Evergreen Jennings proves the difference
BAA 1 North Village 2
Keith Jennings rolled back the years with a vintage display to inspire North Village to a come-from-behind win over BAA at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night.
The 42-year-old midfielder netted Village's winner in second-half stoppage time, having created their opener, to earn his team three vital points.
An evenly contested game seemed destined for a draw after Keishen Bean, a former Village player, and Patriac Castle traded first-half goals.
However, Jennings, a former Bermuda player, had other thoughts and proved the difference between the two sides.
“I was a little tired and I just used my experience,” he said.
“I was just trying to stick with it and help the team. We're in a critical position right now, so hopefully things will get better.”
The win had helped ease Village's fears of being dragged into a relegation battle. This result was very important for Village,” Randy Spence, the Village coach, said.
“I applaud the players for fighting to the end. We pulled off a late goal which brought us the three points and I take my hat off to the players.
“We struggled with a few injuries and had to bring some of our diehard veterans back out.
“We needed Keith and it was a great performance. He showed great leadership. Keith always fights to the end.”
BAA made the early breakthrough when Bean controlled Troy Tucker's diagonal pass in the box and beat Village goalkeeper Tahj Bell with a low drive. The home side kept the pressure on with Drewonde Bascome testing Bell with shot from just outside of the box.
With Jennings pulling the strings in midfield, Village gradually grew into the game and got themselves back on level terms in the seventeenth minute.
Jennings latched onto striker Jahquan Smith-DeShield's pass and crossed in the middle where Castle bundled in on the second attempt after his first effort was blocked by BAA goalkeeper Andrew McDowell.
The game opened up as half-time approached with BAA defender Tyrell Burgess curling a free kick just wide and McDowell saving a Jennings header at the back post.
Village, who included former Chesterfield forward Rai Simons in their line-up, made a promising start to the second half with Jennings just failing to get a boot to Zanicke Hendrickson's cross.
BAA responded with Nathan Rego hitting the bar with a thunderous strike from 25 yards, while Burgess and Tucker also tested Bell from distance.
The home side suffered a setback late on when left back Antrell Butterfield injured his groin and was unable to carry on with no more substitutes on the bench. Village cashed in on their numerical advantage with Jennings capping a masterful display belying his years by popping up with the winner.
BAA (4-3-3): A McDowell — A Butterfield, I Simmons, T Burgess, Z Robinson — T Tucker, L Roberts (sub: A Darrell, 82 min), K Bean — D Bascome, N Rego, R Murphy (J Lottimore, 65). Booked: Roberts, Butterfield.
North Village: (4-5-1): T Bell — J Thomas, K Dill, T Wilson, P Castle (sub: C Caisey, 54) — J Davis, J Bell, R Simons (sub: J Briers, 77), Z Hendrickson, K Jennings, J Smith-DeShields (sub: P Smith, 75). Booked: C Casiey. Substitutes not used: G Buterfield, L Shakir, K Knights.
Referee: L Cann.