Intelligent Sharrieff leads from front
Devonshire Cougars 0
PHC Zebras 2
Idrees Sharrieff led from the front as PHC Zebras made a winning start to the Premier Division season with a hard-fought victory away to Devonshire Cougars yesterday.
Sharrieff, the focal point of much of Zebras’ good work, scored the opener early in the second half before winning a penalty late on, which Cecoy Robinson, the team’s captain, converted.
It was an intelligent display by the lone striker whose clever positional play, willing running and searing pace caused the Cougars defence plenty of problems all afternoon.
On pitch that rendered a quick passing game difficult because of the overgrown grass at Devonshire Recreation Club, neither side created much in the way of clear-cut chances during a cagey first period.
PHC started to seize control in the midfield through Robinson and the neat and tidy Tre Ming prior to the interval and continued to dictate things early in the second half.
It was Ming who orchestrated PHC’s 55th-minute opening goal with a delightful slide-rule pass that dissected the Cougars defence and into the path of Sharrieff, who confidently steered the ball home.
Falling behind to Sharrieff’s strike appeared to spark Cougars into life, with the home side enjoying a period of possession and going close to equalising when Charmari Burns fired over a low cross that substitute Lamont Brangman failed to get on the end of.
Cougars were then denied a deserved equaliser when Zari Simmons curled a free kick from the edge of the area against the crossbar that had Quinaceo Hunt, the Bermuda Under-17 goalkeeper, beaten all ends up
At the other end Marco Warren, the Zebras midfielder, squandered a good chance to double his side’s lead when he took too long to get his shot away and his weak effort was easily saved by Xyon Outerbridge-Smith, the Cougars goalkeeper.
PHC were back on the attack moments later when Outerbridge-Smith was adjudged to have brought down Sharrieff in the 85th minute as he attempted to round the goalkeeper, with referee Garic Swainson pointing to the penalty spot.
Robinson capped off his impressive display with a well-taken spot kick that brought the shutters down on Cougars’ hopes of finding a levellor.
Scott Morton, the PHC coach, praised his players’ commitment and discipline against a well-drilled Cougars side that showed plenty of spirit.
“It was a difficult game and Cougars came prepared and pushed us to the limit,” Morton said.
“I really appreciate that because that’s when you really see what your team can commit to and withstand.
“I thought we did an excellent job of staying tough and disciplined in certain areas.”
Morton also heaped praise on striker Sharrieff who was a constant menace, scoring his second goal in three matches for Zebras.
“Idress has just come back from school and he works hard and he’s a big-time thinking player,” he said.
“He loves to give instructions and receive instructions, and I’m glad to have him.”
North Village (Sharrieff 55, Robinson 85)
Devonshire Cougars (4-4-2): X Outerbridge-Smith — D Williams, Zeko White, K Franks, Zekiro White — C Burns, J Smith (sub: L Brangman, 67min), C Albouy (sub: Zari Simmons, 56), Zion Simmons — M Battersbee (sub: J Mallory, 80), M Thomas. Substitutes not used: M Rudo, N Carmichael, C Hardtman, H Stevens-Gray, N Carmichael. Booked: Franks, Zari Simmons, White.
PHC Zebras (4-5-1): Q Hunt — Naeem Griffith, Kenji Griffith, M Lambe, D Usher — C Robinson, T Ming, M Burchall (sub: J Warren-Smith, 68), M Warren, K Abraham (sub: K Bean, 51) — I Sharrieff. Substitutes not used: S Trott, D Joell, R DeShields, D Lightbourne-Smith. Booked: Ming.
Referee: G Swainson.