May 10, 2003 from Royal Gazette Bermuda web site

‘Sluggish’ Bermuda lose 1-0

By Gayle Alleyne


Hamilton Thunder 1 Bermuda Select 0

It’s amazing how much difference a month makes – just ask anyone who witnessed last night’s match between the Hamilton Thunder and Bermuda Select teams.

On paper, the home side’s 1-0 loss to the Canadian visitors belies the evidence that played out at the National Sports Centre.

The Island’s footballers were guilty of being sluggish; wayward passing and squandering the handful of scoring opportunities that came their way – all this a mere month after the local soccer season closed.

So glaring were their offences – particularly in keeping up with the North Americans – that it prompted comment from national coach Gary Darrell at the final whistle.

“There’s no question fitness was a problem. We were struggling to keep pace. I was rather disappointed with our performance. I think the players are better than they showed tonight but it really goes back to our fitness and probably not having enough time together to prepare for the match,” he said as his squad trudged off the pitch. Darrell, and possibly some players would have been frustrated and even hurt by the fact that they failed to beat the Thunder’s keeper, Roberto Ferrari, at least once; especially in the second half when more of the play occurred in the Thunder’s half. However, Bermuda’s football in the last third of the field let them down repeatedly with about six solid chances going a-begging. The Bermudians will be looking to make ammends for such shortcomings tomorrow, acknowledged the coach.

“We’ll make a couple position changes and we’re going to try to give everybody an opportunity to play but, at the same time, we want to try and improve on tonight for sure,” said Darrell.

He would have taken some comfort from the robust defending of Kofi Dill and, to a lesser extent, Shannon Deshields and Damon Edwards. They combined to deny the Canadians any further inroads after Orlin Cardenas had scored the lone strike in the tenth minute.

The goal materialised from a strong run down the right wing by Jason Crnic who then crossed the ball for Cardenas to administer the final rites ahead of Bermuda’s diving goalie Khabir Dill.

Stephen Astwood led Bermuda’s attack and nearly got the better of Ferrari with a direct free kick mid-way in the first half. However, being true to his surname, the Thunder’s custodian shot skyward to tip Astwood’s effort over the crossbar. Before the half concluded, the hometown striker also hit past the outside of either upright.

At the other end, Kofi Dill and Edwards made vital last-ditch tackles to thwart the Thunder’s speedy forward David Simpson on two threatening solo runs.

The second half saw a multitude of substitutions on both sides and less intensity in action. In the 55th minute, Kamen Tucker replaced his Bermudian counterpart Kevin Lambe up front and the former bungled the Island’s last serious chance of equalising.

Unfortunately, he shot wide of the right post after the ball had been lofted into the six-yard box from midfield.

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