Hard work pays off for Rangers
Southampton Rangers claimed the Shield Trophy title after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Paget Lions at Wellington Oval yesterday.
Goals in each half by Jahkai Dyer and Donte Brangman cancelled out Davin Dill's second-half equaliser.
Paget were happy to have one half of their strike force back as Tahj Wade returned from overseas. However, they missed Dion Stovell, as his flair would have surely tormented the Rangers defence.
Each team had a chance to score in the early minutes as first Shannon Coddington-Burchall turned his man only to shoot straight at Paget goalkeeper Jason Smith.
Soon after, Paget midfielder, Travis Wilkinson, picked up the ball from deep within his half before spraying it wide to Dill.
Dill beat his marker and hit a low cross into the box, which was cleared by defender Darius Cox before any Paget player could pounce on it.
The opening goal came for Rangers against the run of play in the 26th minute. Paget had a corner, which was cleared up field by the defence.
Dyer beat the offside trap from the halfway line to outrun his marker and tuck the ball under the advancing goalkeeper amid calls for offside.
Paget came close to scoring just before half-time when Wilkinson's weak shot was easily saved by Rangers goalkeeper Sean Perinchief.
Paget's pressure paid off and they scored early in the second half after some fine work from Wilkinson. He advanced deep into the Rangers goal area and then dribbled along the backline before playing an inch-perfect cross to Dill at the back post, who had the simple task of heading home. Paget should have gone ahead in the 71st minute when Marco Piper headed over from close range.
To add insult to injury, Rangers scored the winner from the resulting goal kick, which defender Robert Richardson badly misjudged. The ball was allowed to bounce leaving Brangman to outpace Richardson and beat Smith with a firmly placed shot.
With a few minutes left on the clock, another Wilkinson cross into the six-yard box found an unmarked DeMarlo Curtis who chose to volley the ball when heading it would have been easier.
Jomar Wilkinson, the Rangers coach, was fulsome in his praise for his team. “We did a really good job today,” said the former Dandy Town coach. “We wanted to keep possession of the ball and that's what we did. From Day 1, I asked for commitment.
“Today, we saw the hard work pay off.”