A late 30 yard ‘ screamer ‘ from Sam Taylor helped seal a well deserved victory by Dolly Madison Youth Soccer Academy against the visiting Westminster from Fort Lauderdale at Freeport Rugby & Football Club on Saturday.

Taylor’s goal with 10 minutes to goal capped a fine overall team performance over the two days by the Grand Bahama side and put his team into an unassailable 4:2 lead in the game. Earlier , the local Academy side , featuring the best 14 to 18 year olds on the island , had stunned their visitors with a lightening quick two goal burst in the first 2 minutes of the game. Less than half of the players on the pitch had touched the ball after the initial kick off before Taylor had burst through a stagnant opposition defence to slam the pull past the keeper for his team’s opening goal. Within a minute the score was doubled as Marco Borsetto continuing his efforts from the previous evening danced his way through the defence to make it 2 ; nil after less than two minutes.

Credit must be given to the visiting team who could easily have buckled at this point but they defended manfully and fought back well. The game appeared to be well and truly won once Jason Raad added a third goal midway through the half for the Freeport team who thus went into the half time interval 3 goal to nil to the good.

However as the local team began experimenting with formations and players , the visitors got back into the game with a long range shot early in the second half. Indeed a looping header with 20 minutes to go from Westminster forced a rethink by the local coaches who had previously looked to ‘sit on their lead’. Now with a quarter of the game left their team now had to look to win the game once again and thus a more attacking formation was played with the team switching to 442 once again.. This resulted in Sam Taylor’s second goal to secure to secure the victory.

The previous night had since a much more comprehensive victory for the local team by 4 goals to nil. Whilst the score line flattered the local team slightly, they did play far better football on the Friday. The midfield and forwards in particular worked very well together and created some excellent moves. Local coaches Andrew and Henry were particularly pleased with Richardson and ‘Gunsov ‘Navarrone who helped ‘steady the ship’ after the local team was put under pressure in the early stages. However a couple of tactical changes by Freeport helped the team solidify the midfield and get back into the game. Perhaps as a prelude to the following evening, Freeport stunned the visitors with two goals in quick succession as the effervescent Chris Malakious scored two goals in 3 minutes. The first was particularly impressive as he turned his defended and unleashed a powerful shot into the net that left the keeper rooted to the spot.

As the local team continued to press forward they were unlucky not to increase their lead as both Borsetto and Roberto hit the woodwork. Eventually both players (Marco Borsetto and Roberto Bascon) did indeed score to make the final score 4 nil to Dolly Madison Youth Academy.

Their Head Coach Mark Hardy was pleased with the overall performance of all his players but singled out his defenders as the foundation of the team‘s 2 victories. He noted that the performances of Kingsley, Tristan Phillips, Preston Rolle, and Kevin Charlton gave the rest of his team the foundation to build upon . Some of these guys played out of position but all of them were immense and , whilst they did not score, they all played a large part in the two victories.

Coach Hardy took the time to thank the visiting team for coming over adding that they hoped to travel to the US next year and , in addition, aim to bring additional teams over in conjunction to Westminster so that a proper soccer tournament could be held. He also expressed his gratitude to the game officials ( Eon, Eon and Ghassan) and the committee at Freeport Rugby & Football Club ( especially James , Phil and Kirk ) for their hard work in assisting to get the weekend running smoothly.

The Dolly Madison Soccer Academy continues to run every Wednesday from 5pm at Freeport Rugby & Football Club.