Blaiz Hall at the double to guide St George’s into FA Cup semi-finals
Devonshire Cougars 1 St George’s Colts 2
Blaiz Hall was the toast of the dressing room after his brace sent St George’s Colts through to the FA Cup semi-finals at Devonshire Recreation Club last night.
The midfielder opened the scoring before Elisha Darrell levelled for hosts to leave the teams deadlocked at the interval.
Then just when it seemed as though this exciting quarter-final tie would drag on into extra time, Hall popped up with the winner four minutes from time.
“It feels good to go through to the next round,” Jarreau Hayward, the St George’s coach, said.
“It was a difficult game and I thought we went away from the game plan a little bit, but that’s how Cougars play; they pressure you into positions you don’t want to play in.
“But we stuck it through and got the result, so we are good to go.”
As for his team’s clinical finishing, Hayward added: “For the chances that we had, we took them well.
“I thought we could have maybe had one or two more but Cougars could have had one or two more, too.
“So at the end of the day we are happy with the result because it really could have gone either way.”
Cougars squandered a plethora of chances to have put the game to bed which ultimately came back to haunt them.
“Chances win games and St George’s took their chances,” Kwame Steede, the Cougars coach, said.
St George’s created the first real opportunity of the match but central defender Nathan Furbert timed his tackle perfectly inside the area to deny Kashe Hall, who was shaping up to shoot.
At the other end, Jayori Fox’s inviting cross went untouched in front of goal.
The visitors took the lead in the sixth minute when striker Jonte Smith headed David Signor’s long ball into the path of Hall who took a touch before slotting into the far bottom corner.
Cougars quickly reorganised themselves and were back on even terms five minutes later when Darrell was given ample time and space on the top left side of the box to control Jazario Brimmer’s diagonal pass and smash past St George’s custodian Jahquil Hill.
Hill then rushed off his line to courageously gather the ball at the feet of Darrell as the hosts tried to seize the initiative.
However, Cougars momentum was halted when Darrell was forced off through injury in the 39th minute.
When play resumed, Smith brought out a brilliant save by Cougars goalkeeper Tahj Bell from inside the six-yard box while good defending by Nazari Paynter denied Chris Caisey a chance at the back post.
Hall tested Bell with a ferocious left-footed shot from 25 yards that sailed just wide while defender Manoj Paynter blocked Cougars striker Domico Coddington’s effort inside the six-yard box as a fast-paced game opened up.
The hosts squandered a glorious opportunity to go ahead at the end of the first half when Zari Simmons blasted Che-Kai Caisey’s defence-splitting pass high and wide with only Hill to beat.
Cougars picked up where they left off at the start of the second half with substitute Lejuan Simmons firing over the bar after running on to Coddington’s instinctive back-heel pass while Che-Kai Caisey’s spectacular bicycle kick soared just over.
Hill then pulled off another brilliant save to deny Zari Simmons’s shot from inside the area while Simmons squandered another golden opportunity after racing clear.
The hosts were left to rue their poor finishing as Hall latched on to brother Kashe’s midfield pass, brilliantly eluded his marker, and slotted past the completely exposed Bell.
Hall was denied a hat-trick in the closing stages as his close-range shot was deflected for a corner but by then the damage had already been done, as the visitors sealed progression.
Devonshire Cougars: E Darrell 11
St George’s Colts: B Hall 6, 86
Devonshire Cougars (4-1-4-1): T Bell 7 – J Thomas 7, Z White 7, N Furbert 7, Che-Kai Caisey 7 – J Brimmer 7- C Caisey 7, Z Simmons 7, E Darrell 7 (sub: T Tucker, 39min 5 ;sub: J Furbert-Wade, 903), J Fox 7 (L Simmons, 46 5) – D Coddington 7. Booked: Che-Kai Caisey. Substitutes not used: J Smith, N Simmons, J Wade.
St George's Colts (4-1-4-1): J Hill 7 – N Paynter 7, D Signor 7, T Burgess 7, M Paynter 7 – C Neal 7 – J Burgess 7, J Basset 7 (sub: L Dill, 70 6), B Hall 8, K Hall 7 – J Smith 7. Booked: Signor. Substitutes not used: J Carlington, S Blair-Paynter, J Brangman, W Broadley, C Burns.
Referee: M Dwyer.
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