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Dogged Trojans earn hard-earned draw against Cougars

Full of praise: Somerset Trojans coach Jenson Rogers haliled the determination of his side in the 1-1 draw with Devonshire Cougars (File photograph)
Devonshire Cougars 1 Somerset Trojans 1

Somerset Trojans coach Jensen Rogers hailed the resilience of his side after they earned a hard-fought draw against Devonshire Cougars in the Dudley Eve Trophy at PHC Field on Sunday.

Having dominated much of the encounter, Cougars looked on course to take all three points courtesy of substitute Jasekani Furbert-Wade’s 65th-minute opener.

However, Trojans, who had goalkeeper KyJuan Symonds to thank for keeping them in the match, struck back with just four minutes remaining through Michari Tear-Deleon’s header.

“The longer we managed to stay in the game it gave us hope and then it was about taking a chance when we got one,” said Rogers.

“Against good teams like Cougars, you have to sometimes hang in and make sure you’re not out of the game. We did that and I think we got the result we deserved.

“We have a very young squad, but they are a tight-knit group who are willing to work hard for one another and not give in, even when they’re tired.

“I was talking about giving their full effort and you could see that all the way across the pitch.”

For much of the first half it was one-way traffic with Cougars piling on the pressure without being able to find a breakthrough due to a combination of poor finishing and a superb display from Symonds.

The goalkeeper was called upon on numerous occasions, but most notably in the 28th minute when he reacted brilliantly to tip over Lejuan Simmons’s powerful close-range effort.

Symonds was also alert to thwart Elisha Darrell just past the half-hour mark by racing off his line to bravely block an effort at the striker’s feet.

His heroics continued into the second half as he again came out on top of his personal battle with Simmons, reacting smartly to tip another driven close-range effort around his post in the 63rd minute.

However, there was nothing he could do just a minute later as Furbert-Wade finally broke his resistance.

Having been introduced to the game just two minutes previously, the forward made an immediate impact, receiving possession on the edge of the area before swivelling and firing a left-footed effort past the reach of Symonds and into the bottom left corner.

Refusing to rest on their laurels, Cougars continued to pour forward but they were again denied by Symonds, who was alert to keep out Darrell’s poked effort from inside the area.

They were made to pay for those missed chance as against the run of the play Trojans levelled in the 86th minute. Kieran Evans floated a free kick into the area with Tear-Deleon rising highest to flick a looped header over the helpless Alexander Parker-Ingham and into the net.

Buoyed by the equaliser, Trojans came closest to snatching an unlikely victory but Ingham did well to smother the ball at the feet of substitute Kee-Zai Cann to ensure both sides settled for their first point of the competition after losing to group B winners Hamilton Parish.


Devonshire Cougars: Furbert-Wade 65

Somerset Trojans: Tear-Deleon 86


Devonshire Cougars (4-5-1): A Ingham 6 - Z White 7, T Tucker 7, L Millett 6, Z Simmons 7 - J Brimmer 6 (sub: D Daniels, 60min 7), S Burrows 7 (sub: J Furbert-Wade, 60 8), Q Maynard 7 (sub: C Brangman, 83), J Fox 6 (sub: D Hendrickson, 83), L Simmons 7 - E Darrell 6 (sub: J Thomas, 83). Substitute not used: D Williams

Somerset Trojans (4-5-1): K Symonds 9 - M Tear-Deleon 7, T Outerbridge 6, K Evans 6, M Tankard 6 - J Shields 6 (sub: K Cann, 64 6), R Russell 6 (sub: E Mendes, 61 7), Jadan Ratteray-Smith 6 (sub: O Moore, 76), Jaz Ratteray-Smith 7 (sub: K Coddington, 76), J Butterfield 6 - Kameron McNeil 7 (sub: P Robinson, 76) Substitute not used: J Powell, M Eve, J Simmons

Referee: S Maybury

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Published September 18, 2023 at 12:05 am (Updated September 18, 2023 at 8:03 am)

Dogged Trojans earn hard-earned draw against Cougars

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