Struggling Blazers easily beat nine-man Robin Hood
Robin Hood 1 Boulevard Blazers 5
Akim Johnston scored twice for struggling Boulevard Blazers to lead them to an important victory over nine-man Robin Hood at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night.
Hood, who are unable to forfeit another match without being suspended from the Premier Division after failing to field teams twice already this season, were forced to start the game with only nine players available for selection.
Unsurprisingly, Blazers were in control for the majority of the first half but they were faced with team issues of their own when five minutes after taking the lead, midfielder Jerome Bailey walked off the pitch in anger after being shown a yellow card for a challenge on Niyan Outerbridge.
Bailey then had a heated conversation with coach Troy Smith on the sidlines, which lasted for around 20 minutes, before Blazers finally chose to replace him with Enyche Zuill.
It was Johnston, who had given Blazers the lead when Johnston lashed a powerful drive across goalkeeper Chris Douglas into the top-right corner and they could have doubled their advantage immediately, but Douglas made a reflex save to deny Khiry Easton.
Hood were forced to play the last 12 minutes of the first half with just eight men after defender Christopher Fosker was forced to leave the pitch with a hamstring injury, so it was no surprise that Blazers took advantage in that period with two further goals
Easton fired into the bottom corner from close range before Walker struck a forceful effort from the edge of the box past Douglas following a controlled build-up.
Late arrival Dietrich Simmons, who arrived only at half-time, brought Robin Hood back up to nine man and they pulled a goal back early in the second half.
Wilmer Noriega drove in a low cross from the right flank, and Anthony Williams-Smith could not set his feet in time, instead diverting into his own net past Azir Harvey. That goal came in a sloppy period for the visitors, and a renewed confidence arose for Hood in possession as Shannon Burchall was found in space by Liam Evans, but the forward struck his effort wide.
After that brief spell of Hood pressure, Blazers again found their footing when Omar Wilson fed Kamali Davis, but the forward could not get his shot off before Kwame Naylor stole the ball from behind.
They regained thir three-goal cushion just after the hour, with Walker finding substitute Clay Darrell in acres of space, and Darrell squared for Sergio Woolridge to fire low past Douglas to score with at least his sixth attempt of the match.
Five minutes before the end of normal time, Blazers grabbed a fifth. This time Aldonte Smith spread the play to an overlapping Johnston, who dribbled inside and fooled Douglas with his ferocious low effort into the near post to close out a dominant victory.
Blazers assistant coach Malcolm Hewey was pleased with his team’s work “They left everything out there,” Hewey said. “We needed this win for our survival chances.”
“These are challenging times for our club. We have some in-house issues, as well as the manager being sacked.”
Williams-Smith 51 OG
Johnston 7, 85; Easton 38; Walker 41; Woolridge 65
Robin Hood: (4-3-1) C Douglas 6 – C Fosker 5, D Simmons 5, A Paynter 5, K Naylor 5 – W Noriega 6, L Evans 5 – E Outerbridge 5, S Burchall 5, N Outerbridge 5.
Boulevard (4-2-3-1): A Harvey 6 – O Wilson 6, A Williams-Smith 4, N Smith 6, A Johnston 7 – J Bailey 3 (sub: E Zuill, 33 5), J Samuels 6 (sub: C Darrell, 59 5) – K Davis 6 (sub: A Smith, 63 5), T Walker 6, S Woolridge 6 – K Easton 6 Booked: Bailey
Referee: A Francis
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