Kamali Davis comes up clutch for title-chasing Town
Somerset Eagles 0 Dandy Town 1
Kamali Davis scored the crucial goal as Dandy Town secured a scrappy, but dogged away win over bottom team Somerset Eagles to strengthen their control over the Premier Division title race.
The visitors dominated the early exchanges in the West End, controlling possession nicely and playing through the hosts’ press with ease. Eagles did, however, look dangerous on the counter-attack, as both defences played a high-line.
Town should have opened the scoring when a quick move through midfield involving Azende Furbert, Nizigh Spence, led to captain Tomiko Goater, threading a pass wide for Mathew Mello-Cann, whoc ould only fire his effort over the bar. Ten minutes later, they fashioned another opportunity, but this time Cecoy Robinson had his low effort well saved by young goalkeeper Joshua Roberts.
Eagles grew into the game towards the end of the first half, creating their best opportunity of the day. Keedai Astwood squared for Dupray Joell, who found a lovely ball into space for Shakir Smith, whose chipped effort sailed over the bar after he spotted goalkeeper Jaiden Manders well off his line.
A very determined, defensive display in the first half spurred the home side to start imposing themselves early in the second period, which they began with a much-adjusted press.
However, less than two minutes in, Town took that shape apart, working the ball around before Furbert found Eusebio Blankendal. The Bermuda left-back fired his effort towards the bottom corner, forcing a reflex save out of Roberts.
A strong spell of pressure from the home side followed, leading to their best chance just after the hour, when substitute Anwar Telford found Smith, whose effort flew over the bar.
Town withstood a barrage of Eagles pressure for a good five minutes, before taking the lead from a quick counter-attack as Goater picked up the ball in acres of space, before finding Davis just inside the penalty area. The winger teased a few defenders with some quick dribbling and close control, before rounding Roberts and evading the sliding attempted clearance from Kieran Evans.
They created another notable opportunity, with youngster Aaron Estravit finding Robinson, for the Bermuda international to send a low shot towards the bottom right corner, which was nudged around the post by Roberts. By this point, the match had been stretched wide open, with both sides getting into promising positions, but making the wrong decisions in the final third.
Town’s assistant coach Mick Ward was pleased with the team’s performance.
“We dominated the game. We were not tested that heavily,” he said, while pointing out that his team needed to work on their tempo.
“We need to speed up our passing. We afforded them time to get back into shape. We created enough chances to embarrass them but our attackers were wasteful in the final third,” said Ward.
Dandy Town: Davis 64
Somerset Eagles (4-2-3-1): J Roberts 7 – S Lambert 6, K Evans 5, W Tucker 5 (sub: M Iris-Simmons 72min), K Harrison 6 – D Simmons 5 (sub: A Telford 59 6), D Joell 5 – K Astwood 5 (sub: J Rumley 87), E Fubler 5, R Woodley-Smith 4 – S Smith 6
Dandy Town (4-1-4-1): J Manders 5 – J Bean-Lindo 5, T Webb Jr 4, T Manders 6, E Blankendal 6 – N Spence 7 (sub: A Estravit 72) – M Mello-Cann 5 (sub: E Swan 56 6), T Goater 7, A Furbert 6, K Davis 7 (sub: D Schraders 90) ‒ C Robinson 6. Substitutes not used: S Tatem, S Darrell, J Johnson; Booked: Davis, Webb Jr
Referee: M Wyer