Cougars scramble a point
Devonshire Cougars 2 Somerset Trojans 2
Devonshire Cougars showed serious spirit to snatch a late draw with Somerset Trojans yesterday at Devonshire Recreation Club.
The home side dominated the early exchanges, creating a chance with their first meaningful attack. After a lovely sweeping move, the ball was pulled back for Trey Tucker, who had his shot blocked well by Chae Brangman. Moments later, Calin Maybury smashed a free-kick just over the bar from distance.
Despite chances being created, the opening 15 minutes were very scrappy. Neither side could control the ball or put any spell of passes together. Zekiro White was the first man in the referee’s notebook, taking down Damon Swan with a strong tackle. Nacori Smith nearly opened the scoring for the visitors following a defensive mistake, but he skewed his shot well wide of the near post.
Moments later, Smith was booked for dissent after a foul near the left touchline as the home side tried to push forward.
The opening goal came from a beautiful flowing move, Chris Caisey clipping a ball into Drewonde Bascome, who evaded a defender before having his shot saved well by Somerset goalkeeper Dequan Crockwell. Lejaun Simmons was on hand to put away the rebound. The home side then played some lovely one-touch football, without any real penetration, dominating possession for the final few minutes of the first half.
Knowing they had to change their approach and take more care with their passes, Trojans came out from the restart with renewed energy. The visitors started gaining territory on Cougars, pressing them as a team.
Their equaliser, however, came from a set-piece just after the hour. A beautiful free kick was chipped in by Damon Ming and touched in by super-sub Jonathan Bean at the near post. Moments later, Simmons landed heavily from a tackle by Marico Turner, injuring his hamstring in the process. He immediately had to be replaced by young striker Elisha Darrell.
Trojans completed the turnaround in the seventy-second minute, from yet another set-piece situation. This time Swan found the head of Trevin Ming, who glanced into the far post from six yards.
After the goal, they replaced striker Tevahn Tyrell with attacking midfielder Jaz Ratteray-Smith. Cougars reacted to the setback by making two tactical reinforcements, replacing Drewonde Bascome and Shaki Pearman with Macai Battersbee and Mark Steede. Minutes after the changes, Cougars goalkeeper Ajai Daniels and sub Jonathan Bean were both booked in a 50-50 challenge near the goalmouth.
There was no real immediate impact by the home side’s changes, with Somerset’s defence reasonably nullifying their forward movements.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Jonathan Bean pulled up with injury around ten minutes remaining, Coolidge Durham coming on for the goalscorer. After that sub, the home side pushed to achieve a positive result, and they nearly got it with eight minutes remaining. However, after another beautiful intricate move, sub Darrell blazed his shot over.
The home side finally snatched the equaliser, to the great frustration of the visitors’ bench, in the third minute of stoppage time. A lovely corner delivery by Chris Caisey was nudged in by Zekiro White to snatch a point from a rather sloppy, yet entertaining, game.
Devonshire Cougars: Simmons 33, Zekiro White 90+3
Somerset Trojans: Bean 63, Ming 72
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3): A Daniels – T Tucker, C Maybury, Zekiro White, D Williams – Chris Caisey, Zeko White, Moses Steede – L Simmons (sub: E Darrell, 65min), D Bascome (sub: M Battersbee, 74), S Pearman (sub: Mark Steede, 74). Substitutes not used: L Millett, K Trot. Booked: Zekiro White, Daniels.
Somerset Trojans (4-4-2): D Crockwell – M Turner, T Ming, S Brangman, M Henschke – J Butterfield, D Swan, K Sharrieff-Hayward, N Smith (sub: J Bean, 57; sub: C Durham, 81) – T Tyrell (sub: J Ratteray-Smith, 75), L Burgess. Substitutes not used: R Seaman, T Sharrieff-Hayward, A Albouy-Lovell, S Tatem. Booked: Smith, Bean
Referee: T Simons.