Thompson at the double as X-Roads ensure survival
X-Roads 3 Somerset Trojans 1
Three goals in the space of 11 minutes late in the game enabled X-Roads to secure their Premier Division status in style with victory over Somerset Trojans at Garrison Field yesterday.
Devonshire Colts’ 2-1 loss to Robin Hood meant that a X-Roads victory was not needed in the end as Colts suffered relegation to the First Division.
X-Roads went into their final match needing only a draw to be assured of survival, but when Somerset took the lead on the half-hour mark, it meant the hosts still had some work to do depending on how Colts were doing in their must-win encounter at Police Field.
X-Roads had a promising start as they applied the early pressure, including winning a free kick on the goalline just outside the six-yard box, which they failed to convert.
They did have the ball in the net in the 27th minute when Aaron Spencer was put through down the middle before converting, but he was adjudged to be offside.
Somerset took the lead a few minutes later to make the relegation fight a little bit more interesting when Jahkari Furbert got past full back Larry Simmons down the left before crossing into the box for the Jaden Ratteray-Smith to score past Q’Shai Darrell from six yards.
Darrell kept X-Roads in the game with an important near post save to a D’Andre Wainwright shot from a Kymani McNeil cross in the 37th minute.
X-Roads, needing just one goal to turn things around, came out battling in the second half, although it was Somerset who twice went close to adding to their advantage.
They wasted a good chance eight minutes after the restart when Ratteray-Smith side-footed straight at goalkeeper Darrell from six yards following a cross from the right.
Moments later Darrell was called into action as he was forced to tip a dangerous inswinging corner from Furbert over the crossbar.
A double substitution by X-Roads freshened things up a bit for them with Jorge Costa, who arrived late at the game and was taken out of the starting XI, coming on for Jah-Von Morgan, who replaced him at the start, while Darin-Scott Woolridge replaced Darron Simons.
The goal they had been looking for came in the 77th minute when a ball into the box from left back Rico Beek was met by Donavan Thompson who made space for himself and drove the ball past goalkeeper Jade Morrissey.
X-Roads were a more confident team after that, scoring an insurance goal six minutes later when defender Tymon Daniels, playing farther forward in the second half, produced a shot from 25 yards that found the bottom corner, leaving Morrissey flat-footed.
For good measure, the home team, finished it off in style with a third goal in the 88th minute as Thompson grabbed his second of the match.
Sheer persistence by Thompson created the opportunity when a high ball forward got caught in the wind before an awkward bounce gave the forward the edge against defender Coleridge Durham and Morrissey, who lost his footing outside the box.
Thompson kept his composure as he placed his shot from 25 yards into an empty net.
“That right there was a sneak peak of what the Warriors’ mentality is, that when we’re down we’re not out,” Thompson said. “We fight to the very end so I never count us out.
“I’m just proud of the lads today, we knew what was at stake and we didn’t want to rely on Robin Hood to do it for us.”
Thompson was certainly pleased when he netted the late third goal, knowing there was no way back for Somerset as X-Roads’ survival was confirmed after an up-and-down campaign.
“I was just happy to get everybody over the line,” he added. “Warriors will be in the Premier Division next season!”
X-Roads: D Thompson 77, 88, T Daniels 83
Somerset Trojans: Jaden Ratteray-Smith 29
X-Roads (4-4-2): Q Darrell 8 – L Simmons 6, J Furbert 7, T Daniels 7, R Beek 7 – M Thomas 6 (sub: N Richardson 46min, 6), J Morgan 6 (sub: J Costa 60, 6), D Simons 6 (sub: D Woolridge, 60, 6), A Daniels 6 (sub: T Lowe, 90) – D Thompson 8, A Spencer 7. Substitutes not used: J Minks, J Lottimore, G Gibbons, R Sandhar.
Somerset Trojans (4-3-3): J Morrissey 5 – Q Watson 6, C Durham 6, M Nisbett-Tankard 6, M Henschke 6 – D Ming 7, J Butterfield 6, K McNeil 6 (sub: N Rego, 58, 6) – D Wainwright 6 (sub: A Douglas, 64, 6), J Furbert 7, J Ratteray-Smith 7 (sub: D Swan 74). Substituted not used: K Sharrief-Hayward, O Moore. Booked: Morrissey
Referee: A Francis
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