Red Bay ‘A’ 3 Cayman Prep ‘A’ 1
Another scorcher at the Annex Field this past Saturday, both the weather and the action raised the mercury on the old thermometer as Red Bay battled Bodden Town.
The 10am sun seemed to take its toll on both sides from the outset, as neither team was able to settle down. Play was scrappy as the two offences found it difficult to get anything positive going especially since both sets of defenders had really ‘come to play’ today. Missing Brandon Thompson through injury, Red Bay’s back line of Mathew Forrest, Tacita Berry and Javon, fought hard to contain the small but speedy Bodden Town strikers.
Red Bay’s normally potent offence was unusually quiet for the first 15 minutes as they were bogged down in midfield largely due to the energetic Bodden Town defenders. Nearing halftime, neither team seemed likely to score but out of nothing, Red Bay took the lead. A seemingly harmless corner taken by Nicholas Ebanks found its way through the crowded penalty area and into the far corner of the net as Bodden Town’s goalkeeper failed to clear his line.
The goal ignited the Red Bay contingent as Marlon Mothersill, Jorel Bellafonte, Nicholas Ebanks, Nicholas Bush and Brandyn Murray finally began spraying the passes around causing problems for the Bodden Town defence. Top scorer for Red Bay, Marlon Mothersill, soon added his teams second as he blasted a spectacular 20-yarder past the stranded Bodden Town goalkeeper. At last, the maroon wave was awoken.
Not to be outdone, the Bodden Towners kept pecking away at Red Bay’s goal as Cottrell Ellis was called on a number of times, making some key saves in the process. As the halftime whistle sounded, Red Bay enjoyed a comfortable two-goal cushion with Marlon’s goal highlighting the first half.
The second half began much like the first with both teams struggling to find their passing game. Gradually, Red Bay began to find their form, which was missing from the first 20 minutes. Following a mediocre first half, the normally active Jorel Bellafonte finally ‘showed up’ and after weaving his way past two defenders in his opponent’s penalty area, he was brought down with a thud. Penalty for Red Bay and goalkeeper Cottrell Ellis made no mistake from the spot as he added his teams third of the day.
Bodden Town never gave in and though the three goal deficit would be difficult to overcome, it wasn’t in their hearts or legs to concede defeat without a fight. Red Bay on the other hand, was now coasting as over-confidence crept into their game. Bodden Town’s Jerone McLean pulled one back for his team as his long-range shot was misjudged by goalkeeper Cottrell Ellis as it bounced off his arms and rolled over the line. Determined to add to their tally, the Bodden Towners troubled Red Bay’s defence for the remainder of the game but with in-form Tacita Berry as strong as ever in the back, their forages forward were unsuccessful.
Stung by the rather ‘easy goal’, Red Bay’s Brandyn Murray and Marlon Mothersill pressed forward in search of number four coming close on a number of occasions.
With the game secure, Red Bay rested most of their danger players and Jordan McLaughlin, Jamie Ebanks, Alexander Bosch and Eric Ebanks took over the helm.
The contest ended 3-1 for Red Bay but credit the Bodden Towners who fought tooth-and-nail for the entire game. Not a stellar performance this week from the youngsters in the Red Bay maroon but that’s how the game goes. Onto next week.
Neil Murray is a former star midfielder for the Cayman Islands national team.