Town in seventh heaven to ease through
Dandy Town 7 PHC Zebras 0
Super sub Kwame Steede came off the bench to grab a hat-trick as Dandy Town put PHC Zebras to the sword in this Dudley Eve Trophy contest at Bernard Park yesterday, to seal their place in the semi-finals.
The most senior player on the pitch at age 39 put on a masterful clinic in marksmanship, converting three goals in the space of nine minutes after replacing Dashun Butterfield in his team's attack.
Steede also had an assist as he supplied the cross for Clay Darrell to slot in at the far post for his second of the match to put an exclamation mark on his team's emphatic win that left their opponents shell-shocked.
Town's other tallies came via Oneko Lowe and an own goal from Shaquille Trott, the PHC goalkeeper.
“I didn't expect three but I had the mentality to score if I got the chance,” Steede said.
Devar Boyles, the Town coach, hailed the veteran player's clinical display.
“That's incredible to come off the bench and score like that,” Boyles, who made eight changes to his squad from the one that thumped X-Roads 6-0 in their tournament opener, said.
“Kwame finds space where there's no space. He interprets space better than anyone in Bermuda and always seems to be free.
“Everyone knows what he is going to do, but you turn head and he's gone.”
As for his team's convincing victory, Boyles said he was just as impressed by his players' movement off the ball as their lethal finishing.
“Today, I was really impressed with what we did without the ball, I think that was the key,” he said.
“I think we are starting to defend a bit better and I think that gives us a platform offensively.”
Town dominated the early exchanges and it came as no real surprise when Lowe opened the scoring after forcing Trott to make a fingertip save moments earlier.
The winger cut in from the left and shrugged off a challenge by a defender before beating Trott at his near post.
With PHC intent to sit deep and soak up pressure in the hopes of catching their opponents on the quick break, Town mounted waves of attacks with Lowe blasting a rebound over and Trott rushing off his line to gather the ball off of Darrell's feet.
PHC eventually grew into the game and started stringing passes together and creating space in the attacking third. But they were unable to puncture a well-organised Town defence whose task was made easier by their opponent's one-dimensional approach.
For all of Town's dominance, PHC were still in the match trailing 1-0 at the half.
However, no one could've predicted the carnage to come when play resumed as the floodgates well and truly opened.
Before either team could break a sweat, Darrell rose high above the defence to head defender Jomei Bean-Lindo's diagonal cross into the roof of the net to double Town's advantage.
Despite falling further in arrears, PHC produced a good spell of possession with Cecoy Robinson, the captain, defender Daren Usher and striker Kushae Hypolite all testing Town goalkeeper Julian Roser while Tre Ming rolled a shot from outside the box inches wide.
But Town weathered the storm and ultimately pulled out of sight with the goals coming thick and fast.
They were gifted their third when PHC goalkeeper Trott palmed Darrell's headed pass across the goalmouth after his initial shot was blocked into his own net.
Steede then took over from there.
He opened his account after rising at the back post to head home Darrell's inch-perfect cross and grabbed a second after latching onto a cross from fellow substitute Eusebio Blankendal.
The experienced player then completed his hat-trick when he scrambled a rebound over the line from close range.
By now, PHC were praying for the final whistle.
But there was still time for Darrell to smash in Steede's cross and apply the proverbial icing on the cake.
Dandy Town: Lowe 12; Darrell 47, 90; Shaquille Trott (OG) 70; Steede 79, 82, 88
Dandy Town (4-3-3): J Roser — J Bean-Lindo, J Richardson-Martin, K Wade, A Furbert — L Emery, M Aden (sub: E Blankendal, 35), E Trott — O Lowe (sub: A Simmons, 54), D Butterfield (sub: K Steede, 67), C Darrell. Substitutes not used: J Swan, M Parsons, S Darrell, C Davis. Booked: Richardson-Martin, Bean-Lindo, Steede
PHC (4-4-2): S Trott — D Smith-Lightbourne, D Dowling, M Lambe, Shakhai Trott (sub: J Sealey, 75) — T Ming, R Richardson, M Warren, D Usher (sub: B Degrilla, 60) — C Robinson, K Hypolite (sub: K Matthie, 57). Substitutes not used: Z Lee, T Welch, A Grant, O Tucker.
Referee: M Wyer