Stoppage time Shaquille Bertrand penalty strike keeps Central down

Central FC head coach Terry Fenwick

Central FC head coach Terry Fenwick and his players had the sweet taste of victory snatched from their mouths on Sunday against a valiant San Juan Jabloteh at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Fenwick reacted in fury, following Jabloteh’s Shaquille Bertrand’s equalising penalty, by kicking a water bottle, while the club he once called home celebrated their point in a 1-1 draw. 

A victory which would have seen Central move five spots up the Digicel Pro League table into second position, behind leaders and town rivals W Connection (20 points).

Instead Central, who led 1-0 from the 49th minute thanks to a brilliant Johan Peltier strike, finished with just a point after a stoppage time penalty was converted by Jabloteh’s Shaquille Bertrand for the 1-1 result in the final match of Round One Match Day Nine.

It was from a decent through-pass by striker Dwight Quintero finding Peltier, saw the skilful midfielder keep his cool between two defenders and into the area before firing past goalkeeper Kevin Dodds.

Quintero, who struck overbar in the 38th minute, had a better opening in the 63rd minute but headed overbar as well after towering to meet substitute Jason Marcano's corner swung in from the right.

Central, with new signing Ataulla Guerra getting his first feel of things with the Couva-based club, thought they had bagged full points.

But the former club of a host of Central players such as gifted midfield veteran Marvin Oliver, Jason Marcano, Hector Sam, Elton John, Peltier, Guerra and Jamal Jack, fired back from the spot in the 92nd minute.

Referee Cecil Hinds was in clear view when Bertrand's cross from the left struck the arm of Central right-back John inside the area and awarded the San Juan club the penalty kick.

With this season’s leading league goalscorer Kerry Baptiste and talented midfielder Rennie Britto substituted, Bertrand celebrated the occasion with a comfortable strike past Central goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, who was merely a spectator in regulation time.

Central remained in sixth positioned, tied with fifth positioned Caledonia AIA on 12 points at the end of Round One, while Jabloteh seated eight, also failed to make movement with 7 points.

Ahead of Caledonia and Central are Police FC, North East Stars and defending champions Defence Force, all with 13 points in 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions respectively.

Connection, who was held to a 1-1 daw by Defence Force on Friday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, leads the standings by seven points.

The highlights of the goalless first half at the Port of Spain venue on Sunday included a premature change for Jabloteh coach Keith Jeffrey, replacing dynamic midfielder Kerry Daniel (hamstring injury) with defender Jevon Morris in the 11th minute.

Four minutes later Morris struck an attempt inches shy of the far post after he was slipped a pass on the right by Baptiste.

Next up for Jabloteh, the San Juan club will meet bottom of the table St. Ann’s Rangers (3 points) from 3.30 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Saturday 11 January in Round Two Match Day One. Simultaneously at the Mahaica Oval, home side and seventh positioned Point Fortin Civic (9 points) will host North East Stars.

However Round Two Match Day One kicks off on Friday 10 January with a double header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium when Police hosts Connection from 6 pm in a top of the table clash, and Caledonia against Central from 8 pm.

2013/2014 Digicel Pro League
Full Round One Match Day Nine results

Central FC 1 – 1 San Juan Jabloteh
Johan Peltier 49'  ;  Shaquille Bertrand 92'

North East Stars 1 - 0 St. Ann's Rangers

Trevin Caesar 36'

Caledonia AIA 2—1 Point Fortin Civic
Jamal Gay 7’, 63’ ;  Kendall Davis 57’

Defence Force 1—1 W Connection
Kevon Carter 74’  ;  Rennie Britto 48’

Central FC – 21. Jan Michael Williams (GK), 10. Marvin Oliver (C), 12. Jamal Jack, 24. Akeem Benjamin (Yellow Card), 2. Elton John, 15. Kaydion Gabriel, 9. Dwight Quintero, 13. Johan Peltier (11. Darren Mitchell 81st minute),17. Rundell Winchester (7. Jason Marcano 57th minute) (Yellow Card), 22. Keon Trim (23. Hector Sam 74th minute), 45. Ataulla Guerra

Unused substitutes – 18. Kevon Goddard, 20. Nicholas Dillon, 25. Javon Sample

Coach – Terry Fenwick

San Juan Jabloteh – 1. Kevin Dodds (GK), 10. Kerry Baptiste (C) (11. Akel James 84th minute), 25. Alfie James, 26. Keino Goodridge, 6. Dario Holmes, 12. Jamal Spencer, 16. Nyron Jones, 7. Rennie Britto (Yellow Card) (9. Jelani Felix 78th minute) (Yellow Card), 20. Dwane James, 14. Shaquille Bertrand, 17. Kerry Daniel (18. Jevon Morris 11th minute)

Unused substitutes – 9. Jelani Felix, 19. Dillon Kirton, 13. Savion Kirton, 4. Trevon Lester, 22. Shane Hospidales

Coach – Keith Jeffrey