Antwan Russell hits brace to send Zebras throught to Friendship Trophy semi-finals
PHC Zebras 2 Southampton Rangers 0
Antwan Russell rolled back the years to virtually carry PHC Zebras through to the Friendship Trophy semi-finals after last night’s win at Somerset Cricket Club.
The experienced striker struck a late brace to eventually see off a gutsy Southampton Rangers team, which up until that point had done extremely well to hold their heavily-fancied opponents at bay.
The difficulties did not come as a surprise to PHC coach Winston Trott Jr.
“Every time we play Rangers it’s a tough game,” said Trott Jr.
PHC dominated the opening half but were unable to find a way past Rangers’ makeshift goalkeeper Dion Stovell, who made a string of saves to keep his team in the match.
He executed two diving stops to keep out Marco Warren’s curling free kicks from outside the box before rushing off his line to gather the ball off Antwan Russell’s boot. Stovell then blocked Enrique Russell’s effort from close range after the latter followed up on his own rebound.
Enrique Russell went close again when his effort was headed off the line by Kamen Tucker to leave the game goalless at the interval.
Stovell continued his shot-blocking exploits after the break, denying Enrique Russell, substitute Tre Ming and Jahiem Iris before Antwan Russell finally made the breakthrough.
The striker gained possession from 25 yards out and thumped the ball in off the underside of the crossbar to finally break Stovell’s resistance.
The Rangers goalkeeper made another brilliant save to deny Ming while Antwan Russell squandered a golden opportunity when he dragged an effort wide on a breakaway.
However, Antwan Russell made amends for that miss shortly afterwards when he followed up on a Ming rebound in the box and rammed the ball home from close range to put the match beyond Rangers’ reach.
Meanwhile, Young Men’s Social Club beat Ireland Rangers 3-1 in the opening First Division Shield quarter-final.
PHC: Russell 78, 86.
PHC (4-1-4-1): Shaquille Trott 7 – D Smith-Lightbourne 7, M Lambe 7, N Griffith 7, D Usher 7 – M Joell 7 – J Iris 7 (sub: K Bean 79min), D Lodge 6 (sub: T Ming 46 7), M Warren 7, E Russell 7 (sub: I Taylor 88) – A Russell 7. Substitutes not used: C Fubler, K Hypolite, S Trott. Booked: D Lodge.
Southampton Rangers (4-4-2): D Stovell 8 – Jahkai Hill 7, K Tucker 7, R Wright 7, D Steede 7 – C Henry 7 (sub: J Santucci 87), M Basden 7, A Bean 7 (sub: L Scott 80), R Lowe 7 (sub: J Hill 83) – Jahkari Hollis 7, K Wilson 7. Substitutes not used: J Hill, D Hill Booked: Stovell, Henry, Bean.
Referee: A Francis.