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Coke heroics in vain as Trojans fight back

Photograph by Akil SimmonsSomerset players clear a dangerous ball into their box at Police Field

Leading 4-2 with six minutes remaining, Boulevard appeared poised to blaze off with a victory in their Friendship Trophy preliminary round match at Police Field yesterday.

However, Somerset Trojans had a trick up their sleeves as they roared back in stunning fashion, scoring three goals in the span of five minutes to win 5-4, and thereby wasting four brilliantly taken goals by the Boulevard’s Ian Coke.

Coke got Boulevard up and running with an eighteenth-minute strike after a defensive miscommunication between Trojans’ Dennis Lister and goalkeeper Shaquille Bean.

With Bean failing to collect what should have been a routine ball, it popped loose falling to Coke to lob into an open net.

Undeterred, Trojans would level the score in the 30th minute. Hard-working Jonathan Bean was brought down just outside the penalty box.

Vernon Perinchief took the resulting free kick and placed a beautiful shot over the defensive wall, which hit the underside of the crossbar and spilling over the line to put Trojans back in contention.

Boulevard went one up in the 38th minute courtesy of Coke’s second goal of the game.

After working his way inside the penalty area, Dunnya Taylor shook free of his defender to loft a delicate chip across goal to an unmarked Coke who dispatched his header into the upper corner of the net to give Boulevard the lead at half-time.

No one could have predicted what was to unfold in the second half as goals came in bunches, with both teams trying desperately to find the goal to swing the momentum in their favour.

After a tense start to the second half and with both teams see-sawing in possession of the ball, Taylor got loose down the right flank, beat his man and squared a perfect pass to Coke.

Coke wasted no time getting off a hard, low drive that eluded the goalkeeper inside his near post in the 60th minute.

Again, with their backs to the wall, Trojans stormed back in the 63rd minute when Justin Corday latched onto a free ball running across Boulevard’s goalmouth. Corday pounced, drilling his shot that the goalkeeper, Adams, did well to get a hand to, but not enough to prevent the score.

Boulevard put, what appeared to be a final dagger in Trojans when Coke scored his fourth goal in the 78th minute setting off a wild celebrations.

Thus began the Trojan’s miraculous comeback in the 84th minute. With six minutes remaining substitute, Duante Woods, raced into the box beating Adams with a shot just inside the post.

Sensing a shift in momentum, Trojans started pushing players forward searching for an equaliser. They would be rewarded in the 86th minute when Woods scored again to tie the game.

Woods again came dangerously close to scoring a minute later when he sent his shot directly at the goalkeeper from close range.

The improbable Trojan comeback win came when Bean marshalled a give and go between himself and Corday in the 89th minute. Corday managed to free himself of the defender, receiving a deft pass from Bean. Composed, with only the goalkeeper to beat, Corday drilled his second goal just beyond the reach of Adams to run complete a superb comeback.

In the earlier Shield preliminary match, X-Roads defeated Paget Lions 5-4 at Police Field.