Somerset Trojans 1 Somerset Eagles 1
Somerset Trojans and Somerset Eagles battled to a share of the spoils in an evenly contested West End Premier Division derby at Somerset Cricket Club yesterday.
Teniko Eve put Eagles out front against the run of play before substitute Keith Jennings came off the bench and grabbed a late equaliser to rescue a point for the hosts.
Both teams had their share of chances to claim all of the points but were let down by some poor finishing in the final third.
“I thought our performance was lot better,” Dennis Brown, the Somerset coach, said.
“At the end of the day pretty pleased with the effort but not pleased with our finishing. I think our finishing could have been a lot better today.”
Jensen Rogers, the Eagles coach, also lamented his team’s poor finishing but was happy to earn a point on the road.
“We had the ball, we had the chances but just couldn’t get across the line,” he said.
“But I would take a point away from home than take none.
“Overall the performance was good. They [players] worked hard and I think we managed the game pretty well and just unlucky.”
Somerset dominated the early exchanges and kept Eagles on the back foot with their slick ball movement.
Zaire Smith, the Somerset winger, headed over the first real chance of the match from Vernon Perinchief’s free kick before whipping in a cross that went untouched by his team-mates across the goalmouth.
Eagles seemed content to sit deep and absorb the pressure and try and catch their hosts on the counter-attack.
Their first attempt at goal was a speculative effort from Eve from outside of the box which proved easy pickings for Somerset’s teenaged goalkeeper Dequan Crockwell.
Somerset continued to probe at the other end with former captain Trevin Ming sweeping another Perinchief free kick wide.
However, the game was turned on its head when Eagles took the lead against the grain.
Somerset’s defence failed to deal with Tahj Wade’s free-kick which Eve stabbed past Crockwell from close range.
The visitors threatened again just before the break with Anwar Telford having an effort saved and Eve blasting a loose rebound over from an angle.
Already forced to chase the game, Somerset were dealt another setback early in the second half when Smith injured his right ankle in a collision with Eagles goalkeeper Lorenzo Lambert and was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital.
The hosts squandered a glorious opportunity to get back on even terms when Damon Swan dragged a Jennings rebound which Lambert parried in this path wide from point blank range.
At the other end, Wade linked up nicely with live-wire winger Nathan Rego before firing high and wide with only Crockwell to beat and then curled a free kick past the far post.
Eagles held the upper hand at this stage but they dodged a bullet when Somerset defender Richard Quinn’s cross went untouched across goal.
However, their luck finally ran out when Jennings lashed in a pass from fellow substitute Jaz Ratteray-Smith to level the scores.
The visitors were also forced to make change after defender Kieran Evans went off with a suspected muscle pull.
The game opened up in the latter stages with both teams carving out more chances but unable to find a way through and ultimately having to settle for a draw.
Somerset Trojans (4-3-3): Trojans (4-3-3): D Crockwell — K Sharrieff-Hayward, T Ming, J Stowe, R Quinn — D Swan (sub: Jaz Ratteray-Smith, 70mins), M Joell, V Perinchief (sub: K Jennings, 70 mins) — Z Smith (sub: D Wainwright, 50min), Jaden Ratteray-Smith, L Burgess. Substitutes not used: C Durham, J Butterfield, M Henschke.
Booked: Stowe, Jaden Ratteray-Smith, Joell.
Somerset Eagles (4-3-3): L Lambert — M Iris-Simmons, K Evans (sub: R Woodley-Smith, 82 mins), L Burch, A Morrissey — D Simmons, A Telford, T Eve — N Rego, E Fubler (sub: S Lambert, 76 mins), T Wade (sub: J Ratteray, 90+6mins).
Substitutes not used: A Butterfield, J DeSilva, C Medeiros, M Thomas.
Booked: Iris-Simmons, Burch.