Rogers: Eagles can beat the drop
Judah Chapman's late equaliser for Dandy Town last week was a tough pill for Somerset Eagles to swallow as they missed the chance to climb out of the relegation battle.
Eagles, who came from a goal down to lead 2-1 in the closing minutes, were desperately hanging on before Chapman's 89th-minute leveller left them devastated as they left Goose Gosling Field with a share of the spoils
“It's the same old same old; good performances, but not the results,” said Eagles coach Jensen Rogers, who led the team to promotion last season.
“The players worked their socks off; we've got the energy, the aggression and the commitment, but we're falling short in the dying minutes.
“The last five minutes of matches have been kind of cruel to us. When we went down early, I looked at it and said, ‘We've got enough time to get back into this'.
“On the bench, we talked about getting at least one back before the half. At half-time, 1-1, we spoke about things to do to get that go-ahead goal and then what we do when we have that go-ahead goal.
“However, I always knew in the back of my mind, with the quality that Dandy Town have and just our run of bad luck, that something like that might happen.”
Eagles looked like beating Town for a third time this season after coming from a goal down after just 12 minutes with Nathan Rego's first of two goals just three minutes later.
Both teams played their part in a thrilling, fast-paced match that had a bearing on the title race as well, with the dropped points eliminating Town and giving North Village the title.
“It was packed full of energy; both teams played so well and if you were a neutral, you would probably say a draw was a fair result,” Rogers said.
“However, as the coach of Eagles, I wanted the three points bad. We should have won it, but they had some quality chances as well.”
With two games to go, the only issue to be settled is the second relegation spot, which involves at least three teams.
Eagles remain a point behind Southampton Rangers and Somerset Trojans, who await a ruling from the Bermuda Football Association on the status of their March 1 match that was abandoned after fighting broke out among the Rangers players. Rangers were leading 1-0 at the time. Eagles have home games remaining against Devonshire Cougars and Robin Hood while Rangers play Village on Sunday and then Town. Trojans take on X-Roads and relegated Boulevard in their last two games.
“Obviously, the fate is not in our hands; we still have to win our games and look for some help from somebody else,” Rogers added.
“I feel we need to keep the commitment and the style and hopefully we can get the points.
“We're not down and out; we're very optimistic and will fight to the end and hopefully at the end of the season we'll be staying up.”
This time last season Eagles were celebrating securing their return to the top flight with four games to spare. They had a good start to this campaign, picking up eight points from their first four games.
“Coming into the season, we knew it was going to be competitive, but I feel our performances in games isn't that of a team that is second from bottom,” Rogers insisted.
“If you look at the teams we've come up against like Robin Hood, Dandy Town and North Village, we gave good performances, but it was just certain moments that defined the end result in games.
“We just have to look forward to Cougars and Robin Hood at home and hopefully the twelfth man can pull us through.
“We have a young team and we're just trying to develop the youngsters, make them into better players. These are all steps in their learning.
“We need to do our part and that's victories in the last two games, getting three points and seeing if somebody can give us a helping hand.”