Alpha ‘the Hammer’ United edged BK Western Tigers 2-0 in the feature contest of the beginning of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Players Cup quarterfinal round at the Tucville Community ground on Wednesday.
On target for the victors in a bruising encounter were Anthony ‘Awo’ Abrams and Andrew Murray Jr. in the 52nd and 90+2nd minutes respectively.
The opening period began in the worst possible way for the ‘Hammers’ as national forward Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson was given marching orders in the 12th minute, picking up two bookable offences in less than the space of a minute.
Awarded a free kick following a foul on the left flank, Richardson was shown his first caution for trying to take a free kick before the official’s signal. He was then sent off for showing dissent towards the official seconds later.
Although a man down, Alpha would carve out the game’s first real chance in the 17th minute. Latching onto a Dwight Peters right-sided cross, Abram’s would drag his right-footed strike from inside the 18-yard box just wide of the right upright.
However that would prove to be their only real chance of the half as the West Ruimveldt side began to exploit their numerical advantage.
A crunching tackle by box to box midfielder Jerome Richardson on counterpart Bevon Mosley that sent him tumbling over would set the tone for Western’s first half dominance.
Richardson would be the first to test Richie Richards between the uprights as his 33-yard free kick in the 26th minute from the centre of the park forced a smart save from the Alpha shot stopper.
Richardson would be at it again, this time from the 30-yard range in the 34th minute as his right-footed effort fizzed just wide of the left upright.
A beautifully worked combination between Stellon David and Randolph Wagner in the 41st minute almost gave Western Tigers the lead.
Receiving the ball just outside the left of the box, David slipped in Wagner with a cheeky reverse pass, only for the Wagner’s resulting strike to miss the target wide to the left from within the right side of the area.
Forced to attack on the counter due to their handicap, Alpha would take the lead compliments of a defensive mistake by Ryan Adolph.
Upon trying to intercept the ball on the halfway line, Adolph inadvertently allowed the ball to roll under his boot which allowed Abrams to pounce and get free of his marker.
Bearing down on the goal unchallenged, Abrams would then drive home his right-footed effort to the top right hand corner over the advancing Derick Carter to give his side the lead.
Struggling to fashion any meaningful chances following the resumption of the second period, David would come the closest to levelling the score for the West Ruimveldt side in the 79th minute.
Receiving a pass just inside the left side of the penalty box from Gavin Wilson, David would have his effort parried by Richards into the path of right back Kelvin McKenzie who desperately cleared the danger.
Quiet throughout the game, Murray Jr. would seal their progression to the semi-final stage, finding the back of the net with a simple tap in, unmarked inside the penalty area, following a parried stop by Carter from substitute striker Manasseh Primo’s effort.
Victorious coach Wayne ‘Wiggy’ Dover in a post-match comment said “It was a very competitive game. Both teams produced some good moments even though we prevented them from being a real threat to our goal”.
“They tried their best to impose their will on us and we tried our best to stay organized and to hit them on the counter”, added Dover.
Calvin ‘Flu man’ Allen, coach of the losing side said “Finishing and a defensive mistake cost us the game. We had scoring opportunities that we didn’t make use of. No disrespect to Alpha but we handed them the game”.