Wounded Cougars still flying
Devonshire Cougars 3 PHC 1
Devonshire Cougars extend their unbeaten run to six games with a fine victory over PHC Zebras at Devonshire Recreation Club yesterday.
Cougars came into the match with a number of key players unavailable, which made the result that much more rewarding to assistant coach Mark Mills.
“We have a few players nursing minor injuries as well as a couple that were in card trouble, so we definitely had to do a little shuffling today,” Mills said. “But in the end, all the players that were called on came together, worked hard and rose to the challenge to get the result.”
PHC were out of the blocks faster than their hosts and could have had an early goal when Daren Usher robbed a Cougars defender on the edge of the box with the ball falling into the path of Enrique Russell. The striker, who has been on form as of late, rounded the goalkeeper but was unable to wrap his foot around the ball from a tight angle to squeeze into the near post.
Cougars did well to absorb the early pressure, and eventually battled their way into the lead on the half-hour mark through Che-Kai Caisey. The industrious winger gave himself just reward, pouncing on a high ball in the box that he did well to control in his stride and stroke into the bottom corner.
Russell had a chance to strike right back immediately but his attempted lob of the advancing goalkeeper was a little heavy and went over the bar.
The match was competitive in nature and in the 40th minute threatened to spill over with appeals for a dismissal when Usher retaliated to a tackle that he took exception to, but referee Martin Wyer did well to manage the situation, choosing only to caution the player.
The momentum was now in Cougars’ favour and they took advantage scoring two goals back-to-back late in the half. First it was Zari Simmons receiving a diagonal ball over the top from Chris Caisey, controlling with the right boot and finishing well with the left.
Two minutes later, Christian Albuoy was brought down in the box after some fancy footwork. Chris Caisey stepped up, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to give his team a comfortable lead going into the half.
Zebras came out of the half looking lively, and were able to pull one back through Russell, who did well to latch on to a ball over the top, shrug off his defender on the by-line and fire hard and low under the goalkeeper.
However, Cougars remained resolute in their defending to see out the match and claim all three points. The win moves them up a position into third place and allows them to go into their Dudley Eve Trophy final on Wednesday on the back end of a positive run of results.
Devonshire Cougars: Che-Kai Caisey 30, Z Simmons 44, Chris Caisey 45
PHC: Russell 64
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3): A Daniels — D Williams, Zeko White, L Millet, T Tucker (sub: A Cannonier, 83min) — Z Simmons, Chris Caisey, Moses Steede — Che-Kai Caisey, C Albuoy (sub: Mark Steede, 65), E Darrell (sub: L Simmons, 65). Substitutes not used: K Trott, C Maybury, M Battersbee. Booked: Usher.
PHC (4-3-3): Shaquille Trott — Shakai Trott, M Lambe, D Dowling, D Smith-Lightbourne — D Usher, M Warren, K Bean (sub: C Booth, 58) — J Sealey (sub: J Joseph, 65), M Joell, E Russell (sub: Q Hypolite, 88). Substitutes not used: N Griffith, T Welch, J Lines, A Douglas.
Referee: M Wyer.