Second-half goals ease relegation fears for X-Roads
Robin Hood 0 X-Roads 2
X-Roads gave themselves a real chance of surviving the drop after climbing out of the relegation places with one game remaining in the campaign and now need just a point against Somerset on Sunday to be assured of another season in the Premier Division after last night’s win at Goose Gosling Field left Devonshire Colts in the firing line.
Second-half goals by midfielder Marcelos Thomas and striker Donavan Thompson eased the X-Roads nerves before the final whistle confirmed that they are now three points ahead of Colts in the fight to avoid relegation.
Colts, with a better goal difference, have to beat Robin Hood on Sunday and hope for a X-Roads loss, while Warriors, who were first promoted in 2017, just need to avoid defeat to stay in the top-flight for another season.
“It’s something the lads have worked hard for, we knew how important this game was and we prepared for it,” said captain Jamin Furbert.
“We knew we had to stay in the game and we had players to get us goals, we knew that if we held firm at the back we had goal scorers in the team. It’s been on our minds all week coming up to this game, but there is still work to be done.
“A point will be enough, but we still have to go out and earn that, to carry the momentum from this game into the next game. We came into the game knowing we could win it, and once the ball hits the back of the net you know you are on the right path to getting the job done.”
There was little between the teams in the first half with Hood creating the better of the early chances. Chae Brangman of Hood turned inside the box and blasted a left-footed shot wide of the near post.
At the other end, Thompson had a strong run into the box but the whistle went for a foul on defender Malachi Henry just as Thompson’s shot was finding the far bottom corner.
X-Roads had a good start to the second half with Thompson’s volley from the right side of the box in the opening minutes of the half dropping inches over the crossbar, the striker running into the box to celebrate after he thought he had scored when the ball got stuck in the netting.
The deadlock was finally broken when a corner on the right by Jorge Costa was only half-cleared and Thomas ran towards the edge of the box to blast the loose ball home from 20 yards.
Hood wasted a chance to equalise when Cody Robinson side-footed over the top from six yards after a good ball into the box from Kion Knights.
Both teams had just lost key players with Thomas and Chae Brangman both picking up injuries as they both chased a loose ball near the touchline.
The game-sealing goal came nine minutes from the end when an overhit cross into the box from the left side was chased by Costa at the far post. He then sent a pass into the middle where substitute Darin Woolridge poked it forward for Thompson to steer it past goalkeeper Matthew Kenny from six yards.
The turn in fortune represents a massive improvement for X-Roads, who just three weeks ago looked like relegation certainties after an 11-1 thrashing at the hands of PHC at the same venue.
“That’s always been X-Roads’ character,” Furbert said. “That game wasn’t a good example of it but we’re the type of team that might be down but we’re never out.
“That’s the spirit of the team, to fight right to the end and that’s what we’re proving now.”
X-Roads: Thomas 66, Thompson 81
Robin Hood (4-3-3): M Kenny 5 – K Knights 6, C Robinson 6, M Henry 6, A Simons 6 – J Bather 6, L Evans 6, T Bean 6 – C Brangman 6 (sub: S Burchall 74), N Outerbridge 5 (sub: A Mussenden, 74), E Outerbridge 5. Substitutes not used: M Fullerton, T Figureido. Booked: Bather.
X-Roads (4-5-1): Q Darrell 6 – L Simmons 6, T Daniels 6, J Furbert 6, Rico Beek 6 – M Thomas 7 (sub: N Richardson, 74), D Simons 6 (sub: D Woolridge, 71), A Daniels 6, J Costa 7, J Morgan 6 (sub: R Sandhar 90) – D Thompson 6. Substitutes not used: Ricardo Beek, T Lowe, G Gibbons. Booked: Costa.
Referee: M Wyer
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