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North Village keep title hopes alive with win over Trojans

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North Village’s Jaizel Smith-DeShields chips the Trojans keeper to put his side ahead (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Somerset Trojans 0 North Village 2

Jaizel Smith-DeShields rediscovered his goalscoring touch to spur North Village to victory and help his club’s Premier Division title challenge.

Before yesterday, the striker had endured a three-game goalless streak, having last scored in Village’s Friendship Trophy win over Dandy Town just after Christmas.

But strikes in each half against an improved Somerset outfit went some way towards restoring Smith-DeShields’s self-confidence as one of the island’s highly regarded goal poachers.

Smith-DeShields gave Village the lead in the fourteenth minute in the calmest of manners, making Somerset pay a severe price for over-attacking. Jaz Ratteray-Smith’s abdication of defensive responsibility allowed his counterpart to slip behind him into the space, where he was well found in acres by a Jalen Harvey pass.

Tempted forward by Smith-DeShields’s feint towards the left edge of the penalty area, goalkeeper Yizharyah Williams realised too late that he’d been had, with his opponent’s measured lob dropping in at the far post.

“It was a good ball from Jalen, something we normally can connect on and a goal I usually put away,” Smith-Deshields said.

“I saw the keeper off the line, so I decided to keep it simple and sidefoot it past him. I saw the defender coming pretty quickly to close me down, but with the keeper off the line I decided to go over the top and not think about it too much.”

Seemingly awoken by the early misfortune, Somerset stormed back immediately, and most dangerous among the home attack was Justin Corday, who produced his side’s first real chance from a set-piece in the 20th minute, when curling a right-foot blast that demanded Detre Bell push against the crossbar and rely on other defenders to further avert the danger.

At the other end, Village came close to enhancing their own position, but Pierre Smith’s low, goalbound drive from the top right edge was skilfully denied by Williams’s fingertips.

Action fluctuated back and forth for the remainder of the half, the close attention being offered Corday by multiple defenders setting the table for captain Simeon Burrows to unload a near miss from range before the former released a thunderbolt that sizzled inches over the top.

In added time at the end of the first half, an unmarked Tarreko Williams inexpicably squandered a close-range header from a finely-floated cross from Justin Bell at the back post.

The second half was a clone of the first, with Smith-DeShields again allowed in early during proceedings to sneak behind the defence at the 50th minute mark, this time having Williams provide the critical ball for him to outsmart Williams.

North Village winger Justin Bell can’t believe he has missed (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Somerset, again having demonstrated near equal mettle their rivals on the day, were disappointed as they departed the pitch.

“I felt it was a 50-50 match,” said Jensen Rogers, who was deputising for coach Scott Morton, who was said to have been unavailble due to illness.

“It’s just that at the end of the day Village took the chances that they had. I think that out of three chances, they took two and we didn’t take ours, so it’s back to the drawing bord and we’ll push on to the next match.”

Somerset’s remaining matches will likely be must-win affairs with Somerset in a relagtion fight and needing to remain ahead of Boulevard Blazers to survive.

Defeat here means Trojans stayed three points clear of Blazers,

“We’ve just got to wait for that moment and hopefully it comes sooner rather than later, but it’s there,” added Rogers. “We see moments within the game, we just need more of them throughout the 90 minutes. Right now the conversation isn’t even about our league position, it’s about points, that’s it.”

For Village coach Kenny Thompson position is what matters, as the Pembroke club would regard anything other than a league title as a great disappointment.

“The door opened a bit to give us the opportunity to get right back into the title race,” said coach Kenny Thompson, no doubt relieved with the win after his side had squandered five points in the last two league matches to fall from the summit.

“It’s certainly not over and the midweek result showed that, but we still had to take advantage of the situation because it’s one thing to have the opportunity but you have to take advantage of it.

“We did that. We’re grateful to be still fighting for the title as last year we were completely out of it at this stage. We want to play pressure matches and I think we handled the pressure of having to win to get back into the title race very well.”


North Village: Smith DeShields (14, 50).


Somerset (4-4-2): Y Ratteray 6 -- D Ming 6, Jaden Ratteray-Smith 5 (sub: K Cann, 84min), Jaz Ratteray-Smith 6, M Nisbett Tankard 6 -- J Gooden 5 (sub: D Swan-DeSilva, 64 6), M Joell (sub: K Joyiens, 63 5), J Iris 6, S Burrows 7 -- D Wainwright 5 (sub: J Butterfield, 63 5), J Corday 7. Substitutes not used: J Morrissey, R Burrows. Booked: Cann.

North Village (4-4-2): D Bell 6 -- J Harvey 7, K Knights 6, T Wilson 7, A Santos 6 -- K Harrison (sub: S Somner, 81), V Perinchief 6, T Williams 6, P Smith 6 (sub: N Smith, 72 5) -- J Bell 7, J Smith-DeShields 8. Substitutes not used: O DeShields, N Anglin, D Dillas, T Bean. Booked: Santos.

Referee: G Swainson.

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Published February 06, 2023 at 7:46 am (Updated February 06, 2023 at 7:46 am)

North Village keep title hopes alive with win over Trojans

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