Defence Force wants to trip up Central in DPL top-of-the-table clash

​File Photo: Defence Force defender Curtis Gonzales (left) keeps close watch on Central FC midfielder Darren Mitchell.

Thursday 03 March 2016

Defence Force are hoping to break the spell of two draws in as many games against defending Digicel Pro League champions Central FC this season by defeating the “Couva Sharks” on Friday March 4 when both teams lock horns in a top-of-the-table clash at the Ato Boldon Stadium from 8pm.

Central leads the DPL 2015/16 standings with 43 points, four points clear of second-positioned Defence Force (39 points), while last season’s runners-up W Connection are third with 35 points and a game in hand.

“We need to win and close the gap to one point,” said Defence Force coach Marvin Gordon whose side held Central 2-2 on October 20 and 0-0 on January 12 in the league this season.

“We know, as a team, how important this game is,” continued the Defence Force coach. “We need to win the game to give ourselves a chance at winning the league. We had good preparation and now we have to execute what we have done on the training pitch against Central. We see it as a three-horse-race with Central, W Connection and us. We have to do the job for ourselves and be in the position we want to be.”

Defence Force are coming off back-to-back wins while Central are boasting a 12-game unbeaten streak since promoting assistant coach Dale Saunders as “interim” head coach in mid-December.

The “Couva Sharks” are also on a six-game winning streak while ace forward and Trinidad and Tobago international Marcus Joseph is on rich form—netting in six consecutive games with 7 goals.

“Marcus has been doing well on the training ground, even taking the extra time after training to work on putting the ball in the back of the net,” Saunders explained. “What you are seeing is the fruit of the work on game day. The team really appreciates what he has been doing.”

Saunders, though, believes a team effort will be needed to get past Defence Force and give his side the desired “breathing space” at the top of the DPL standings before jetting off to Jamaica on Tuesday March 9 to begin defence of the Caribbean Club Championship in Group 3 against Cayman Islands team Scholars International SC (March 11) and hosts Montego Bay United (March 13). Only the group’s top team will advance to the semi-final round.

“We are taking [Defence Force] very seriously,” added Saunders. “The last encounter against Defence Force was really tough and contested with high intensity. After Friday’s game we are going to Jamaica, so we need to beat Defence Force to get some breathing space at the top.” 

W Connection and eight-positioned Morvant Caledonia United will provide the opening act of the Couva venue double-header from 6pm before Central and Defence Force lock horns.

On Saturday, fourth-positioned San Juan Jabloteh (29 points) will host ninth-positioned Point Fortin Civic from 4:30pm on Saturday at the Barataria Recreation Ground, located on the southern end of 6th Avenue in Barataria.

Earlier on Saturday, cellar-positioned St. Ann’s Rangers will travel to the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium to face Club Sando from 4pm, and on Sunday, North East Stars will welcome Police FC in a mid-table clash from 4pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium.

Digicel Pro League 2015/16
Round Three Match Day Two
Friday 04 March 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs W Connection—6pm
Central FC vs Defence Force—8pm

Saturday 05 March 2016
Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
St. Ann's Rangers vs Club Sando—4pm

Barataria Recreation Ground
San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic—4:30pm

Sunday 06 March 2016
Larry Gomes Stadium
North East Stars vs Police FC—4pm

Outstanding Round Three Match Day One fixtures
Wednesday 09 March 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium

W Connection vs Police FC—6 pm
Larry Gomes Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs San Juan Jabloteh—4pm

 

Digicel Pro League 2015/16 standings

#

Team

GP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

PTS

1

Central FC

19

13

4

2

47

14

33

43

2

Defence Force

19

11

6

2

45

12

33

39

3

W Connection

18

10

5

3

41

16

25

35

4

San Juan Jabloteh

18

9

2

7

32

29

3

29

5

Police FC

18

8

3

7

42

36

6

27

6

North East Stars

19

7

5

7

23

37

-14

26

7

Club Sando

19

6

2

11

19

34

-15

20

8

Morvant Caledonia Utd

18

5

1

12

18

40

-22

16

9

Point Fortin Civic

19

4

4

11

18

42

-24

16

10

St. Ann’s Rangers

19

2

4

13

17

42

-25

10

 

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