Lynn Emery piledriver brings parity for Dandy Town
Southampton 1 Dandy Town 1
Southampton Rangers and Dandy Town Hornets played to an entertaining draw at Southampton Oval yesterday. Lynn Emery’s scorcher cancelled out Jarazhino Bassett’s early second-half opener to give the teams a point each.
The draw keeps the Hornets’ unbeaten league record intact, much to the delight of coach Kwame Steede.
“To come out of this game with a point after playing the last 20 minutes with ten men shows character,” Steede said. “I am proud of my players, as I don’t think the opponents knew that we were playing short.
“It was unfortunate that I had to make some early subs, but at the end of the day, I am happy to come away with the point.”
The game started evenly balanced with both teams having an opportunity to score within the opening minutes. In the third minute, Dion Stovell put Cardel Henry through but his weak chip was comfortably handled by Town’s young goalkeeper, Jaiden Manders.
Two minutes later, Rangers goalkeeper Shaquille Bean had to palm an inswinging corner away and then conceded a free kick as he slid outside the box with the ball in hand in his attempt to recover. Unfortunately for Town, the resulting free kick was wasted.
Rangers almost scored midway through the half when Bassett headed a free kick towards the centre of the goal only for Manders to block Stovell’s blast from point-blank range as he followed up.
Rangers had a little momentum going into the break but the teams remained goalless at the half.
Rangers continued this momentum as the second half started and would take a deserved lead, albeit by fluke. Bassett’s intended cross from the right flank sailed over the head of Manders and nestled in the back of his net to everyone’s surprise, including the scorer himself.
“I was just trying to get the ball in the area and it ended in the back of the net,” he admitted.
Minutes later, Manders did well to keep Town in the game when he was brave to dive at the feet of Tre Ming and smother the ball just as he was about to get the shot off.
Town almost scored when Treshun Smith was first to a long clearance and lobbed both Tre Manders and goalkeeper Bean only for captain McQuinn Burch to clear the goal-bound shot to safety. At the other end, Stovell and Henry combined again, forcing Manders to advance and make a diving save with an outstretched arm.
Town used this as a lifeline and picked up their tempo. Substitute Jahnazae Swan was instrumental in many of their build-ups, as he was a menace with his speed and close dribbling skills, which troubled the Rangers defence.
It was one of Swan’s moves that created the equaliser. His cross from the left was headed down by Henry in his attempted clearance only for Emery to seize the opportunity to hit a spectacular drive that beat Bean for pace and rattled the net from some 20 yards. Rangers appealed unsuccessfully for Swan being offside before getting in the cross.
The final five minutes would play out to a nail-biting finish but neither team could find a winner, leaving each worthy of a point.
“My hat goes off to my team,” Rangers coach Jomar Wilkinson said. “We chose to press Town today and it paid some dividends.
“Our approach to this game had nothing to do with me being the former coach of Town. I am very proud of my team’s performance. This point will go a long way.”
Southampton: Bassett 53
Dandy Town: Emery 69
Southampton Rangers (4-2-3-1): S Bean — K Harrison, M Burch, T Manders, D Frost — T Ming (sub: V Perinchief, 77min), Q Maynard — J Bassett, D Ming, C Henry (sub: R Simmons, 87) — D Stovell. Substitutes not used: J Hill, R Wright, S Perinchief. Booked: Bean.
Dandy Town (4-1-4-1): J Manders — T Webb, J Bean-Lindo (sub: J Swan, 18), E Trott, E Blankendal — A Furbert — J Chapman, L Emery, A Simmons (sub: K Davis, 52), T Smith (sub: D Jones, 65) — C Robinson. Substitutes not used: J Roser, M Mello-Cann, D Blankendal, N Carmichael. Booked: J Swan.
Referee: G Swainson.