Boulevard show spirit but ruthless St George’s just too good
St George’s Colts 5 Boulevard Blazers 1
St George’s Colts are up to second in the Premier Division after showing a ruthless streak in their win over struggling Boulevard Blazers at Wellington Oval on Sunday.
Blazers, who were being coached by Troy Smith after the sacking of Jomar Wilkinson in midweek, were under pressure early with St George's dominated early possession and their best chance fell to Tyrell Burgess, who directed his header just wide of the far post.
Moments later and against the run of play, Blazers took the lead when Takeyhi Walker found Clay Darrell. He slipped in Sergio Woolridge, whose effort was too powerful for Jahquil Hill to keep out at the near post.
That shock lead allowed Blazers to gain a foothold in the game but St George’s remained dangerous on the counter attack, with their best chance of the first half falling to Jahron Dickinson, who smashed his strike over the bar from just inside the penalty area.
Blazer’s Kamali Davis then found Darrell in space between the left channel but after cutting inside, the striker dragged his effort wide of the near post.
St George's began the second half with increased intensity and started to dictate the tempo of the game. They held a few periods of sustained attacking pressure, but struggled to find the finishing touch or final moment of quality their strong build-up deserved.
But their dominance paid off on the hour mark with Kashe Hall feeding Malachi Trott, who turned and struck a soft shot that trickled along the ground through goalkeeper Azir Harvey, who timed his dive poorly.
St George’s took the lead just three minutes later with Trott turning provider, whipping in a free kick that was bundled into his own net by Akim Johnston under pressure from Dickinson.
Blazers nearly drew level with the returning Ian Coke, who had made himself unavailable to play under the old regime, feeding Darrell to finish low past Hill only for the goal to be ruled out for offside but their chances of an equaliser all but vanished when Anthony Williams-Smith was sent off for a second bookable offence with half an hour remaining.
The home side took advantage, with Blaiz Hall feeding Jonté Smith, who fired past Harvey at the second attempt and St George's closed out the victory with ruthless finishing from Blaiz Hall and Allan Douglas to make it five just before the end.
Colts head coach Jarreau Hayward recognised his side had to battle for the result. “Boulevard are a good team,” he said. “We had to get in the mud with them at times, but we came away with the three points.”
Boulevard coach Smith was encouraged with his side’s perfomance and feels there is now optimism in their quest to avoid relegation.
“We played too well to lose this game,” Smith said. “Simple mistakes allowed them back into the match. There are seven games left and We don’t have too far to catch up on our rivals.”
St George’s Colts: Trott 60, Johnston 63 OG, J Smith 73, B Hall 82, Douglas Jr 89
Boulevard: Woolridge 13
St George’s Colts (4-2-3-1): J Hill 5 – N Paynter 6, D Signor 5, T Burgess 6, M Paynter 6 – C Neal 5, K Hall 7 – B Hall 6, M Trott 6 (sub: A Douglas Jr, 74min), J Dickinson 6 – J Smith 6 (sub: J Brangman, 85). Substitutes not used: C Burns, E Signor, W Broadley, G Wade, S Blair-Paynter; Booked: Hall
Boulevard Blazers (4-1-4-1): A Harvey 4 – Z Stovell 5 (sub: O Wilson, 80), A Johnston 4, J Bailey 5, A Williams-Smith 5 – A Famous 6, T Walker 6 – K Davis 5, I Coke 6 (sub: R Murphy, 85), S Woolridge 6 (sub: K Easton, 82) – C Darrell 5 (sub: J Samuels 74) Substitutes not used: D Hendrickson, A Matthews, G Liburd; Booked: Johnston, Williams-Smith; Sent off: Anthony Williams-Smith on
Referee: G Swainson
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