Chae Brangman sees off battling Trojans
Robin Hood 3 Somerset Trojans 1 (aet)
Chae Brangman was the toast of the dressing room after his brace propelled Robin Hood to an impressive come-from-behind, extra-time win over Somerset Trojans in a scrappy Friendship Trophy preliminary contest at Goose Gosling Field yesterday.
The powerful striker continued his prolific form of late as he struck either side of Damon Swan’s first-half penalty to put Hood out front for the first time.
Aaron Nelson then added a third to finally kill the game off and secure the hosts a spot in the quarter-finals against X-Roads.
However, victory did not come without a cost for John Barry Nusum’s team as defender Jaylon Bather suffered a nasty cut to his head which ended his afternoon prematurely.
Nusum’s counterpart Danvers Seymour Jr was also forced to make an unscheduled substitution after Jaden Ratteray-Smith pulled a hamstring and had to be replaced just prior to the interval.
Referee Tashon Simons had a busy afternoon as he dished out six yellow cards, five of which to Hood players, including talisman Brangman.
Both teams blew golden opportunities in regulation and were also denied by the woodwork.
Hood also had a goal disallowed for hand-ball.
The hosts kept the ball for long spells from the opening kick off but lacked the cutting edge to rip apart Somerset’s back four.
The visitors sat deep and invited pressure in the hope of catching Hood on the quick break.
The strategy finally paid off when Somerset won a penalty on a counter-attack. Swan threaded a long diagonal pass out wide to Jeze Butterfield, who was bundled over in the area as he tried to wriggle his way through.
Swan made no mistake from 12 yards as his he wrong-footed Jahquil Hill, the Hood goalkeeper, to earn Somerset the lead against the run of play.
With their tails now up, the visitors pressed for more goals and threatened again on another counter-attack.
Tevahn Tyrell’s precision pass sent Khiari Sharrieff-Hayward clear on goal. But Hill was equal to the task as he parried the lively forward’s shot before Hood defender Liam Evans cleared the loose ball away.
Hood were nearly back on even terms when Justin Bell dispossessed Dequan Crockwell, the Somerset goalkeeper, only to see his effort strike the bottom of the post.
Tomiko Goater could also hardly believe his luck after having a goal from a goalmouth scramble waved off for a handball on the play.
Somerset suffered a setback when influential forward Ratteray-Smith pulled a hamstring and headed for an early shower.
Goater then broke through again just prior to the half but was unable to get his shot from an angle on target as Hood finished the opening stanza on the front foot.
Hood picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and exploited the space on offer as Somerset lost control of midfield.
The hosts piled on the pressure as Somerset desperately tried to cling to their slim advantage and eventually broke through when Brangman grabbed the vital equaliser.
Goater’s shot struck a defender and the alert Brangman was the first to react to the loose ball inside of the area, which he rifled past Crockwell to signal game on.
Hood were clearly in the ascendancy at this stage as they dominated the possession and piled on the pressure in the attacking third.
However, Somerset nearly regained the lead against the run of play when defender Micah Henschke headed substitute Jaellan Greaves’s corner against the bar.
It was during this set-piece when Bather suffered a nasty gash to the top of his head and left the ground heavily bandaged.
Brangman squandered a golden opportunity to win the game late in regulation.
Goater’s pass sent the striker through on goal. But the quick thinking Crockwell rushed off his line to narrow the angle and the recovering Greaves managed to clear the ball off of Brangman’s boot as he tried to round the goalkeeper.
Allan Douglas Jr, making his first start for Somerset since joining the club on a late transfer, had a shot from 20 yards deflected wide. Tyrell then had a free kick from the edge of the box blocked as the visitors enjoyed a good spell during the first period of extra time.
Douglas also had an effort saved by Hill from another Greaves corner before Brangman and Nelson converted in the space of four minutes of each other to finally put the game beyond Somerset’s reach.
Brangman finished off an fluent attack when he scored from close range with what proved to be the winner and the striker’s ninth goal in four matches.
Nelson then cushioned Hood’s advantage when he broke clear before drilling a low shot into the far bottom corner to put an exclamation mark on the hosts’ hard-fought win.
Robin Hood: Brangman 62, 108, Nelson 112
Somerset Trojans: Swan 9 pen
Robin Hood (4-1-4-1): J Hill — D Cook (sub: K Knights, 111min), J Bather (sub: C Castle, 69), L Evans, C Robinson — P Parsons — T Goater, A Nelson, J Bell, E Outerbridge (sub: A Russell, 57) — C Brangman (sub: T Frias, 113). Substitutes not used: J Morrissey, J Nusum. Booked: Russell, Bather, Castle, Brangman, Parsons.
Somerset Trojans (4-1-4-1): D Crockwell — M Henschke, S Brangman, T Ming, M Joell — D Swan (sub: N Smith, 74) — J Butterfield, K Sharrieff-Hayward, J Ratteray-Smith (sub: J Greaves, 37), T Tyrell — A Douglas Jr. Substitutes not used: K Joyiens. Booked: Joell
Referee: T Simons.