Dandy Town Hornets edge epic seven-goal thriller against Somerset Trojans
Somerset Trojans 3 Dandy Town Hornets 4
Nizigh Spence smashed in a free kick from just outside the penalty area in the second minute of stoppage time to secure Dandy Town an important away victory over Somerset Trojans in a seven-goal epic at Somerset Cricket Club on Saturday night.
Dandy Town, who were playing under the leadership of Aaron Denkins after Jay Bean left the club in midweek, started the strongest on a wet West End pitch, keeping the ball confidently and beating the Trojans press. They should have opened the scoring inside ten minutes but Cecoy Robinson’s effort was comfortably turned around his near post by Azar Morrissey.
Hornets would take the lead after 15 minutes as they patiently kept the ball in the attacking third before Chermal Henry laid off for Angelo Simmons to place a beautiful effort over the stranded Morrissey and into the far post.
The defending Premier Division champions quickly doubled their lead after a bizarre lack of understanding between the hosts’ defence. A corner by Azendae Furbert was poorly cleared and recycled. Edry Moore drove a low ball back into the penalty area and Coolidge Durham got his body shape horribly wrong on the attempted clearance, slicing into his own net.
Trojans slowly grew in confidence in the second portion of the first half and began to find spaces in transition on the counter attack. Their first clear opening came when Makai Joell found Justin Corday in the final third and the attacking midfielder forced a strong save out of Seion Darrell. The Dudley Eve champions, though, would pull one back ten minutes before the break with Khairi Joyiens clipping forward to a wide-open Corday, whose driven cross picked out skipper Jeze Butterfield to tap in at the back post.
The lack of stability out of possession from Dandy Town continued to show and Trojans equalised just before the break. Jahiem Iris started the move this time, also finding Corday in space. He drove another cross into a dangerous area and Butterfield squared unselfishly for D’Andre Wainwright to score on his second attempt.
Trojans came out of the break with renewed energy and should have taken their first lead of the night within moments of the restart. This time Corday found Joyiens in the box, but his first touch was poor and allowed the visitors to clear. Somerset would make it count a few minutes later when Joell clipped a ball forward for Wainwright inside the area and the striker was bundled over by Terrance Webb. Referee Martin Wyer pointed to the spot and Jaz Ratteray-Smith slotted in the resulting penalty.
Hornets responded in emphatic fashion with Spence finding Henry, who flicked past Durham and fired a beautiful strike into the top corner past Morrissey. The Somerset goalkeeper was quite busy in the final half-hour. He made a beautiful reflex save from Jomei Bean-Lindo before Cecoy Robinson fired the rebound wide.
The visitors piled on the pressure in search of that winning goal but Morrissey kept Trojans alive in the final 15 minutes of normal time, saving from Furbert and Simmons in the space of two minutes amid a prolonged spell of Hornets pressure.
Town, who also won the FA Cup last season, had one final clear-cut opportunity to find the decisive goal. They were afforded a dangerous opportunity after substitute Sekai Tatem was fouled by Jomari Gooden. Spence drove the resulting free kick through a crowd of defenders off the inside of the far post to sink Somerset hearts in the second minute of stoppage time.
Town head coach Denkins, in his second spell in charge, was pleased with their team spirit.
“We talked about belief prior to the match,” he asserted. “Credit to the team for sticking it through. We were impatient in attack and as a result they were dangerous in transition.”
Somerset Trojans 3
Butterfield 32, Wainwright 38, Jaz Ratteray-Smith 55 pen
Dandy Town Hornets 4
Simmons 15, Durham 24 OG, Henry 58, Spence 90+2
Somerset Trojans (4-2-3-1): A Morrissey 8 – M Nisbett-Tankard 6, C Durham 5, Jaz Ratteray-Smith 5, Jaiden Ratteray-Smith 6 – M Joell 6, K Joyiens 6 (sub: J Gooden. 74min) – J Butterfield 7, J Corday 6, J Iris 6 – D Wainwright 7. Substitutes not used: K McNeil, K Bean, Z Saltus-Seymour, D Swan, M Henschke, J Brangman. Booked: Gooden
Dandy Town Hornets (4-1-4-1): S Darrell 6 – J Bean-Lindo 6, T Webb 6, M Parsons 5, D Scraders 6 (sub: Z Hart, 75) – N Spence 7 – C Henry 7, A Furbert 6, E Moore 6, C Robinson 7 (sub: S Tatem, 83) – A Simmons 7. Substitutes not used: J Talbot, D Gilbert, T Smith, A Estravit. Booked: Hart
Referee: M Wyer