Central foils Caledonia League aspirations

Source: Allan V. CraneCaledonia AIA’s attempt to close the gap on runaway Digicel Pro League leaders Defence Force took a dive on Saturday night when the Morvant-Laventille club suffered a 3-2 defeat against home-team Central FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Surely it was a result welcomed by the Ross Russell/Marvin Gordon coached-Defence Force which virtually knocked defending champions DIRECTV W Connection out of the race on Friday night with a 2-1 win at the Marvin Lee Stadium.

The soldiers lead the standings with 32 points (and a 9-point advantage) after 13 matches, one match more than Caledonia seated in second with 23 points.

Caledonia remains visibly weakened by the absence of Walter Moore and Radanfah Abu Bakr joining newly promoted Kazakhstan Premier League club FC Vostok, while Densill Theobald, Ataulla Guerra, Nuru Abdallah Mohammed and Trayon Bobb are said to be working on deals in Eastern Europe, while Jamal Gay and Cornelius Stewart are on trials.

Despite the signings of Argentine midfielder Miguel Alejandro Romeo, Brazilian Douglas da Rocha Poroca, Antiguan pair Akeem Thomas and Elvis Thomas, Shemol Trimmingham, goalkeeper Shemel Louision and former player Sherron Joseph, Caledonia’s new blood of players will definitely need time to fit in.

And picking up just two wins from its last five league outings, Caledonia Head Coach Jerry More is staring at daunting task.

Central FC’s Antiguan import Peter Byers launched the Terry Fenwick coached-side ahead in the 28th minute with his debut goal since arriving at the club over a month ago.

It was from a left side corner by Jason Marcano that Marvin Oliver’s header at the near post was fisted out by goalkeeper Loiusion, but only as far as Byers around the six yard area and the ox-built forward headed into goal for the 1-0 advantage.

But in the 37th minute Caledonia’s Tobagonian forward Trevin Caesar leveled the score 1-1 with a low powerful left footed strike after turning past defender Weslie John inside the area after he was played in by Aubrey David.

However Oliver pumped Central back in front by the 39th minute with a 2-1 score.

Marcano swung over another corner from the left which was knocked down into Oliver’s path by Fabien Lewis, and the veteran smashed the ball past Louision between a cluster of players.

Then fourteen minutes inside the second period Caledonia equalized again with a 2-2 score. This time it was from the penalty spot through fullback Kareem Joseph who was awarded the kick by referee Gyasi McDonald after he collided with Central December/January transfer window defensive signing Fabien Lewis.

McDonald was heavily criticized for the decision, among some of his earlier decisions, by some supporters totally unimpressed by the officiating.

Central, however, hacked themselves back in front in the 74th minute when substitute Rundell Winchester headed past goalkeeper Louision for a 3-2 score, and Kareem Joseph’s attempt to clear off the line only hammered the ball into the back of his goalie before the ball nestled at the back.

Louision was beaten a couple minutes earlier by a Weslie John who remained dismayed after his effort crashed onto the upright.

But the Grenada international pulled off a fine save in the 86th minute tipping wide a low strike by Central substitute Anthony Wolfe who was played in by Marcano. And again the officiating came under fire by onlookers when the second assistant pointed for a goal-kick instead of a corner.

First assistant Cindy Mohammed later joined the spectators’ bad books.

In the second of three added on minutes, Caesar won a freekick against Byers. And as substitute Keyon Edwards rushed for an early take he was stopped by Central defender Adrian Noel who slapped the Trinidad and Tobago midfielder across the face following an altercation.

Edwards delayed before making an attempt to chase Noel, but retreated to the point of the freekick. Noel received his marching orders, and then on the advice of Mohammed, McDonald also dished out the red card to Edwards.

Central FC 3—2 Caledonia AIA
Peter Byers 28’, Marvin Oliver 39’ Rundell Winchester 74’  ;  Trevin Caesar 37’, Kareem Joseph 59’(pen)

Central FC—Marvin Phillip(gk)(capt.), Marvin Oliver, Peter Byers, Carey Harris, Adrian Noel(Red Card), Darrell Mitchell(Rundell Winchester 52nd minute), Justin Fojo, Jason Marcano, Weslie John, Fabien Lewis, Johan Peltier(Anthony Wolfe 52nd minute)

Unused substitutes—Shane Mattis(gk), Hayden Tinto, Omar Charles, Hector Sam, Darryl Trim

Coach—Terry Fenwick

Caledonia AIA—Shemel Louision(gk), Stephan David(capt.), Aubrey David, Colin Nelson, Trevin Caesar, Abdallah Phillips(Nathan Lewis 52nd minute), Kareem Joseph, Akim Armstrong(Elvis Thomas 75th minute), Akeem Thomas, Miguel Alejandro Romeo, Sheldon Holder(Keyon Edwards 51st minute)(Red Card)

Unused substitutes—Glenroy Samuel(gk), Aquil Selby, Sherron Joseph, Shemol Trimmingham

Coach—Jerry Moe