Promoted Eagles stun Town in league opener
Somerset Eagles 1 Dandy Town 0
Skipper Anwar Telford gave Somerset Eagles coach Jensen Rogers and team-mates the perfect start with a 26th minute penalty to upset Dandy Town Hornets at White Hill Field in their league opener yesterday.
The Hornets went into the game as favourites having scored a total of 13 unanswered goals in two Dudley Eve Trophy matches.
Both teams had early opportunities to open their accounts as Hornets striker Kwame Steede connected with a header from a corner that went just wide of the upright, while Eagle’s Ethan Fubler’s firm header from a Tahj Wade corner went straight at goalkeeper Julian Roser.
The Hornets tried to settle down and play short passes through their midfield while the Eagles resorted to bypass their midfield and kick long balls to their frontline.
It would be the Eagles game plan that led to the only goal of the game when Dane Simmons played a penetrating ball over the top for Nathan Rego to run onto.
Town’s two centre-halves, Kyle Wade and Jahtino Richardson-Martin, could only give chase before one of them stuck a leg out to bring Rego down from behind just inside the box leaving referee Martin Wyer no hesitation to award a penalty.
Skipper Telford kept his cool to place a firm drive to the right of keeper Roser giving Eagles the lead.
The Hornets almost equalised just before the half when full back Azendae Furbert did well to dribble forward but failed to find Steede with his final pass as Eagles took a deserved lead into the break.
The Hornets turned up the intensity after the break with skipper Angelo Simmons making some penetrating runs down the left flank, but youngster Azar Morrissey supported by centre-half Lorenzo Burch were equal to the task to cancel out any threat.
It would be the Eagles to have the first goal threat in the second half when a long clearance found skipper Telford, but he was tracked down by the Town’s recovering defence forcing a corner. The resulting corner was cleared off the goal line by Eusebio Blankendal.
Tragedy struck in the 73rd minute when Hornets Wade and Eagles sub Rayquan Woodley-Smith collided heads when going for a ball resulting in both players lying motionless.
Play was held up for 15 minutes before Woodley-Smith was able to walk off with some assistance, but Wade was stabilised and left in position awaiting the arrival of the ambulance.
Woodley-Smith was substituted, but the Hornets had already used their three subs so they had to finish the game with ten men.
The Hornets thought they had equalised in the 88th minute when Richardson-Martin tapped in a rebound from a cross only for the goal to be disallowed as substitute Clay Darrell was adjudged to have fouled keeper Lorenzo Lambert in the build up.
“This was just the start we needed,” said Eagles coach Jensen. “However, we can’t rest on our laurels. Today, was a fantastic effort from the entire team. We stuck to the game plan and got the result.”
Telford (pen) 26
Somerset Eagles (4-3-3): L Lambert — A Morrissey, K Evans, L Burch, M Iris-Simmons — T Eve (sub: C Medeiros), A Telford, D Simmons — N Rego, T Wade, E Fubler (sub: R Woodley-Smith 66)
Substitutes not used: J DeSilva, M Wade, R Trott, G. Smith.
Booked: D Simmons, C Medeiros.
Dandy Town (3-4-3): J Roser — J Richardson-Martin, K Wade, A Furbert — M Parsons, L Emery (sub: C Darrell 67), S Darrell (sub: E Trott 61), E Blankendal — K Steede, A Simmons, J Swan (sub: O Lowe 54). Substitutes not used: J Bean-Lindo, M Aden, C Davis, N Spence. Booked: J Swan, J Richardson-Martin.
Referee: M Wyer