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Shakir Smith scores three as Eagles fly after East End goalfest

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Wolves 4 Somerset Eagles 6

(aet; 4-4 at 90min)

Shakir Smith shows his gymnastic skills as he does a somersault to celebrate his second goal for Somerset Eagles against Wolves at Wellington Oval. Team-mate Shentoine Lambert seems impressed (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Somerset Eagles secured a quarter-final spot in the FA Cup draw at the expense of First Division side Wolves during a goalfest at Wellington Oval yesterday. The encounter had five changes of lead as neither side could put their stamp on the match that would ultimately have to be settled in extra time.

Three for me: Shakir Smith celebrates after converting a cross in first-half extra time to complete his hat-trick for Somerset Eagles in their 6-4 win over Wolves at Wellington Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Eagles player-coach Jensen Rogers was a picture of relief when the final whistle was blown by referee Kentoine Jennings.

“It wasn’t pretty and we made it hard for ourselves,” said Rogers. “When we stuck to our game plan, all was good, but when we went away from our plan, Wolves took advantage. We should have won in regulation time but in the end, we got the result.”

Keedai Astwood of Somerset Eagles, centre, battles for possession with Wolves defender Quinn Simmons yesterday at Wellington Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The match itself took some time to get going as for the first 20 minutes, neither side could find a way forward to trouble either goalkeeper, but that was to change in the 22nd minute, when Ethan Fubler’s chest, forced the ball into the Wolves net after a corner had not been collected by goalkeeper Jerome Usher.

Wolves’ response was almost immediate, as within five minutes they had equalised thanks to captain London Steede, who placed his shot from just inside the box in the bottom right-hand corner of the Eagles net, following a quick break from the halfway line.

The 30th minute saw Wolves take the lead for the first time after some neat footwork from Marcus Ming found an unmarked Sergio Richardson at the back post for a simple tap-in.

The rest of the half belonged to Wolves, who might well be ruing the handful of missed chances before the break that should have seen Eagles off.

The second half started with a bang for the first 25 minutes, with the sides swapping the lead twice more and a further five goals being added to the score sheet. With the score tied at four apiece, the width and size of Wellington Oval began to take control, as the match fizzled out and extra time became evident.

Eagles would finally end Wolves’ dream of a cup upset in the 95th minute when a quick break on the right side stretched the defence and Shakir Smith tapped in from close range to score what would ultimately be the winner.

Then with just a minute left on the clock, Fubler sealed the victory with a powerful finish from the top of the box and a place in the quarter-finals was secure.


Wolves: Steede 26, 66, Richardson 38, Ming 50

Somerset Eagles: Fubler 23, 120, Smith 48, 62, 93, Lambert 57


Wolves (4-4-2): J Usher 5 ‒ L Paynter 6, Q Simmons 6, K Smith 6, O Smith 6 (sub: A Brangman 79min 5), ‒ M Ming 7, T Tucker 6 (sub: J Davis 60, 5), R Ford 6 (sub: G Minors 79, 5), L Steede 8 ‒ S Richardson 7 (sub: D Brangman 60, 5), S Valasse-Paul (sub: V Minors 102). Booked: Richardson

Somerset Eagles (4-4-2): J Rumley 6 ‒ M Iris-Simmons 6, J Rogers 7, W Tucker 6, K Harrison 6 ‒ A Telford 6, E Fubler 7, D Joell 7, S Lambert 6 ‒ S Smith 8, D Simmons 7 (sub: K Astwood 69, 6).

Referee: K Jennings.

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Published February 14, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated February 14, 2022 at 11:22 am)

Shakir Smith scores three as Eagles fly after East End goalfest

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