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Antwan Russell scores hat-trick in 20 minutes as Paget thrash Young Gunz

Paget player-coach Antwan Russell scored three in FA Cup quarter-final. (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Paget Lions 7 Young Gunz 2

Player-coach Antwan Russell led the way with a hat-trick inside the first 20 minutes as First Division Paget Lions crushed Corona League side Young Gunz in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

Russell should have been on the scoresheet as early as the fourth minute when he slammed Dion Stovell’s pull back wide from eight yards and the game could have taken a different slant just a minute later when Young Gunz thought they had opened the scoring through Saki Tuzo only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

During a frenetic opening period, Russell scored the opener in the eighth minute when he ran on to goalkeeper Chiquon Smith’s long kick forward and sidefooted beyond Ramone Smith in the Gunz goal.

A cross-come-shot from the left flank which sailed over an out-of-position Smith to nestle into the corner gave Russell his second before he completed his hat-trick with a neat flick over the advancing goalkeeper’s head after chasing down a bad backpass.

Shakir Smith added the fourth when he controlled a diagonal cross before holding off his marker to toe-poke home.

Despite plenty of early setbacks, Young Gunz stayed positive and they pulled one back when Rico Wells’s cross found Dominique Williams lurking at the back post and his half volley beat Smith’s outstretched arm.

Dion Stovell nearly scored from the halfway line but his drive hit high up on the upright with Smith well off his line as the Lions took a deserved lead into the break.

Young Gunz had the first opportunity to score after the break but Emery’s header was too weak to beat the goalkeeper and the experienced Paget team, with many former Premier Division players in their line-up, started to move the ball around with little resistance.

Russell picked out Zaire Weller with an inch-perfect cross, which the captain did well to sidefoot past the advancing Smith, with Russell taking the chance to then substitute himself and rest ahead of some big games in their promotion push.

Shakir Smith became provider for the last two goals when he first slipped a pass through for substitute Aquino Grant to tap in before finding Kushae Hypolite, who beat the advancing keeper before walking the ball into the net to close out the scoring for Lions.

Young Gunz made the scoreline look a little more respectable when Emery, also a former Premier league player, followed up on goalkeeper Smith’s fumble from a firm Williams drive to slam the loose ball into the net.

Lions assistant coach Don Vickers was pleased with the performance but revealed the team is merely performing to expectations.

“Today was a good game for us,” he said. “Our coach set a 27-game goal during pre-season, which included the FA Cup semi-finals, so we are on the right path.

“Based on the players that we have, we can match anyone. It is just a matter of us staying disciplined and focused on the day. We are a threat to any team that we play.”


Paget Lions: Russell 8, 20, 21, S Smith 27, Weller 59, Grant 63, Hypolite 73

Young Gunz: Williams 29, Emery 77


Paget Lions (4-4-2): C Smith 6 ---J Carpenter 6, K Durrant 6, McQuinn Burch 6, R DeShields 6 --- S Smith 8 (sub: M Wade, 75min), P Castle 6 (sub: A Warren, 71), Z Weller 7, D Zuill 6 (sub: A Grant 46, 6) --- D Stovell 7 (sub: O Tucker, 75), A Russell 8. (sub: K Hypolite 65, 6) Substitutes not used: K Simons, W Shakie. Booked: S Smith, K Durrant, D Stovell.

Young Gunz Sound (4-1-4-1): R Smith 6 --- C Lima 5, M Corriea 5 (sub: A DeCosta 64, 5) K McGhee 6, E Vieira 5 --- K Cabral 6 --- S Tuzo 5, R Wells 7, J Miereles 5 (sub: K Place, 79), D Williams 7, L Emery 7. Substitutes not used: N Miereles, P Wellman. Booked: S. Tuzo.

Referee: T Simons

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Published February 13, 2023 at 7:50 am (Updated February 13, 2023 at 8:13 am)

Antwan Russell scores hat-trick in 20 minutes as Paget thrash Young Gunz

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