Robin Hood youngsters hold Cougars at Bay
Devonshire Cougars 0 Robin Hood 0
Robin Hood, sporting six players under the age of 18, held Devonshire Cougars to a 0-0 stalemate with a gutsy performance at Devonshire Recreational Club yesterday.
What also made the result impressive for the visitors was the fact that Hood lost two of their Bermuda international players - player/coach Dante Leverock and midfielder Liam Evans - as early as the fourteenth minute of play, both to injuries.
Playing on his sixteenth birthday, Hood goalkeeper, Matteo Holder celebrated with a clean sheet much to the delight of Leverock.
“Hats off to my players today as they had to step up after losing Liam and myself to injuries so early in the game,” said Leverock. “Playing at the Rec is always tough and to lose two national players and come out with a point says a lot about the lads,”
Sporting a black eye from his injury, Leverock continued, “Credit to the young players. I trust these guys and they stepped up. They need a chance to play senior ball and hopefully some of them will make the senior national team someday.”
The game started at a slow pace but keeper Holder was called upon as early as the sixth minute to rush off his line and block Cougars striker Elijah Darrell, after he was put through.
Shortly afterwards, Darrell was involved in a collision with Leverock forcing him to be substituted with a head injury.
Cougars goalkeeper, Kioshi Trott, had to make a similar save shortly after to deny Ereico Outerbridge after he received a cross from Niyan Outerbridge.
Hood midfielder and Bermuda international Evans, limped off shortly afterwards with a leg injury.
In the closing minutes of the half, Holder had to be at his best when his initial clearance was blocked by Chekai Caisey and the ball bounced to Darrell, whose one-time shot seemed destined for the back of the net, bringing out an acrobatic save from the recovering keeper.
With the early injuries, Hood striker, Chae Brangman dropped into the midfield to assist in the build ups and almost caught keeper Trott off guard with a snapshot that went inches wide.
Although Cougars had dominated the opening half, the teams would go into the dressing rooms scoreless.
Brangman should have scored in the opening minutes of the second half when he beat the offside trap and was heading for goal on an angle, only for keeper Trott to spread himself wide to block the shot.
Cougars’ Domico Coddington had been a threat throughout with his close ball handling and speed but was keep in check by skipper Jaylon Bather and youngster, Cody Robinson.
Despite the close attention, Coddington still carved out a chance for himself as he came close to opening the scoring when his header from a Chris Caisey corner, grazed the crossbar as it went over.
Hood would survive a scare in the dying minutes when Coddington blocked a Holder clearance from a back pass, which saw the ball bouncing towards goal but just wide of the upright.
Substitute Shannon Burchall would have the last attempt from either team but his long range effort went wide of the goal.
In the end, it was a disappointing result for the Cougars but a promising performance for the Hood youngsters.
Devonshire Cougars (4-2-3-1) – K Trott 6 – J Thomas 5, Zeko White 5, Zion Simmons 5, T Tucker 5 – Q Maynard 5, Zari Simmons – Chris Caisey 5, Chekai Caisey 5, D Coddington 7 – E Darrell 5. Substitutes not used: D Williams, Zekiro White, J Fox.
Robin Hood (4-2-3-1) – M Holder 8 – D Cook 5, J Bather 6, D Leverock 5 (sub: A Simons 8, 4; sub A Mussenden 75), C Robinson 6 – K Knights 5, N Outerbridge 5 – L Evans 4 (T Goater 14 5), E Outerbridge 5, A Nelson 5 (sub: S Burchall 75) – C Brangman 7, Substitutes not used: M Fullerton, K Naylor, C Ricca. Booked: C Robinson.
Referee: A Francis