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PHC move to top of Premier Division by beating title rivals Devonshire Cougars

Marco Warren returned from injury to lead PHC to victory over

PHC Zebras 4 Devonshire Cougars 2

PHC Zebras have assumed control of the Premier Division after defeating fellow title-chasers Devonshire Cougars at PHC Stadium on Sunday.

After a couple of late goals gave PHC the win, head coach Winston Trott was delighted with his team’s character in a thrilling affair.

“We got caught napping twice,” Trott said. “Cougars are a good team, but we dug in and showed character.”

Cougars went ahead inside five minutes with a spell of strong early pressure reaping rewards when Lejaun Simmons whipped in a free kick for Chris Caisey to loop his header over goalkeeper Coleridge Fubler into the far corner.

They could have doubled their advantage just moments later when Demetre Daniels fed Elisha Darrell, who dragged his effort wide. Zebras slowly grew into the first half and equalised when De-Aun Lodge found Arnezha Astwood, who crossed for Paul Simons to glance past the onrushing Ricardo Brangman.

The final minutes of the first half became a midfield battle, with neither side creating anything of note. Cougars regained the lead early in the second half from a lovely flowing move, with Chekai Caisey picking out Lejaun Simmons, who, in turn slipped Darrell into space. The winger then unselfishly squared for Domico Coddington to tap side-foot into the open net.

Moments after going ahead for the second time, Cougars should have doubled their advantage. A poor clearance from PHC was pounced upon by Daniels, who fed Coddington, but the former Bermuda international struck tamely straight at Fubler.

Last season’s league runners-up found their second equaliser just before the hour from a set-piece, with Astwood climbing highest to head home Marco Warren’s floated corner. Thereafter, Zebras took control of possession and territory, although the visitors were strong defensively and dangerous on the counter-attack.

Midway through the second half, Zebras took their first lead in very fortuitous circumstances. A routine clearance was made by De-Aun Lodge and Simons controlled it and struck a soft pea-roller off defender Zari Simmons and past Brangman in goal.

Cougars tried vigorously to get the equaliser after falling behind for the first time in the game and their best opening was created when Kurtis Minors took the ball in midfield and lifted a pass through for Darrell, but this time the forward hesitated and Fubler smothered his effort.

Zebras secured the points in the final moments. Warren found Jenico Sealey in space on the edge of the box and the winger tried to chip Brangman, who was off his line, but the keeper could only fingertip it into the path of substitute Keishen Bean, who side-footed the rebound into the empty net to give the hosts a two-goal cushion.


PHC Zebras: Simons 24, 67; Astwood 57; Bean 88

Devonshire Cougars: Chris Caisey 5; Coddington 47


PHC Zebras (4-2-3-1): C Fubler 5 – D Usher 6, N Griffith 6, D Smith-Lightbourne 6, D Lodge 5 – D Dowling 6, M Warren 6 – K Abraham 7, A Astwood 7 (sub: K Bean, 72min), T Showers 6 (sub: J Sealey, 72) – P Simons 7. Substitutes not used: S Trott, J Hassell, K Matthie, M Lambe, E Shakir. Booked: Lodge, Bean

Devonshire Cougars (4-1-4-1): R Brangman 4 – J Thomas 5, Z Simmons 6, N Furbert 5 (sub: Z White, 46 5), Che’Kai Caisey 6 – D Daniels 6 - L Simmons 5, J Brimmer 5 (sub: K Minors, 61 5), Chris Caisey 6, E Darrell 5 (sub: N Simmons, 90) – D Coddington 6. Substitutes not used: J Furbert-Wade, J Fox, J Wade, J Eve. Booked: Minors, Darrell

Referee: M Wyer

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Published January 16, 2023 at 7:27 am (Updated January 16, 2023 at 10:48 am)

PHC move to top of Premier Division by beating title rivals Devonshire Cougars

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