Kenny Thompson calls for officials to be held accountable after North Village lose
North Village 2 Devonshire Cougars 3
North Village head coach Kenny Thompson has called for officials to be more accountable after his side were eliminated from the Dudley Eve Trophy in a controversial semi-final defeat to Devonshire Cougars last night.
With Village trailing and frustrations high, referee Amaury Majors brought an abrupt end to proceedings after playing a little more than two minutes of additional time despite a host of stoppages for injuries in the closing stages.
That sparked a furious reaction from Village players and staff, who surrounded the referee, with captain Tahmi Williams being shown a red card for his overzealous remonstration.
While Thompson by no means condoned the actions of his players or blamed his side’s defeat on the performance of the referee, he is adamant officials must be held to the same level of accountability as anyone else involved within the game, with the lack of communication regarding additional time a particular frustration.
“We have to be more calm in those sort of situations [at the end] and that’s why I tried to say to my players to come away and let me deal with it,” he said.
“However, when we have the chairman of the referees [Crenstant Williams] justifying errors with ‘that’s why we don’t have referees’ no, we have to bigger than that and be able to have those sort of discussions and for the officials to listen.
“In this case the referee’s chairman is yelling as much as the players, so I’m asking how is he saying to the players that they are wrong when he is yelling as loud as the players, that’s not right.
“If I make mistakes as a coach I can’t just walk away from the game. The players don’t walk away because they lost and might get criticised by the fans, there has to be accountability from all of us.”
He continued: “We say we want to operate to international standards but we are in a situation where we never know how much time is added on at the end of a game.
“It came as a surprise when the game finished, where despite three stoppages we got two minutes and 15 seconds of time added on. If it’s an error, OK, everyone makes mistakes, but don’t keep hiding behind excuses when there’s valid criticism of an error. It’s not good enough, there must be accountability.
“As coaches we have a certain perspective of the game and when the coaches are voicing an opinion then listen. It’s not a one-way street, all I’m saying is if it’s plus two minutes and 15 seconds then tell us that. I might not agree with it but at least I know.
“Let’s be clear this is not the reason why we lost this match but in these situations everybody has to be prepared to do better; I’m a coach of 30 years and I’m still learning something new every day.
“We lost the match because we didn’t do enough and were not good enough, the referee was not the reason. However, we can’t keep hiding away from these discussions, we need to able to solve it, we all need to be prepared to listen.”
Against the run of play, Cougars broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when Zari Simmons seized upon a loose ball inside the area to rifle in.
Village deservedly got back on level terms five minutes later when Justin Bell fired home from the edge of the area with an effort that Keitaro Darrell let slip under his reach.
Back came Cougars who regained the lead through Elisha Darrell, bundling the ball in from close range after good work from Coddington in the 23rd minute.
At the other end, Tarreko Wilson and Tre Ming both spurned chances to level before Darrell added his second and Cougars’ third right on the stroke of half time, rising highest to meet Lejuan Simmons cross to power a header past Detre Bell.
The deficit was reduced just eight minutes after the restart when Jaizel Smith-Deshields caught Cougars’ goalkeeper Darrell out with an early-taken driven shot into the bottom- left corner, to give his side hope of a comeback.
However, despite late pressure, Cougars held firm to book their place in the final and keep their Dudley Eve Trophy title defence on track.
North Village: J Bell 12, J Smith-Deshields 53
Devonshire Cougars: Z Simmons 7, E Darrell 23, 44
North Village (4-1-4-1): D Bell 6 - T Williams 7, K Knights 6, T Fray 6, J Harvey 7 - T Wilson 6 - T Ming 7, J Bell 7, N Smith 6, V Perinchief 6 (sub: I Simmons 75) - J Smith-Deshields 7. Substitutes not used: S Lambert, O DeShields, T Bean, P Smith, K Harrison. Booked: T Williams, J Bell, J Harvey, K Knights, D Bell, Nacori Smith. Sent off: T Williams
Devonshire Cougars (4-1-4-1): K Darrell 6 - Z White 6, J Thomas 7, Chris Caisey 7, L Simmons 7 - K Minors 6 - Zari Simmons 7, Che’Kai Caisey 7, Demetre Daniels 6 (sub; J Brimmer 71mins), Elisha Darrell 7 - D Coddignton 7. Substitutes not used: J Furbert-Wade, C Albouy, Zion Simmons, N Simmons. Booked: L Simmons, D Coddington, Chris Caisey, K Minors.
Referee: A Majors