PHC stay top after huge fright from Robin Hood
Robin Hood 1 PHC Zebras 3
PHC held their nerve to endure a scare from bottom club Robin Hood and return to the summit of the Premier Division at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday night.
Zebras head coach Winston Trott was frustrated at the level of performance from his charges, despite the win.
“The win is important,” Trott said. “Regardless, we have to maintain high standards at all times. Today was a terrible performance and we cannot win anything with efforts like tonight.”
Despite having their inevitable relegation confirmed, Hood put in their best performance of the season and took the advantage midway through the first half when Brayan Noriega pounced on a miscued backward header by Na’eem Griffith to lob his effort over goalkeeper Coleridge Fubler.
However, their lead was short-lived, as Zebras equalised within four minutes from a flowing move through midfield when winger Jenico Sealey squared for Paul Simons to tap in from six yards out.
Just before half-time, PHC took the lead after winning the ball in the final third. T’syi Showers stepped in as Hood attempted to play out from the back and laid off to Marco Warren, who slipped Sealey in space on the right and the winger fired past goalkeeper and Hood coach Detroy Smith.
Hood were content to allow their visitors to take control of possession between defence and midfield, but when they got into the final third or dangerous areas along the flanks, they tightened up so Zebras could not pick through balls or lofted passes in behind the high Robin Hood line.
The second half began in a similar pattern with the title chasers continuing to probe and work the Hood defence around. They would find the third goal ten minutes into the second half after a corner was poorly cleared by Hood and Showers whipped a beautiful ball for Simons to glance past Smith at the near post.
Zebras were complacent after that, giving the ball away in midfield on numerous occasions, and when they did string a few passes together, they would create dangerous opportunities but the forward players often made the wrong decision or were indecisive with their final pass or finish,.
Hood coach Detroy Smith was really pleased with the performance, despite the confirmation of his side’s relegation.
“We put in a solid shift tonight,” Smith said. “We are officially down, but if we can build on this, we should come right back up.”
Robin Hood: Noriega 24
PHC Zebras: Simons 28, 54; Sealey 34
Robin Hood (3-5-2): D Smith 6 – L Fulton 6, A Paynter 5 (sub: B Tyson-Gooden, 70), K Naylor 5 – D Simmons 6, L Evans 5, D Brangman 5, W Noriega 6, N Edwards 5 – S Burchall 5, N Outerbridge 5 Booked: Smith, Paynter.
PHC Zebras (4-2-3-1): C Fubler 7 – D Usher 6, N Griffith 5, J Bather 6, D Smith-Lightbourne 6 – T Showers 7, K Bean 6 (sub: K Abraham, 63 5) – S Nisbett 6 (sub: K Matthie, 63 5), M Warren 6, J Sealey 6 (sub: S Trott, 76) – P Showers 7. Substitutes not used: J Hassell, D Richardson, J Symons. Booked: Smith-Lightbourne.
Referee: G Swainson
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