Iris comes off the bench to inspire Wolves to Shield glory
Wolves 3 Young Men’s Social Club 2
Super sub Morricko Iris came off the bench to inspire Wolves to a dramatic and emotional come-from-behind victory over Young Men’s Social Club in a five-goal thriller at the Flora Duffy Stadium today.
The 31-year-old striker entered the fray in the 74th minute with his team trailing 2-1 and made his presence felt as he had a hand in their equaliser before grabbing a stoppage time winner.
“I just wanted to make sure I came on with the energy coach Vincent Minors was asking for,” Iris said. ”Make sure I put myself in situations where I could do something for the team.
“The coach told me to go straight up top and don’t stop running; pressure every ball, first line of defence.
“That was my instructions and he said ‘get me a goal please’.”
Wolves clawed their way back from 2-0 deficit after Jomeko Mallory and Ryan Parris put Social Club firmly in the driver’s seat at the interval.
However, just as they did in against promoted champions Hamilton Parish in the semi-final, Minors’s chargers completed a sensational fightback to clinch a fifth Shield title and first in 24 years.
The triumph was emotional one for the victors who are mourning the death of team-mate Jason Lee.
The experienced striker was killed in a cycle crash six days after coming off the bench and setting up both goals in Wolves’ 2-1 come from win over Parish in the semi-final.
“This was for Jason Lee,” said a tearful Wolves coach Minors.
“This was for Jason and we had to tell them half-time we have to fight. We never give up and we have to give our all just for Jason.
“Regardless of the outcome we had to give our all for Jason who would have been here celebrating with us. It was for him.”
Despite trailing by two goals at the break Minors never felt the match was beyond reach.
“I felt second half that we would be going with the wind and we would get chances,” he added. “The wind was definitely a factor.
“We just had to settle down and get the jitters out because that’s how we played in the first half. We really didn’t pass the ball like a hot potato. But once we settled down and was able to play the ball we got our chances.
“It was a great game; especially for the fans. This was for Devonshire, our community.
“It’s been a long time and this was for the fans, the community and Jason and his family.”
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for a Social Club side who created ample chances to have put the game far beyond their opponent’s reach.
“I think it was a good game,” Michael Smith, the Social Club assistant coach, said. “I think we shut off a little bit in the second half and it let them build momentum.
“But hats off to Wolves. They came out in the second half looking like a different outfit.
“It looked like they were really playing for Jason and it showed. The effort and pressure that we put on them in the first half, they turned it around on us in the second half.”
Mallory gave Social Club a dream start when he broke the deadlock in the third minute. The striker pounced on a partial clearance from a cross and fired past Wolves goalkeeper Gatwoine Minors.
Midfielder Parris then headed in Shakii Pearman’s free-kick after being left unmarked at the back post to double his team’s advantage.
At this stage Social Club should have been out of sight as winger Akim Johnson, midfielder David Jones Jr, Mallory, Pearman and Parris all went close.
That they didn’t enabled Wolves to remain in the hunt and they eventually pulled one back through Sergio Richardson. The midfielder pounced on London Steede’s partially cleared cross and scored with a composed finish.
Social Club went close again against the run of play as substitute Reid Trott’s header was blocked on the line and fellow substitute Tamauri Tucker sliced the loose ball wide.
The game took another turn when Iris’s header struck the crossbar and Social Club were blown for a handball in the area attempting to clear the loose ball away.
Steede made no mistake from 12 yards as he tucked the ball in the low bottom right corner to bring the teams level.
The Wolves captain them went from scorer to provider as his cross was swept in by Iris at the second attempt to complete the comeback and ignite wild celebrations among his team’s fans.
Wolves: Richardson 61, Steede 81 (pen), Iris (sub) 90+1
Social Club: Mallory 3, Parris 30.
Wolves (4-2-3-1): G Minors 7 – L Paynter 7, Q Simmons 7, K Smith 7, O Smith 7 – J Davis 7, R Ford II 6 (sub: T Tucker, 64 7) – S Valasse- Paul 7, L Steede 8, S Richardson 7 (sub: M Iris, 74) – D Brangman 6 (sub: K Brangman, 64 7). Substitutes not used: J Usher, A Butterfield, D Stirling, R Trott, J Eve. Booked: Steede, Richardson.
Social Club (4-3-3): K Simmons 7 – Z Hendrickson 7, K Butterfield 7 (sub: J Lewis-Trott, 74), M Simmons 7, T Butterfield 7 – D Jones 7, R Parris 8, S Pearman 8 (sub: M Young, 68 6)- J Johnson 8 (sub: D Swan, 68), A Johnson 8, J Mallory 8. Substitutes not used: K Butterfield, J Richardson, S Jennings, Keshun Butterfield. Booked: Johnson.
Referee: D Jackson.