Tuff Dogs and Footy Kings spring FA Cup shocks
Tuff Dogs and Footy Kings pulled off upsets in different fashions in the preliminary round of the FA Cup at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night.
In the evening’s opening match, Dogs recovered from a setback to smash Somerset Eagles. The West End side would strike first midway through the first half from a lovely exchange between forward trio Dane Simmons, Zahdai Simons and Lamaul Crofton, before the latter had his strike blocked. The loose ball fell nicely into the path of Simmons, who looped his effort over goalkeeper Marcel Dill.
Tuff Dogs took control thereafter and were ahead before before half-time. Shawn Brown side-footed a lovely effort into the near post past Eagles keeper Kamran Harvey before a a swift counter-attack two minutes before half-time led to Jahmair Trott curling a shot around Harvey into the near post.
Eagles were unable to work around a strategic press from the Corona League sideand Tuff Dogs extended their lead when Malachi Jones struck a beautiful effort just inside the far post. Jones would score his second from a goalmouth scramble with about 15 minutes remaining and completed his hat-trick just before the end by holding off Jahvon Mallory and curling into the far post.
Tuff Dogs head coach Lorenzo Simmons praised his team’s attention to the game plan. “We stuck to the strategy,” he said. “We came out to dominate this match against a weaker Eagles side.
“This result is important in many ways. It doesn’t just help us, but also the League as a whole.”
In the nightcap, Footy Kings withstood long periods of pressure to hold off Young Men’s Social Club in a nail-biting encounter.
Footy Kings opened the scoring with an incisive move, which culminated when Ralph Bean Jr, known as “Gumbo”, fed Keishan Bean to fire into the near post past Kwensi Cann. Moments later, Marcelos Thomas played a beautifully weighted pass behind the Social Club defence and Keishan Bean finished into the far post.
Social Club missed plenty of first-half opportunities but were still level by the break. David Jones Jr collected the ball from just inside the attacking half and played a beautiful pass out to Giniko Butterfield, with the forward in turn picking out Williams to tap in. They equalised just before the break when Nigel Williams stole the ball from former Boulevard captain Dunn-Ya Taylor and found Jones Jr, who held off Thomas Brown and side-footed into the far post.
The tempo slowed in the early stages of the second half, with both sides still regrouping after a frantic finish to the opening period but the match again came to life just after the hour.
Footy Kings regained the lead when a corner was whipped in by Taylor and goalkeeper Cann was unable to catch it cleanly, instead punching it out, but referee Dwight Jackson had judged that defender Callon Woolridge had pulled down Ralph Bean, and controversially pointed to the spot.
Keishan Bean kept his composure and sent Cann the wrong way to complete his hat-trick.
Social Club heaped on the pressure in the final half-hour, but to no avail, despite getting into dangerous areas on several occasions.
Footy Kings head coach Vinzie Zuill was pleased with her side’s mentality. “We always knew it would be a battle,” Zuill stated. “Our players showed their previous experience in the BFA Divisions.”
Zuill recognised the team stuck to their instructions after giving up the two-goal advantage. “We went in at half-time level,” she asserted. “However, we stuck to the plan, and used our experience.”
Tuff Dogs 5
Brown 41; Trott 44; Jones 65, 76, 90
Somerset Eagles 1
Tuff Dogs (4-5-1): M Dill 6 – C Bean 6, A Martin 6 (sub: C Anderson, 61min 5), M Gerardo 6, G Adams 6 – K Chiappa 6 (sub: N Araujo, 69 5), J Rogers 6, S Brown 7, C Tully 7 (sub: T Flood, 69 5), J Trott 7 – M Jones 8. Substitutes not used: D Rogers, D Brangman, J Gibbons,
Somerset Eagles (4-2-3-1): K Harvey 5 – J Rumley 5, M Brangman 4, J Mallory 4, M Iris-Simmons 4 (sub: R Symonds, 69 5) – C Medeiros 4, E Fubler 5 (sub: C Roberts, 80)– M Robinson 4, D Simmons 5, Z Simons 5 (sub: K Burgess, 63 5) – L Crofton 5. Substitutes not used: S James
Referee: A Augustus
Footy Kings 3
K Bean 10, 17, 61 pen
Social Club 2
Williams 26, Jones 45
Footy Kings (4-2-3-1): A Browne 5 – J Ball 6, D Butterfield 5 (sub: M Johnson 73), T Brown 5, D Taylor 5 – M Thomas 7 (sub: J Peniston, 57 5), C Hayward 6 – K Jennings 5 (sub: K Dill, 73), R Bean Jr 6, O Ray 6 – K Bean 7 (sub: V Minors, 89). Substitutes not used: K Franks, A Williams – Booked: Jennings
Social Club (4-1-4-1): K Cann 6 – J Richardson 6, C Woolridge 4, B Swan 5 (sub: J Johnston, 62 5), K Singh 7 (sub: Keshun Butterfield, 82) – Kelvon Butterfield 5 – N Edwards 6 (sub: J Mallory, 73), N Williams 7 (sub: G Sampson 62 5), D Jones Jr 7, M Simmons 6 (sub: S Jennings, 73) – S Butterfield 6. Substitutes not used: K Smith, Z Hendrickson.
Referee: D Jackson