Zebras stay on track for title showdown after overpowering Cougars
Devonshire Cougars 0 PHC Zebras 2
The intensity of this match at Devonshire Rec was there for all on hand to witness, even if the skills on display did not reach the level of a top-of-the-table clash.
The end result, though, leaves PHC Zebras with their destiny in their own hands and for coach Winston Trott it was a case of mission accomplished on the night.
“We had to adjust this evening,” said Trott. “We did not have an out-and-out striker, we had to adjust on the field during the game.”
“As the game progressed we had to make the adjustments. I read the situation and make adjustments accordingly,” Trott said.
Trott noted that his team was determined to leave last night’s match with all three points as they continue their hunt for the league title.
“The situation is very simple,” Trott said. “We knew and know we have to win the rest of our games this season in order to win the title and we are up for the challenge.”
Throughout the encounter both sides were far too often guilty of trying to walk the ball into the opposition’s net, instead of taking the easy option and finishing the task early, allowing defenders to regroup and spoil attempts on target.
Both sets of strikers were found lacking in front of goal on half a dozen chances each but it was ultimately the Zebras that would wrinkle the Cougars’ net twice on their way to collecting full points.
PHC struggled from the outset with the Cougars formation of 3-4-3 and for the first 15 minutes the Zebras coaching staff looked as if they would have to earn their wage in finding a way through a packed middle of the park.
Cougars door would eventually be unlocked thanks to a touch of class from Bermuda midfielder Tre Ming, who collected an inch-perfect through ball from DeAndre Smith and proceeded to lob goalkeeper Ricardo Brangman from 18 yards out.
The goal seemed to settle PHC but Cougars had other ideas and drove forward in droves only to see chances wasted time and again and with the first 45 minutes in the book, Cougars coach Kwame Steede must have been wondering what he needed to do to help his strikers to a goal.
After the break, Zebras slowly stamped their superiority on the proceedings and if Keishon Bean hadn’t left his scoring boots at home, the encounter would have been over by midway through the half. On no fewer than four occasions did the makeshift striker find himself in great scoring positions only to scuff his shot, lose his footing or take one too many touches.
Finally, the result was put beyond doubt in the 85th minute when PHC captain Marco Warren made no mistake from the spot after his Cougars’ counterpart, Zeko White, had needlessly pulled Russell down in the box. The result sent Zebras back into second place over Cougars and ultimately sets up a mouthwatering winner-takes-all encounter with Dandy Town Hornets on April 10 as the league seems set to boil to a simmering finish.
PHC Zebras: Ming 16, Warren 85 pen
Devonshire Cougars (3-4-3): R Brangman 6 — J Thomas 8, Z White 6, E Darrell 6 (sub: J Mouchette 78min) — Q Maynard 7, Zion Simmons 6, Zari Simmons 6, D Williams 6 — D Coddington 8, M Battersbee 6, C Caisey 7. Substitutes not used: K Minors, N Simmons, T Tucker, C Albouy, K Steede. Booked: Zari Simmons, Brangman
PHC Zebras: (4-3-3): C Fubler 6 — D Smith-Lightbourne 6, R De Shields 6, M Lambe 7, D Usher 7 — K Abraham 6, M Warren 8, T Ming 8 (sub: M Joell 80) — K Bean 6 (sub: K Hypolite 89), E Russell 6, J Sealy 6 (sub: J Iris 70 6). Substitutes not used: S Trott, R Hassell, N Griffith. Booked: Ming, Bean
Referee: M Wyer.