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Boulevard and Somerset battle to exciting stalemate

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Somerset captain Justin Corday is congratulated by a team-mate after grabbing his team’s equaliser (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Somerset Trojans 1Boulevard 1

Justin Corday’s equaliser denied Boulevard a triumphant return to top-flight football in a thrilling Dudley Eve Trophy group B contest at Bernard Park yesterday.

Kamali Davis put Boulevard’s noses out front with a sublime finish in the 65th minute.

However, their lead was short-lived, as Corday converted on a breakaway six minutes later.

Boulevard were reduced to ten men after midfielder Nico Smith went off injured in second-half stoppage time with all their substitutes used. But Somerset were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage, as Boulevard held on to the end.

Boulevard forward Kamali Davis is mobbed by team-mates after opening the scoring at Bernard Park (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The match was the first in charge for new Somerset Trojans coach Scott Morton and his predecessor on the opposing bench Jomar Wilkinson.

“I was pleased with the performance today,” Wilkinson said. “It was a very gutsy performance by my team and I am proud of them.

“They always say trust the process. And so we understand it’s a process to get to where we want to go, and we have to trust it.”

He added: “Today I thought we played with some structure and some determination.

“It was unfortunate we didn’t come away with the three points; a lapse in concentration late in the game because of fatigue. But that happens, so we are just going to strive and keep pushing on.

“The boys put in a shift for me today and I am thankful. That’s all I can ask for.”

Morton was happy to see his players get some precious minutes under their belt more than anything else.

“It was nothing about that for us, as we were just getting our legs used to the match,” he said. “We knew the heat was going to play a major factor, so it’s just about trying to accomplish the processes that we use in training in the match.

“It’s our first match and we haven’t even had any practice matches. It’s been a challenge preseason-wise, so I am just thankful they are able to compete and then see how we can go from there.”

Morton is also happy to be back enjoying his passion for coaching.

“It’s beautiful just to get back out here and feel that passion and the game part that keeps me alive,” he added.

“It’s always good when you are coaching against former players [Wilkinson] that came from your era, so I appreciate that. I know Jomar has a lot of experience, so we had to make sure we stayed patient.”

Boulevard goalscorer Kamali Davis went off hurt late in an absorbing contest (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The game opened up after a goalless first half, with Somerset nearly drawing first blood when Corday’s free kick struck the left upright.

Boulevard also went close with Davis rolling Takeyhi Walker’s through pass just inches wide of the far post.

The lively forward made amends when he ran on to Quadir Maynard’s through ball in the box and slammed it into the roof of the net.

Somerset went close moments later when Boulevard substitute Zico Stovell cleared Jahkari Furbert’s shot off the line.

Morton’s team finally made the breakthrough when Corday was played through by Damon Ming’s well-measured pass and kept his cool as he rounded goalkeeper Azir Harvey and slotted home from a slight angle.

Boulevard midfielder Nico Smith heads clear (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Both teams pressed on for the winner, with Harvey saving another Furbert effort while at the other end Boulevard substitute Clay Darrell had a thunderous blast from 20 yards saved by Dequan Crockwell.

The teams also endured their share of injuries, with Somerset losing defender Azar Morrissey in the first half and Boulevard the trio of Akim Johnson, scorer Davis and Smith after the interval.

Boulevard goalscorer Kamali Davis fires off a shot (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Somerset Trojans: Corday 71

Boulevard: Davis 65


Somerset Trojans (4-1-4-1): D Crockwell 8 — Z Saltus-Seymour 7, M Nisbett-Tankard 7, T Ming 8 (sub: C Durham, 78min), A Morrissey (sub: J Butterfield, 24 7) — J Ratteray-Smith 7 — D Ming 8, J Furbert 7, J Greaves 7, J Corday 8 — S Burrows 7 (sub: J Gooden, 62 7). Substitutes not used: M Aden, Q Watson. Booked: Ming.

Boulevard (4-1-4-1): A Harvey 7 — T Jefferies 7 (sub: Z Stovell, 53 7), J Bailey 7, J Williams 7, A Johnson 7 (sub: N Augustus, 53 7) — N Smith 7 — Q Maynard 8, J Samuels 8, T Walker 8 (sub: S Woolridge, 74), K Davis 7 (sub: D Hendrickson, 80) — I Coke 7 (sub: C Darrell, 74). Substitutes not used: A Williams-Smith, E Zuill, A Famous. Booked: Samuels, Johnson, Davis.

Referee: M Wyer.

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Published September 06, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated September 06, 2022 at 8:17 am)

Boulevard and Somerset battle to exciting stalemate

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