Boulevard crush relegated Onions
Boulevard 4 Flanagan’s Onions 0
Boulevard gave themselves a glimmer of hope of clinching the sixth and final spot for next season’s Dudley Eve Trophy with a 4-1 victory over relegated Flanagan Onions at Lord’s yesterday.
Boulevard took a 3-0 lead at the break before adding a fourth early in the second half to quash any ideas of an Onions comeback. The visiting side scored a late consolation goal.
Troy Smith, the Boulevard coach, said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We accomplished our objective of survival and now we are hopeful of a Dudley Eve spot with one game remaining,” he said. “We have Hood next week and will fight until the end.”
Boulevard came out of the starting blocks on fire with two good chances within the first five minutes. Kamali Davis made a run down the left before crossing to Khiry Easton but he shot straight into the arms of Onions goalkeeper Chejon Berkeley. Two minutes later, Berkeley punched a Jahzardae Samuels corner into the centre of his goal but it was cleared by a defender.
Boulevard took the lead in the fifteenth minute when a long ball was cleared up field to Aldonte Smith. He dribbled inside before unleashing a hard and low strike, which tucked into Berkeley’s right corner.
Smith scored his second two minutes later when he was first to a diagonal cross before calmly side-footing past the goalkeeper.
Treshun Smith, the Onions captain, almost pulled one back when he picked up a loose ball in the middle of the park before hitting a firm drive from 25 yards, which flew just over the bar.
Davis put Boulevard further ahead when he dribbled inside the 18-yard box and hit a low drive, which beat Berkeley for pace.
Onions refused to lie down and had the first scoring opportunity after the break when Shaki Swan and Nicholas Dunkle teamed up for the latter to get a shot off to bring a diving save from Boulevard goalkeeper Ronniko Burchall, who made sure to get his body behind the ball because of the slippery conditions.
Boulevard scored their fourth from the resulting kick when Burchall’s long ball was eventually played to Samuels, who dribbled across the top of the penalty area, drawing the goalkeeper, before tucking a firm shot into the hole that he had created, beating Berkeley’s outstretched arm.
Swan, Smith and Dunkle teamed up on a few occasions searching for that opening goal for Onions but they lacked the finishing touch.
Onions consolation goal came in the 83rd minute when there was a misunderstanding between goalkeeper Burchall and one of his defenders, resulting in a partial clearance which fell straight to Anthony Rocker to drill home.
Mick Ward, the Onions coach, said: “That is the story of our season. We didn’t start off well. We struggled consistently.
“Most games we created chances but couldn’t score. Today, we only had one sub and a few played with injuries. Now that we are relegated, I hope to be back but we need commitment from our players. Training with seven and eight numbers is not ideal. Guys don’t like to sit the bench and get discouraged quickly.”
Smith 15, 17, Davis 30, Samuels 48
Boulevard (4-4-2): A Burchall — K Smith, A Famous, T Stovell, Z Stovell, M Smith (sub: Y Darrell, 70min), D Taylor, J Samuels, A Smith, K Easton (sub: T Walker, 66min), K Davis (sub: S Fostin, 66). Booked: K Davis.
Flanagan’s Onions (4-4-2): C Berkeley, P Smith (sub: M Lindsey-Bailey, 73), M Laws, N Dunkle, J Morgan, M Higson, T Smith, A Rocker, S Swan, M Field, L Matthews.
Referee: M Wyer.