Eagles soar after last minute winner stuns North Village
North Village 0 Somerset Eagles 1
Shakir Smith was the toast of the dressing room after his dramatic stoppage-time winner against North Village, secured all of the points for visiting Somerset Eagles in their Premier Division contest at Bernard Park yesterday.
The experienced striker lashed home an angled shot from inside of the box in the third minute of added time to earn his team their first win of the season.
“It feels so good to get the winner and our first win,” an elated Smith said. “We worked hard and I commend my team who put in a lot of work.
“It’s my first goal of the season and hopefully I can piggy back off of that.”
Jensen Rogers, the Eagles’ player-coach, cited team work as key to their surprising win on foreign turf.
“We talked about team work all week,”Rogers said. “We have to work together as a unit and it showed today. Everybody put in a good shift and I’m pleased with that.”
Jensen was delighted to see his team live up to their expectations.
“We came for three points and we’re leaving with three points so that’s a good feeling,” he added. “Hopefully this will kick start our season and we’ll just take it from here one game at a time.”
Eagles defended for most of the game before Smith snatched the late winner.
“We tried to play but the surface was a little slippery and credit to Village,” Rogers added. “They were pressing, they were keeping us honest and we just tried to do the same with them.
“At the end of the day we got the lucky bounce and Shakir Smith put it in the back of the net.”
Rogers gave credit to his goalscorer, who he highlighted as a crucial addition to his team’s arsenal.
“That’s why we brought him up the road. He’s a good friend of mine and we have played football together and against each other.
“I know what he has in his locker and I am just glad that today he actually saw it come to fruition,“ said Rogers.
Village bossed the opening stanza and should have had the game all sewn up by the half.
The hosts kept the ball for long periods and carved out openings in the final third but lacked cutting edge around the goal.
Jermaine Rumley, the Eagles goalkeeper, was kept on his toes as he was twice forced to rush off his line to thwart Village forward Justin Bell and gather Quintonio Lema’s dangerous cross.
Rumley also made himself big to deny Village striker Pierre Smith and midfielder Owen Botelho from point blank range before brilliantly tipping Tahmi Williams’s 25 yard scorcher over the bar to leave the teams deadlocked at the half.
The game continued to flow in the same vein when play resumed with Village dominating possession and mounting waves of attacks.
Village defender Alaye Darrell whipped in an inviting cross, which rolled harmlessly across the goalmouth, while Rumley raced off his line to courageously save at Bell’s feet.
The hosts suffered a setback when central defender Terryn Fray twisted his knee and was replaced by Thomas Brown who picked up a booking just seconds after being on the pitch.
Village piled on the pressure in search of the breakthrough but were unable to penetrate Eagles’s back four that battled hard for every ball that came their way.
Perhaps fittingly defender Shentoine Lambert played an integral role in his team’s winner.
The defender won the battle in a tackle just inside of his own half and picked out forward Dane Simmons in the attacking third.
Simmons passed to Marcus Iris-Simmons on the edge of the Village box who then played Smith in before the experienced striker took his chance superbly.
Somerset Eagles: Smith 90+2
North Village (4-2-3-1): D Johnson 6 – A Darrell 7, M Brangman 6, T Fray 6 (sub: T Brown, 46 min 6), Q Lema 6 – V Perinchief 6, T Williams 6 – J Bell 7, D Daniels 6, O Botelho 6 (sub: J Smith-DeShields, 58 min 6) – P Smith 7 (sub: K Carrington, 71 min). Substitutes not used: O DeShields, W Shakir, S Somner, M Caldwell. Booked: Brown (sub).
Somerset Eagles (4-4-2): J Rumley 8 – M Iris-Simmons 8, J Rogers 8, K Harrison 8, S Lambert 8 – E Fubler 7 (sub: D Joell, 79 mins), W Tucker 7, A Telford 7, D Simmons 8 – S Smith 8, H Butterfield 7. Substitutes not used: J Roberts. Booked: Lambert, Tucker.
Referee: G Swainson