Premier Division all but over as PHC clear Town obstacle
PHC 2 Dandy Town 0
PHC placed a hand and a few fingers on the Premier Division trophy on Saturday night by defeating Dandy Town 2-0 in front of a cold, but warmly anxious and receptive home crowd.
Second-half goals from Jenico Sealey and Paul Simons fortified PHC's grip on first place, as they head towards what would be a third league title in six seasons and with the Triple Crown still on the cards.
PHC were denied the chance to celebrate their title a week before the end of the season when Devonshire Cougars beat North Village yesterday.
Cougars’ victory means they remain three points adrift and need a massive win against bottom club Robin Hood in the final match — Cougars (+30) have a vastly inferior goal difference to PHC (+40) — while PHC just need to avoid defeat against now-relegated Boulevard in their final game to be confirmed champions.
“Of course it’s still mathematically possible for us to be caught, but possibility-wise, not so much,” said PHC captain Marco Warren of the Dandy Town result which all but sealed the title for his club.
“We’ve worked hard to get to this point. We’ve faced a lot of criticism, but one thing we had to do was be consistent, because consistency is a hard thing to maintain.
“We have nine fingers on the cup, we just need to get that last, little pinky and that’s it.”
The first half was nondescript in terms of action, with the home side showing the burden of
playing three matches in seven days as they failed to seriously trouble their opponents bar a few set piece plays that amounted to little more than goalkeeping practice for Treadwell Gibbons Jr.
Town were even less effective, failing to mount anything remotely troubling to the
PHC defence, with Coleridge Fubler a spectator for much of the first half, and indeed the match.
PHC sprang to life after the interval, with a period of sustained pressure reaping results. A blast from T’ysi Showers was blocked by Gibbons, but only partially cleared and Sealey made the defence pay for the failure as he rifled home from close range.
Simons, quiet for much of the proceedings, awakened and began showing signs in the 59th minute, shedding his marker on the right flank and cutting in towards the penalty area, however his curling, left-foot effort went just wide of Gibbons’s right post.
The forward though made no such mistake five minutes later when he sealed the deal after another poor clearance by the Hornets defence, this time from a Marco Warren shot, with the rebound falling perfectly for Simons to power into the low right corner.
PHC: Sealey 54, Simons 65.
PHC Zebras (4-3-3): C Fubler 6 - D Smith- Lightbourne 6, J Bather 6, N Griffith 6, D Usher 6 - K Bean 6 (sub: J Hassell, 72 min), K Abraham 6, M Warren 7 - T Showers 6, J Sealey 6 , P Simons 6 (sub: A Astwood, 72). Substitutes not used: Shaquille Trott,A McDowall, S Nisbett, M Smith. Booked: Griffith.
Dandy Town (4-2-3-1): T Gibbons 5 – M Parsons 5, E Moore 5, J Wilson-Butterfield 5, J Bean-Lindo 5 (sub: S Darrell, 46 5) – N Spence 5, J Chapman 5 – T Goater 6, D Scraders 5, A Furbert 5, D Cook 5 – C Robinson 5. Substitutes not used: S Tatem, H Butterfield, D Johnson. Booked: Spence, Moore.
Referee: L Arrujo
More to follow . . .
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