Town denied top spot
North Village 3 Dandy Town Hornets 3
Dandy Town were denied top spot in the table when a third North Village equaliser late in the game by substitute Trey Durham stunned the visiting side at Bernard Park yesterday
Both teams were aiming to capitalise on leaders PHC Zebras' 1-1 draw with Robin Hood at Goose Gosling Field the previous night.
Kwame Steede, the Town player-coach, was left kicking his heels after goalkeeper Troy Hall failed to catch a high ball into the box from a corner and Durham forced it over the line.
“Simple mistakes hurt us today,” said Steede, who has taken himself off just minutes earlier.
“Our execution wasn't on; the game was supposed to be over in the first half with the chances we missed.
“Our hats go off to Village, it was a good game but for us it is disappointing. Mistakes hurt us today. You can't put the onus on the goalkeeper because the goalkeeper can't make mistakes like the outfield players.”
The match started 20 minutes late after a shortage of officials saw a late scramble to get two assistant referees to Bernard Park.
One, Lloyd Christopher, travelled from St David's after refereeing the First Division match between St David's and Wolves.
Ian Coke went close after just nine minutes when his shot hit the base of the far post. He was denied by the same post nine minutes later, this time from a shot on the other side of the box as Town had the better start.
Town broke the deadlock midway through the first half when, after Hall made an important block to deny Shayne Hollis. the visiting side launched a quick break and captain Angelo Simmons lobbed the ball into the far corner from an angle inside the box. The lead was short-lived, though, with Village back level when Keishen Bean played a one-two with Lashun Dill and then steered the ball past Hall into the bottom corner.
Bean played a part in Town's second goal when the Village forward back defending, fouled Damon Ming to concede a penalty. Coke's spot kick was saved by Tahj Bell to his right but the Town striker was quick to follow up on the loose ball and score at the second attempt despite Bell's best efforts.
Bell made a fine one-handed save to deny Angelo Simmons as Town went looking for more goals early in the second half. However, Bean popped up with a second equaliser a minute later when he steered a header past Hall.
Referee Martin Wyer initially awarded Town a second penalty in the 52nd minute when Simmons went down from what looked a soft Kyler Knights challenge. After consultation with his assistant, Wyer gave a free kick to Village outside the box for an earlier infringement.
It was end-to-end action as Shayne Hollis just failed to connect with a cross into the box by Bean, then Bell saved at the near post from an Oneko Lowe shot after a weak kick by the goalkeeper.
He followed up that save with another good save to a K'wonde Lathan shot, which he tipped over the crossbar.
Defender Tareeko Wilson made a timely and crucial challenge on Simmons after he raced through into the Village box as Town kept pressing for another goal. It came just a minute later when left back Lowe joined an attack and after Coke provided the cross from the left, Lowe finished the move off with a goal from the edge of the six-yard box.
Town were hanging on for a win that would take them to the top of the table, but Village refused to give up the fight, with Terryn Fray hitting a shot on the turn that just missed. Four minutes from the end, they salvaged a point when Durham scored from close range.
“The league is wide open; it's all about who wants it, who's going to keep pushing and show the character towards the end of the race,” Steede added.
“They wrote us off at the beginning of the season, but it's far from over.”
Bean 27, 50 Durham 86
Simmons 24, Coke 34 pen, Lowe 73
North Village (4-3-3): T Bell — K Knights, T Wilson, T Fray, A Johnston — K Jennings (sub: T Durham, 71min), P Smith (sub: J Smith-DeShields, 71), D Daniels — K Bean, S Hollis, L Dill. Substitutes not used: M Thomas, C Caisey, D Dillas, P Castle.
Dandy Town (4-3-3): T Hall — E Blankendal, K Steede (sub: D Williams, 75), J Shrubb, O Lowe (sub: K Simmons, 85) — E Trott (sub: N Spence, 83), L Tucker, K Lathan — A Simmons, I Coke, D Ming. Substitutes not used: J Manders, G Liburd, D Walker, D Russell.
Referee: M Wyer.