Ian Coke hat-trick powers Boulevard to first league win
Boulevard 4 X-Roads 3
Boulevard captain Ian Coke produced a clinical display of finishing to propel Boulevard Blazers to their first league win of the season at Goose Gosling Field on Wednesday night.
The 33-year-old striker notched a hat-trick as Blazers came from behind twice before securing the points.
Coke completed his treble inside the first 36 minutes with his first strike cancelling out Donovan Thompson’s fourth-minute goal and his second clawing back the deficit brought about by Kahmori Brangman’s 21st minute thunderbolt.
Coke completed his hat-trick towards the end of the first half but X-Roads drew level at the start of the second half from the penalty spot.
The game hung in the balance at 3-3 until midfielder Jahzardae Samuels popped up at the back post to head home the winner in the 71st minute from Takeyhi Walker’s corner.
“This is definitely a confidence-building win for us,” Jomar Wilkinson, the Boulevard coach, said.
“We have been improving each game so I am glad we got our first three points today.
“It took a lot of hard work, a lot of team work. We wanted to be sound defensively and were not as we needed to be but we were able to get the job done.
“When they are ready this team has character. They have that fight and guts and a never -say-die attitude. That is something I don’t have to instil in them, that is something they have. They are blessed with it so I just ask them to use it.”
As for Coke’s treble, Wilkinson added: “He has been putting the work in since pre-season so it was only a matter of time before he got on the scoresheet.
“Form comes and goes but class is forever. He’s a finisher so it’s only a matter of time before he starts to find the net so we are very pleased with his performance tonight.”
Boulevard were forced to chase the game before either team settled into a groove when Thompson rose at the back post to head home Kahmori Brangman’s corner.
The home side came close to equalising when defender Anthony Williams-Smith’s header from a Kamali Davis corner was blocked in front of goal. Clay Darrell pounced on the loose ball but dragged his effort wide of the post.
However, Boulevard would not be denied during a good spell of possession after Coke finished off a flowing move. Samuels fed a pass to Teh-Kei Taylor who slipped the ball behind the defence for Coke to run onto and slot into the far bottom corner.
Boulevard had the ball in the net again but this time Darrell’s header from Walker’s free- kick was disallowed for an infringement on the play.
X-Roads regained the lead against the run of play when Kahmori Brangman controlled a pass out wide and drilled the ball into the far top right corner from 25-yards out.
Coke brought the teams level when he took possession of Taylor’s pass on the edge of the box and slotted the ball into the bottom corner and then put his team ahead for the first time after latching o nto another pass from Taylor and steering the ball past X-Roads goalkeeper Q’Shai Darrell.
Boulevard came close to grabbing a fourth but Darrell was equal to the task this time as he tipped over Clay Darrell’s rasping volley.
Defender Anthony Williams-Smith fouled Jaman Lottimore in the area who then made no mistake from 12 yards to eualise for X-Roads.
Boulevard had two confident appeals for a penalty denied and went close again when Williams-’Smith’s header from a Davis corner struck the bar.
The game took one final twist when the unmarked Samuels headed home the winner to finally settle a see-saw battle.
Coke 10, 26, 36; Samuels 71
Thompson 4, Brangman 21, Lottimore 49 pen
Boulevard (4-4-2): A Harvey 6 – A Johnston 6, A Williams-Smith 6, A Famous 6, T Jefferies 6 (sub: J Williams, 82mins)- J Samuels 6, T Walker 7, T Taylor 7 (sub: R Murphy, 82), K Davis 7 – C Darrell 5 (sub: D Hendrickson, 46 6), I Coke 7. Booked: Famous, Jefferies.
X-Roads (4-3-3): Q Darrell 6 – J Dill 5 (sub: S Dill, 46 5), D Telemen 5, D Woolridge 5, N Smith 5 (sub: D Simons, 46) – A Daniels 5, T Daniels 5, J Dill, C Brangman 4 (sub: A Wilson, 82) – K Brangman (sub: J Morgan, 82), J Lottimore, D Thompson. Substitutes not used: J Small
Referee: K Williams (Trinidad).