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Bascome lifts Cougars from doldrums and into final

Devonshire Cougars 3 Somerset Trojans 2

(aet; 2-2 at 90min)

Devonshire Cougars produced a gutsy performance to come from two goals down to break the hearts of a stubborn Somerset Trojans squad in the Dudley Eve Trophy semi-final opener at National Stadium last night.

Drewonde Bascome was a thorn in the Trojans’ side throughout the night, as he started the comeback by scoring the first goal and then set up the other two to see Cougars through.

Both teams knew of the other’s qualities, having played their league match just four days ago when Cougars salvaged a 90th-minute equaliser to deny Somerset victory.

The match started at a slow pace as both teams took time to adjust to the smooth playing conditions of the turf. Trojans dominated the initial stages and took a deserved lead in the 29th minute. Tevahn Tyrrell’s cross was controlled by striker Jaz Ratteray-Smith, only for him to be fouled from behind as he shaped up to shoot. Referee Martin Wyer had the easy decision to award a penalty kick, and Ratteray-Smith sent Cougars goalkeeper Ajai Daniels the wrong way.

The Trojans continued to apply the pressure with Cougars looking mediocre at best. Such was their dominance that a second was imminent and came in the 40th minute when Jeze Butterfield dribbled past two defenders ease before blasting the ball into the roof of the net. This served to be a wake-up call for Cougars and they finally started to string some purposeful passes.

They scored just before the half when Bascome was on the receiving end of a long free kick out of defence, which he did well to hold off his marker before turning and heading for goal. Two defenders chased him from behind before he was brought down inside the penalty box. Again, referee Myers had the easy call to award a penalty. Bascome dusted himself off before wrong-footing Dequan Crockwell in the Trojans goal.

After a stern talk in the dressing room, Cougars came out a spirited and energised team in the second half. They took the attack to Trojans in the hopes of an early breakthrough, which came in the 52nd minute. Zari Simmons’s diagonal ball deep in Somerset territory was run down by Bascome, who also drew the goalkeeper. The ball was played inside to Chris Caisey, who delicately chipped the ball over a recovering defender into the empty net to draw the teams level.

The Cougars brought on the lively Domico Coddington, who was a nightmare for Somerset’s defence with his daunting dribbling skills. However, the Trojans held out and did well to force the game into extra time.

Cougars started the added period with the same tempo as at the start of the second half and immediately forced the Trojans on the back foot. The hard-working Bascome would become provider again when he was first to a through-ball to cross to substitute Christian Albuoy.

Albuoy did well to beat his marker, then the advancing goalkeeper before slotting the ball into an empty net to score what would be the winner.

Cougars had numerous opportunities to put the game beyond Trojans’ reach but were held out by some desperate defending, notably a clearance off the line by Micah Henschke that brought widespread applause.

Cougars club president Mark Steede, an unused substitute, could not hide his jubilation. “We showed heart tonight as we clawed our way back from being 2-0 down,” he said. “This would be my first Dudley Eve final as president of the club, and I told my players that I want to be holding the trophy. We are halfway there now.”

Cougars face holders Dandy Town in the final on November 11.


Devonshire Cougars: Bascome 44 pen, C Caisey 52, Albuoy 105

Somerset Trojans: Ratteray-Smith 29 pen, Butterfield 40


Devonshire Cougars (4-1-3-2): A Daniels — T Tucker, Zeko White, Zekiro White, L Millet (sub: D Williams, 80min) — C Maybury — Moses Steede (sub: D Coddington, 74), Chris Caisey, Z Simmons — D Bascome (sub: E Darrell, 105), Chekai Caisey (sub: C Albuoy, 90). Substitutes not used: Mark Steede, M Battersbee. Booked: Maybury, Zekiro White.

Somerset Trojans (5-4-1): D Crockwell — K Sharrieff-Hayward (sub: S Tatem, 88), T Ming, M Henschke, T Sharrieff-Hayward, R Quinn — L Burgess, K Jennings, T Tyrell, J Butterfield — J Ratteray-Smith (sub: C Durham, 97). Substitutes not used: M Robinson, R Seaman. Booked: Butterfield.

Referee: M Wyer.

Difference maker: Drewonde Bascome had a goal and two assists (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 29, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated October 29, 2020 at 7:47 am)

Bascome lifts Cougars from doldrums and into final

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