Zebras take chunks out of Wolves with massive FA Cup win
Wolves 1 PHC Zebras 8
Paul Simons notched his second hat-trick of the season to guide PHC Zebras to an emphatic win over First Division side Wolves in a lopsided FA Cup first round match at Wellington Oval on Sunday.
The 29-year-old striker converted in the tenth, 45th and 68th minutes to help keep Zebras on course for the coveted triple crown after already capturing the Friendship Trophy and being thick in the hunt for the Premier Division title.
“It feels good to get on the board today,” said Simons, who also had an assist. “The objective was to get the win, but of course it was also nice to get three goals again.
“We believe we can beat anyone but we knew they were going to bring it today. They were a bit stubborn in the first half and were able to put a goal on us which won’t sit right with us for a couple of days.
“It was a fair game. We did not hit our complete stride but it was s much better second half for sure.”
Jalun Hassell (2), Na’eem Griffifth and substitutes Jenico Sealey and Shakhai Trott accounted for Zebras’ other goals while Antinori Butterfield scored Wolves’ consolation.
“It was good to see everyone get involved,” Simons said of his fellow goalscorers. “It just shows the depth of the team and everyone staying ready, showing up to to training and doing their part.”
Zebras moved the ball around brilliantly to create openings and capitalised when Simons latched on to Marco Warren’s through pass and squared the ball into the path of the onrushing Hassell, who beat goalkeeper Gatwoine Minors from close range.
The away side were celebrating again six minutes later when Simons curled a shot with the outside of his boot into the far-bottom corner from inside the box after another good build-up involving Warren and Hassell.
Butterfield pulled one back for Wolves against the run of play after turning sharply in the box and firing past PHC goalkeeper Shaquille Trott, but Simons restored Zebras’ two-goal advantage after getting the faintest of touches to Jaylon Bather’s headed cross to leave his team firmly in control at the interval.
Butterfield squandered a glorious opportunity to pull another goal back for Wolves after racing clear at the start of the second half but it was Zebras who then took over to put the game far beyond the reach of their opponents in a matter of minutes.
Hassell grabbed his second of the match to make it 4-1 in the 51st minute after being picked out by Showers’ pass in the area before Simons completed his treble when he fired past Minors from inside the box after exchanging passes with captain Warren.
Warren was also involved in his team’s sixth goal when he dummied a free kick at the near post, which central defender Griffifth rifled into the roof of the net. before substitutes Trott and Sealey came off the bench to rub more salt into Wolves’ wound.
Wolves: Butterfield, 14
PHC Zebras: Simons, 10, 45, 68; Hassell, 4, 51; Griffifth, 79; Sealey (sub), 87; Shakhai Trott (sub), 89.
Wolves: (4-4-2): G Minors 6 – O Smith 6, Q Simmons 6, K Smith 6, M Mello-Cann 6 (sub: E Sharrieff-Holdipp, 80min) - T Davis 6, S Richardson 6 (sub: M Iris, 68 6), T Tucker 6, M Ming 6 – S Wild 5 (sub: S Valasse-Paul, 46 6), A Butterfield (sub: R Ford, 60). Substitutes not used: K Brangman, D Stirling. Booked: Ming, Mello-Cann.
PHC Zebras (4-1-4-1): S Trott 7 – D Smith-Lightbourne 7, J Bather 7, N Griffith 8, D Usher 7 (sub: S Trott, 66 7) – D Lodge 7- K Abraham 7, J Hassell 8 (sub: J Sealey, 60 7), M Warren 8 (sub: A McDowall, 80), T Showers 7 (sub: E Shakir, 66 7) – P Simons 8 (sub: K Matthie, 76). Substitutes not used: C Fubler, D Dowling.
Referee: M Wyer.