Zebras punish Boulevard
PHC Zebras 3 Boulevard 0
PHC Zebras caught the Boulevard defence sleeping when they scored in the fifth minute courtesy of Keishon Bean strike at PHC Field yesterday.
Bean, the son of former PHC stalwart, Blenn Bean, latched onto a pass down the middle of the pitch from Marco Warren who had been a thorn in the side of Boulevard all afternoon with his speed and ball control.
Warren provided the perfect pass to Bean who split Boulevard’s defence that was slow to react.
Bean was able to run in, unmolested, on the Boulevard goalkeeper, Daniel Adams, to slip his shot just inside the post to open the PHC scoring.
For good measure, the Zebras would score two more goals in the 42nd and 55th minutes to ice the game.
Zebras came close again in the 30th minute to scoring their second after a corner kick saw Na’ Eem Griffiths’ powerful header desperately cleared off the goal line.
Undaunted by the Zebras near miss, the Blazers came storming back in the 35th minute when a long, searching cross into the Zebras penalty area was mishandled by the Zebras’ keeper, Quinaceo Hunt. The ball fell tantalizingly to the feet of the Blazers usually sure footed,
Takeyhi Walker, who could only watch in agony as he tapped the ball over the crossbar from inside the 6yd box, thereby squandering a glorious opportunity to knot the score.
In the 42nd minute, the Zebras would make the Blazers pay dearly for Walker’s poor finish moments earlier when Trey Ming was able to get behind the Blazers’ defensive line. With the Blazers’ bench screaming at Referee Ronue Cann for a foul, Ming continued to play, running in unmolested on the Blazers keeper, Daniel Adams, to slot home from close range to go two up at the half.
Trailing by two at the half, the Blazers entered the pitch determined to get on the scoring sheet to establish some momentum which had eluded them to this point. However, the Zebras administered a powerful blow to their aspirations when they scored their third goal in the 55th minute. With a corner clearance by the Blazers’ defence, the ball rebounded out to Mazhye Burchall. Unmarked, Burchall wasted no time getting off his blast that nestled in the corner of the goal, leaving the Blazers’ keeper no chance.
In a game that started out with so much promise, with the winner potentially taking top spot in the league standings, the Zebras stood out and above their opponents, leaving the Blazers, who certainly did not have their cutting edge on display for the afternoon, to rue their lost opportunities.
Blazers’ coach, Mikre Pace said, “We didn’t need to change much about our game today. We just needed to put away our chances we had earlier in the game. We allowed the Zebras’ speed and fitness to kick in and, as a result, we couldn’t find our rhythm to get ourselves back into the game.”
Looking like one of the top teams to beat this year, to guard against complacency, Zebras’ coach Scott Morton stated, “We need to continue working on the process of what we need to do to get where we want to be. We are taking each game as they come and not getting too ahead of ourselves. We need to stay with our plan for the season and stick to those key ingredients that make us tick as a team. We have yet to put together two complete halves of football, so we need to do that in order to say we’ve played a complete game.”