Supersub Simmons a class apart
X-Roads Warriors 0 Devonshire Cougars 3
Devonshire Cougars scored three unanswered goals against home side X-Road Warriors at Garrison Field yesterday to earn their first points of the season.
Substitute Lejuan Simmons set up the second goal before scoring the third himself to add to Zekiro White’s first-half header. The loss leaves X-Roads pointless as well as goalless after two rounds of play.
X-Roads started the game with the more attacking formation, playing five in the midfield, but it would be Cougars to get the first scoring chance when Zari Simmons dispossessed Robert Turnbull deep in opposition territory before his drive hit the crossbar over the outstretched arm of X-Roads goalkeeper Dashun Cooper and was cleared to safety.
X-Roads should have scored a few minutes later when Donovan Thompson squared the ball back for Ian Coke, whose mis-hit shot was easily saved by Ajai Daniels in the Cougars goal.
Cougars had more possession of the ball, which led to their opener. White ran unchallenged to crash a header into the roof of the net from a Chris Caisey corner. Defender Andre Burgess saved X-Roads from going two down into the break when he pressured Cougars striker Elisha Darrell to race his shot on the run, which Cooper dived to save at full stretch.
Tyrrell Burgess almost gifted Cougars a second shortly after the restart when Darrell intercepted his weak back-pass header, forcing Burgess to foul him at the edge of the box. But Moses Steede’s free kick hit the wall.
Cougars began to find openings in the X-Roads defence, with penetrating through-balls setting up one-on-ones with Cooper, who did well to first deny Darrell, then Drewonde Bascome with his feet.
In a rare home attack, Finlay Turnbull caught the Cougars goalkeeper in no-man’s-land and tried to chip him, but the ball went wide with Daniels scrambling to recover.
Cougars brought the lively Simmons into attack and he paid immediate dividends. His dribble to the byline drew goalkeeper Cooper to the near post before squaring and giving Jomeko Mallory an easy tap-in to make the score 2-0.
Turnbull nearly pulled one back for X-Roads with a thunderous header at the back post from a Khamori Brangman free kick, but Daniels was positioned well to deny the effort.
Just before the final whistle, Simmons scored the third himself when he held off his marker to slide the ball under the advancing Cooper.
“It was a good game today,” Mark Smith, the Cougars assistant coach, said. “In the early stages, they had an awkward formation, which we had to make adjustments to. But most of all, it’s about putting our chances away, which we did.”
Devonshire Cougars: Zekiro White 24, Mallory 81, L Simmons 88
X-Roads Warriors (3-5-2): D Cooper — F Turnbull, T Burgess, A Burgess (sub: C McDowall, 48min) — C Minors, T Daniels, K Brangman, R Beek (sub: J Bean, 46), R Turnbull (sub: A Heyliger, 19) — D Thompson, I Coke. Substitutes not used: S Cannonier, J Sanchez, Q Darrell, D Woolridge. Booked: Heyliger, Brangman.
Devonshire Cougars (4-4-2): A Daniels — L Millett, Zeko White, Zekiro White, T Tucker — C Maybury, Z Simmons, Moses Steede (sub: L Simmons, 80), C Caisey — E Darrell (sub: J Mallory, 64), D Bascome (sub: Mark Steede, 80). Substitutes not used: N Simmons, C Albuoy, D Williams.
Referee: A Francis.
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