Robinson does just enough for Zebras
PHC 1 North Village 0
Cecoy Robinson’s first-half penalty proved to be the difference in this Premier Division match at PHC Field yesterday.
Referee Anthony Francis pointed to the spot after Jason Davis, the Village central defender, was adjudged to have bundled the nimble Jaheim Iris over in the box.
The PHC captain made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Village goalkeeper Zane Hendrickson the wrong way to score what proved to be the winner.
The home side dominated the first half with their movement and passing, which ripped Village apart and created ample chances to kill the game off by the break.
They also defended well, with centre backs Diondre Dowling and Rakeem DeShields the linchpins in an impenetrable wall, particularly during the first half in which Village failed to get a single shot off on goal.
PHC gained early control and nearly opened their account, with Iris having a shot cleared off the line by Terryn Fray, Tre Ming firing a 30-yard free kick just over and Robinson drilling Iris’s cutback on to a post.
Some more tidy defending by Fray denied Ming a clear run at goal, while Hendrickson positioned himself well to save Robinson’s fiercely struck volley from just outside the box.
PHC’s relentless pressure finally told when Robinson made the breakthrough from the spot to give the hosts a deserved lead.
Village regrouped during the break and went close to grabbing an equaliser early in the second period when Shaquille Trott, the PHC goalkeeper, tipped Che’Kai Caisey’s volley on to the bar — it was the visiting side’s first shot on target.
PHC were also denied by the woodwork at the other end, as Kenneth Matthie’s diving header from Robinson’s free kick struck the far upright.
The home side were forced to make unscheduled change when left back DeAndre Smith- Lightbourne went off after taking a knock in a tackle for a loose ball.
Hendrickson then did well to block Ming’s shot on a counter-attack. The pair then had to be separated, as tempers flared.
PHC squandered a golden opportunity to give themselves more breathing space. Nziyah Edwards, on as a replacement for Iris, dragged Ming’s rebound wide from right in front of goal.
Davis and left back Zanike Hendrickson then timed their tackles well in the box to thwart Robinson.
After frustrating PHC with some resilient defending, Village pressed for a late equaliser but were unable to find a way past Trott, who made some excellent saves to protect his team’s slender lead.
The PHC goalkeeper saved Caisey’s angled shot at the near post and then tipped Fray’s 30-yard free kick over the bar.
Scott Morton, the PHC coach, hailed Trott’s superb goalkeeping exploits between the posts, noting that he had a huge say in the outcome of the match.
“Shaquille made some excellent saves,” Morton said. “If it wasn’t for him, the score would’ve been 1-1.”
Morton also commented his team’s wastefulness in front of goal. “It could be worrisome that we are not converting them [chances],” he said. “But it gives me enough comfort to know we are creating chances, so that’s key. If we weren’t creating them, then definitely I would be worried.”
Randy Spence, the Village coach, felt his team deserved to come away with at least a share of the spoils
“A bit upsetting that we couldn’t at least pinch a draw today,” he said. “I felt that the team fought hard but lacked discipline in certain areas to manage the game.
“I applaud my players for their hard work and putting up a good fight in an away game.”
PHC (4-2-3-1): S Trott — D Smith-Lightbourne (sub: D Lodge, 58min), R DeShields, D Dowling, D Usher — M Waldron, M Warren — J Iris (sub: A Edwards, 75), T Ming, K Matthie (sub: S Trott, 88) — C Robinson. Substitutes not used: T Place, M Lambe, Z Ming-Wilson, Z Lee.
North Village (4-2-3-1): Zane Hendrickson — Zanike Hendrickson, T Fray, J Davis, K Knights — J Briers, T Wilson — J Thomas (sub: P Castle, 80), P Smith, C Caisey — K Jennings. Substitutes not used: K Smith, K Evans, D Dillas, A Boyce, Zaniko Hendrickson.
Referee: A Francis.