Hood finally land Charity Cup
PHC Zebras 1 Robin Hood 3
Robin Hood triumphantly raised the Charity Cup for the first time after defeating holders PHC Zebras in an entertaining contest at Goose Gosling Field last night.
Hood debutant Chae Brangman opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time with a neat finish.
Lejaun Simmons, the Hood captain, then doubled his team's lead midway through the second half from the penalty spot. Marco Warren pulled one back for PHC shortly after.
However, substitute Tevahn Tyrell came off the bench and restored Hood's two-goal advantage four minutes from the end to cap his return to the club from a stint in the English non-Leagues in dramatic fashion.
Hood's hard-fought victory ended a three-game losing streak in the annual season curtain raiser and denied PHC a third straight title.
“It's a constant battle between the two teams, so it's always good to get that one up,” John Barry Nusum, the Robin Hood coach, said. “For the team, it means a lot more than just a charity game.
“It was a good performance and we had to change our dynamic because of the pressure PHC bring in midfield.
A lot of what we tried to do was bypass the midfield and find those second balls.
“It was a little different to how we usually like to play, but against a team like PHC you have to pick your poison in a little bit.
“Their pressure is one of their strong points and so we tried to play away from that to give us a little more time on the ball.
“The first half was very cagey trying to get used to it, trying to get in the match. Luckily, we got a goal right at the half that settled us and opened the game up.”
Hood survived an early scare when PHC defender Daren Usher dragged wide of the goal with only goalkeeper Dale Eve to beat.
It proved to be a wake up call for Hood, who began to stretch PHC after making the necessary adjustments and create chances of their own.
Midfielder Tomiko Goater's cross rolled across PHC's goal while Brangman's header was easy pickings for PHC goalkeeper Shaquille Trott. Goater also headed wide after being picked out by Phillip Parsons's cross.
Hood were in the ascendancy, but nearly got caught out twice on the counterattack, Eve doing well to save Warren's ambitious shot from outside box and then using his body to block Aquino Grant's low effort from inside the box.
Nusum's side kept up their relentless assault with Brangman heading Simmons's cross over before finally making the breakthrough moments before the interval. Defender Antwan Russell lofted a pass over the top of the PHC defence and Brangman used his strength to hold off his marker before steering a low shot into the far bottom left corner.
PHC started the second half strongly with captain Cecoy Robinson's long-range shot dipping just over Eve's crossbar.
Hood responded with defender Shakir Smith just failing to get a touch to Simmons's cross across the face of goal.
PHC were forced to make a substitute after forward Jaavid Warren-Smith was helped off the pitch after taking a knock.
At the other end, Smith threatened again when he fired Goater's pass wide.
Goater won his team penalty after being brought down by Diondre Dowling. Simmons made no mistake from the spot as he sent Trott the wrong way to double his team's advantage.
PHC battled on and were finally rewarded when Warren forced the ball across the line from a goalmouth scramble.
Hood went close again when defender Jaylon Bather's free kick struck the crossbar.
However, they would not be denied shortly after as Tyrell headed home Simmons's cross to stop PHC's late rally.
PHC Zebras: Warren 73
Robin Hood: Brangman 44, Simmons 68 pen, Tyrell 86
PHC Zebras (4-3-3): S Trott — D Smith-Lightbourne, D Dowling, M Lambe, D Usher — T Ming, M Warren, C Robinson — J Warren-Smith (sub: K Matthie, 65min), T Welch (sub: Z Weller, 70), A Grant (sub: K Hypolite, 78). Substitutes not used: Z Lee, O Tucker, J Sealey, Tyler Welch.
Robin Hood (4-3-3): D Eve — S Smith (sub: E Outerbridge, 75), J Bather, A Russell, J Pereira — C Ryan, P Parson, T Goater — L Simmons, A Nelson (sub: C Castle, 46), C Brangman (sub: T Tyrell, 77). Substitutes not used: Z Burgess, J Corday, P Froncioni,
Referee: L Christopher