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Zebras keep pace in title fight after hard-fought win over Trojans

(l-r) Antwan Russell, Marco Warren and Enrique Russell all played a key role in PHC’s win over Somerset Trojans at PHC Field on Sunday (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

PHC Zebras 4 Somerset Trojans 1

PHC Zebras kept up their hot pursuit of Premier Division leaders Dandy Town with a hard-fought win against injury-ravaged Somerset Trojans at PHC Field on Sunday.

The hosts led 2-0 at the break on goals from Enrique Russell and his uncle Antwan Russell.

Damon Swan pulled one back for Somerset early in the second half to keep it close before PHC substitute Kushae Hypolite and experienced striker Antwan Russell scored a minute apart from each other in stoppage time to finally secure the points for the home side.

“We did good to go ahead and not chase the game,“ Marco Warren, the PHC captain, said.

“But at half-time I felt they were coming. One team looks dead and then as soon as they get a goal they are back in it.

“But we maintained our composure and poise and scored two late goals to put the game away.”

The scoreline was flattering as Somerset, despite the loss of several key players, including captain Justin Corday, remained competitive until conceding twice in added time.

PHC trail Town by two points with two matches remaining, including their head-to-head at Goose Gosling Field on April 9 that will have a strong bearing on the league title.

“Of course we want to take each game one at a time,” Warren added. ”But we can’t stop thinking about that game and I am sure they can’t stop thinking about us as well.“

Already having been forced to make wholesome changes to their squad due to the unavailability of key players, Somerset’s fortunes took another turn for the worse after being struck by a double setback early in the match.

Right back Marquel Nisbett-Tankard had to leave the pitch abruptly to attend an urgent personal matter and before his replacement could take the field, PHC capitalised on their numerical advantage.

Winger Jaheim Iris ran onto a through ball and pulled it back for Enrique Russell to fire past Somerset goalkeeper Jade Morrissey at the near post.

Antwan Russell then doubled PHC’s advantage when he converted from the penalty spot after being hauled down in the area by Nisbett-Tankard’s replacement Quayan Watson as he raced towards goal.

Somerset made a bright start to the second period and started to create more problems for their hosts playing with more width, with forwards Jahkari Furbert, Jeze Butterfield and Tevahn Tyrell involved in several promising build ups.

The visitors finally made the breakthrough during a good spell of possession. Jeze Butterfield ran onto a through ball out on the flank and whipped in a low cross, which the tracking Swan thumped in at the back post to signal game on.

The game opened up thereafter as the two perennial rivals tried to establish control.

Somerset squandered a glorious opportunity when the in-form Nathan Rego broke free. However, the winger hesitated to shoot which enabled the PHC defence to recover and clear the threat.

Somerset also had a confident appeal for a penalty fall on death ears during another good spell of possession.

Rego’s miss ultimately came back to haunt the visitors as super-sub Hypolite and Antwan Russell pounced late to finally kill the game off.

Hypolite restored PHC’s two-goal cushion when he tapped in Enrique Russell’s low cross at the back post.

Antwan Russell then ran onto Warren’s through ball and calmly slotted past Morrissey without breaking stride to round off the scoring.


PHC Zebras: E Russell 12, A Russell 29, 90+2, Hypolite (sub) 90+1

Somerset: D Swan 48


PHC Zebras (4-3-3): Shaquille Trott 7 – D Smith-Lightbourne 7 (sub: D Usher 78min), R DeShields 7 (sub: N Griffith 46 7), M Lambe 7, S Trott 7 – M Joell 7, T Ming 7 (sub: K Abraham 64 7), M Warren 8 – E Russell 8, J Iris 7 (sub: K Hyoplite 64 7), A Russell 8. Substitutes not used: C Fubler, D Lodge, I Taylor. Booked: A Russell.

Somerset Trojans (4-3-3): J Morrissey 7 – M Henschke 7, T Ming 7, C Durham 7, M Nisbett-Tankard (sub: Q Watson 13 7: sub: R Symonds, 79) – D Ming 7, T Tyrell 7 (sub: N Smith 79), J Butterfield 7 – J Furbert 7, N Rego 7, D Swan 7 (sub: KMcNeil, 55). Substitutes not used: A Douglas, N Durham. Booked: J Morrissey, Swan, Q Watson (sub).

Referee: A Majors.

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Published March 28, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated March 28, 2022 at 7:54 am)

Zebras keep pace in title fight after hard-fought win over Trojans

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