Friendship Trophy Preliminary: PHC 4 Paget 0

December 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

Reigning champions PHC Zebras put to rest any notion neighbours Paget Lions may have had of success beyond the initial round of the Friendship Trophy competition with a complete and dominant showing at home, running rampant for a 4-0 triumph.

Captain CeCoy Robinson and Jaheim Iris appeared with their Sunday match boots, their finishing the most deadly. Robinson was at his clinical best, scoring a hat-trick with ease and no small amount of skill, his scheming ways evident and productive throughout, willful in creating holes among a Paget defence that was constantly at odds under unrelenting pace and pressure combined with unselfish movement.

To their credit Paget, returning following an encouraging last outing draw against league leaders X-Roads, came out with early organisation and defended well the first quarter of an hour as PHC showed some rust from having not played meaningful football in two weeks. Their lack of touch showed particularly at the final third, with passes going awry as were shooting attempts.

Paget surprisingly started with talisman Dion Stovell on the bench and by the time he was inserted into the action on the half hour mark the deal was well on its way to completion, and not in Paget’s favour. By the time Stovell came on, PHC were two goals up and having their way, the initial resistance from Paget broken first by Robinson in the 21st minute.

Allowed room to collect and turn goal-ward at the top of the circle, Robinson encompassed the space given and stole more as he showed speed followed by touch, lobbing goal-keeper Ricardo Brangman in his advance, the keeper’s attempted parry not enough.

Seven minutes later, Iris consolidated the lead with a composed finish to a searching ball forwarded from Wendell [Tre] Ming in midfield, who found his left-side team-mate available with too much space for his defender to cover.

Iris did the rest, drawing Brangman again to see his adversary’s finessed, curling effort find perfect placement and rest. The momentum continued in the favour of the champs into the half, with only the poor practice boot standard offerings denying more scoring.

Still Paget might have thought themselves in with a shout even at two goals down coming into the second half, but it took just seven minutes for their to be directed toward the referee and then each other as they surrendered a penalty for a push on Ming as he made inroads inside the box following intricate moves with Robinson just outside.

Robinson buried the kick straight up the middle as Brangman dove left and and when Robinson showed again to finish a talented left-side run and cross by Kenneth Mathie, in perfect imitation of his legendary father Kenny Mills.

“Today’s game was for us to get back into he rhythm of things and I thought we done well, a positive was for me to score three goals and we just have to keep working at it,” later said Robinson, also a Bermuda international and who worked extremely well on the day with fellow international Ming.

“We’ve been working a lot on keeping possession of the ball, playing one-twos and making short passes and today was a good day for us to try it out and it was working for us, and that’s another thing we have to keep at.”

PHC gaffer Scott Morton was well in the role, being quick to note the chances that indeed went begging, as the lack of match practice showed at the finishing end with regularity.

Cylinders clicked in most quarters, the disparate class of talented depth most evident, but the coach stressed, despite lack of value in extending a score in a cup competition where a one goal advantage counts as much as that of 10.

“It’s always important for us to score goals no matter what, because we look at every match as a momentum builder and we have another match Wednesday night against Dandy Town and we need to get comfortable with scoring goals,” said Morton, who’s men remain tipped to take more than a single title this year. “So I don’t care if it’s a finals, semi-finals, quarter-finals it doesn’t matter, if we get 10 chances I want 10 goals.”

Zebra advance along with last season’s finalists North Village, who on Saturday night defeated BAA 2-1 at Goose Gosling Field.

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