Town and Village share the spoils in six-goal thriller
Dandy Town 3 North Village 3
Dandy Town clinched top spot in group A of the Dudley Eve Trophy despite being held to a 3-3 draw by North Village in a thrilling encounter at Devonshire Rec last night.
Town got themselves ahead on three separate occasions only to be pegged back by a spirited Village side with goals from Jalen Harvey, Jaizel Smith-DeShields and Ian Simmons cancelling out strikes from Chemarl Henry, Angelo Simmons and Nizigh Spence respectively, as the sides settled for a share of the spoils.
The result sees Town claim top spot in the three-team group with four points with Village settling for second place with two points, ahead of St George's with one.
“Topping the group is what we wanted to do but tonight I thought we took our foot off the gas and let them back in the game,” said Town captain Simmons.
“We went ahead three times with some excellent goals but we let them back in it each time with simple mistakes that we shouldn’t be making.
“We need to fix that going forward if we want to challenge, but we will only get better because this is still a building process.
“Obviously we want to win every game but I’m happy we’ve managed to go through [to the quarter-finals] as group winners, that was our main objective.”
Town got off to the ideal start as Henry broke the deadlock after just six minutes. Seizing on a poor clearance from goalkeeper Omari DeShields, the midfielder received the ball on the edge of the box before curling a right-footed effort past the goalkeeper and into the bottom-right corner.
Village responded superbly to the setback and got themselves level just six minutes later when Harvey rose highest to meet Justin Bell’s inswinging corner from the left to power his header past Daniel Johnson.
Back came Town five minutes later, forcing DeShields into action to brilliantly deny Spence, with the goalkeeper at his agile best top tip a goal-bound header on to the crossbar and away for a corner.
However, from the resulting set piece, there was nothing DeShields could do as Town regained the lead. The ball was only cleared as to Simmons on the edge of the area and set himself before rifling a thunderous strike through the crowded area and into the net.
Village responded brilliantly again and deservedly got themselves level for a second time in the 26th minute. A deep free kick from the left was partially cleared to Smith-DeShields, whose first-time strike took a wicked deflection past the helpless Johnson.
Having drawn level, Village were dealt a major blow seven minutes before the interval when central midfielder Tre Ming was forced off with a knee injury.
To compound matters, Kenny Thompson’s side then found themselves behind for a third time on the stroke of half time when Spence capitalised on an inviting free-kick on the edge of the area, curling his low right-footed effort past a rooted DeShields and into the bottom-right corner.
Picking up where they left off after the restart, Town were denied a fourth in the 50th minute when DeShields was alert to block a close range effort from Henry.
With momentum continuously swinging back and forth, Village managed to find an equaliser for a third and final time in the 67th minute. Receiving possession on the edge of the area, Simmons took a touch before unleashing a right-footed strike which arrowed beyond the reach of Johnson into the corner of the net.
As the game ticked into the final ten minutes, it was Village who looked the most likely to win.
In truth they should have, as Smith-DeShields spurned a golden opportunity with eight minutes remaining. Racing on to Bell’s clever, clipped ball over the top, the forward failed to find composure at the crucial moment, lifting his lobbed effort wide with only the onrushing Johnson to beat.
With seconds remaining Thompson’s side thought they had a valid shout for a penalty as Smith-DeShields went down under pressure from Seion Darrell, only for referee Martin Wyer to wave away the vociferous appeals from the Village players and staff.
Dandy Town: Henry 6, Simmons 17, Spence 45.
North Village: Harvey 12, Smith-DeShields 26, Simmons 67.
Dandy Town (4-5-1): D Johnson 6 – J Chapman 6, S Darrell 6, T Webb 7, J Bean-Lindo 6 – C Henry 7, A Furbert 7, N Spence 7, K Sharrif-Hayward 6 (sub: C Robinson, 50min 6) – T Goater 6 (sub: J Richardson-Martin, 80), A Simmons 7. Substitutes not used: H Butterfield, D Scraders, K Lathan, M Parsons. Booked: Furbert, Goater, Darrell.
North Village (4-2-3-1): O DeShields 6 – K Knights 6 (sub: S Lambert, 71), T Wilson 7, J Harvey 7, T Bean 7 – T Williams 6, T Ming 6 (sub: N Smith, 38min, 6) – Z Dill 6, I Simmons 7, J Bell 7 – J Smith-DeShields 7. Substitutes not used: P Smith, K harrison, R Sampson, S Sommer, A Santos. Booked: Williams, Simmons, Wilson.
Referee: M Wyer