Central go four points clear in league; Jabloteh climb second

High drama: Central go four points clear and Jabloteh climb second in Digicel Pro League as Connection and D/Force slip

File Photo: Darren Mitchell, left, scored Central FC's second goal during their 3-0 Digicel Pro League win over Morvant Caledonia United on April 19, 2016 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. At right is the

Wednesday April 20, 2016 (revised on April 21)

Central FC renewed their bid to retain the Digicel Pro League crown with a 3-0 win over 10-man Morvant Caledonia United on Tuesday night to go four points clear at the top, after challengers W Connection were edged 1-0 by San Juan Jabloteh.

Jabloteh, chasing a top-two finish to secure a Concacaf Champions League qualifying spot next season, can now eye the league crown from the view in second position with 45 points thanks to an 86th-minute Tyrone Charles goal against the “Savonetta Boys” at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

But it could be a hard climb for coach Keith Jeffrey's “San Juan Kings” with Central on 49 points and a rescheduled fixture against Club Sando from 7pm on Friday 22 April at the Hasely Crawford Stadium with a chance to go seven points clear with three games left in the title race.

Connection and Defence Force are also still within striking distance for a top-two finish with 43 and 42 points in third and fourth, respectively.

Defence Force, like Connection, also suffered a 1-0 loss on Tuesday night, slipping a spot as fifth-positioned North East Stars (41 points) celebrated their sixth straight league win under coach Ross Russell thanks to a first half strike from in-form forward Kerry Baptiste in the first game of a double-header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Baptiste beat goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke from close up with a half volley, after the Army defence failed to clear on a free-kick sent into the area, for his eight league goal from six games since returning to the Stars in the January/February transfer window.

Defence Force dominated the second half but former target, goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel, stood unbeatable between the sticks for the Stars.

Samuel, another transfer window signing by North East Stars, was magnificent; the former Trinidad and Tobago Youth World Cup goalie's performance included twice denying Russell's son Russell Russell Jr. and Jerwyn Balthazar to preserve his side slim lead all the way to the end.

In the second game of the Port-of-Spain double-header, Central entered on a two-game league losing spell – which ended a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions – as well as last Friday's disappointing semi-final round loss to Connection in the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, and were determined to ditch their recent form.

But it was not until Caledonia, Sunday's finalist against Connection in the title game of the 2016 Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, were reduced to 10 men early in the second half, that the “Couva Sharks” proved superior to their opponents.

Marcus Joseph, Darren Mitchell and substitute Nicholas Dillon were all on target in the second half to return Central to winning ways.

Caledonia defender Ranaldo Bailey saw red two minutes into the second half following his second yellow card of the game for a foul on Central forward Marcus Joseph near the side line.

Joseph later put Central in front 1-0 with his 14th league goal this season when he beat goalkeeper Phillip on 66 minutes after a couple exchanges with Jason Marcano to shred the Caledonia defence apart.

Phillip, who earlier produced three excellent saves to deny Central forward Ricardo John, was beaten a second time when Darren Mitchell blasted into his far netting for the 2-0 "Couva Sharks" lead in the 80th minute.

Eight minutes earlier John, who headed wide on the “Sharks”’ best first half chance in the 20th minute off a Kevon Villaroel cross, spilled overbar off his thigh at the goalmouth before being replaced by Kadeem Corbin.

However it was an earlier substitute Nicholas Dillon who grabbed Central's third item to complete the 3-0 win. Dillon headed powerfully past Phillip after Corbin headed on a Villaroel cross.

Also on Tuesday, sixth-positioned Police FC defeated Club Sando 5-3 in the first game at the Couva double-header.

Police forward Makesi Lewis took his tally at the top of the league scorers list this season to 20 goals, completing a double with a go-head goal on 58 minutes before Dylon King completed the “Lawmen” victory in the 90th minute.

Sando had equalised on three occasions, prior, with forward Devon Modeste netting twice and Shaquille Holder once in a see-saw contest that also had Police forwards Kareem Freitas and Keon Wilson on the scoresheet.

Digicel Pro League 2015/16
Round Three Match Day Six
Tuesday April 19, 2016
Club Sando 3 (Devon Modeste 33', 48', Shaquille Holder 46') vs Police FC 5 (Kareem Freitas 18', Makesi Lewis 36', 58', Keon Wilson 45', Dylon King 90'), at the Ato Boldon Stadium;

W Connection 0 vs San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Tyrone Charles 86'), at the Ato Boldon Stadium;

Morvant Caledonia United 0 vs Central FC 3 (Marcus Joseph 66', Darren Mitchell 80', Nicholas Dillon 87'), at the Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Defence Force 0 vs North East Stars 1 (Kerry Baptiste 45'+), at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Digicel Pro League 2015/16 standings

#

Team

GP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

1

Central FC

23

15

4

4

51

16

35

49

2

San Juan Jabloteh

24

14

3

7

43

33

10

45

2

W Connection

24

12

7

5

46

22

24

43

3

Defence Force

24

12

6

6

49

20

29

42

5

North East Stars

24

12

5

7

39

43

-4

41

6

Police FC

24

11

4

9

54

48

6

37

7

Club Sando

23

8

3

12

30

44

-14

27

8

Morvant Caledonia Utd

24

5

3

16

23

53

-30

18

9

Point Fortin Civic

23

4

4

15

19

49

-30

16

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

23

3

5

15

24

50

-26

14



Teams at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday

Game One
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 3.Ranaldo Bailey (Yellow + Yellow = Red Card), 5.Maestro Mensah, 10.Sheldon Holder (6.Marcus Ambrose 83rd minute), 12.Kareem Joseph, 16.Antonio Joseph, 19.Robert Primus, 22.Jameel Neptune, 24.Gregory President (15.Otev Lawrence 52nd minute), 28.Pernell Schultz, 32.Taje Commissiong (27.Triffon Browne 72nd minute)

Unused substitutes: 6.Marcus Ambrose, 8.Anthony Charles, 13.Kyle Bartholomew, 20.Jamaal Harvey, 29.Kareem Knights

Coach: Jerry Moe

Central FC: 30.Akel Clarke (GK), 4.Andre Ettienne, 7.Jason Marcano, 8.Sean De Silva (Yellow Card), 11.Darren Mitchell, 12.Jamal Jack, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 22.Leston Paul (Capt.) (14.Nicholas Dillon 61st minute), 24.Kevon Villaroel, 45.Ricardo John (77.Rundell Winchester 74th minute), 99.Marcus Joseph (9.Kadeem Corbin 83rd minute)

Unused substitutes: 1.Javon Sample (GK), 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 25.Elijah Manners, 26.Jem Gordon

Coach: Dale Saunders

Match Referee: Cecile Hinds
Assistant Referee 1: Caleb Wales
Assistant Referee 2: Jullieann Mc Dougal
Fourth Official: Keilon Bacchus

Game Two
Defence Force: 25.Sheldon Clarke (GK), 2.Glynn Franklyn (Yellow Card), 4.Dave Long (16.Kellon Serrette 77th minute), 8.Curtis Gonzales, 10.Hashim Arcia, 17.Ross Russell Jr. (Yellow Card), 21.Aklie Edwards, 26.Richard Roy (9.Devorn Jorsling 76th minute), 30.Kishun Seecharan (11.Akeem Roach 81st minute), 52.Stephan Campbell, 99.Jerwyn Balthazar

Unused substitutes: 1.Andre Marchan (GK), 7.Jalani Felix, 12.Jemel Sebro, 23.Kerry Joseph

Coach: Marvin Gordon

North East Stars: 32.Glenroy Samuel (GK), 3.Kion Joseph, 4.Jesus Perez (Yellow Card), 5.Ryan Stewart (6.Jean-Luc Rochford 81st minute) (Yellow Card), 7.Kerry Daniel, 19.Glenton Wolfe, 24.Adrian Noel, 25.Keryn Navarro, 26.Anthony Wolfe (Capt.), 40.Kerry Baptiste (23.Brendon Figuera 86th minute), 42.Reon Moore (21.Neil Mitchell 69th minute)

Unused substitutes: 22.Cleon John (GK), 14.Chike Sullivan, 23.Brendon Figuera, 29.Hakim Baird, 39.Taryk Sampson

Coach: Ross Russell

Match Referee: Rasby Mc Phie
Assistant Referee 1: Johan Corneille
Assistant Referee 2: Anaaz Mohammed
Fourth Official: Gordon Maloney