?Jaden Ratteray-Smith was the toast of the Somerset Trojans dressing room after his last-gasp equaliser earned his team a point from a thrilling derby against Somerset Eagles at White Hill Field at the weekend.
The defender tapped in Khiari Sharrieff-Hayward’s free kick at the back post with virtually the last kick of the game to earn his team a 3-3 draw.
“It was a good cross to the back post and I judged it and was able to put it away, which was good because it saved the team really,” Ratteray-Smith said.
“It put a cap on our determination to get back into the game and the hard work we put in throughout the second half.”
Trojans clawed their way back from a 2-0 deficit but fell behind 3-2 shortly after having striker Dion Stovell sent off when Eagles substitute Ethan Fubler put the home side back in front early in second-half stoppage time.
However, Ratteray-Smith had another trick up his sleeve.
“The first half we were a little slow starting but we took the instructions from our coach at the half into the second half and did a lot better,” he added.
“We came back to 2-2 and were unfortunate to go down 3-2 but we never turned off and kept fighting. We showed more determination and fight and it paid off for me. It’s a derby goal, so it’s pretty important.”
Dennis Brown, the Trojans coach, hailed Ratteray-Smith’s late heroics.
“That’s the type of player Jaden is in relation to never giving up and it was so fitting that he would score the equaliser,” Brown said. “I’m really happy for him because he is a hard worker and a never-say-die player.”
The West End derby was one of the most exciting between the two rivals as it featured non-stop action played at high tempo, bone-jarring tackles and six superbly taken goals.
“It was a very exciting game that could have gone either way,” Reginald Philpott, the former Somerset Eagles manager, said.
“It is the most exciting derby game that we have had for a while and the fans got their money’s worth.”
Ratteray-Smith’s late heroics brought back memories for his coach Brown.
“It reminded me so vividly of the 3-3 draw with Eagles around 1988 or 1989 at Somerset when I played,” Brown recalled. “I got an equaliser from a header on the final whistle so it was the same scenario.
“It just brought back some good memories of a see-saw match where Eagles went ahead 1-0, we came back and went ahead 2-1, Eagles went ahead 3-2 and I scored with the last touch of the game.”
Brown said the derby means so much to both teams and their fans.
“There are not many derbies like this in Bermuda,” he added.
“Some of the Eagles players came through Somerset’s programme and may or may not have been able to get into Somerset’s team, so you know it’s going to be a serious rivalry.
“I remember back in my days it was like a love-hate relationship.
“You’re friends off the pitch but when you get on that pitch it’s do or die for bragging rights for either community, so we never wanted to lose to Eagles.
“The rivalry means that much to the people of Somerset and Somerset Bridge.”