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Zebras keep up title pressure after outplayng St George’s Colts

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Nice one mate: PHC captain Marco Warren (left) is congratulated by teammate Tre Ming after scoring their team's third goal against St George's at Wellington Oval yesterday (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

St George’s 0 PHC 3

PHC picked up three crucial points in a title race that seems destined to go to the distance, with their thirteenth win in 16 matches yesterday at Wellington Oval.

A first-half goal from Enrique Russell in the ninth minute separated the teams at the half, before two strikes from half-chances early in the second half enabled the Zebras to secure the points before St George’s offered some resistance later in the contest.

PHC went close to opening the scoring in the seventh minute after Philip Anderson was booked for a foul on Keishon Bean on the edge of the box. From the ensuing free kick, captain Marco Warren smashed his effort against the crossbar with goalkeeper Freddy Hall at full stretch to his right.

Alleyne Francis, the St George's defender makes a timely, but costly challenge, on PHC substitute Kushae Hypolite just as he was about to fire a shot on goal from inside the box. Francis injured himself in the process and was substituted four minutes later. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Two minutes later, the visitors did take the lead when Enrique Russell stabbed a loose ball in at the far post, after a Tre Ming cross was not properly cleared by the St George’s defence.

Enrique Russell of PHC tries to work his way between St George's defenders Alleyne Francis and Philip Anderson at Wellington Oval on March 20, 2022. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

A couple of reflex saves from Hall midway through the half kept the scoreline intact. He first stopped Bean’s shot from close range and then matched Antwan Russell’s strong header with an equally good save to the effort from 10 yards out.

The match was, however, over as a contest inside the first six minutes of the second half through quick, forward play which proved too much for St George’s at times.

Nzari Paynter, the St George’s defender, poked the ball away from Bean and just as coach Jarreau Hayward was shouting ‘well done, Nzari,’ Antwan Russell pounced on the loose ball to smash a first-time shot into the back of the net from 30 yards away.

A defensive mix-up led to the third goal, three minutes later.

Goalkeeper Hall called off a defender inside the box but Warren managed to pounce, slipping in between the two players to collect the ball and run it towards the goal before steering it into the empty goal.

St George’s went closest to scoring midway through the half when, from a free kick deep on the left side, Macai Simmons smashed his effort against the far upright with goalkeeper Shaquille Trott at full stretch. That chance came during a good spell by the home team, which despite their enterprise, could not find a way past the PHC defence.

Jordan Darrell of St George's is challenged by PHC's Shakhai Trott at Wellington Oval (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

In a hectic season-ending schedule that is impacting all the teams, PHC will be right back in action tomorrow night when they play Southampton Rangers for the second time in six days in their make-up match.

PHC beat Rangers 2-0 in the Friendship Trophy quarter-finals last Wednesday to keep their triple crown hopes alive.

“It’s about team management and game management right now, these guys are getting burnt out just like everybody else, I’m sure,” said Winston Trott Jr, the PHC coach, who may have one or two injury scares ahead of the Rangers match as Antwan Russell limped off in the 54th minute.

“We just need to get those wins. One game at a time and the next game is on Tuesday.

Philip Anderson of St George's knocks PHC's Keishon Bean off balance as he tries to keep the ball from going out for a corner. PHC won the match 3-0 at Wellington Oval to stay in the title hunt. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Trott gave St George’s credit for their fighting spirit. Earlier in the season they edged out St George’s 3-2.

“These guys are fighters, they’ve been fighting like this all year so we expected that,” Trott said.

SCORERS

PHC Zebras: E Russell 9, A Russell 48, M Warren 51

TEAM

St George’s (4-3-3): F Hall 6 ‒ A Francis 5 (sub: J Brangman 74min), P Anderson 6 (sub: K Ottley 61 6), E Signor 6, N Paynter 6 – J Burgess 6, J Carlington 6, L Dill 6 (sub: S Blair-Paynter 86) ‒ M Simmons 6, J Darrell 6 (sub: J Wales 82), T McCallan 6 (sub: J Dickinson, 61, 6). Substitute not used: C Ottley. Booked: Anderson.

PHC (4-3-3): Shaquille Trott 6 – Shakhai Trott 6, N Griffith 6, M Lambe 6, D Smith-Lightbourne 6 – M Joell 6, M Warren 7, T Ming 7 (sub: K Abraham 74) – A Russell 7 (sub: K Hypolite 54 6), E Russell 7 (sub: J Iris 74), K Bean 7 (sub: I Taylor, 82). Substitutes not used: C Fubler, D Usher, R DeShields.

Referee: D Jackson

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Published March 21, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated March 21, 2022 at 7:42 am)

Zebras keep up title pressure after outplayng St George’s Colts

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