Rangers upset champions Village
Southampton Rangers 4 North Village 0
Southampton Rangers put newly crowned Premier Division champions North Village to the sword at Southampton Oval yesterday.
The relegation-threatened club went into the contest with no margin for error and responded superbly with a brilliant display to snap Village's eight-game unbeaten league streak and hand them only their second league loss of the season.
Rangers led 1-0 at the break via a Shayne Hollis penalty before the floodgates opened in the second half with substitute Diaje Hart grabbing a brace either side of captain Donte Brangman's tally from a free kick.
“I am very proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish,” Jomar Wilkinson, the Rangers coach, said. “This was a huge result for us and showed what we can accomplish when we don't bicker.
“This win means a lot for us and it was important for us. Our destiny is in our own hands and we want to take control of that. I thought our finishing was clinical while defensively we kept our shape for the most part and executed what we needed to do.”
Neither team had established control of a scrappy match when Rangers were awarded a penalty after Terryn Fray, the Village defender, handled in the area.
Hollis, the former Village forward, made no mistake as he wrong-footed goalkeeper Tahj Bell. Rangers began to dominate possession as Village struggled to get a foothold in the match and went close to extending their lead with striker Jahnai Bean just failing to connect with Brangman's cross in front of the goal and then redirecting Quadir Maynard's tame shot just wide of the post.
Kenny Thompson, the Village coach, read his players the riot act during the break and it seemed to have sunk in as the visiting side started the second half with more purpose and organisation.
Village forward Jaizel Smith-DeShields ran onto a through pass and pulled the ball back across the face of the goalmouth where Rangers defender Marquel Nisbett-Tankard cleared off the boot of Pierre Smith. The game opened up with Bean dragging Brangman's free kick wide with only Bell to beat, while at the other end Rai Simons smashed Smith's cross against the bar.
Substitute Hart doubled Rangers' advantage against the run of play after replacing Bean. Maynard played a through pass to Hart, who beat Bell with a low drive that took a deflection off defender Quintonio Lema.
The goal clearly knocked the wind out of Village's sails and they found themselves in a deeper hole as Brangman turned in Maynard's free kick from an angle.
Brangman squandered a golden opportunity when he placed Damon Ming's cross wide from 14 yards out. However, Rangers would not be denied when Hart latched onto Brangman's long pass and drilled past Bell to cap the home side's emphatic win that leaves them in seventh place, a point clear of relegation with one match remaining.
Southampton: Hollis 12 pen, Hart 65, 82, Brangman 67
Southampton Rangers (4-1-4-1): S Bean — D Frost (sub: J Hill, 83), M Nisbett-Tankard, R Sampson, R Wright — Q Maynard (sub: R Simmons, 84), J Bassett, D Ming, D Brangman, S Hollis — J Bean (sub: D Hart, 55).
North Village (4-1-4-1): T Bell — P Castle, T Fray, Q Lema, T Bean — K Knights (sub: Z Robinson, 83), J Daniels, J Smith-DeShields, R Rochester (sub: J Bell, 74), P Smith — R Simons (sub: W Shakir, 83). Booked:
Daniels, Castle. Substitutes not used: A Kempe, R Murphy, A Darrell, K Bean.
Referee: A Francis.