Double delight for Town after edging PHC in FA Cup final
Dandy Town 3 PHC 2
Dandy Town made it a league and FA Cup double after beating PHC for a fourth time this season through an own goal by Michael Lambe in the 86th minute to finally settle an exciting final at the Flora Duffy Stadium yesterday.
PHC threatened to turn the tables on Town after battling back from a 2-0 deficit and were in the ascendancy before a late rally by Town ultimately resulted in Lambe’s attempted clearance ending up in the far bottom corner.
Just seconds earlier, PHC wasted a good chance when Jaheim Iris blasted over the crossbar at the far post after the ball had been put into the box from a Marco Warren free kick. Town went up the other end and scored what proved to be the winning goal.
“We never give up, all season we’ve been overcoming adversity with players missing,” said Gerald Bean, the Town assistant coach who took over the team for the final along with the other assistant coach, Mick Ward, in the absence of head coach Aaron Denkins, who is in Dominican Republic with the under-17 women’s national team.
“I’m glad that Town gave me the opportunity to do the job. It wasn’t comfortable losing a 2-0 lead but we got control of the game again, stepped it up one more time after they came back.
“They had a couple of chances but we’ve got a good goalkeeper and a team that plays well together. We’re happy with the two trophies but we wanted the three. Next season we’ll go again with the bull’s eye on our back.”
Town had the perfect response to their midweek loss to Cougars in the Friendship Trophy final by taking the lead after just nine minutes when Tomiko Goater scored from a rebound from close range.
PHC responded by going close through Iris when he lifted his effort over the crossbar after a long kick upfield by goalkeeper Shaquille Trott put him through.
Antwan Russell had a good chance blocked by Jaiden Manders, the Town goalkeeper, on the half-hour mark, only to see Town double their lead a minute later when Kamali Davis ran through down the left side before placing his shot inside the far post.
PHC had a quick response, and it was game on when they pulled it back to 2-1 through Warren’s free kick on the left touchline. Russell, at the far post, knocked it back into the six-yard box and defender Rakeem DeShields forced it over the line from close range.
PHC had the momentum late in the first half and carried it into the second with Iris driving just over the bar as they went close to equalising. Russell and Kadeem Abraham both had shots blocked as PHC battled back into the game.
The pressure paid off with the equaliser in the 67th minute when a pass out of midfield put Antwan Russell through down the middle before he made space and fired a low shot past Manders to tie it up at 2-2.
In a bid to regain the upper hand, Town made a double substitution midway through the half, bringing on Angelo Simmons and Jahzardae Samuels for Enrique Swan and Cecoy Robinson.
Another substitute, Oneko Lowe, added some late spark to the Town attack as he had an effort blocked by the advancing Trott after a slick move opened the PHC defence.
It was a sign of things to come as the league champions capitalised on a late chance to snatch the win and claim a sixth FA Cup title as PHC finished second to them once again.
“I think it has been a hell of a season, we lost just two games all season, one against North Village in the first half, and then went on another long run before we lost to Cougars in the Friendship final,” Bean said.
“It’s been a good season and I’m just glad it was topped off with another trophy, something that we deserved.”
Dandy Town: Goater 9, Davis 31, Lambe (og) 86.
PHC: DeShields 36, A Russell 67
Dandy Town (4-5-1): J Manders 7 – E Blankendal 6, T Manders 7, M Isaac 7, M Parsons 6 – A Furbert 6, N Spence 7 (sub: J Johnson, 90), E Swan 6 (sub: A Simmons 68, 6), C Robinson 6 (sub: J Samuels, 68, 6), T Goater 7, K Davis 6 (sub: O Lowe 75). Substitutes not used: S Darrell, M Mello-Cann, N Smith, J Roser, D Scraders. Booked: Blankendal, Lowe.
PHC (4-3-3): Shaquille Trott 6 – Shakhai Trott 6, M Lambe 6, R DeShields 7, De-Andre Smith-Lightbourne 6 – K Abraham 6, M Warren 7, T Ming 6 (sub: M Joell, 88) – A Russell 7, E Russell 6, J Iris 6 (sub: K Hypolite, 88). Substitutes not used: D Usher, K Bean, D Lodge, C Fubler, N Griffith. Booked: Lambe, DeShields.
Referee: M Wyer.