Central F.C tops first round to capture Rawle Fletcher trophy.

 A goalfest at the Ato Boldon stadium brought the first round of the 2016/2017 TT Pro league season to a close on Tuesday night. The Defence Force got a much-needed league win in style with a 7-2 thrashing of Point Fortin Civic F.C while DirecTV W. Connection looked impressive in dispatching a formidable Ma Pau Stars outfit 4-2.

Central takes Rawle Fletcher Trophy


Central F.C. Captain Darren Mitchell
With the second round of this truncated season set to begin on the weekend, it will be undoubtedly an entertaining dash to the finish line. The Sharks of Central F.C are the defending champions and showed why with a come from behind win over Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh when the final round of matches began last Friday. Jabloteh were in control of most of the first half and were even awarded a penalty when the hardworking Kennedy Hinkson was upended in the box but midfielder Tyrone Charles made a mess of the spot kick which goalkeeper Akel Clarke delightfully gobbled up. Charles redeemed himself somewhat though, when in the 31st minute he did all the hard work to present Nathan Lewis with a simple header at the far post to put them ahead.

Ma Pau Stars Goalkeeping ace Glenroy Samuel

With the 1-0 lead at the break, Keith Jeffrey’s men looked confident early in the second half but seemed to go into caution mode as they crossed the hour mark, that’s when the Sharks pounced. Jem Gordon got them on level terms in the 76th minute when he converted a low cross away from goalkeeper Shemel Louison and then, as we have seen so many times this season, the men coached by Dale Saunders grabbed a late winner as their captain Darren Mitchell scrambled the ball in with a minute remaining in regulation time. The win put Central on 25 points which meant they could not be caught by second placed W Connection when the round ended on Sunday, ensuring that the prize for winning the first round, (The Rawle Fletcher Trophy) will reside at Shark tank.
Fallen Stars as Hector and Apai celebrate
Despite knowing this, W Connection hosted a clinic in attacking football in the feature match on Sunday night. Mind you, Ma Pau are no push overs with coach Ross Russell proving to be an expert tactician but his strategies, along with the experience and guile of Carlos Edwards and Anthony Wolfe, coupled with the outstanding goal tending of Glenroy Samuel was not enough to halt a rampant Connection.

 

Teams

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Points

1

Central FC

9

8

1

0

21

9

12

25

2

Direct TV W Connection

9

7

1

1

28

8

20

22

3

Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh

9

5

1

3

17

13

4

16

4

Club Sando

9

4

1

4

18

17

1

13

5

Ma Pau Stars

9

4

1

4

14

14

0

13

6

Police FC

9

3

2

4

18

15

3

11

7

St. Ann's Rangers

9

3

2

4

13

15

-2

11

8

Defence Force

9

3

1

5

14

17

-3

10

9

Morvant/Caledonia United

9

1

3

5

13

19

-6

6


Once again it was Hughton Hector and Andre Toussaint pulling the strings in midfield for the Savonnetta Boys as it took 14 minutes for them to open the scoring through Demitri Apai. The nippy Surinamese doubled his tally on the half hour as his team sought to establish a stranglehold on the encounter but Ma Pau was having none of it. One minute later Jerrel Britto went surging into the Connection penalty area and was stopped illegally by goalkeeper Terrence Lewis and referee Cicile Hinds did not even blink as she pointed to the spot. Kerry Baptiste easily converted the reward to pull his team back and they went in at the break just 2-1 down. On the resumption, Connection never looked in trouble as Alvin Jones also came to the party in midfield while his captain Hector took over the scoring duties with strikes 60th and 67th minutes. Some fine saves by Samuel kept the team from Sangre Grande in the match but they could only pull one back late through Sayid Freitas for the final score.
Military Strike Force Devorn Jorsling and Hashim Arcia after a successful mission
The win kept the Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s team in second spot on 22 points, just three adrift of Central and a healthy six points ahead of Jabloteh.
The other battle on Sunday was at the opposite end of the table with both Defence Force and Point Fortin needing a win, it was evident from the first whistle who wanted it more.

Fresh from their First Citizens Cup Final victory on Friday, the Army, Coast Guard and Airmen were merciless against the team from “Football-town T&T” as they opened the scoring from the first minute through their talismanic Devorn Jorsling. He also had one in the 64th after the lanky Hashim Arcia helped himself to a hat trick with goals in the 14th, 59th and 61st. A Jemel Sebro double (38th and 45th) also assisted in keeping Civic in the cellar spot on the points table.

Point Fortin did contribute to the night’s entertainment in a positive way though, with two fantastic late strikes off the boot of Jamille Boatswain which accounted for the final score not looking as bad as it was.
Point Fortin starts the second round on Friday night when they meet fellow strugglers Morvant/Caledonia United at the Ato Boldon from 6:00pm, to be followed by a clash between third and fourth places when San Juan Jabloteh meets Club Sando. But the match of the opening round will be on Monday at the same venue from 6:30pm with a top of the table duel featuring ‘W’ and Central.

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