EBFA / STAG Senior League….
A Denzil Crawford double set the platform for defending champions Grove Hi Tech to defeat Herstelling Raiders 4-1 in the opening match of the STAG sponsored East Bank Football Association (EBFA) Senior League on Sunday afternoon last at the Grove Playfield.
Denzil Crawford netted the first of his brace on the half hour, a shot that was partially blocked by Herstelling’s custodian and Captain Quazim Yussuf. With a minute to half time, Crawford was on target again as he beat Yussuf to his left again, the Herstelling defence was caught napping.
Grove Hi Tech’s Denzil Crawford (#13) scores his second goal against Herstelling Raiders
Grove, fielding a side primarily made up of Under-18 players started the game scratchy but they found their range as the match progressed. Herstelling Raiders in their second season at the senior level looked a more experienced unit from the last competition when they placed seventh out of eight teams.
However, the seasoned nature of the Grove players made the difference between the two sides as the match matured. Herstelling stood firm in the first 30 minutes but could not hold back the home team from taking control.
In the second half, Grove continued to dominate proceedings with Herstelling showing a few signs of brilliance which did not translate itself into goals. Second half substitute Kevin Dalton who ended as the top goal scorer and MVP of the Under-17 League showed his ability to score yet again with a well placed header in the 70th minute that further strengthened Grove’s hold on the match, 3-0.
Yussuf, a former National Under-17 goalkeeper did not help his and his team’s cause as ordinary work saw a tame shot from Orson Francois sliding under his outstretched body and into the back of the nets with three minutes to full time as Grove took and unassailable 4-0 lead.
Herstelling was able to score a consolation goal in the penultimate minute of the match; Alwyn White sliding the ball into the back of the net despite the efforts of Trevor Jones to deny him after custodian Michael Matthews was beaten.
Matches will continue this Sunday at the same venue. Agricola Red Triangle will square off with Diamond United in the feature match at 15:30hrs, opening play at 13:30hrs brings together Kruru Kururu Warriors and Soesdyke Falcons.