Ruthless Zebras seize top spot
PHC Zebras 6 Somerset Eagles 1
PHC Zebras produced their biggest victory of the season at home to Somerset Eagles yesterday to go three-points clear at the top of the Premier Division.
The home side went into the match trailing previous leaders North Village on goal difference.
But an emphatic annihilation of Eagles coupled with Village’s loss to Devonshire Cougars catapulted unbeaten Zebras to the top of the pecking order with two rounds remaining in the first half of the season.
Zebras led 1-0 at the half on an opportunistic strike from midfielder Tre Ming from a set piece. Akale Bean, a summer transfer from Southampton Rangers, hauled Eagles back into the match three minutes into the second half when he too converted from a set piece to draw the teams level.
However, Zebras took over from here and pulled away via five unanswered goals from Mayzhye Burchall, Marco Warren, substitute Keishon Bean, Cecoy Robinson and Marquel Waldron.
Eagles’s woes were further compounded by the loss of left back Alizay Furbert who went off with an injured knee just before Zebras opened the floodgates.
Zebras bossed the opening stanza but only had Ming’s 38th-minute strike to show for at the break thanks mainly to the outstanding goalkeeping of Lorenzo Lambert, whose efforts between the posts spared Eagles from a heavier defeat.
The son of former Somerset Trojans and Eagles player Gladwin Lambert produced a superb reflex save to tip Na’eem Griffith’s header from a Ming free kick over the bar.
Eagles’s hearts skipped a beat again moments later as Robinson’s inswinging corner struck the bar.
PHC should have opened their account when Burchall, the Bermuda Under-20 player, was presented with a clear cut chance after breaking free.
But with only Lambert standing between himself and the goal the diminutive player lobbed over from around the penalty spot to let the visiting side off the hook.
Robinson had the ball in the net after linking up with Waldron but the effort was waved off by the referee assistant’s flag while Anwar Telford, the Eagles midfielder, made a timely tackle in the box to thwart another Zebras raid.
Ming finally made the breakthrough that PHC’s dominance warranted just before the interval.
Griffith’s header from Robinson’s corner was blocked and Ming pounced on the rebound to put his team’s noses out front.
Eagles started the second half with more purpose which they were rewarded for when Bean brought the teams level after the Zebras defence switched off.
Despite the presence of several defenders Bean somehow managed to steer Khimo Harrison’s free kick past PHC goalkeeper Shaquille Trott to signal game on.
Eagles suffered a setback when Furbert limped off with a knee injury in the 50th minute.
It proved to be a prelude for more misfortune to come for the visiting side who eventually capitulated as PHC’s superior fitness and fluent ball movement took its toll.
Zebras regained the lead for good when Burchall converted a breakaway on a counter attack that caught Eagles flat-footed.
Warren then killed the game off when he fired past Lambert to make it 3-1 after being fed by a short pass from Robinson.
By now Eagles looked a tired bunch.
However, Zebras were not done just yet as Bean heaped more misery on Eagles when he scored with a clinical finish shortly after the home side were again denied by the woodwork.
Robinson, the PHC captain, finally got his name onto the scoresheet when he slammed home a Bean rebound before Waldron lashed in Burchall’s pull back to complete the rout.