Social Club ease past X-Roads in Friendship Trophy
X-Roads 1 Young Men’s Social Club 2
Young Men’s Social Club advanced to the quarter-final of the Friendship Trophy at a muddy Bernard Park, where surface conditions played a prime role in the deciding goal and a pair of red cards provided late game dramatics.
In a match in which X-Roads dominated possession and shots on target, the Devil’s Hole Club were yet left wanting in the most important column, that being goals converted, where Social Club were most efficient with goals from Josh Hendrickson and Ronaldo Clacken offsetting a late tally by X-Roads striker Donovan Thompson.
With little to show for their early-season efforts, Warriors attacked with purpose early and often, with Thompson a common figure in most forward forays, along with Jaman Lottimore asking questions of left back Kimshun Smith, while Rico Beek made his presence known on the other flank.
However, as it appeared inevitable that X-Roads would find a way through, it was Social Club that struck in the twelfth minute against the run of play.
A partial clearance by X-Roads resulted in the ball landing at the feet of Hendrickson, unmarked at the penalty spot, and it took little encouragement for the forward to compose himself and find a place for the ball in goalkeeper Q’Shai Darrell’s right corner.
If only stunned by the sudden turn of events, X-Roads were delivered a more telling blow six minutes later, as the turf undid Daniel Teleman.
The centre back slipped at the moment he attempted to repel a hopeful forward clearance, thus gift-wrapping Ronaldo Clacken a pre-holiday offering that the Social Club striker gratefully accepted.
Left unimpeded in space with only goalkeeper Darrell to beat, Clacken cooly advanced, sidestepping Darrell at the penalty spot before sidefooting into an empty net for a two-goal lead.
In response Thompson and Lottimore each forced foot saves out of Social Club’s stand-in goalkeeper Casey Hardtman and would have been confident in their ability to come back, even after entering half-time with a two-goal deficit.
“It’s something that we’ve been working on, conceding early,” explained X-Roads coach Ralph Bean.
“One goal is bad enough, but when you allow two in the first half you really put yourself in a hole to have to dig your way out of.
“Credit to us in that we stuck to it after the early collapse, whereby our mentality was quite strong.
“We played ourselves back into the game and, for the most part, dominated the rest of the match, but couldn’t get the final goal.”
For Social Club’s coach it was a day where sturdy defending blended with attacking opportunism made for victory, but not without a bit of drama at the end, as Telemen and counterpart Brighton Swan were ejected by referee Tashun Simons for fighting moments before the final whistle.
“Today was one of those mucky types of games, with all of the rain and it got a little chippy and physical towards the end,” said victorious coach Michael Smith.
“I think we made it a little hard for ourselves in that we took a long time to settle down, but it’s still a process in that we’re getting better week by week, which is all I can ask for.”
The coach was especially proud of the effort of stand-in goalkeeper Casey Hardtman, who was rushed into duty in pace of Ryan Evans.
“With our regular goalkeeper going down, we turned to Casey, who hasn’t played in goal for two years, so I have to applaud his effort in stepping up to the plate when we needed him.”
X-Roads: Thompson 86
Young Men’s Social Club: Hendrickson 12, Clacken 16
X-Roads (4-4-2): Q Darrell 6 — J Smith 6, D Teleman 6, T Daniels 6, A Matthews 6 — K Richardson 6, A Spencer 6, D Woolridge 6 (sub: S Somner, 56min 5), R Beek 6 — D Thompson 7, J Lottimore 7. Substitutes not used: J Dill, C Whited. Booked: Daniels, Richardson, Smith, R Bean (coach). Sent off: Teleman.
Young Men’s Social Club (4-3-2-1): C Hardtman 7 — M Rudo 7, K Smith 5, K Butterfield 7, R Parris 6 (sub: J Richardson, 73) — G Butterfield 6, M Wilson 6 (sub: T Hendrickson, 60 5), B Swan 6 — J Hendrickson 7, D Jones 7 — R Clacken 6. Substitutes not used: K Butterfield, K Rawlings, M Williams. Booked: Richardson. Sent off: Swan.
Referee: T Simons.