Morton rues missed opportunity
Somerset Trojans 1 PHC Zebras 1
PHC Zebras missed the chance to take sole possession of first place in the Premier Division after battling to a draw against Somerset Trojans at Somerset Cricket Club last night.
The Dudley Eve Trophy finalists moved level on points with North Village and Robin Hood but their coach Scott Morton believed it was two points dropped rather than a point gained after dominating play for much of the game.
“I'll take the point but I'm definitely not happy with it, we should have come away with all three points,” Morton insisted.
“We played a lot better in the second half, a more controlled game and that's what I asked from the players.
“In the first half we didn't see any of that, but I give credit to them, they responded to the team talk from the coaching staff asking them to play the way we know how to play.”
There were few clear-cut chances in the opening half, with PHC going closest to breaking the deadlock in the 35th minute when Shaquille Bean, the Somerset goalkeeper, made a good save with his feet from striker Idrees Sharrieff who struck a left-footed effort after following up on a half-cleared ball.
At the other end Justin Corday put a good cross into the box but Sean Brangman was slow in getting off his shot from a good position.
It was much the same at the start of the second half with PHC doing most of the attacking as a shot from Marco Warren, the hard-working midfielder, dipped just over the crossbar just a minute after the restart. Then Keishon Bean crossed into the box where Sharrieff headed wide from ten yards.
The goal finally came in the 53rd minute as Somerset went ahead against the run of play. A free kick on the left side of the box by Corday was inch perfect and found the head of captain Trevin Ming who steered his header past the goalkeeper Quinnaceo Hunt from eight yards.
The goal woke up PHC who made a double substitution soon after with Jaavaid Warren-Smith and Marquel Waldron coming on for Rakeem DeShields and Bean. Waldron slotted into the holding midfield position to allow captain Cecoy Robinson to join Marco Warren and Tre Ming in a more attacking midfield role. Warren had a shot blocked by goalkeeper Bean as PHC continued to probe.
PHC continued to press hard for the equaliser as an inswinging corner by Robinson went untouched across the Somerset goal as the home team rode their luck. The goal that was threatening finally came in the 77th minute when Warren-Smith, a student at CedarBridge Academy, crossed from the right and Sharrieff tucked his effort inside the far post.
PHC almost snatched a winner in injury time when a shot from Waldron brought off another good save from Bean. “We're always assessing players' attributes to use them to the benefit of the match, so Jaavaid came on and changed the game and that's exactly what we asked him to do,” Morton said.
“He's got a lot to learn but I give him the freedom to express himself.”