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Easton comes up clutch to send Blazers into last eight

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Proving to be a handful: First Division team Boulevard surprised Southampton Rangers 2-1 in their FA Cup match at Southampton Oval on Saturday. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Southampton Rangers 1 Boulevard 2

Young striker Khiry Easton stole the spotlight with a dramatic winner to eliminate Southampton Rangers from the FA Cup on Saturday.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges, knocking the ball around confidently through midfield and setting the early tempo. Despite working themselves into several promising situations, they failed to make the correct decisions in the final third.

On the run: Premier Division team Southampton Rangers suffered a 2-1 defeat to their First Division counterparts Boulevard in Saturday’s FA Cup match at Southampton Oval. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The attacking trio of Ian Coke, Easton and Zico Stovell linked up really well on several occasions with challenges on Coke and Takeyhi Walker in the box resulting in unsuccessful penalty shouts. Their best early chance came when Niko Smith found Coke, who forced a good reflex save out of goalkeeper Sean Perinchief.

The First Division promotion-chasers took the lead on the half-hour after another cohesive move through midfield culminated with Tyquan Davis spreading the play to Jerome Bailey, who stood up a cross for the unmarked Coke to head into the near post.

Moving in: Boulevard were 2-1 winners over Southampton Rangers in Saturday’s FA Cup action at Southampton Oval. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Rangers responded well to going behind, growing into the game and increasing their influence in the midfield battle.

They would event get on level terms just before half time when a set-piece was poorly cleared, and the loose ball ended up with Dion Stovell. The striker and Bermuda cricketer had his initial shot well saved by Azir Harvey, but Keishon Wilson was on hand to tap home the rebound for the Rangers.

Under Pressure: Boulevard were 2-1 winners over Southampton Rangers in Saturday’s FA Cup action at Southampton Oval. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The second half began quite evenly, with both sides largely cancelling out each other in terms of tempo and territory. The visitors, however, were getting into the more dangerous positions, with full-backs Terence Stovell and Anthony Williams pushing inside the Rangers half. Their best opportunity came when Stovell, on the edge of the opposition penalty area, whipped in a beautiful cross. However, neither Easton nor Coke could apply the finishing touch to cap another sweeping move.

Rangers’ best chance of the half came just after the hour, when goalscorer Wilson, found substitute Akale Bean just inside the area, but the striker dragged his effort wide. A few half-chances for either side followed, with the attackers failing to find the clinical edge.

The final 15 minutes were very stretched, with spaces opening up all over the field, as both sides pushed hard for the clutch goal.

With the contest seemingly heading towards extra-time, it was the visitors who had the final say as Bailey and Davis combined yet again to important effect, with the latter spreading for Easton to cut inside and curl his effort around his marker and into the top right corner to send the five-time champions Blazers into the last eight.

Coke, the Boulevard skipper, was pleased with the team’s mentality throughout the match.

“We stuck together and we created the better chances, but they made us work for it,” Coke said.

Saturday’s other scheduled FA Cup match between Somerset Trojans and Hamilton Parish was postponed due to unresolved electrical issues at the SCC venue.


Southampton Rangers: Wilson 38

Boulevard: Coke 30, Easton 89


Southampton Rangers (4-2-3-1): S Perinchief 5 – J Hill 5, R Wright 4, L Scott 5 (sub: A Triana Zan 75min), K Tucker 5 (sub: Y Bean 90) – K Simmons 5, J Bean 4 – M Basden 5 (sub: A Bean 63 5), K Wilson 6 (sub: J Hollis 90), C Henry 6 – D Stovell 5. Substitutes not used: D Dunlop, D Adams; Booked: Scott, Stovell, Triana Zan

Boulevard (4-3-3): A Harvey 5 – T Stovell 7, A Famous 6, A Smith 5, J Bailey 6 – T Davis 6, N Smith 7, T Walker 6 – Z Stovell 6, I Coke 6 (sub: D Hendrickson 75), K Easton 7. Substitutes not used: M Hewey, D Chambers

Referee: D Jackson

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Published February 14, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated February 14, 2022 at 7:56 am)

Easton comes up clutch to send Blazers into last eight

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