Title race hots up as Hornets close gap
Kwame Steede, the Dandy Town Hornets player-coach, believes his side are peaking at the right time after thrashing Somerset Trojans 6-2 at St John's Field yesterday.
Town are now just one point behind Premier Division leaders PHC Zebras, who suffered a second straight loss at home to North Village on Saturday afternoon.
Oneko Lowe bagged a brace for Town, whose other scorers were Ian Coke, K'wonde Lathan, Dennis Russell and Steede. Trojans scorers were brothers Jaden and Jaz Ratteray-Smith in either half.
“As long as we keep believing and do what we have to do, we will be in the race,” Steede said.
Robin Hood, three points behind PHC in third, were among the chief beneficiaries of Zebras defeat. The defending champions beat Devonshire Cougars 2-1 at Goose Gosling Field yesterday.
Antwan Russell and Lejuan Simmons were on target for Hood, while Moses Steede scored a leveller for Cougars.
“To be honest, we got off a little bit lucky at the end because at 1-1 they started to put pressure on us,” John Barry Nusum, the Hood coach, said. “But we got the win and the three points, which was good and obviously what happened to PHC gives us something to look for.
“They dropped some points and now we have a game with them next week. A couple of weeks ago you could say PHC had it locked up, but the shape of the league is looking a little different now. The league is wide open, but it's in our hands.”
PHC surrendered a two-goal lead against title-chasing Village. The victory lifts Village to fourth in the table, three points behind the leaders, who appeared to be cruising to another win after first-half goals from captain Cecoy Robinson and Tre Ming.
Village had other ideas, however, with Demetre Daniels reducing the deficit midway through the first period before Keishen Bean pulled his team level in the 67th minute.
Shayne Hollis completed the comeback in the 80th minute to secure the win. “We knew three points were needed, but the real challenge for us was getting a good result over a team that has had our number lately,” Randy Spence, the Village assistant coach, said. “We showed plenty of character and this victory should do a lot for our confidence.”
Flanagan's Onions also fought back from two goals down at home to rock-bottom Young Men's Social Club on Saturday night.
Onions found themselves trailing by two goals at the interval after strikes from Clay Darrell and Phillip Mallory had put Social Club on course for their first win of the campaign.
The home side pulled a goal back early in the second half through captain Treshun Smith before a Shaki Swan brace secured a much needed win for the relegation strugglers.
Mick Ward, the Onions coach, is adamant his side can beat the drop as they long as they beat in the teams around them. “We had to play Village and PHC after Christmas, and we knew they were going to be tough games,” Ward said.
“We know we need to beat the Somersets, the X-Roads, the Social Clubs and Boulevards, and if we can pick up anything else then great. We certainly haven't given up. If we give up hope then what's the point of coming out.”
Ward believes Onions were unfortunate to be two goals down at the break but admitted there was an element of luck to Swan's 87th-minute winner.
“We misjudged a header and they broke through for their first goal and then we lost the ball for their second,” Ward said.
“I told the players they had to work harder in the second half and the little tweaks that we made really helped us. I thought we were the better side in second half and deserved the win.”
X-Roads continued their impressive season with a 7-3 victory over an undisciplined Boulevard at Lord's yesterday.
Kahmori Brangman netted four times to lead them to their biggest win of the season — their first in the top flight,
“I'm happy for him because he's been very committed and very dedicated,” Fared El Karfa, the Social Club coach, said of Brangman. “He's really coming along and today he proved that he's getting there as a top player. He was in England for some time and is really a good addition for X-Roads.”
Reports page 34, 35