Village keep double hopes alive
Dandy Town 1 North Village 3
North Village kept alive their slim hopes of a double after defeating Dandy Town in the semi-final of the FA Cup last night.
Village, third in the league, are three points behind leaders Robin Hood and play second-place PHC Zebras on Tuesday night — who they will now meet in the FA Cup final next month. PHC have won ten titles to Village's nine.
Hornets made a perfect start to last night's match in front of a healthy crowd at Goose Gosling Field, taking the lead in the sixth minute through forward Drewonde Bascome with a close-range finish at the back post.
Village were almost on level terms when Keishen Bean, the Rams forward, rattled the crossbar of Jaiden Manders, the Town goalkeeper, with a venomous free kick that bounced clear of danger.
Bean was causing plenty of problems for Town down the left channel and almost found Ralph Bean with a neat pull back that the veteran striker narrowly failed to latch on to.
It was Ralph Bean who found the leveller for Village early in the second half, following up a rebound after Demetre Daniels had been foiled by the diving Manders.
Jason Davies, the Village defender, then saw a free kick from deep tipped over by Manders, who then pulled off a superb save to deny a powerful left-footed strike from defender Jalen Harvey.
Village were running rampant and should have taken the lead when a fine through ball from Davies released Keishen Bean on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Bean was unable to find the finish, however, side-footing his effort wide of Manders's goal, much to the despair of the Village bench.
Devarr Boyles's men were soon in front, though, after a horrendous mix-up by Town defender Dominique Williams and Manders on 69 minutes.
There seemed little danger when hopeful ball over the top was swept up by Williams who played the ball back for his goalkeeper for a routine clearance.
Manders, however, showed his inexperience by coming too far off his line, with Williams's pass back trickling into an empty net.
Village dominated the remainder of the match and should have won by a greater margin, with Daniels going close with a header before Williams conceded a penalty after clipping the marauding Harvey in the box.
Shayne Hollis stepped up to slot home from the penalty spot to give his side some breathing space during the final five minutes.
Hollis still had time to almost add his second after being teed up by Keishen Bean but the diminutive striker saw his effort blocked on the line.
Randy Spence, the Village assistant coach, praised his side for sticking to the game plan and believed they were the worthy winners.
“We missed a few good chances but in the end we prevailed,” he said. “After the second goal I think [Town's] heads dropped and we grew more in confidence and that was it.
“We haven't been up the ‘carpet' for about four or five seasons now and we're excited about that.”
R Bean 48, Williams og 69, Hollis pen 82
Dandy Town (4-3-3): J Manders — T Manders, N Smith, D Williams, S Darrell — E Blankendal, K Lathan, J Amory (sub: O Hart, 86min) — T Goater, D Bascome (sub: D Butterfield, 70), A Simmons. Substitutes not used: T Wilson, J Swan. Booked: Lathan.
North Village (4-4-2): T Bell — T Fray, J Harvey, D Tankard, J Davis — J Briers, P Parsons, D Daniels (sub: J Bell, 85), S Hollis — R Bean, K Bean (sub: T Watson, 85). Substitutes not used: A Furbert, L Dill, R Sampson, N Smith, T Burchall.
Referee: M Wyer.