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Enrique Russell rescues a point for PHC Zebras

Somerset Trojans 1 PHC Zebras 1

Somerset Trojans and PHC settled for a share of the spoils in an entertaining match at Somerset Cricket Club on Saturday night.

The home team had their noses in front from an early spot-kick by Damon Swan but could not hold on in the dying stages, succumbing to mounting pressure that resulted in a late equaliser courtesy of Enrique Russell.

Enrique Russell popped up in the 89th minute for PHC (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Somerset coach Jomar Wilkinson was disappointed that his team were unable to protect their slim advantage but encouraged by the spirited performance.

“I can’t fault the effort that the group put in tonight and although I am a little disappointed not to have come away with the victory, a draw against a strong PHC side is not a bad result,” he said.

“We brought a bit of pressure on ourselves late in the match by trying to play in the wrong areas, but this is a young group, and learning to manage those situations better will come as the team grows and matures.”

The match got off to a flying start, and it was only five minutes in when Tevahn Tyrell latched on to a ball over the top, holding off his defender and forcing goalkeeper Coleridge Fubler to push his low drive round a post. Somerset played the resulting corner short and Jahkari Furbert was brought down as he dribbled into the box. Swan stepped up and buried his penalty into the top left corner to put his team ahead.

PHC looked to respond immediately and had two good chances when Russell found Keishon Bean with a through-ball, but his effort was not strong enough to beat Jade Morrissey in goal. Russell was then found by Darren Usher in a similar position, but his low shot was saved once again by the foot of Morrissey.

Russell would have another chance just before the interval after being played in by Marco Warren, but his shot from close range was deflected wide.

After the break, the game intensified and some tough tackling almost caused things to boil over, but referee Anthony Francis did well to manage those moments.

PHC made a double substitution midway through the half, bringing on Antwan Russell to join his younger cousin, Enrique, in the attack. The move almost paid immediate dividends, as the former came close with a left-footed shot that crashed off the far post after some fancy footwork inside the box.

Somerset had some fire power of their own on the bench and introduced Justin Corday, who was a threat on the counter and almost extended the lead, but his low drive from the left was saved well by Fubler.

The pivotal moment came in the 89th minute when Micah Eve was sent off after receiving a second booking for chopping down Warren having been beaten near the left corner of the box. Warren then glanced his header from the resulting free kick towards goal, forcing Morrissey to save, but Enrique Russell was on hand to put the finishing touches to the ensuing goalmouth scramble.

PHC then had two good opportunities to steal all three points, but Russell and Warren went inches wide with their efforts from just outside the box, leaving coach Winston Trott Jr feeling unlucky not to have come away with the win.

“The instruction at half was to stay solid at the back to allow the attackers a chance to get us back in the game,” Trott said. “In doing so, we found our way back on level terms and had chances to score a winner, but I can’t complain about the draw.”

SCORERS

Somerset Trojans: Swan 5 pen

PHC: E Russell 89

TEAMS

Somerset Trojans (3-4-2-1): J Morrissey 7 — M Henchke 5 (sub: D Ming, 46min 5), T Ming 5, M Eve 4 — Jaden Ratteray-Smith 6 (sub: H Eve, 84), M Nisbett-Tankard 6, D Brangman 6, J Butterfield 5 — J Furbert 5, T Tyrell 5 (sub: J Corday, 75) — D Swan 5 (sub: N Rego, 60 5). Substitutes not used: C Durham, N Durham, Jaz Ratteray-Smith, K Brangman. Booked: Swan, Eve. Sent off: Eve.

PHC (4-3-3): C Fubler 6 — D Smith-Lightbourne 5, M Lambe 5, N Griffith 5, K Abraham 5 (sub: R DeShield, 55 5) — M Joell 5 (sub: A Russell, 55 6), T Ming 6, K Bean 5 — M Warren 6, D Usher 6, E Russell 6. Substitutes not used: D Lodge, I Taylor, K Hypolite, O Tucker, S Trott.

Referee: A Francis.

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Published November 22, 2021 at 7:55 am (Updated November 22, 2021 at 7:55 am)

Enrique Russell rescues a point for PHC Zebras

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