Wolves upset Parish to advance to Shield final
Wolves 2 Hamilton Parish 1
Wolves came from behind to pull off one of the season’s biggest upsets and in the process secure their spot in the First Division Shield final.
Shayne Hollis’s first-half free kick earned newly crowned league champions Hamilton Parish a 1-0 advantage at the interval.
But Wolves hit back in the second half with two unanswered goals from substitute Jason Lee and London Steede that condemned Parish to their second loss of the season in all competitions — and first against a First Division rival.
However, Wolves’ hard-fought and well-deserved victory was marred by the dismissal of forward Lee, who picked up two late bookings.
“I think they gave a lot of energy and I really enjoyed the way they played,” said Toriano Davis, the Wolves coach. “They played for one another and played as a team. Together everyone achieves more and that’s what I saw tonight.
“Everybody gave their all and left everything on the pitch. I am proud of everybody; from my goalkeeper straight up to my striker, even the one [Lee] that got sent off.
“What I Iiked is that we dug in deep and fought back hard. Every game we have been falling behind and our heads would drop down. But tonight we picked it up and improved ourselves and got the job done.”
Davis said his players were determined to reach the final and end Parish’s unbeaten run for the season.
“We wanted to stop their undefeated run and it was also pride and bragging rights at stake,” he added. “It is my first time reaching a final as a coach and I am excited.
“I am excited for my team, I am looking forward to winning and I am hoping for the best.”
Parish went into the game keen to make inroads towards achieving the coveted league and Shield double.
However, Wolves had other plans in mind and let their intentions known from the outset as they pressed high up the pitch in search of an early breakthrough, with Parish goalkeeper Paul Tohill tipping midfielder Russ Ford’s powerful header over the bar.
Ford went close again when his thunderous blast from 25 yards struck the crossbar.
The game was turned on its head when Parish took the lead against the run of play.
Hollis’s free kick from 30 yards out took a slight deflection before curling inside the far post.
Despite the setback, Wolves battled on and threatened again with Tohill saving Steede’s low shot from outside of the box to preserve his team’s slim advantage at the break.
Parish started the stronger of the two teams at the start of the second half with striker Macquille Walker curling a shot just wide and Wolves goalkeeper Gatwoine Minors palming away Tahjae Welch’s dangerous inswinging corner.
Wolves eventually regained control of midfield and began carving out openings with substitute Lee and midfielder Samario Valasse-Paul wreaking havoc with their pace out wide.
They finally equalised with the same two players involved in the goal. Lee’s angled shot inside the box was parried by Tohill, leaving the unmarked Valasse-Paul the simple task of tapping the loose ball into the empty net.
Hollis then had a shot saved while Quinn Outerbridge’s free kick slipped through Minors’s fingers and bounced just wide.
That’s the closest Parish would get to adding to their tally as Steede popped up with the winner at the opposite end. The midfielder controlled Lee’s pass and beat Tohill with a sublime strike from 20 yards that nestled inside of the far bottom corner.
Wolves: Lee 61, Steede 82
Hamilton Parish: Hollis 12
Wolves (4-1-4-1): G Minors 7 – L Paynter 7, Q Simmons 7, K Swan 7, K Brangman 7 – J Davis 7 – S Richardson 7 (sub: T Tucker 70min 7), L Steede 7, R Ford II 8 (sub: A Butterfield 83), S Valasse- Paul 8 – D Brangman 7 (sub: J Lee 55 8). Substitutes not used: D Stirling, R Trott. Booked: Davis, Lee. Sent off: Lee.
Hamilton Parish (4-1-4-1): P Tohill 7 – D Tucker II 7 (sub: S Albouy 45 7), K Wade 8, Q Outerbridge 8, Q Glasford 7 (sub: K Richardson 80) ‒ S McKittrick 7 – J Hunt-Tucker 7 (sub: J Steede 46 7), M Hill 8, T Welch 7, S Hollis 8 – M Walker 7. Substitutes not used: J Bean, E Furbert, C Lindo, Z Wolffe – Simpson. Booked: Hollis, Wade.
Referee: A Augustus.