Champions Town end season in style with big win over Zebras
Dandy Town 5 PHC Zebras 2
Dandy Town capped off a fine campaign with an emphatic victory over their nearest rivals PHC Zebras last night at Goose Gosling Field, ahead of being officially crowned league champions at the award ceremony which followed.
Having already secured the league title in the previous round when they beat Devonshire Colts, it would have been easy for them to rest on their laurels, especially after finding themselves down 2-1 at the half, but the Hornets showed why they were league champions by scoring four unanswered goals in the second half much to the delight of coach Aaron Denkins.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to give some of our younger players some time on the pitch, but we also wanted to respect the opponents and put on a good performance for the fans and the community who have supported us all season,” said Denkins.
“Our main objective was to be consistent in our performances this year and our goal is to maintain that consistency going to the final stages of the cup competitions.”
Victory didn’t come easy against a PHC team that was no doubt looking to make amends having slipped up a week ago when they dropped points to North Village, opening the door for Town to clinch the title.
Zebras were definitely the better team in the first half and had their noses in front as early as the nineteenth minute when Kushae Hypolite stroked home a square pass from Darren Usher after a sweeping move down the right flank.
PHC continued to dominate with skipper Marco Warren pulling all the strings from the centre of the pitch and may have scored a couple more, but the mercurial midfielder went just wide twice with an effort from a similar ball from Usher and then from a well-struck free kick from 35 yards that goalkeeper Julian Roser could only watch.
Although on the back foot, Dandy Town were still a threat and would eventually find an equaliser late in the half, when Jahzardae Samuels received a through-ball from Cecoy Robinson and opened his body to curl his shot from the left into the bottom far corner.
However, they were only level for a few short minutes before Hypolite set the ball nicely for Enrique Russell to finish into the top corner from the edge of the box to restore the lead going into the interval.
The home team took the opportunity to regroup and after shuffling a few positions, came out with a whole new swagger about them.
Within five minutes of the restart, they were back on level terms when Tomiko Goater scored from the penalty spot after Azende Furbert had been taken down just inside the box.
It wasn’t long after, when Mateo Isac glanced his header in at the near post from a corner to give his team the lead for the first time in the match.
At the other end, Russell continued to be a threat, forcing a couple good saves out of Roser.
Dandy Town made a double substitution in the 78th minute bringing on Oneko Lowe and Angelo Simmons and those two would combine twice to put the game out of reach.
Simmons would get his name on the score sheet first from the penalty spot when Lowe was brought down after escaping his man with a good first touch on the left side of the box in the 85th minute.
Simmons would then return the favour when he played a perfect ball over the top for Lowe to run onto, compose himself and finish hard and low before celebrating in front of the Dandy Town contingent who were out in full force.
Dandy Town: Samuels 40, Goater 51, Isac 55, Simmons 83, Lowe 88
PHC Zebras: Hypolite 19, Russell 44
Dandy Town (4-2-3-1): J Roser ‒ M Parsons 6, S Darrell 6, M Isac 6, M Mello-Cann (substitute T Webb Jr 58min 6) ‒ J Johnson 5 (sub K Davis 58 6), A Furbert 6 ‒ C Robinson 6, J Samuels 7 (sub A Simmons 78), T Goater 6 ‒ S Tatem (sub D Scraders 13 6)(sub O Lowe 78). Substitutes not used: J Manders, T Manders, A Estravit, J Bean-Lindo, E Blankendal. Booked: Lowe
PHC Zebras (4-3-3) C Fubler ‒ D Smith-Lightbourne 5, N Griffin 6, K Abraham 5, J Hassel 5 ‒ Shakai Trott 5, M Joell 6, M Warren 8 ‒ E Russell 6 (sub S Nesbitt 83), K Hypolite 6, D Usher 6. Substitutes not used: ShaquilleTrott, M Lambe. Booked: Hypolite
Referee: J Springer
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