Relieved Cougars edge past X-Roads
X-Roads 2 Devonshire Cougars 3
Devonshire Cougars earned a valuable victory after beating X-Roads at Garrison Field yesterday.
Cougars were just four points above the relegation zone before the match and looked a relieved bunch after the final whistle.
Vance Brown, who has taken over the coaching reigns from Omar Butterfield, had nothing but praise for his team.
“I think it's well deserved because they have worked hard even when things haven't been going well for us,” Brown said.
Much of Cougars' attack went through pacey forward pair Allan Douglas and Che Brangman.
“I tried to encourage the team to play more direct so that we could get our forwards in the match early, and put our opponents under pressure.”
Cougars took an early lead when Douglas latched onto a ball over the top that was misjudged by the X Roads defence.
Douglas's first-time shot left Dashun Cooper, the X-Roads goalkeeper, with no chance as he was unable to recover from a bad position. Moments later Brangman struck the crossbar with a header from a diagonal free kick.
Brangman was in again in the fifteenth minute after combining with Douglas on the edge of the box, but his tame effort was easily saved. Callun Maybury watched his well-struck free kick from 25 yards ricochet off the upright and out of touch.
After absorbing pressure for most of the half, X Roads flipped the game on its head, scoring two set-piece goals in the final ten minutes.
Donavan Thompson, first did well to get his head on a free kick and direct it into the bottom corner, and then Nassir Richardson rose unmarked at the back post to place his header into the roof of the net. Despite the setback, Cougars came out found an equaliser on their first attack after the break.
Brangman finished well from an angle after being played in nicely by Zari Simmons.
Thompson came the closest for X-Roads when his volley from the edge of the area, was cleared off the line. The deciding moment came in the 65th minute when substitute Demetre Daniels was on hand to finish from close range.
X-Roads: Thompson 34, N Richardson 43
Douglas 6, Brangman 47, Daniels 64
X-Roads (4-3-3): D Cooper — A Burgess (sub: S Thomas 60min), K Wilkinson, J Furbert, O Williams — J Sanchez (sub: K Talbot, 58), P Richardson, R Beek, N Richardson — K Hamilton, D Thompson. Substitutes not used: J Minks, O Darrell, T Lowe. Booked: Thompson.
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3): L Tota — C Matthews, C Maybury, Zeko White, Cashun Brangman — D Simmons, Z Simons, J Guerrero (sub: D Daniels 46), S Pearman (sub M Steede 72) — Che Brangman, A Douglas Jr (sub: Zekiro White 76). Substitutes not used: N Simmons, N Carmichael, J Wade.
Referee: A Francis.