First round FA Cup action saw some spectacular action as the First Division sides joined the big boys over the weekend and there couldn’t have been a more incident-packed match than the Tigers game against Elite.
Elite are reigning champions, lead in the Premier League and on paper were far superior to Tigers. But sport’s enduring appeal are the vagaries it regularly throws up. Tigers, for all their scoring limitations, are a well drilled side who caused an upset recently by inflicting their first defeat of the season on Scholars International.
The game at the TE McField Annex on Sunday started according to script with Dwayne ‘Gaza’ Wright netting his sixteenth of the season in the 12th minute. Miguel Simms levelled for Tigers ten minutes later. Elite were reduced to 10 men just before the break when skipper Abijah Rivers was red carded for felling a Tigers player bearing on goal.
Tigers were inspired and Jesus Nunez netted in the 59th minute to put them 2-1 up. Had Simms not hit the post instead of scoring soon after it would have been secured Tigers the tie. Spurred on by their vocal supporters, Elite found the equaliser through the ever reliable Alex Belcher who has so often scored at crucial times this season. Tigers too lost Edwin Ochoa near the end from a second yellow card.
Into extra time and both sides came close although Elite seemed to have the edge. The dreaded penalty shoot-out and Elite kept their nerve better to go through. Thrilling stuff which must have been shattering for Tigers who came so close to pulling off the biggest upset of the weekend.
In the earlier game, Bodden Town barely broke sweat as they coasted to a 3-0 victory over Sunset with goals from Charlo McLean (10), Gerome Graham (44) and Danu Smith (82).
In Sunday’s games at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay, in a clash of First Division sides, Academy beat Prospect 3-0 through goals by Ariel Tatum (9 and 49) and Romario Dixon (75).
High flying Scholars had no problems against North Side thanks to a Mark Ebanks hat-trick (29), 30 and 75), Nikolai Hill (58) and Aldene Forbes (70). Hill was so surprised that he had finally scored for the first time in many years that he pinched himself to ensure he wasn’t dreaming.
In the matches at the TE McField Annex on Saturday, Cayman Athletic took their time to break down First Division East End with goals from Christopher Ebanks (53 and 75), and David Bodden Jnr (77) with one for East End by Rodrick Pearson (66).
Future got a rare win – against Cayman Brac – but they had to go into extra time to do it. Future scorers in the 4-1 victory were Paul Brown, Johnny Johnson, Darvin Watson and Denver Barnes. Brac captain Carlos Matute scored in the final minute of regular time to take the tie into extra time. Brac keeper Jermaine Spaulding had a superb game. His string of brave and athletic saves kept Brac in the match throughout.