Cougars too strong for determined Rangers
Devonshire Cougars 3 Southampton Rangers 1
Devonshire Cougars strengthened their grip on third place in the Premier Division following a deserved victory at Devonshire Rec yesterday over Southampton Rangers, who remained third from bottom.
Cougars dominated the first half and could easily have been leading by three goals at the break.
However, a determined Rangers team fought back to 2-1 early in the second half and threatened to snatch a share of the points, before the home side sealed their fifth win in eight games with a third goal from Domico Coddington in the 87th minute.
Cougars had some good early chances, including an effort after just three minutes when winger Jayori Fox got into the box to meet a pass from Domico Coddington but he could only put his effort across goal and just wide of the upright.
A few minutes later, Chris Caisey followed up on his corner kick on the right before curling a shot from inside the box just wide of the far post with the outside of his foot.
Then, Elisha Darrell struck the near post after he beat the offside trap with a run into the box.
Fox had another chance midway through the half when he got past his marker but lobbed his effort over the Rangers’s ‘keeper Sean Perinchief before watching the ball miss the far post.
Rangers came close to taking a surprise lead two minutes later in the 25th minute when Dion Stovell hit a first time curling effort from 23 yards out that brought off a good save from goalkeeper Kioshi Trott to keep it out of the far corner.
Cougars continued to blow chances at the other end, with referee Dwight Jackson awarding a penalty to them in the 30th minute following a foul on Darrell by defender Anthony Rocker. However, Caisey’s effort grazed the outside of the post.
Caisey made amends minutes later when his free kick on the right side of the penalty box was not cleared and Zari Simmons, who was near the edge of the box, drove a low shot into the goal through a mass of players as Perinchief was finally beaten.
Cougars had an effort in the 40th minute ruled out for offside on Coddington after Fox created the opening with a run into the box before Coddington side-footed over the ‘keeper from close range.
The second half got better for both teams, with Cougars doubling their lead three minutes after the restart when Darrell beat Perinchief with his shot from the corner of the six-yard box after a good run down the right flank.
Veteran midfielder Cardel Henry got Cougars right back into the game five minutes later after slipping into the box before beating Trott with his shot.
Rangers enjoyed their best spell midway through the second half as they fought hard for the equaliser with a good period of pressure. However, it was Cougars, who secured the win in the dying minutes when substitute Darren Williams’s low cross towards the far post was turned in by Coddington.
Dwayne Adams, the Rangers coach, was encouraged by the fight his team showed.
“We’re making ground forward but today we had to make wholesale changes, using midfielders as defenders,” Adams explained.
“But we’re on the right track, we’re growing. We lost 3-1 to PHC (on Boxing Day) which was really a 2-1 match and then today, no matter who got how many chances, if we can come out of these games with a 2-1 versus 3-1, it’s more a confidence builder for the boys,” Adams said. “We have to stop those goals going in and take more opportunities.”
Devonshire Cougars: Simmons 34, Darrell 48, Coddington 87
Southampton Rangers: Henry 53
Devonshire Cougars (4-3-3): K Trott 6 ‒ T Tucker 6, Z White 6, L Millett 6, J Thomas 6 ‒ M Battersbee 5 (sub: D Williams 59, 6), Chris Caisey 7, Z Simmons 7 ‒ D Coddington 6, E Darrell 6 (sub: Q Maynard 59, 5), J Fox 6, (sub: Chekai Caisey, 74). Substitutes not used: K Minors, J Furbert-Wade, Zekira White, R Wells. Booked: Thomas, Maynard, Simmons.
Southampton Rangers (4-4-2): S Perinchief 5 ‒ A Trainazan 5 (sub: A Bean 85), K Simmons 5, R Wright 5, A Rocker 5 (sub: D Hill 52, 5) ‒ R Lowe 5 (sub: R Simmons 79), C Henry 7, M Basden 5, T Wilkinson 6 (sub: Y Bean 79) ‒ J Bean 6, D Stovell 6 (sub: J Hollis 85). Substitute not used: L Scott Booked: Lowe
Referee: D Jackson