Justin Corday nets Somerset Trojans winner after incredible ending with Boulevard
Somerset Trojans 3 Boulevard Blazers 2
Justin Corday netted a stoppage-time winner to propel Somerset Trojans to a dramatic victory over Boulevard Blazers at Somerset Cricket Club on Saturday.
The home side dominated the early exchanges, taking charge of anything over the top as the defence pressed up toward the halfway line and they created quite a few chances in the first quarter of the game, notably when captain Jeze Butterfield picked out Jomari Gooden before Blazers goalkeeper Azir Harvey made a strong save to keep out the Trojans midfielder.
Blazers remained dangerous on the counter-attack and could have taken the lead against the run of play when Clay Darrell was fed by Jahzardae Samuels in the right channel, but Jade Morrissey was equal to the striker’s effort.
Blazers were comfortably in the game when they finally opened the scoring from a defensive mistake. Daeshun Hendrickson switched the play for Jerome Bailey, who drove inside a couple of midfielders and struck a powerful shot through a crowd, forcing Morrissey into yet another save. Somerset’s defence then failed to clear and Ernest Trott curled a beautiful strike into the near post with the outside of his boot.
Trojans, the surprise Dudley Eve Trophy champions, responded before half-time, when Jahiem Iris found Wainwright, who had dropped deep to link up the play, and he struck a speculative effort which skimmed along the pitch and underneath the diving arms of Harvey.
The second half began with a slightly slower tempo, but both teams remained on the front foot in attempt to gain the advantage. Blazers looked more likely to retake the lead but often failed to make the most of their forays into the final third and they were punished just after the hour. Gooden threaded a lovely through ball into substitute Simeon Burrows, who showed composureto take the ball around Harvey before curling into the empty net.
Trojans should have doubled their advantage just after they went ahead when Maquel Nisbett-Tankard found Khairi Joyiens, but the midfielder dragged his effort wide. Blazers continued to probe for the equaliser, but Antoine Famous fired his strike over the bar from just outside the box and forward Takeyhi Walker could not finish after he was found by Samuels just inside the penalty area.
The entertaining contest came to an enthralling climax in the final moments of stoppage time. Blazers finally got their equaliser after a free-kick by Famous was scrambled in by Samuels in front of Coolidge Durham, with players from both sides getting involved in a mild scuffle in the centre circle before the restart.
But straight from kickoff and in the seventh minute of added time, Trojans stole the victory. Makai Joell found Butterfield and the skipper switched the play for Burrows, who then cut back for a wide-open Corday just inside the penalty area. His initial effort was well saved by Harvey, and the second strike was blocked, but he showed composure on the third attempt to shift his feet and fire into the roof of the net.
Trojans head coach Scott Morton gave credit to Blazers for their approach. “Boulevard brought it to us,” he said. “I love how they took the game to us, their aggression, and these games help you to grow as a coach.
"The players responded to everything the opponent gave us. We showed equal belief and fought until the end.”
Morton praised the performance of midfielder Jomari Gooden.
“It was an unbelievable performance,” he added. “It was his first start and he was definitely man of the match, hands down.”
Wainwright 41, Burrows 63, Corday 90+7
Trott 35, J Samuels 90+6
Somerset Trojans (4-2-3-1): J Morrissey 7 – J Ratteray-Smith 6, C Durham 5, D Ming 6, M Nisbett-Tankard 6 – J Gooden 7, K Joyiens 6 (sub: D Swan, 75min) – J Butterfield 6, J Iris 6 (sub: M Joell, 90+3), Z Saltus-Seymour 5 (sub: J Corday, 46 6) – D Wainwright 5 (sub: S Burrows, 56 7) Substitutes not used: J Shields, M Henschke
Boulevard Blazers (4-2-3-1): A Harvey 5 – T Taylor 6 (sub: O Wilson 69 5), J Bailey 6, J Williams 5, K Davis 6 – D Hendrickson 5 (sub: A Matthews, 87), E Trott 6 – T Walker 6, J Samuels 6, A Famous 5 – C Darrell 5 (sub: N Augustus, 79). Substitutes not used: R Murphy, G Libard, A Williams-Smith; Booked: Trott, Famous
Referee: A Francis