Paget Lions edge BAA in tight FA Cup match
BAA 1 Paget 2
Paget advanced to the next round of the FA Cup following a tightly-contested match against a youthful BAA outfit at Goose Gosling Field on Sunday.
Second-half substitute Jelani Simmons emerged as the hero for the Lions, with his 86th minute howitzer proving the difference on a day when neither team surrendered a quarter without a fight.
“We always knew it was going to be a difficult match, going up against an Andrew [Bascome] and Mark [Smith]-coached team,” said Paget’s player/coach Antwan Russell.
“They know how I play and coach and what to expect, because they’ve played against me for years and I kind of know what to expect from them. They gave us a real fight today but as far as the FA Cup goes, it’s about getting a result regardless of what it looks like.”
From the outset, BAA ran at Paget in an attempt to exert their dominance and they should have gone ahead in the 14th minute when striker Sean Grob latched on to a long ball up the middle from Jacob Adderley but he spurned a one-on-one chance against goalkeeper Jahmari Beech.
Beech was again called into play moments later, this time having to push a thunderous free-kick from Jaidyn Robinson against his right upright.
BAA would come to rue their inability to convert possession into goals as Paget gradually worked their way into the match.
Against the run of play the away side took the lead when Kushae Hypolite’s threaded pass found Koshun Durrant on the right wing and he cut inside the penalty area before rifling a firm, low drive past Andrew Lee into the left corner.
Spurred by that success, Paget started to dictate with Patraic Castle, Wahhaj Shakirte and Zaire Weller taking hold of the midfield as the game approached half time.
BAA came out with renewed hunger and almost made Paget pay for a defensive lapse in the 49th minute, when Weller was dispossessed by Miguel Falcao but his shot was saved by Beech at the second attempt.
The home side received just reward for their unyielding efforts in the 64th minute when Robinson gained possession 20 yards from goal and found an open avenue to the right of Beech, drawing the home team level.
As extra time appeared likely, it was left for Simmons to settle matters in Paget’s favour with a magical run from the middle of the park before unleashing a shot that could not have been more finely placed off the right upright.
Coach Russell had praise for his “super-sub”, noting how the youngster was key to the rebuilding of the club, which has had a roller-coaster existence.
“Jelani is one of the players I’ve really focused on for the future of Paget,” said Russell. “We don’t want to be a team that goes up and comes down, so we need some young guys of quality, he’s one of them and he demonstrated some of the talent he has today.”
Despite the loss BAA coach Bascome remained encouraged by the showing of his squad.
“We have a young team with ten players on the field aged either 16 or 17, which is encouraging,” said Bascome. “We just have to be patient with them and the results will come in time.
“We ask them to take a bit more responsibility on defence but I’m generally pleased with our performance and the environment that we’ve created will bring greater success as we move forward.”
BAA: Jaidyn Robinson 64.
Paget: Durrant 26, Simmons 64.
BAA (3-4-3): A Lee 6 -- J Schroeder 6, C Packwood 6, J Duncan 6 -- J Adderley 6, A Morris 6, R Robinson 7, J Robinson 7 -- M Falcao 7 (sub: K Trott, 85 min), S Grob 7 (sub: C Summers, 67 7), T Burgess 6. Substitutes not used: S Davis, C White, M Amaral, A Dennis.
Paget: J Beech 6 (sub: C Smith, 67 6) -- R DeShields 6, A Warren 6, K Simons 6 -- P Castle 6 (sub: A Russell, 67 6), W Shakir (sub: J Simmons, 55 7), Z Weller 6, K Durrant 6 -- D Tacklyn 6, D Curtis 6, K Hypolite 6. Substitute not used: S Smith. Booked: P Castle.
Referee: T Simons.