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Young Men’s Social Club earn promotion to Premier Division

Young Men’s Social Club raise a cup for promotion after defeating Rangers at Southampton Oval (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Southampton Rangers 0 Young Men’s Social Club 2

The sounds of joy and unbridled celebration filled the South Shore area near Horseshoe Bay after Young Men's Social Club claimed promotion from the First Division by defeating Southampton Rangers 2-0 at Southampton Oval on Sunday.

Social Club had entered the match knowing that a victory over Rangers, coupled with a Paget win or draw against Wolves in their final league match, would see them pip the latter for the remaining promotion spot.

Goals from captain David Jones Jr and Jinairo Johnson enabled Bluebirds to take care of their own need, leaving rivals Paget to to lend a helping hand, which they did in downing Wolves 2-1.

“I feel like we had a pretty good season,” said jubilant head coach Michael Smith after the match.

“If we were to write it in our story book, it wouldn’t be the ending that we would have preferred. We would have loved to win the league and the Shield, but the overall goal was promotion and we achieved that.

“We’re just going to enjoy the moment and in a couple of weeks we’ll start getting ready for Premier Division football.”

The Bluebirds got off to a nervous start, misfiring on several occasions early in the first half, causing consternation in the mind of Smith.

“All I can say is that I understand why many coaches get grey hair early in life,” said Smith. “We created a few chances in the first half but just couldn’t get the final touch, which made it a nervous situation.

“But we started to figure things out as the match progressed and I can appreciate the character that my team demonstrated, maintaining their shape, sticking to the game plan and achieving our final goal.”

Giniko Butterfield was the chief culprit relative to the wasting of early scoring opportunities, with the striker unable to convert and give Social Club the lead on two occasions.

Butterfield was presented with a chance in the 10th minute when playmaker Nigel Williams turned his marker just inside the penalty area before firing a low, left-foot drive, which goalkeeper Dakarrie Steede fumbled into the path of Butterfield four yards in front of goal. However, the striker likewise fumbled with the ball at his feet, resulting in his shot ricocheting off Steede’s body and over the crossbar.

Five minutes later, Butterfield was at the centre of the action once again, this time he broke clear of the defence, but with acres of space and only Steede to beat, his shot hit the upright.

Jones took matters into his own hands in producing the first goal, bursting through the defence and venturing into the penalty area before unleashing a powerful volley that brushed Steede’s fingertips on the way in.

Rangers should have equalised in the 37th minute when Isaiah Taylor worked his way along the goalline on the left before crossing to an unmarked Jahnai Bean three yards in front of goal, only to watch his team-mate head the ball wide.

Then came Johnson’s turn to shine, with the midfielder surging forward from the halfway line deep into Rangers territory. After attempting to pass and having the ball rebound off a defender, Johnston elected to have a go at goal, which turned out to be the best decision, as his curling, left-foot effort nestled in the right corner.

The second half produced a see-saw battle, as Rangers began to produce more cohesive attacks that threatened but failed to pierce a resolute Social Club defence.

Much like his coach and teammates, Jones was elated with both the win and securing promotion.

“It was a great game today,” said Jones, taking a brief break from the team’s post-match celebrations.

“We guys came prepared and we worked hard. Rangers weren’t trying to give us anything easy, but we put in the work ourselves and got the win.

“Giniko had a couple of chances early and sometimes it goes like that. The keeper made a great save and one came off the post, but you can’t go wrong with that, because we were creating chances.

“I stepped up and scored and so did Jinairo. We have goalscorers throughout the team, so they can come from anywhere.

“Overall it was a tough season, with a lot of ups and downs. We had games in the early part that we should have won, which probably would have made our work easier, But we fixed things and it came down to the last game of the season and we got it, so I’m happy that we’re going up.”


Social Club: Jones 35, Johnson 44.


Southampton Rangers (4-3-3): D Steede 5 -- R Wright 5, R Cann 5, M Ray 5, R Lowe 5 -- D Brangman 5, I Taylor 6, J Hill 5 -- A Bean 5 (K Simmons 64 min), J Bean 6 (sub: L Scott 74), D Hill 5. Substitutes not used: J Hill, C Henry. Booked: Ray, D Hill, J Hill, J Bean

Social Club (4-3-2-1): K Cann 6 -- T Butterfield 6, J Richardson 6, M Sampson 6, C Woolridge 6 -- J Johnson 7, D Jones 7, R Clacken 6 (sub: J Mallory, 58 5) -- N Williams 7 (sub: Kel Butterfield 82), N Edwards 6 (sub: S Jennings 85) -- G Butterfield 6 (sub: Kes Butterfield 82). Substitutes not used: M Simmons, B Swan, M Williams. Booked: Kel Butterfield, M Smith (coach)

Referee: J Springer (Barbados)

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Published March 27, 2023 at 6:49 am (Updated March 27, 2023 at 6:58 am)

Young Men’s Social Club earn promotion to Premier Division

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