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Beleaguered St George’s face Somerset in rescheduled showdown

Doubtful duo: St George’s forwards Lashon Dill (left) and Jarazinho Bassett, who scored the goals in the recent 2-0 win over X-Roads, are both doubtful for tonight’s match against Somerset Trojans because of injuries (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Spirits remain high in the St George’s camp despite some mental and physical setbacks over the last two and a half weeks, with the death of midfielder Osagi Bascome and having to deal with another match being postponed on Sunday.

Now there is the possibility that forwards Jarazinho Bassett and Lashon Dill may be missing for tonight’s match against the Somerset Trojans in Somerset at 8pm ‒ one of their two make-up matches.

“We’re going to evaluate Jarazinho tonight, he had a minor injury and was a huge miss in the PHC game,” coach Jarreau Hayward said yesterday, referring to the close 3-2 loss to the Zebras last Tuesday.

“Lashun Dill has a calf issue and wasn’t available for the PHC game either. I would say Lashon is doubtful and Jarazinho is questionable,” said Hayward, who weighed up the pair’s influence on the team.

“There is a little bit more hope for Jarazinho to recover in time for the game but for Lashon it will be a little bit more difficult. They are a huge part of not just how we attack but also how we defend.

“They were a huge miss against PHC and it took us a while to get into our stride.”

This match was postponed on Sunday, December 19, the day after Bascome’s death, which shocked the sporting community.

“The Christmas period was physically and emotionally draining for everybody,” Hayward said.

“I’m really proud of the guys, they are really shouldering a lot, not just physically with the make-up games, but emotionally as well. The community looks to us sometimes for a smile and all credit to them with the weight they are bearing on their shoulders right now.

“We have a good opportunity to show our depth. We have a lot of good youngsters coming through and we’re just looking forward to the opportunity to showcase them and we still have a few veterans in their prime who are raring and ready to go.”

St George’s have conceded eleven goals in their eight games, one of the best defensive records in the Premier Division and thanks in no small part to the experienced goalkeeping pair of Freddy Hall and Zeko Burgess.

“Freddy is the undisputed best goalkeeper on the Island, but Zeko is a blessing and whenever Freddy is injured, we just bring in Zeko and we can play the exact same way,” the coach said.

“We’re very confident in him, he’s a national squad cricketer and is awesome with his hands, very commanding in the box and is an outfield player, so can play with his feet if he wants to.

“We want to improve defensively but definitely having two goalkeepers who we are so confident in, gives us that platform and foundation to build off. We’re definitely grateful for both of them.

“Zeko was a little bit late to the season because of his commitment to the national cricket squad but when he came back he was right on time. Freddy got injured and he stepped in without even training and played like he had been training since preseason.”

St George’s have the opportunity to climb ahead of the Trojans and into fourth in the standings, though a victory over their rivals, a rivalry which began 120 years ago with Cup Match, won’t be an easy one.

“We’re excited about the age-old rivalry, red and blue versus blue and blue, east versus west, Somerset versus St George’s,” Hayward said.

“I don’t like making predictions but we’re definitely going up there focused and looking to get the maximum.”

The ongoing threat of Covid-19 pandemic makes it an uncertain time again for sports, with football matches called off recently because of positive Covid-19 test results. This included the match between St George’s and Devonshire Colts on Sunday when the latter had some players testing positive.

“These two make-up games will be difficult against two well-coached teams and we just have to be prepared,” Hayward acknowledged ahead of the long drive west. “We’ll leave it all out on the field, for sure.

“I’m wondering if we’re going to get to the second half of the season without further delays. It’s really difficult, but I guess that’s the new norm as they say.”

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Published January 05, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated January 06, 2022 at 8:08 am)

Beleaguered St George’s face Somerset in rescheduled showdown

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