Zebras withstand St George’s pressure to stay in touch
PHC Zebras 3 St George’s 2
PHC Zebras survived a late onslaught to stay in touch with the leaders and secure a vital win over St George’s at PHC Stadium yesterday.
The home side started really well, creating the first notable chance after Antwan Russell was found in space just outside the penalty area.
The former Robin Hood striker shielded his defender and fired a low shot, but goalkeeper Freddie Hall made a smart save to palm the effort around the near post.
St George’s enjoyed a good spell minutes later, culminating with a chance when Jelani Carlington got into a dangerous position and fired wide.
However, it was the Zebras, who opened the scoring with a beautiful team goal midway through the first half.
They played through midfield, amid the opposition press, before De-Andre Smith-Lightbourne found Russell, who threaded a lovely ball through for Jaheim Iris.
The winger squared for Enrique Russell to tap-in unmarked at the back post to complete a strong collective move.
They doubled their lead just before half-time when the visitors gave the ball away, while passing the ball along the back, as the younger Russell pounced on the loose ball and fired past Hall.
The East End side started strongly in the second half, cutting their deficit in half with a lovely, quick interchange between the trio of Jahron Dickinson, Tre McCallen and David Signor, with the latter finishing low to the near post past Coleridge Fubler.
The 2018 league champions restored their two-goal lead against the run of play midway through the second period, with Antwan Russell pouncing on a poor back pass after the home side pressed St George’s high up the pitch.
Russell had his strike blocked, but from the resulting corner, defender Naeem Griffiths scored at the back post.
The 2019 First Division runners-up pushed forward looking to get back into the game, and they did so ten minutes from time.
A good ball from Jordan Darrell found Signor, who floated a pass across to Tre McCallen, who smashed his volley into the near post past Fubler.
The home side survived some serious pressure from their guests, especially in midfield areas, where the East End side took some momentum.
PHC head coach Winston Trott praised his team’s performance.
“We played the ball around a lot better. We had control for large periods of this game,” Trott said before noting that he wants his side to be more clinical in front of goal.
“We created a lot more chances today. Their goalkeeper made some excellent saves, but we must finish those opportunities,” said Trott.
PHC Zebras: E Russell 27, 36; Griffiths 69
St George’s: D Signor 56; McCallen 80
PHC Zebras (4-3-3): C Fubler 5 – C Castle 6, M Lambe 5, N Griffith 6, D Smith-Lightbourne 5 – M Warren 6, T Ming 5 (sub: C Booth 81), K Abraham 5 (sub: R Deshields 81) – J Iris 6 (sub: Z Lee 63 5), A Russell (sub: J Sealey 71), E Russell 6. Substitutes not used: K Hypolite, K Bean, J Eve
St George’s Colts (4-2-3-1): F Hall 7 – A Francis 6, N Paynter 5, E Signor 4 (sub: J Dickinson 42 6), J Darrell 6 (sub: K Ottley 91) – T Burgess 5, J Carlington 5 – S Blair-Paynter 5 (sub: J Burgess 61 5), D Signor 6, T McCallen 6 – M Simmons 5. Substitutes not used: C King, P Anderson, J Burgess, J Brangman; Booked: McCallen
Referee: D Parchment