St George’s lose ground in title race after draw with Hamilton Parish
Hamilton Parish 1 St George’s Colts 1
St George’s Colts surrendered precious ground in the Premier Division title race after being held to a draw by tenants Hamilton Parish at Wellington Oval on Sunday.
Midfielder Blaiz Hall broke the deadlock with a well-taken strike right on the hour mark to put St George’s in front but their lead was short-lived as Hall’s counterpart Shayne Hollis equalised for Parish a minute later with a brilliant solo effort.
St George’s had more clear-cut chances to come away with all three points but were denied either through poor finishing or excellent goalkeeping by Parish’s Nigel Burgess.
“I thought in the first half we should have had a couple,” Jarreau Hayward, the St George’s coach, said.
“Nigel looks like he is timeless and a great re-signing for Parish. He made a couple of point-blank saves and in a different game, if those go in, I think we have a comfortable victory.
“We were a little bit rusty after the long lay-off and just shaking off the rust I think was a little bit of a disadvantage, but at the same time both teams were dealing with that so we just have to handle games a little better in the future.
“But it’s a point and you never know what that point is going to mean at the end of the season. It’s a long season and at the end maybe that looks like a point gained, so we just have to refocus, reshuffle and get ready for Dandy Town on Thursday.”
Hayward’s opposite number Sergio Goater also felt his team had their own chances to come away victorious.
“We definitely had chances to win the game and just needed a little bit more composure in front of goal,” he said.
“All in all I felt it was a good game. We put in a shift and showed pure fight and desire. We applied ourselves well and for me that’s a good point considering their league position and our league position.”
St George’s took the match to their opponents from the opening whistle and enjoyed a good spell of possession but were unable to test the evergreen Burgess between the posts.
After absorbing considerable pressure, Parish nearly took the lead against the run of play with striker Macquille Walker blasting over and centre-back Mauriq Hill drilling into the side netting from inside of the box.
St George’s enjoyed another good spell of possession before the break and went close twice to opening their account. Striker Samori Greenidge-Saltus brought off a diving save from Burgess from point-blank range in the area. The experienced goalkeeper then positioned himself well to gather Hall’s effort also from inside the box.
The east end derby reached fever pitch in the second half as both sides continued to battle for superiority.
St George’s finally broke through when Hall controlled Tyrell Burgess’s free-kick before lashing past Burgess at the near post, but before their celebrations had muted Parish were back on even terms thanks to a superb piece of skill by Hollis. The diminutive midfielder took possession of Walker’s pass out wide and dribbled between left-back Nazari Paynter and centre-back Cameron Neal before rifling a shot into the top far corner of the net.
The game opened up thereafter with Hall firing wide after linking up with Burgess and substitute Jonte Smith, while Parish substitute Samuel McKittrick brought off a fine save from St George’s goalkeeper Jahquil Hill.
St George’s threatened again late with their confident appeal for a penalty waved off after Smith went to ground in the area and midfielder Malachi Trott blazing a free kick from just outside of the box over the bar.
Hamilton Parish (4-4-2): N Burgess 8 – J Bean 7 (sub: J Costa, 80min), M Hill 8, M Turner 7, K Knights 7 – Z Burgess 7, A Nelson 7, D Richardson 7 (sub: S McKittrick, 75 7), S Hollis 8 (sub: K Richardson, 87)- J Outerbridge 7, M Walker 7. Substitutes not used: P Tohill, C Lindo. Booked: Z Burgess, Hollis, Turner, Walker.
St George's (4-1-4-1): J Hill 7 – N Paynter 7, D Signor 7, T Burgess 8, W Broadley 6 (sub: J Smith, 46 7) – C Neal 8 (sub: E Signor, 90+5) – K Hall 7, M Paynter 7 (sub: A Douglas, 85), M Trott 7, B Hall 8 – S Greenidge-Saltus 7. Substitutes not used: J Brangman, J Dickinson, G Wade. Booked: Neal, M Paynter, Trott.
Referee: M Wyer.