Makai Joell makes the difference for PHC
PHC Zebras 2 St George’s 1
PHC maintained their position in the top half of the table with a hard-fought victory at home to St George’s Colts. It was Makai Joell who came up with the winner with his 52nd-minute strike after an eventful first half in which both teams missed a penalty.
With both looking to bounce back from defeats in their previous outings, the intensity was fairly high from the outset, but neither team was particularly organised defensively.
Within five minutes, PHC’s Joshua Joseph was in behind with only the goalkeeper to beat, but pulled his near-post effort wide. Moments later, Keishon Bean should have done better when he was found unmarked by a Shakai Trott free kick, but headed over the bar from close range.
At the other end, Lashun Dill was finding success down the right flank, causing his defender a lot of problems with his pace and experience. In the 20th minute, the lanky winger earned his team a penalty when he was upended cutting inside the box after a strong run down the line.
In the absence of main strike pair Clay Darrell and Jahron Dickinson, Macai Simmons stepped up to take the spot-kick, but could not beat Shaquille Trott, who improvised well to save with a foot.
The disappointment of the miss was quickly forgotten, however, when Dill got the better of his man once again, this time crossing to Kenton Ottley, who finished smartly with a header at the back post.
Before any momentum could be gained from the goal, the scores were level when Marco Warren beat the outstretched arm of Freddy Hall with a gem of a free kick from 25 yards.
Zebras then had the opportunity to take the lead just before half, as they were awarded a penalty of their own when Joseph was fouled in the box.
PHC’s woes from the penalty spot continued, as striker Enrique Russell was unable to beat Hall, who guessed correctly diving to his right to make a comfortable save and maintain parity going into the interval.
PHC came out a lot more settled in their demeanour and it wasn’t long before they took the lead, Joell firing home from 12 yards after Hall was unable to hold on to an initial cross from Shakhai Trott.
In the 70th minute, Russell came close to extending the lead when his low drive from an angle beat Hall but bounced off an upright.
With Dill now on the bench, having been replaced through injury at half-time, St George’s were limited in their options to respond. They battled hard to stay in the match but never looked like they could change the outcome, which leaves them third from bottom.
PHC: Warren 22, Joell 52
St George’s: Ottley 21
PHC (4-3-3): Shaquille Trott — Shakhai Trott, M Lambe, D Smith-Lightbourne, D Dowling — D Usher (sub: J Sealey, 76min), M Warren, K Bean — M Joell (sub: N Griffith, 84), J Joseph (sub: C Booth, 76), E Russell. Substitutes not used: C Fubler, Z Lee, O Tucker, A Douglas. Booked: Russell.
St George’s (4-3-3): F Hall — G Wade, P Anderson, O Bascome (sub: A Smith, 77), C Ottley (sub: J Hayward, 74) — J Brangman, K Ottley, D Signor — A Francis, L Dill (sub: S Paynter, 46), M Simmons. Substitutes not used: M Paynter. Booked: Brangman.
Referee: D Jackson.