North Village advance to FA Cup semi-finals
North Village 3 Boulevard 0
North Village put their name back in the hat after securing their spot in the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable victory against city rivals Boulevard at Bernard’s Park yesterday.
Rai Simons’s first-half brace left the home side firmly in the driver’s seat at the interval before Terryn Fray’s thunderbolt in the final minute of regulation time wrapped up proceedings.
Village goalkeeper Detre Bell had a relatively quiet afternoon between the posts but was equal to task on the rare occasion he was called upon on the way to keeping a clean sheet.
“We are really happy to be in a semi final,” Kenny Thompson, the Village coach, said. “This is the time of year where you want to be playing for important trophies.
“Obviously we are out of the running in the league, so a good FA Cup run keeps us focused and interested in the run in to the season.”
He added: “It was good that we scored early. Boulevard have some quality in their team and they play with a lot of spirit and a lot of heart.
“One thing we didn’t want to get in to was sort of a battle, which we didn’t. We kind of controlled the game from the start, so scoring early kind of settled everything and then getting one before half time.
“It was then just a matter of the second half being smart and managing the game.”
After a slow start, Village made the breakthrough with their first real attack. Left-back Jalen Harvey darted down the flank and whipped in an inviting cross, which Simons flicked inside the near post.
Boulevard should have been back on even terms shortly after when Ian Coke was gifted a glorious opportunity. The experienced forward intercepted Quintonio Lema’s header back to goalkeeper Bell but hurried his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
It proved to be a costly miss as Simons grabbed his and Village’s second after team-mates Owen Botelho and Justin Bell were denied to all but see the hosts through to the next round of the prestigious competition.
Once again it was defender Harvey getting the assist as he drove in to the box and pulled the ball back, which Simons slotted in the bottom left corner to leave Village firmly in control at the break.
The hosts picked up where they left off when play resumed, with Boulevard goalkeeper Azir Harvey pulling off a reflex save to deny Justin Bell from point blank range.
Harvey was called into action again to parry a shot from substitute Pierre Smith from a Harvey throw in and then clutch Bell’s well aimed curling free kick from just outside of the box as Village pressed on in search of more goals.
Boulevard enjoyed swathes of possession but continued to struggle in the attacking third against a well organised Village defence that refused to budge.
Fray eventually rounded off the scoring in spectacular fashion with the best goal of the game in the dying moments of this cup tie played in good spirit. The central defender ran on to a loose ball from 20-yards out and beat Harvey for pace with a left-footed shot that fizzed into the roof of the net.
North Village: Simons 6, 42, Fray 90
North Village (4-1-4-1): D Bell 7 – J Harvey 8, T Fray 8, Q Lema 7, K Knights 7 – T Williams 7 (sub: S Somner, 72) – I Simmons 7, O Botelho 7 (sub: L Outerbridge, 72) D Daniels 7, J Bell 8 – R Simons 8 (sub: P Smith, 72). Substitutes not used: O DeShields. Booked: Williams, Somner (sub)
Boulevard (4-3-3): A Harvey 7 – J Bailey 8, A Famous 7, A Williams- Smith 8, T Stovell 6 (sub: Z Stovell, 68 6) – D Taylor 6 (sub: D Hendrickson, 68 6), N Smith 6 (sub: KMcQueen, 82), T Davis 7 – I Coke 7, S Robinson 6 (sub: K Easton, 65), T Walker 7. Substitutes not used: T Robinson. Booked: Williams-Smith.
Referee: T Simons.