Six of the best as PHC run riot against Somerset
PHC Zebras 6 Somerset Trojans 0
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for PHC and Somerset as they experienced contrasting fortunes in their Dudley Eve Charity Trophy match at Devonshire Rec on Saturday night.
For group B winners, PHC, the evening wrought pure joy, as they registered their third consecutive triumph of wide margin, while inflicting utter misery upon arch-rivals Somerset, scoring three times in each half, while banishing Trojans into a play-off for the right to continue in the competition.
It was clear from the outset who the better team was, with Zebras dominating while imposing high pressure tactics, featuring captain Marco Warren at his mercurial best.
Somerset had no answer to the skilful wiles of the diminutive play-maker, who dictated pace and tempo, and neither could they find response to forward Shavon Nisbett, nor any other that chose to advance, for that matter.
Kadeem Abraham opened PHC’s account in the 31st minute rising up at the near post to get on the end of a left-wing cross from T’ysi Showers.
And while Keishen Bean grabbed most accolades after doubling the lead four minutes later, it was Warren who garnished the platter, his searing free-kick from 25 yards blocked by goalkeeper Jade Morrissey into the path of a lurking Abraham, who powered home the rebound from close range.
And as Somerset’s heads began to droop, PHC heaped further agony just before half-time, as Nisbett scored the first of his two goals, after Warren found him in space inside the penalty area, for he to also give Morrissey the slip.
PHC refused to ease off the throttle following the break, with defender Darren Usher surging forward from his right-side position, combining intricate touch passing in the final third with two others, before lifting the ball into the roof of the net.
Nisbett grabbed a second in the 65th minute as PHC continued to run rot, while Warren received his just dessert in scoring his teams’ sixth a minute from the end of regulation.
After the match Warren spoke modestly of his own performance, while offering subtle suggestion that opponents should beware the PHC juggernaut.
“I thought I did my part to help us create our chances,” said Warren. “The best part about our system is that I don’t really know where the goals are going to come from next, whether it’s our striker, our winger, our midfielders.
“I think we had a wide range of scoring opportunities, which is a testament to our system, so good luck to the teams who have to try to stop that.”
Meanwhile, the synopsis of Somerset coach, Scott Morton, was succinct, in that his squad was not yet ready to compete with the likes of PHC.
“PHC is a better team, clearly,” said Morton of the team he last coached and led to several championships, prior to being hired by Somerset. “You have to be able to be honest in life, and when you see these types of things that are plain to see you have to acknowledge that reality.
“PHC are fitter. They play together more as a unit. And, obviously, when you stay structured for long periods of the game that allows you to get goalscoring opportunities and convert chances like they did.”
Somerset are now set to do battle in a play-off next Saturday against the third-placed finisher in group A, with the winner qualifying for the quarter-finals.
PHC: Abraham 31, Bean 35, Nisbett 45+1, 72, Usher 56, Warren 89.
PHC (4-4-1-1): C Fubler 6 - D Usher 7, N Griffith 7 (sub: K Lewis 77), J Bather 7, D Smith-Lightbourne 7 - D Lodge 7 (sub: D Joell 78), K Abraham 7, M Warren 9, T Showers 7 (sub: J Hassell 78) - K Bean 6 (sub: P Simons 55 6) - S Nisbett 8. Substitutes not used: S Trott, A Wade, M Lambe, R Hassell.
Somerset: (4-2-3-1): J Morrissey 5 - T Ming 5, Z Saltus-Seymour 5, M Joell, K Cann 5 (sub: J Fraser 46min, 5) - D Ming 5 (sub: J Gooden 62 5) J Butterfield 5 - J Shields 5 (sub: D Wainwright 46 5), J Greaves 5 (sub: R Burrows 70 5) S Burrows 4 - J Corday 5 (sub: H Eve 70 5). Substitutes not used: Q Watson. Sent off: Simeon Burrows.
Referee: T Simons