Lejaun Simmons scores three as Cougars push Rangers closer towards relegation
Southampton 1 Devonshire Cougars 5
Devonshire Cougars played to a comfortable win against Southampton Rangers at Southampton Oval on Saturday and in doing so, pushed their opponents, who have four league games remaining, closer towards relegation.
A hat-trick from Lejaun Simmons and a brace from Elisha Darrell secured the three points for the Cougars in a dominant display, which even allowed player/coach Kwame Steede to get in on the action, coming on as a second half substitute. Midfielder Zari Simmons also replaced goalkeeper Ricardo Brangman between the sticks when his team enjoyed a three-goal lead.
Hat-trick hero Simmons was happy with his output but took time to praise his team for their performance.
“We felt that it wasn’t going to be much of a competitive match today but we are in two semi-finals so we wanted to play well. I am happy for my hat-trick but it was a total team effort,” Simmons said.
Cougars started the match on the front foot but took a while to get into their groove. They would score on their first threatening attempt when Drewonde Bascome played a short corner to Simmons who dribbled towards goal before unleashing a low drive that beat Rangers’ goalkeeper and coach Dwayne Adams at the near post.
The Rangers youngster Marco Basden showed some promising touches with his speed and dribbling skills that kept Cougars defence on their toes but the visitors doubled their lead midway through the half when Kamen Tucker and Adams had a mix-up which allowed Elisha Darrell to get a toe to the ball to steer it into the net from 12 yards out.
Darrell would score his second and Cougars’ third a few minutes later as Zion Simmons played a through ball in his path for him to hold off his marker before side-footing into the roof of Adams’ net.
Cougars goalkeeper Ricardo Brangman was hardly bothered as the half came to an end but his replacement Zari Simmons was called into action when he pushed Jordan Hill’s curling free kick to safety early in the second half.
Basden’s persistence paid off when he used his speed to outrun his marker before playing an inch-perfect cross to Dakarrie Steede whose powerful header gave Simmons no chance in the Cougars goal.
Simmons would put the game to rest and complete his hat-trick with two late goals.
First, he finished off a good build up from the midfield to hit a low but firm drive past Adams from eight yards out then he controlled Darren Williams’s cross before drilling his shot beyond an advancing Adams.
Southampton Rangers: Steede 69
Devonshire Cougars: L Simmons 9, 82, 90, Darrell 22, 25
Southampton Rangers (4-2-1-3): D Adams 6 ― K Tucker 5, Jahkai Hill 5, R Wright 5, D Steede 6 ― D Woods 5, L Scott 5 (sub: D Dublin 79min) ― R Lowe 5 ― M Basden 6, J Hollis 5, Jordan Hill 6. Booked: D Woods.
Devonshire Cougars (4-2-3-1) R Brangman 5 (sub: Zari Simmons 53 5) ― T Tucker 5 (sub: J Mouchette 65, 5), C Casey 5, Zion Simmons 6, J Thomas 5 ― D Bascome 6 (sub: K Steede 75), Q Maynard 6 ― E Darrell 6 (sub: D Williams 65 6), M Battersbee 5, L Simmons 7 ― C Johnson 5 (sub: A Cannonier 53 5). Substitutes not used: Z White. Booked: Zari Simmons
Referee: T Simons