’s Field, to slow down Dandy Town’s push for an eighth league title.

Most of the match did not resemble one between the top two teams, and both certainly have played better, but Hood’s late pressure finally paid off when Russell delivered the ball into the box from a free kick, and K’wonde Lathan handled as he tried to clear.

Antoine Augustus, the referee’s assistant, raised his flag and the whole ground waited in anticipation as Anthony Francis, the referee, consulted Augustus before pointing to the spot.

Russell slotted past Mikkail Crockwell, the Hornets goalkeeper, for probably his most important goal of the season, to end Town’s unbeaten league streak.

More importantly for the title chasers, it now means that Town’s lead at the top has been cut to six points, and with games to come next against North Village and PHC the league race is wide open again.

“Yeah, it was a dramatic finish for us today, we’ve been disjointed over Christmas from not being active which was probably the same for Town, although they did play last weekend,” Kyle Lightbourne, the Robin Hood coach, said.

“They were coming off a big win last weekend and as a coach that worked in my favour as I knew how to approach this game,” Lightbourne said. “I put something in place today and it worked, it stifled them, and we took our opportunity at the end.”

Town had the better of the first half, but woeful finishing by both teams meant that neither goalkeeper had much to do. Lynn Tucker, the Town midfielder, blasted wide on a couple of occasions early in the first half, as did Fabian Frankson as Town continued to press.

Jason Simons in the Robin Hood goal did not have to make a save until the half-hour mark, when he turned aside a shot from Seion Darrell. At the other end Shannon Burchall dragged a shot wide on the turn for the visiting team.

Hood’s best chance in the first half came just before the break when the ball was half cleared from a cross and Darius Cox, in his first match for Hood after his transfer from Devonshire Cougars, forced Crockwell into a flying save. The Town goalkeeper then saved with his legs from a Lejuan Simmons shot as Hood finished the half strongly.

Right on full time Daniel Andrade, the Hood captain, blasted inches over the bar from the edge of the box, in what looked to have been the last chance for the visiting side to snatch all three points.

However, with time added on for the Crockwell injury, Hood got another opportunity five minutes later when Russell stepped up to score a dramatic late winner from the penalty spot.

•Devonshire Cougars will take on Southampton Rangers at home this evening in a game postponed from Friday because of bad weather.

The match at Devonshire Recreation Club kicks off at 9pm, with the First Division encounter between Paget and Wolves kicking off at 7pm.


Dandy Town 0

Robin Hood 1

Russell 90 (pen)

Dandy Town (4-4-2): M Crockwell — K Tucker, K Lathan, D Williams, L Millett — L Tucker, F Frankson (sub: D Lambert, 65min), S Darrell, (sub: D Bascome, 74), T Goater — A Simmons, D Ming (sub: J Swan, 84). Substitutes not used: A Lowe, J Richardson-Martin, J Stowe, A Daniels, G Dyer.

Robin Hood (4-4-2): J Simons – J Pereira, C Boyce, C Foster, P Froncioni — D Cox (sub: E Outerbridge, 84), D Andrade, D Brangman, L Simmons — A Russell, S Burchall. Substitutes not used: S Brown, T Dill, L Simons, M Thomas, K DeSilva, M Johnson.

Referee: A Francis.