X-Roads 4 PHC Zebras 2
X-Roads came from behind twice to record their first home victory of the season as they beat the visiting PHC Zebras 4-2 at Garrison Field yesterday.
A second-half brace from Tyrel Burgess helped turn around an early deficit, and redeem a heavy defeat from the same opponent midweek in the Dudley Eve Trophy.
After conceding early, it looked as if it could be another long day, but coach Larry Smith and his troops had other plans.
“I noticed from our game earlier in the week, that PHC have a fairly young team, so I wanted to use experience to our advantage,” he said.
“Accordingly, we made some personnel changes and tactical adjustments with the intent of maintaining a certain level of pressure throughout the match.”
Zebras started the match brightly when Cecoy Robinson, who bagged a hat-trick in the prior meeting, was on hand to finish a partially deflected cross to claim his fourth goal in two matches.
The goal did nothing to settle either team, as both struggled to adjust to windy conditions.
Aside from a Tre Ming free kick that came close and a Darren Usher shot from the edge of the box that went just wide of the post, there was very little action at either end.
However, Paul Simons popped up just before the half with a neat finish after receiving a pass inside the box to draw his team level going into the interval.
X-Roads would find themselves on the back foot again immediately following the restart when Jamen Furbert inadvertently diverted the ball into his own net attempting to clear a Ming cross.
The goal seemed to inject life into the game and two minutes later Trott was called into action at the other end to save a shot from Burgess who had gotten in behind the defence.
The veteran midfielder would not be denied in the 50th minute though, when his low free kick went through a maze of players untouched and found the bottom corner to even the score once again.
The intensity grew and the game opened up as both teams went in search of a go ahead goal
X-Roads would get their break through when Tymon Daniels was the first on the scene to bundle the ball over the line after Donavon Thompson’s shot was parried into his path in the 65th minute.
X-Roads then made a double substitution to add some fresh legs and more physicality to help see the game out.
They continued to be a threat going forward and it was Burgess who would seal the victory when he nodded home from close range after Furbert won the initial header off a corner.
Burgess 56, 76
Furbert (OG) 48
X-Roads: J Burrows, C McDowell (sub: T Perinchief 71), J Furbert, K Wilkinson, T Daniels, A Heyliger (sub: D Baker 71), T Burgess, M Hill, C Hayward, P Simons D Thompson Substitutes not used: P Richardson, R Beek, D Woolridge, K Davis-Jones, S Burgess
PHC Zebras: Shaquille Trott, D Usher, R Richardson, M Lambe, D Smith-Lightbourne (sub K Hypolite 46), Z Lee, D Dowling, Shakai Trott (sub T Welch 82), T Ming, M Warren, C Robinson Substitutes not used: T Place, M Wilson, D Lodge, Z Weller, B Degrilla Booked: M Warren
Referee: L Raynor