Smith-DeShields late show does the damage
Social Club 0 North Village 3
Substitute Jahquan Smith-DeShields scored two late goals at Police Field as North Village kept pace with the teams chasing leaders PHC Zebras.
However, coach Devarr Boyles admits his side's title chances are a “long shot” as they remain six points behind the leaders with only three games remaining.
“What we're hoping to do is finish as high as we possibly can,” Boyles said. “Last year we came third and it would be nice to beat that. Ideally that's what we're pushing for. A top three [finish] would be par for the course but second would enable me to say to the group that we've improved.”
Village, who were missing several key players, including goalkeeper Tahj Bell, Terryn Fray, Demetre Daniels, Shayne Hollis and Pierre Smith, struggled to take control against Social Club who had the better start in the blustery conditions.
However, things turned around in the second half after defender Che Woolridge steered a cross into his own net. Village began to dominate after that although it took two late goals from Smith-DeShields to secure a win.
“It was all about results, we want to finish as high up in the table as we can, so the three points does that for us,” Boyles said. “In the second half we played a lot better than we did in the first when we just never got to grips with the wind coming out of the northwest.”
Social Club, who were relegation last weekend, created more chances early on as they pegged Village back in their half. However, it was Village who went closest to taking the lead in the twelfth minute when a wayward pass by full back Giovanni Saltus was intercepted by Jonathan Briers who squared the ball into the box where Keishen Bean's smashed against the crossbar.
Things got better for the visiting side early in the second half when Woolridge gave them the lead after side-footing a cross from Jennings past his own goalkeeper Donovan Adams at the near post. The scoreline remained close with Social Club still looking a threat on the break with Saki Tuzo lively up front. It was Village substitute, Smith-DeShields, who made the biggest impact after coming on in the 70th minute for Lashun Dill. Smith-DeShields doubled the lead in the 85th minute, scoring at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked by Adams. When the ball was not cleared, Smith-DeShields received a pass inside the box to score with a low shot.
Adams made a good save at the near post to keep out a shot from substitute Dahzon Dillas, but from the resulting corner Smith-DeShields scored after being fed a another pass inside the box.
Woolridge 52 og, Smith-DeShields 85, 89
Social Club: D Adams — G Saltus (sub: P Darrell, 60min), K Butterfield, C Woolridge, K Francois (sub: J Fubler, 90), M Smith, N Armstrong, K Arruda (sub: M Rudo, 71), J Lewis-Trott, C Darrell, S Tuzo. Substitutes not used: J Saltus, M Parsons.
North Village: Z Hendrickson — K Knights, P Castle, D Tankard, A Johnston, J Briers, (sub: D Dillas, 86), T Durham, C Caisey (sub: M Thomas, 75), K Bean, L Dill (sub: J Smith-DeShields, 70), K Jennings. Booked: Knights.
Referee: C Trott.