Defence Force go six points clear in Digicel Pro League

Jemel Sebro and Ross Russell Jr. shine as Defence Force punish Police goalkeeping troubles

Modeste nets double as Sando whip Civic in Mahaica

Defence Force winger Ross Russell Jr. (right) against San Juan Jabloteh during the 2014/15 TT Pro League season.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Defence Force extended their lead at the top of the Digicel Pro League standings by six points on Tuesday with a comfortable 4-0 win over Police FC at the Larry Gomes Stadium.

Wingers Jemel Sebro and Ross Russell Jr. each grabbed a first half double for the Army/Coast Guard combination, while fifth positioned Police (21 points), facing continued goalkeeping problems, finished empty handed.

The win puts the Marvin Gordon coached-Defence Force’s tally at 31 points at the top of the standings – six points clear of defending champions and second positioned Central FC (25 points) – and undefeated in their last nine league games.

Central, however, will attempt to slice Defence Force’s lead when they tackle sixth positioned San Juan Jabloteh (20 points) from 8 p.m. on Wednesday 27 Jan. at the Ato Boldon Stadium, following a 6 p.m. kick-off between ninth positioned Morvant Caledonia United (10 points) and fourth positioned North East Stars (22 points) at the Couva venue.

Also on Wednesday, W Connection (23 points), occupying third position, must travel to the Larry Gomes Stadium against bottom-of-the-table St. Ann’s Rangers from 3:30 p.m. with a chance at closing in on Defence Force.

Defence Force were last defeated by Police FC on Dec. 11 in Round One. That match ended 1-0 with a 70th minute Makesi Lewis goal.

But on Tuesday, revenge was the motivation as Defence Force completed the 4-0 rout before the break.

Sebro, making the best of a rare start this season, scored in the 14th and 18th minutes for the soldiers before supplying the perfect cross for Russell Jr., who scored on 27 minutes, to head past Police debuting goalkeeper Perry O’Connor to complete his double five minutes before the break.

Sebro, however, was unable to continue beyond the 66th minute after he was brought down on the right by Police defender Dexter Alleyne.

Five minutes earlier, following a play started on the left involving Sebro, Hashim Arcia was denied by the legs of O’Connor from close up after an return pass from striker Jorsling.

But that didn’t avoid a nightmare professional debut for the 20-year-old O’Connor, a former Diego Martin North Secondary and Petit Valley United goalkeeper, who got the nod due to problems in the Police goalkeeping department.

First choice goalie Adrian Foncette is away on trials in Turkey for the past couple weeks, while second choice Reinol Paul was suspended for the encounter due to a red card he picked up in Friday’s 4-2 loss against San Juan Jabloteh.

“It would be easy to blame the goalkeeper (O’Connor) for today’s result,” said Police head coach Richard Hood. “But that wasn’t the full problem. I can admit that O’Connor didn’t look as good as he did in training yesterday that gave him the pick ahead of Akeemo Williams. But we can’t blame him.

“We lacked discipline as a team. We had to change the dynamics of the team because [defender] Jibri Mc David is suspended on cards accumulation and winger Kevin Lewis is out with a fractured scapula he picked up in a foul on him last Friday. We were forced to play a few players out of their regular positions and they clearly had the incorrect attitude about it.

“We did improve in the second half but weren’t great,” ended Hood, who believes his side should have shown more professionalism on the day.

Police forward and this season’s leading DPL scorer with 14 goals, Makesi Lewis, had the best scoring opportunity for the Lawmen in the 73rd minute but Defence Force goalie Sheldon Clarke did well to put the effort behind for a corner.

Defence Force also had late scoring opportunities but Arcia lifted a half volley overbar in the 75th minute and in the final minute of play double-scorer Russell, now with 7 league goals this season, failed to increase his tally when he struck high following a solo move down the right.

Down at the Mahica Oval on Tuesday night, Devon Modeste scored on either side of the break as Club Sando defeated home side Point Fortin Civic 3-1 in a bottom-half clash and improved their position at seventh with 14 points.

Modeste converted his second penalty in the last five days when he put the visitors ahead on 19 minutes before Shaquille Holder made it 2-0 in the 22th minute.

Jamille Boatswain reduced the deficit for the home side in the 51st minute, but couldn’t avoid the eight positioned Civic’s seventh straight game without a win.

Civic (11 points) last won a game on Dec. 15 when they edged Morvant Caledonia United 1-0.

Round Two Match Day Five
Tuesday’s (26 January 2016) results
Defence Force 4 (Jemel Sebro 14’, 18’, Ross Russell Jr. 27’, 40’) vs Police FC 0; at the Larry Gomes Stadium

Point Fortin Civic 1 (Jamille Boatswain 51’) vs Club Sando 3 (Devon Modeste 19’ penalty, 80’, Shaquille Holder 22’); at the Mahaica Oval

Upcoming games
Wednesday 27 January 2016
Larry Gomes Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs W Connection—3:30 pm

Ato Boldon Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs North East Stars—6 pm
Central FC vs San Juan Jabloteh—8 pm

Teams at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Tuesday
Defence Force: 25.Sheldon Clarke (GK), 3.Jamali Garcia, 6.Rodell Elcock, 8.Curtis Gonzales (15.Brandon Fountain 60th minute), 9.Devorn Jorsling (22.Levi Serries 64th minute), 17.Ross Russell Jr., 18.Sean Narcis, 10.Hashim Arcia, 21.Aklie Edwards, 52.Stephan Campbell, 12.Jemel Sebro (7.Jelani Felix 70th minute)

Unused substitutes: 4.Dave Long, 16.Ke llon Serette, 26.Richard Roy, 80.Aaron Enill (GK)

Coach: Marvin Gordon

Police FC: 22.Perry O’Connor (GK), 5.Anton Hutchinson, 7.Clevon Mc Fee, 9.Makesi Lewis, 16.Keon Wilson, 10.Kareem Freitas, 14.Kaaron Foster (3.Kadeem Boyce 77th minute), 17.Dexter Alleyne, 19.Christon Thomas (11.Kadeem Riley 80th minute), 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (Capt.) (8.Kurdell Brathwaite 64th minute)

Unused substitutes: 1.Akeemo Williams (GK), 2.Jasimar Ashers, 13.Ricardo Peltier, 15.Jameel Perry

Coach: Richard Hood

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