Class wins out as Premier Division Village thrash Paget in FA Cup semi-final
Paget Lions 2 North Village 6
North Village showed their Premier Division pedigree to thrash Paget Lions in the FA Cup semi-final at PHC Field last night.
After falling behind to Justin Bell’s tenth minute opener, First Division Paget responded superbly with two penalties from player-coach Antwan Russell putting his side 2-1 ahead within eight minutes.
But in a topsy turvy opening 45 minutes, Village hit back with goals from Nacori Smith and Jalen Harvey gifting them a 3-2 lead at the interval and from there they never looked back.
The second half proved a far more one-sided affair with further goals from Thami Williams, a scintillating effort from Tre Ming and an added-time strike from Jaizel Smith-DeShields putting the gloss on a fine performance to set up a blockbuster final against Premier Division leaders PHC.
“We knew it was always going to be a match that potentially could be very tricky and for a period it was,” said Village head coach Kenny Thompson, whose side will now look to avenge a 1-0 defeat to PHC in the Friendship Trophy final on New Year’s Day.
“We had to respect Paget because we knew they would give us a challenge but thankfully our players, to their credit, rode out a tricky period and then managed to control the game in the second half.
“I guess for the neutrals it should be an exciting final between two clubs that have a lot of history in the FA Cup.
“From our point of view, we are definitely looking forward to what is the showpiece match of the season.”
After going agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock with Williams’ header crashing back off the bar in the seventh minute, Village found the opening goal three minutes later when Bell shifted the ball to his right before beating Chiquon Smith with a low drive from the edge of the box.
Just two minutes later Paget were handed a route back into the match when referee Anthony Francis pointed to the spot after adjudging Russell had been fouled inside the area. The player-coach picked himself up and sent Detre Bell the wrong way with his penalty to level the scores.
Paget were awarded a second spot-kick in the 18th minute when a dazzling run from Diaje Hart was abruptly halted inside the area. Russell again took responsibility, firing into the same right corner, with Bell again diving the wrong way.
At the other end, Village spurned two golden opportunities to get back into the match with Smith-Deshields heading over unchallenged, while Bell called Smith into action before blazing the rebound over the bar.
Their persistence was rewarded in the 38th minute when the assistant referee adjudged Smith’s close-range effort had crossed the line despite the best efforts of the defender, to level the scores.
With three minutes of the half remaining, Village regained the lead when Harvey latched on to Williams’ ball over the top before bulldozing his way past Koshun Durrant and the onrushing Smith to roll the ball into the net.
Bell again called Smith into action in the 62nd minute, keeping out a driven low strike with his feet, but there was nothing he could do four minutes later when the winger turned provider, picking out Williams with a pinpoint cross and he glanced his header past the goalkeeper to make it 4-2.
With 15 minutes remaining, Village added a fifth in sublime fashion when Ming picked up possession 30 yards from goal and shifted the ball to his right foot before curling an effort beyond a helpless Smith and into the top-right corner.
As the game drew to a close, Smith-Deshields, in an abundance of space, collected a pass inside the area, turned and slotted a low left-foot effort past Smith to wrap up the scoring and confirm Village’s place in the final.
Paget Lions: A Russell 12, 18.
North Village: J Bell 10, N Smith 38, J Harvey 42, T Williams 66, T Ming 75, J Smith-Deshields 90+2.
Paget Lions (4-5-1): C Smith 6 - P Castle 6 (sub: O Tucker 65min 6), J Carpenter 7 (sub: Z Weller 86), K Durrant 6, S Smith 6 (sub: D Zuill 86) - R Deshields 6, D Hart 7, K Hypolite 6 (sub: A Grant 71), D Stovell 7, M Burch 6 - A Russell 7. Substitutes not used: A Warren, M Wade, R Richardson. Booked: Castle.
North Village (4-3-3): D Bell 6 - K Knights 6, J Harvey 7, T Bean 6 (sub: T Fray 46 6), T Wilson 7 - V Perinchief 7 (sub: S Somner 75), T Williams 7, T Ming 8 (sub: K Harrison 86) - N Smith 7 (sub: P Smith 75), J Bell 8, J Smith-Deshields 8. Substitutes not used: O Deshields, A Dos Santos, D Dillas. Booked: Bell, Somner.
Referee: A Francis.