Town and PHC face off for FA Cup title in season finale
Dandy Town and PHC will be aiming to end the season in style when they meet in the FA Cup final at the Flora Duffy Stadium tomorrow.
Town, the Premier Division champions, had hoped to end their campaign with a first Triple Crown but Devonshire Cougars dashed that dream with a 3-2 upset in the Friendship Trophy final on Wednesday night.
Forward trio Lejaun Simmons, Domico Coddington and Drewonde Bascome netted for Cougars in between goals from Tre Manders and Oneko Lowe for Town in an thrilling final.
Now the top two teams are expected to produce an equally exciting clash as both aim to close out the campaign with another FA Cup title under their belt, either a twelfth one for PHC or sixth for Town.
Certainly PHC will be looking to get one over on Town after three losses to them this season, 2-1 and 5-2 defeats in the league and a high-scoring 6-5 defeat after extra time in the Friendship Trophy semi-final.
Indications are this could be another high-scoring encounter, the two teams scoring 141 goals between them in the league alone with PHC the season’s top scorers with 83 goals.
The Zebras also have a proud record in the FA Cup as this will be their 20th appearance in the final which, along with their eleven titles, is the most by any team in the competition.
“The guys are geared up for the game, they’re ready to go,” said coach Winston Trott Jr.
“It’s just a matter of getting on the stage and putting on a show.
“They’re really not concerned about the record, they just want to win. It’s not the record that’s important to them right now, they just want to win and worry about the record afterwards.
“It’s all on the line, we just have to go out there and finish the job and leave everything out there.”
PHC, like Town, have several potential match-winners, with captain Marco Warren in midfield and front pair Antwan and Enrique Russell their three top scorers this season.
Antwan netted two penalties in the 2-1 win over North Village in the semi-final.
“It’s about what you can bring on the day, just get on the stage and have some fun,” Trott added.
Warren has led the team well since taking over the armband from Cecoy Robinson following his move to Dandy Town.
Robinson was the captain when PHC last won the FA Cup in 2016-17 but this time he will be hoping to help add another trophy to Town’s collection at the expense of his former team.
“We are all looking forward to it, a cup match always becomes a grudge match, but it’s just like any other match for me,” said Robinson on meeting his former team-mates.
“The goal we’re trying to achieve is less about me and more about what the team will be trying to do.
“The loss the other night was hard to take. It is never an ideal situation but that’s football, with successes and disappointments. It is definitely was a learning lesson for everybody involved.”
PHC and Town have met just three times in the final, Town winning in a replay in 1986-87 for their first title, while PHC won the other two finals between the sides in 1991-92 and 2007-08.
Town’s five FA titles have come from 14 appearances in the final, level with Devonshire Colts in both wins and final appearances, while Boulevard and Vasco also have five FA titles each.
• Ahead of the FA Cup final, Young Men’s Social Club meet Wolves in the Shield final at 1pm.
It will be a rare appearance in the final for both teams, but certainly spots that were earned following their semi-final upsets on successive nights against promoted sides Hamilton Parish and Boulevard.
Both teams had to come from behind from behind to win 2-1, Wolves beating Parish and then Social Club defeating Boulevard the following night.