Soccer

Extra spice between Hood and Zebras

  • Russell will take on his former PHC team-mates in the FA Cup semi-finals (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Robin Hood trio Kyle Lightbourne, Shakir Smith and Antwan Russell will renew rivalries with their former PHC Zebras colleagues when the two sides clash in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Hood, the cup holders, will face Zebras in the first semi-final next Wednesday at Somerset Cricket Club.

The match was originally scheduled to take place on March 23 at Goose Gosling Field but was switched because the venue is Hood’s home ground. Competition rules stipulate that semi-final matches must be played on neutral venues.

Former Zebras forward Lightbourne, who coached Hood to their maiden FA Cup triumph last season, said his team is “up for the challenge” against the competition’s most decorated club.

“We are delighted with the draw, playing PHC,” he said. “It should be a good fixture for us.

“There are four big teams left in the competition and we trying to defend our title that we won last year.”

Cecoy Robinson, the PHC captain, is looking forward to another meeting against his former team-mates.

“They have Kyle, Shakir and Antwan so it definitely adds a bit of spice to it,” Robinson said.

League leaders Hood beat Zebras 1-0 in the Premier Division in the previous meeting between the two sides last month and Robinson anticipates that the upcoming cup tie to be another close encounter.

“It should be a good game,” the son of former Zebras midfielder Cecil Robinson said. “The last time we played I thought we got a little bit unlucky.

“But Robin Hood played very well and I’m sure they are going to come out and try and push us to the limit again.

“We know it’s going to be a tough match and so have to make sure we prepare right and come with the right mindset.”

PHC are the most successful team in the FA Cup having won it ten times.

“We have ten wins and we would definitely like to add to that,” Robinson added.

“We have had a pretty good season so far and hopefully we can keep it together and bring some [silverware] home to reward ourselves for the work we have done this season.”

Hood and PHC are among a trio of clubs gunning for the league and FA Cup double that includes Village, who will face last season’s runners-up Dandy Town in the remaining FA Cup semi-final next Thursday at Goose Gosling Field.

Town came from behind to defeat Village 3-2 in the league in the previous meeting between the two sides this month.

“It should be a very interesting match,” Shervin Dill, the Village president, said. “We have had the better of Dandy Town on one occasion this season and they won the last encounter and so we will see who wants it the most.”

Village against Town clash will be a repeat of the 2005-06 FA Cup final, which Village won 4-1 in extra time.

PHC became the first to ten FA Cup victories after beating Town 2-0 in the 2007-08 final and Dill said it would be a thrill to match the impressive record.

“We would be delighted,” he added. “We last won it in 2006 and so it’s over ten years since we last won the FA Cup and I think it would be a fitting end to to the season for the boys that have worked so hard.”

*Tonight’s Premier Division make up match between Dandy Town and Devonshire Colts at Goose Gosling Field has been postponed because the funeral Raymond Butterfield, the former Western Stars cricketer and Wolves forward.

The match has been rescheduled for tomorrow at the same venue. Kick off is at 9pm.