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Aaron Nelson secures win for resilient Hood

Crucial finish: Robin Hood's Aaron Nelson, right, scored the match-winning goal as his team defeated North Village 3-2 in the Premier Division on Saturday at Bernard Park. (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

North Village 2 Robin Hood 3

Robin Hood fought through several moments of pressure to secure an important victory over North Village in their Premier Division clash on Saturday at Bernard Park.

The home side dominated the early exchanges, controlling the game nicely, despite allowing spaces in behind for the visitors to play through. They tested young goalkeeper Mateo Holder quite a few times early on, most notably through Demetre Daniels who fired towards the near post early on, forcing Holder into a reflex save with his feet.

Village finally took the lead midway through the first half, when Kyler Knights clipped a decent ball for Owen Botelho to run onto. The young winger held off his defender and cut back for Ian Simmons to flick in at the near post.

Just after the half-hour mark, Hood equalised with a quick counter-attack. Jaylon Bather clipped a lovely ball for Daniel Cook to slide across for Chae Brangman to tap in. At this point, neither side had complete control of the tempo, yet Hood were showing a bit more hunger in their challenges from midfield and the front line.

The visitors were the architect of their own downfall as Village’s second goal, which arrived just before half-time, came after Hood’s backline was trying to play the ball around before it was intercepted and slotted home by Rai Simons.

Village opened the second half in very much the same fashion as they ended the first, knocking the ball around nicely, before Botelho was found drifting in from the right, but his shot well saved by Holder, with Daniels missing the rebound.

They would rue that miss as Hood equalised once again just before the hour mark, this time after Cook whipped a ball in from the opposite wing for substitute Tajai Goater to glance past Omari DeShields. The goal was, however, credited as an own goal to Terryn Fray suggesting there was a significant deflection off the defender.

Hood took their first lead midway through the second half when captain Bather found Goater in space just outside the penalty area. The attacker skewed his initial shot, though it fell kindly for Aaron Nelson to fire home.

A period of sustained pressure from Village ensued, with Holder making another significant save, this time from Jaylen Harvey on the follow-up after the initial strike from Botelho was blocked. Just before the end, Bather was sent off for a second bookable offense after a late challenge on defender Harvey.

Robin Hood’s head coach Dante Leverock was delighted with his side’s team spirit and encouraged his players to set high targets for the remainder of the season.

“We fought really hard together,” said Leverock.

“We have safety in our grasp already. However, our goal is to push into the top-four this season.”

SCORERS

North Village: Simmons 19, Simons 42

Robin Hood: Brangman 32, Goater 59, Nelson 68

TEAMS

North Village (4-2-3-1): O Deshields 6 – K Knights 6 (sub: K Carrington 83), T Fray 6, V Perinchief 6, J Harvey 5 – D Daniels 6, R Simons 6 – T Williams 5, Q Lema 6 (sub: S Somner 69 5), O Botelho 7 – I Simmons 6. Substitutes not used: D Bell; Booked: Harvey, Perinchief, Daniels

Robin Hood (4-2-3-1): M Holder 6 – D Cook 7, C Robinson 6, J Bather 5, N Massa 6 – L Evans 7, A Nelson 6 – T Bean 5 (sub: T Goater 46 6), N Outerbridge 6 (sub: M Fullerton 83), K Knights 6 – C Brangman 6. Booked: Bather, Nelson; Sent off: Bather

Referee: T Simons

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Published March 06, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated March 06, 2022 at 5:35 pm)

Aaron Nelson secures win for resilient Hood

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