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Village go top in dramatic style

On my head: Terryn Fray, the Village defender, clears the danger as Hood midfielder Nathan Peskett closes in at Bernard Park (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

North Village are top of the Premier Division after Pierre Smith grabbed a last-gasp winner at home to fellow title hopefuls Robin Hood.

With PHC Zebras being held to a 2-2 draw away to Flanagan’s Onions on Saturday night, there was plenty at stake in a match between the second and third-placed teams at Bernard Park yesterday.

Hood had looked the most likely to score until striker Antwan Russell was sent off for a second yellow card to swing the momentum back in Village’s favour.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Hood were still creating chances with Ereico Outerbridge heading wide from a well-worked free kick by Darius Cox moments before Smith’s winner in the final minute.

Substitute Keishen Bean did well to stay on his feet after a desperate lunge by Chris Fosker, the Hood defender, before lifting his shot against the crossbar.

Smith picked up the loose ball and still had plenty to do, with the Village forward taking his time to pick his spot and fire beyond the outstretched arm of Hood goalkeeper Jason Simmons.

Randy Spence, the Village assistant coach, believed Russell’s sending off was the turning point in the game.

“At one stage I thought we would just have to walk away with the draw,” Spence said.

“When they went down to ten men we thought we would just keep plugging away and earn our luck. Russell’s sending off was a key moment for us and it gave us a bit of a push when he went off.

“It’s always a sweet feel when you score in the dying moments of a game.”

Kyle Lightbourne, the Hood coach, admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow to concede so late in the game.

“We have talked about not letting goals in the last ten minutes of a game because it can be difficult to recover,” he said.

“We were down to ten men in the last 15 minutes and it’s disappointing because Antwan picked up two silly yellow cards.

“We had three opportunities to take the lead in the second half but we didn’t take them. They took one of their two chances.

“That’s football and we have to regroup and come back from this loss.”

Angelo Simmons notched a brace and Tomiko Goater added another to guide Dandy Town to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Somerset Trojans at St John’s Field. The victory, Town’s third of the season, lifted them out of the relegation zone from ninth to seventh on goal difference over Somerset Eagles.

“I thought it was definitely a fair result even though I thought we could have taken more of our chances and scored more goals,” Simmons said.

“We were up 3-0 first half and second half I think we just cruised and kept possession.

“Our main objective was getting a clean sheet because that might be important later in the season. And we’re just happy to take the 3-0 win.”

In the other top-flight games, Boulevard Blazers thrashed bottom club Devonshire Colts 4-1 at Police Field, while Somerset Eagles drew 1-1 at home to Devonshire Cougars.