Devonshire Colts and St George’s battle to stalemate
Devonshire Colts 1 St George’s Colts 1
Ray Jones, the Devonshire Colts coach, hailed his team’s gutsy display after overcoming a series of setbacks to take a point off high-flying St George’s Colts in a Premier Division make-up match at Devonshire Recreation Club last night.
The hosts lost three players to injuries and had to come from behind to earn a share of the spoils through Brandon O’Connor’s equaliser, which cancelled out Jarazinho Bassett’s header that gave St George’s the early lead.
“It was hard and we knew it would be a battle,” Jones told The Royal Gazette. “They’re on a nice high, while we’re still recovering from Covid.
“I thought for a patch in the first half we played with a bit of style which resulted in the equaliser, but we couldn’t turn it to get the second goal.
“Obviously we wanted more. But we’ll take the point based on where we are, so I really can’t complain with the effort of the boys.
“Injuries are wreaking havoc through our team. That’s what we’ve been going through ever since coming back from Covid, and that’s why I am proud of the effort because players have had to step up.”
Colts suffered their first setback before the kick off when Kiuno Cann pulled a hamstring in the warm-up and was replaced by substitute Bayon Robinson.
The home team’s fortunes took another turn for the worse when St George’s forward Bassett rose to head home Tyrell Burgess’s free-kick to put the visitors out front against the run of play.
However, Jones’s players kept their composure and after stretching their opponents with their fluent movement hit back through O’Connor’s superbly taken effort. The forward latched onto Zuri Burgess’s through pass and slotted past the advancing Freddy Hall to leave the teams level at the break.
Colts’ injuries woes continued when Robinson was replaced during the interval with a sore hip, while striker Shaki Swan pulled his hamstring midway through the second half and also had to be replaced.
Both teams enjoyed swathes of possession but lacked cutting edge in the attacking third coming in the final stretch and ultimately had to be content with a share of the spoils.
“Second half looked like two teams scrapping and not really anything constructive outside of a lot of fight from both teams,” Jones added. “So in the balance of play maybe a point was the right result.“
Devonshire Colts: O’Connor 33
St George’s Colts: Bassett 19
Devonshire Colts (3-5-2): T Smith 7 – F Lema 7, C Minors 7, M Williams 7 – J Paynter 6 (sub: A Hart 76), K Bailey 7, C Henry 7, Z Burgess 7, B O'Connor 8 – S Swan 7 (sub: S Thomas 68 6), B Robinson 7 (sub: L Symonds 46 6). Substitutes not used: D Dillas, J Maybury, J Samuels. Booked: Lema.
St George's (4-1-4-1): F Hall 7 – N Paynter 7, T Burgess 7, P Anderson 7, A Francis 7 – D Signor 7 – T McCallan, J Burgess 6 (sub: A Heyliger 87), J Dickinson 6 (sub: J Carlington 61 6), J Bassett 7 – M Simmons 6 (sub: S Blair-Paynter 80). Substitutes not used: G Wade, J Brangman, C King, D Lodge. Booked: Nzari Paynter, Burgess.
Referee: M Wyer.