Goalkeeper Q’Shai Darrell the hero as Warriors hold on for critical win
Devonshire Colts 1 X-Road Warriors 2
Goalkeeper Q’Shai Darrell had an outstanding game, highlighted by a crucial penalty save in the dying minutes to secure all three points for X-Roads in a critical relegation battle against Devonshire Colts at Police Field yesterday.
The win allowed X-Roads to move even on points with their opponents to set up an interesting finale to the season with two games remaining.
Colts took the initiative in the opening minutes with striker Chemari Henry forcing Darrell into making two saves within the first 10 minutes. X-Roads took a while to settle but would dominate the remainder of the half as Marcelos Thomas came closest to finding the opener when his goal-bound blast was blocked by Colts’ captain Calon Minors.
X-Roads’ persistence paid off with university student Aaron Spencer II being instrumental in both their goals late in the half. Firstly, he played a through ball on the blind side to put Donovan Thompson through for the easy task of slipping the ball past the advancing Colts’ goalkeeper, Juran Tucker.
Three minutes later, X-Roads would double their lead when Spencer II’s corner was partially cleared and fell to Jah-von Morgan whose low drive found the back of the net through a maze of players.
Colts started the second half with high intensity and should have pulled a goal back immediately after the break when Darrell’s save from a corner fell into the path of Robert Urquhart but he slammed the rebound just wide of an empty net.
Darrell would keep his team’s two-goal advantage with a double save as substitute Shaki Swan played Henry through but his shot was blocked by the custodian with the rebound falling to Urquhart who headed straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.
The custodian was finally breached when Henry and Swan combined for the latter to plant a low drive into the corner leaving Darrell flat-footed. This set- up a nail-biting finish.
The goal energised Colts who threw everything at their opponents and were rewarded in the dying minutes when Henry’s attempted cross was handled by X-Roads’ captain Jamin Furbert, leaving referee Martin Wyer no option but to award a penalty kick.
Minors stepped forward and hit a firm drive but Darrell went one better, diving to his left to push the ball around the post for a corner to secure the points for the jubilant X-Roads’ players and fans.
“This game was the most important game of the season for us,” stated an excited Darrell. “Penalties are tricky. I just stayed focused, watched the kick, trusted myself to go for it and I got my hands to it.”
Devonshire Colts: C Henry 75
X-Roads Warriors: D Thompson 40, J Morgan 43
Devonshire Colts (4-1-4-1): J Tucker 5 ‒ M Williams 5, C Minors 6, F Lema 6, K Cann 5 (sub: K Burch 72) ‒ S Burgess ‒ J Paynter 6, J Salaam 5 (sub: T Smith 46min 5), R Urquhart 6, B O’Connor 5 (sub: S Swan 65, 6) ‒ C Henry 6. Substitutes not used: T Axelsen, J Saunders, S Thomas, E Weldon, L Symonds. Booked: R Jones
X-Roads Warriors (4-1-4-1): Q Darrell 7 ‒ L Simmons 6, J Furbert 6, M Johnson 5 (sub: D Woolridge 56 6), Rico Beek 6 ‒ M Thomas 6 (sub: J Costa 75) ‒ J Morgan 6 (sub: J Minks 67 5), T Daniels 6, A Darrell 6, A Spencer II 6 ‒ D Thompson 6. Substitutes not used: Ricardo Beek, T Lowe. Booked: M Johnson, D Thompson.
Referee: M Wyer
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