Rangers, X-Roads match abandoned as disallowed goal leads to chaotic finish
A feisty Premier Division encounter between X-Roads and Southampton Rangers ended in chaos yesterday, after the match was eventually abandoned, following a walk-off by the teams, triggered by a disallowed Rangers goal.
X-Roads seemed to be cruising to their third win of the season, after scoring their fourth unanswered goal against their relegation rivals, to take a 4-1 lead into the last 15 minutes of the match, when things took an ugly turn at Southampton Oval.
After going down 4-1, Rangers looked to immediately pull one back, with Dion Stovell firing the ball past X-Roads goalkeeper T’Jay Brangman from the halfway line, as the ball was spotted.
However, their joy was short-lived, as referee Amauri Majors called back the play, pointing out that he had not blown his whistle to authorise the restart of the game prior to the Rangers striker’s audacious strike, as the rules of the game dictate.
This led to bitter protests, with defenders Ralston Wright and Kamen Tucker given their marching orders by the referee for foul and abusive language at the 75 minute mark. Both teams then exited the field and a few moments later, Majors blew the final whistle, signalling the end of the game.
The Bermuda Football Association has so far not issued a statement on the incident, with the scoreline being reflected as 4-1 in favour of X-Roads on the organisation’s official website and social media platforms, up to late last night.
Before its premature end, the contest saw a scrappy start, with the home side creating the most notable chance in the early exchanges, Jahnai Bean missing from close range inside ten minutes.
This early trend continued throughout the majority of the first half, yet the game only came to life on the half-hour mark.
Wright zipped a beautiful ball through the visitors’ midfield and into Stovell, who placed his shot low past goalkeeper Brangman.
However, unperturbed, the Warriors would settle into the game and eventually wrestled control from their hosts, first through Jamin Furbert, who converted a near post header from a Jamon Lottimore corner in the 33rd minute, to put his team on level terms.
The 2019 FA Challenge Cup runners-up then took the lead six minutes before half-time, with Jorge Costa finding Marcus Johnson, who finished from just inside the penalty area.
Rangers pushed forward in an attempt to get back into the game early in the second half, but had nothing to show for their efforts, as poor execution in the final third often led to wasted opportunities.
With 65 minutes gone in the contest, X-Roads would make them pay for their lack of end product, with a beautiful flowing move through midfield.
Marcelos Thomas drove into the opposition half, before laying off for Johnson to thread a pass to Jah-Von Morgan, who gave the neat play the finish it deserved, into the far post to double his team’s advantage.
With over twenty minutes remaining, and Rangers opening up in defence, X-Roads put the game out of sight, when a poor clearance by Kamen Tucker was pounced upon in midfield, and quickly played forward for Morgan to hold up and slip in Lottimore, who smashed his low effort past Jason Smith at the near post.
This was followed by Stovell’s over-zealous attempt at goal, which triggered the walk-off.
X-Roads head coach Khomeini Talbot was complimentary of his team’s performance, even though he admitted disappointment with their finishing.
“I thought we controlled the match from start to finish,” Talbot said. “Our finishing could be better. However, we can push to a strong finish to the season.”
Southampton Rangers: Stovell 29
X-Roads Warriors: Furbert 33, Johnson 39, Morgan 65, Lottimore 74
Southampton Rangers (4-3-3): J Smith 4 – R Lowe 4, R Wright 3, K Tucker 3, J Hill 4 – E Stoneham 4 (sub: L Scott 72), K Simmons 3, J Bean 4 – A Bean 5 (sub: K Wilson 72), D Stovell 5, C Henry 5. Substitutes not used: A Triana Zan, K Wilson, D Woods, J Hollis, A Rocker; Sent off: Wright, Tucker
X-Roads Warriors (4-2-3-1): T Brangman 5 – N Richardson 4, J Furbert 6, R Hare 5, D Scott-Woolridge 6 – M Thomas 5, A Daniels 5 – J Thompson 6, J Costa 6, J Lottimore 7 – M Johnson 6. Substitutes not used: A Wilson, K Talbot, J Govia
Referee: A Majors