Hat-trick hero Brangman happy to help guide young Hood side
Robin Hood 6 Somerset Eagles 3
Chae Brangman is more than happy to shoulder responsibility after inspiring a young Robin Hood to a thrilling 6-3 victory over relegation-threatened Somerset Eagles at Goose Gosling Field, last night.
The powerful striker struck a first-half hat-trick, which was added to by an Aaron Nelson brace, either side of the interval, and further goal from Jaylon Bather, as the hosts secured a second successive victory in the space of four days to further ease any lingering relegation concerns.
Goals from former Hood player Shakir Smith and Rayquan Woodley-Smith had seen the Eagles reduce the deficit to 4-2, with player-coach Jensen Rogers scoring what proved to be the final consolation a minute from time, as the visitors slipped to sixth-straight defeat, leaving them languishing at the bottom of the table, 11 points from safety.
While Hood find themselves in a transitional period, Brangman spoke of the importance of the senior players such as himself, leading by example as they help to guide their younger team mates throughout the campaign.
“We have a pretty young team and so it is vital that we try and build on a bit of momentum and win every game we can,” he said ahead of his side facing the likes of top-four sides North Village, Dandy Town and Devonshire Rec in the coming month.
“We have some tough fixtures coming up and so it is vitally important to keep that intensity high going forward.
“That puts a huge responsibility on the more senior players seeing as though we have six or seven young players out there, but we have to do our bit and keep helping to push those younger guys on. It is something that the senior guys have to thrive on because it is important.
“Consistency is always key and as long as we can keep the level of performance up that we are showing at the moment then I think we can be satisfied with the outcome of our season.”
It was Brangman who gifted the home side the perfect start, seizing on a loose ball inside the area to smash home the opener after just minutes.
At the other end, on-rushing Hood goalkeeper Mataeo Holder had to be alert to thwart Woodley-Smith, with a fine save after 16 minutes, before the custodian may have been a little fortunate not to have seen red after colliding with the Eagles forward outside of the area, as he bared down on goal just two minutes later.
To add further insult to injury for the visitors, Hood then doubled their advantage after 20 minutes as Brangman reacted quickest to prod the ball home after Eagles goalkeeper Joshua Roberts fumbled a shot.
Just after the half-hour mark, Brangman completed his hit-trick in superb style, curling a perfectly-executed right-footed free kick over the wall and past a stranded Roberts into the right corner from 25 yards.
Refusing to rest on their laurels, the home side added a fourth just two minutes later as Nelson weaved his way past three Eagles defenders en route to the area before delicately clipping the ball over the advancing Roberts and into the left top corner.
The visitors were gifted a route back into the match in the 38th minute as referee Anthony Francis awarded a penalty for what he perceived to be a handball by Kion Knights. Smith took responsibility and made no mistake from the spot, rifling the ball into the roof of the net.
Building on that momentum, Eagles further reduced the deficit five minutes after the restart as the lively Woodley-Smith raced onto a pass before beating Holder at the second attempt.
However, there was to be no dramatic fightback as Hood regained composure and a three-goal cushion in the 63rd minute as an incisive move down the right-hand side resulted in Bather teeing up Nelson for a simple tap in.
With nine minutes remaining Bather got himself on the score sheet, collecting a through ball into the area before calmly slotting a left-footed effort beyond the reach of Roberts.
As full-time approached, there was just enough time for the visitors to pull a final goal back as Rogers got on the end of a dangerous inswinging Smith cross from the right, to glance a header past Holder.
Robin Hood: Brangman 5, 20, 31; Nelson 33, 63; Bather 81
Somerset Eagles: Smith 38, Woodley-Smith 50, Rogers 89
Robin Hood (3-5-2): M Holder 6 ‒ M Henry 6, C Robinson 6, N Massa 6 (sub: A Simons 83, 6) ‒ L Evans 7 (sub: T Bean 67min, 6), K Naylor 7 (sub: S Burchall 90, 6), J Bather 7, K Knights 7 (sub: T Goater 67, 6), D Cook 7 ‒ A Nelson 8 (sub: J Berkley 90, 6), C Brangman 8. Substitutes not used: D Leverock, M Fullerton. Booked: Holder, M Henry
Somerset Eagles (4-4-2): J Roberts 5 ‒ K Harrison 5 (sub: M Iris-Simmons 66min, 6), K Evans 5, J Rogers 5, W Tucker 5 ‒ E Fubler 5, S Lambert 5, A Telford 5, S Smith 7, S Simmons 5, R Woodley-Smith 7 (sub: K Astwood 80, 5). Booked: Simmons.
Referee: A Francis