Zebras smash hapless Eagles for six
Somerset Eagles 1 PHC Zebras 6
PHC Zebras continued their excellent start to the Premier Division season with a drubbing of Somerset Eagles at White Hill Field yesterday.
The visitors dominated the early exchanges, knocking the ball around confidently and creating openings in dangerous positions. They opened the scoring in fortunate circumstances in the ninth minute. DeAndre Smith-Lightbourne cut a ball back for Keishen Bean, but defender Khimo Harrison accidentally diverted it into his own net.
Ten minutes later, they doubled their lead. Bean curled an excellent free kick through a crowd of bodies and into the far post past Joshua Roberts. Eagles quickly responded and cut the lead in half from a beautiful sweeping move five minutes later, through which Dane Simmons laid off for Ethan Fubler to fire low into the far post past Jerez Eve.
The home side had a chance to equalise five minutes later. Captain Anwar Telford found space in midfield and sprayed a lovely ball to Shakir Smith, who dragged his low effort wide.
Just before half-time, Zebras restored the two-goal cushion. A corner was whipped in by Shakhai Trott, but Eagles failed to clear. A goalmouth scramble ensued and Marco Warren found the telling touch.
The home side came out for the second half with an energetic start. They controlled possession well and created a chance for Koshun Durrant, who lashed his effort over the bar.
Zebras increased their lead just after the hour when Trott’s floated free kick dipped under the crossbar past the flailing arms of Roberts.
Eagles immediately reacted to this concession by replacing goalscorer Fubler with the pace of Marcus Simmons. The winger nearly got on the scoresheet five minutes after coming on, when Telford found him via Dane Simmons, but he drove his effort straight at Eve.
PHC scored a fifth from an excellent move with about 20 minutes remaining, this time Tre Ming slipping through for Antwan Russell to place his strike past Roberts from just inside the box.
Eagles made their final attacking moves, with Keedai Astwood and Tahj Wade replacing Durrant and Simmons.
Astwood got on the end of a few decent chances to make the score respectable. The first of those came when Telford slipped him into space just inside the left flank, but he carelessly smashed his shot wide. The second was another strong move when Simmons found him just on the left edge of the box, but he decided to cross and miscued.
Zebras completed the scoring when another set-piece was faintly cleared before Casey Castle smashed a volley into the bottom corner just before the final whistle.
Zebras coach Winston Trott was disappointed with his team’s performance, despite the win. “I don’t think they played well, they lowered their standards,” he said. “We were just clinical with our chances, although we missed a few. I am happy with the win.”
Somerset Eagles: Fubler 23
PHC Zebras: Harrison og 9, Bean 18, Warren 45+1, Trott 58, Ming 74, Castle 90+3
Somerset Eagles (4-2-3-1): J Roberts 4 — S Lambert 3, K Harrison 5, H Butterfield 5 (sub: K Evans, 80min), S James 4 — A Telford 5, D Joell 4 — S Smith 5, E Fubler 5 (sub: M Simmons, 61 7), K Durrant 3 (sub: K Astwood, 75) — D Simmons 3 (sub: T Wade, 75). Booked: Lambert.
PHC Zebras (3-4-1-2): J Eve 6 — D Usher 6, M Lambe 7, K Abraham 7 — D Smith-Lightbourne 7 (sub: I Taylor, 61 6), M Joell 6, N Griffith 5, S Trott 7 (sub: C Castle, 80) — M Warren 7 (sub: T Ming, 68 7) — E Russell 6 (sub: O Tucker, 80), K Bean 6 (sub: A Russell, 61 7). Substitute not used: K Hypolite.
Referee: D Jackson.