Thompson delighted as Village remain unbeaten
Somerset Trojans 1 North Village 2
Premier Division leaders North Village maintained their perfect league record after marching west on Saturday night to defeat Somerset Trojans behind a pair of second-half goals.
Jalen Harvey and London Steede each found the back of the net for Village, while Trojans’ substitute Deunte Darrell scored a late consolation goal from the penalty spot mere seconds before the final whistle.
A contest featuring two teams at opposite ends of the league made for a dour encounter, with Village casual in their domination and Somerset failing to take advantage.
Despite Trojans’ ineptitude, it was they who should have had first opportunity to go ahead in the ninth minute when Rio Russell appeared to have been brought down inside the penalty area by Rai Sampson while rounding towards goal, but referee Tashun Simons waved play on in the face of vociferous appeals.
From there it was all Rams with Somerset goalkeeper Yiharyah Williams kept busy between the posts and the home defence constantly on high alert.
In the fourteenth minute D’Andre Wainwright forced a superb diving save from Williams, who went full-length to his right to palm away the striker’s goalbound header and several half chances followed as Village looked to mark their authority, but Somerset did well to stay even until half-time.
Rams broke the deadlock early in the second half with Harvey producing a telling header from a free kick that gave Williams no chance in the 50th minute.
Harvey almost notched a second in the 70th minute when his delicately curled free kick from 22 yards smashed against the top left corner of the framework before being cleared.
Respite for Trojans was brief as substitude London Steede justified his 63rd minute introduction when latching onto a defence-splitting pass from Harvey and beating his marker for pace before calmly slotting the ball past Williams into the right corner after 72 minutes.
Content with a two-goal advantage,Village continued to marshall possession until the end, even as Somerset received the late consolation of a penalty converted by Darrell in the dying stages.
Village coach Kenny Thompson, while noting the sub-par performance of his side, was content with the result that allowed his team to enhance their perfect record.
“The main thing is that we leave here with another three points,” said Thompson.
“We have to prepare to play with a little more quality, strategy and form processes towards trying to achieve the objective of the game and, at the end of the day, try to enjoy playing the game.
“Football is also there too be enjoyed and the enjoyment comes from playing sensibly, playing technically sound and making the right decisions.
“Much respect goes to Somerset for not allowing us to totally have our way. They have a very young team and they pushed us all the way, not just tonight but in the Dudley Eve semi-final as well.
“For us, we have to take care of ourselves and be prepared to perform better.
“At the end of the day, from a positive standpoint, we are seven for seven in the league and if you would have asked us at the beginning of the season if we would be able to play some bad games and still win we would take it. It Is a measure of the mindset that we have.
“The players are happy with the win, but not satisfied with the performance.”
The result allowed Rams to move six points clear of Devonshire Cougars, who have played a game fewer and face Dandy Town tonight.
Somerset: Darrell 90+7 pen
North Village: Harvey 50, Steede 72.
Somerset Trojans (4-3-2-1): Y Williams 7 — J Ratteray-Smith 6, M Eve 6, T Outerbridge 6, D Bean 6 — P Robinson 5 (sub: E Mendes, 90min), M Tear-Deleon, K Cann (sub: J Gooden, 63 5), R Russell 6, J Shields (sub: D Darrell, 76) — H Eve 5. Substitutes not used: K McNeil, J Simmons, C Durham, I Francis, J Powell. Booked: Robinson.
North Village (3-5-2): D Bell 6 — R Sampson 6, T Wilson 6, L Evans 6 — J Harvey 7 (sub: I Simmons, 90) , J Smith 6, K Harrison 6, A Dos Santos 6 (sub: C Castle, 76), D Swan-DeSilva 6 — P Smith 5 (sub: L Steede, 63 6), D Wainwright 5 (sub: T Tucker, 63 5). Substitutes not used: T Bell, Tariq Bean, Tokia Bean. Booked: Smith-DeShields, Swan-DeSilva.
Referee: T Simons.