PHC eliminate Village from Friendship Trophy
PHC Zebras 3 North Village 1
PHC Zebras outmuscled and outplayed the North Village Rams to secure a convincing win in last night’s Friendship Trophy preliminary round match played at a chilly Goose Gosling Field.
The win eliminates the Rams’s chances of equalling PHC as being the most successful team to lift this trophy in its 57 years of existence.
The match started at a fast pace with the Zebras playing more direct towards goal, making the most of their speed and quick passes, while the Rams tried to build their play through their midfield.
However, they either held onto the ball too long or were easily dispossessed leading to a pattern of transitional defending for North Village against constant counter attacks from PHC. Nevertheless, neither team troubled the other’s goalkeeper in the earliest exchanges.
The opener did come for the Zebras in the fourteenth minute when Antwon Russell’s weak shot found its way to Kadeem Abraham, who smashed a 20 yard shot, which sailed into the top corner of the net leaving Village goalkeeper Andrew Kempe with no chance.
Village should have scored directly from the restart, when the ball was knocked forward and allowed to bounce, giving striker Rai Simons the simple task of lobbing the onrushing PHC goalkeeper, Coleridge Fubler. However, De-Andre Smith-Lightbourne was able to chase the ball and clear it before it crossed the line.
They had another opportunity to score when Owen Botelho’s pass took an awkward bounce, which helped to put Shane Robinson through on goal but his shot was blocked for a corner.
The Zebras made the most of the near misses and scored their second goal minutes later.
Russell played a long ball forward into the path of an advancing Tre Ming, who hit a hard and low drive to the right of Kempe.
Robinson made a forceful run into the box before slipping in a pass to Z’Dao Dill but his volley was blocked for a corner, as Village pushed to open their tally. The resulting corner paid dividends when goalkeeper Fubler, under pressure, punched the ball backwards. It then hit the head of Daren Usher and ended up in the roof of his own net.
Despite the setback, PHC would finish the half with the momentum, as they continuously kept Village on the back foot.
Shortly after the break, Kempe rose at full stretch to tip Russell’s 20-yard drive over the top.
The Rams responded through Dill, who must have thought he had scored with a curling shot from an angle, which missed the upright by inches.
PHC veterans Ming and Russell would eventually combine to close out the scoring and settle the nerves, but not without a bit of luck.
Ming’s inch perfect chip found Russell, who managed to beat the offside trap. A miskick on the initial shot attempt also wrong-footed Kempe, which meant all Russell had to do was lob the already committed goalkeeper for PHC’s third goal.
PHC Zebras: K Abraham 14, T Ming 27, A Russell 70
North Village Rams: D Usher 33 (OG)
PHC Zebras (4-2-3-1) – C Fubler 5 ‒ D Usher 5 (sub: C Booth 78), N Griffith 6, M Lambe 5, D Smith-Lightbourne 6 ‒ K Abraham 6, R Deshields 6 (sub: K Bean 78) ‒ J Sealey 5, T Ming 7 (sub: A Astwood 78), J Iris 5 (sub: C Castle 46, 5) ‒ A Russell 6 (sub: K Hypolite 85). Substitutes not used: J Eve, D Lodge. Booked: D Usher.
North Village Rams (4-2-3-1) – A Kempe 6 ‒ J Harvey 6, T Fray 6, Q Lema 5, K Knights 5 ‒ D Daniels 6, T Williams 6 ‒ Z Dill 5 (sub: P Smith 75), O Botelho 5 (sub: K Leverock 75) S Robinson 5 (sub: J Smith-Deshields 63, 5) ‒ R Simons 5. Substitutes not used: D Bell. Booked: Z Dill.
Referee: M Wyer