MAHAICA OVAL, Point Fortin – Local sensation Marcus Joseph scored a second half double on Saturday to lift Point Fortin Civic to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over visiting Caledonia AIA.
The Round Two Match Day Eight result improved Civic’s position in second with 26 points, while slicing the once very-healthy Digicel Pro League lead of W Connection down to 7 points. The “Savonnetta Boys” with a game in hand are with 33 points.
Joseph, now 11 goals at the top of the 2013/2014 league goal-scorers’ list, levelled the scores 1-1 in the 66th minute with a laser finish off the left boot that defeated goalkeeper Shemel Louison.
Caledonia defensive midfielder and captain Stephan David was quickly caged by two opponents in the middle and lost the ball, which was eventually played forward to Joseph, and the 22-year-old was clinical.
“The first goal we gave up trying to play in our style so I can’t blame the skipper,” said Caledonia assistant coach Jerry Moe following the game. “He made a mistake in trying to play in Caledonia style and it happens.”
Caledonia were leading 1-0 in as early as the 8th minute when Noel Williams climbed inside the area to head right-back Kareem Joseph’s cross into goalkeeper Marvin Phillip’s far netting.
Nical Stevens then tried his luck in the 24th minute but was blanked by Phillip.
Phillip, Trinidad and Tobago’s second choice goalkeeper, was lucky not to concede again in the 32nd minute when goal-scorer Williams wasted wide with the Civic goalie at his mercy, after controlling a neat ball over the top by Akim Armstrong.
Some of the estimated 500-plus Point Fortin fans were still making their way into the Mahaica Oval when a M. Joseph cross slammed onto the frame and caused a bit of scare for Louison seconds before the break.
Civic head coach Reynold Carrington was forced to slightly alter tactically following the break, and also replaced the worn-out legs of his step-son Kariym Balthazar, and later got the two important items.
M. Joseph, still on a high following his 66th minute equalising item, turned away neatly from defender Nuru Abdullah Muhammad inside the area in the 79th minute and swung his venomous left boot to hit past Louison for a 2-1 advantage.
“The game was pretty tough and I knew I had to score to bring the team were we wanted to be,” Joseph said. “I’m accustomed scoring plenty goals, so I kept doing what I needed to do in order to reach where I am. Coach knows I can score goals so he puts me there.”
“Our players doubted themselves a little in the first half,” explained Carrington. “…but the break worked in our favour. We made a change in the half because we were allowing their wingbacks too much room to come in our midfield and play. We made the adjustment and it paid off.
“I always know that you would concede goals, but when you concede it early it’s a plus. We conceded early and our players were able to adjust, knowing that we had time on the clock to turn it around. That happened today for us.”
Carrington added that the victory was very significant in his team’s fight top position on the million-dollar league title.
“We want to keep the pressure on,” he said. “Winning today cut Connection’s lead to seven. We are in second, so we have to think about first (position). We can’t think about third and fourth.”
Commenting on Joseph’s recent form, the Civic coach said, “Marcus is now starting to believe in himself a little more. He is working harder off the ball and the players have that confidence in him. It took him some time for catch form but I think he is in the right place now.”
Moe, who admitted that the result is damaging to the fifth positioned-Caledonia’s ambition of a top-two finish this season, said, “Definitely we are going to have to find a way to turn it around because we want to do better on the collective movement offensively and defensively. () Players need to make the decision based on what the gamedemands. In training it’s a controlled environment. In games they aren’t stepping up and take responsibility. Every player is waiting on the other to step up.”
Six minutes inside the second period, Caledonia forward Keyon Edwards fumble at the edge of the six yard area cost his side a good scoring opportunity, while 21-year-old Nical Stevens followed up with three efforts but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Stevens tested Phillip from outside the area in the 55th minute and was denied by the Civic goalie, and a minute later the midfielder miscued Aubrey David's cross for a tame wide effort.
Stevens’ tried again in the 81st minute, with time and space at his disposal, from the top of the area but sliced substitute Tyrone Charles’ low cross wide.
“It’s a typical situation in what has been happening all season,” a disappointed Moe explained.
“We have been playing well at times. We are getting the chances and not scoring them. And we are giving up easy ones. Typically we weren’t doing enough. We weren’t doing enough defensively and offensively. And when you play that way, you will have problems. Not even set pieces we were doing well today.”
Point Fortin Civic 2—1 Caledonia AIA
Marcus Joseph 66', 79' ; Noel Williams 8'
Point Fortin Civic—1. Marvin Phillip (GK), 8. Steven Joseph, 4. Weslie John, 5. Andre Ettienne (C), 17. Glen Sutton, 18. Akeem Redhead, 7. Nickcolson Thomas, 35. Kariym Balthazar (29. Kevin Rouse 46th minute), 19. Andrei Pacheco, 11. Andre Toussaint, 10. Marcus Joseph
Unused substitutes—22. Akini Adams (GK), 27. Jarred Bennet, 33. Jamille Boatswain, 23. Kelvin Hernandez, 21. Andre Alexis, 30. Akiniyel Rouse
Caledonia AIA—1. Shemel Louison (GK), 7. Stephan David (C), 3. Nuru Abdullah Muhammad, 2. Aubrey David, 12. Kareem Joseph, 19. Nical Stephens (18. Denron Frederick 83rd minute), 20. Noel Williams (10. Ralph Lundy 86th minute), 21. Densil Theobald, 9. Keyon Edwards, 5. Akeem Thomas, 17. Akim Armstrong (16. Tyrone Charles 75th minute)
Unused substitutes—34. Kevin Graham (GK), 6. Marcus Ambrose, 22. Jameel Neptune, 8. Keron Bethelmy
Category: Point Fortin Civic FC