Defence Force thumps Police 3-1 to stay within million dollar Pro League title

Caledonia also 3-1 winners over Jabloteh

Defence Force forward Devorn JorslingForward Devorn Jorsling scored one and set up another to pace Defence Force to a 3-1 win over Police FC in the first of two rescheduled Digicel Pro League matches contested at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday.

The result maintained the mathematical chance of the defending champions in retaining the league title this season, while in the second match at the Couva venue, last season’s runners-up, Caledonia AIA, also registered a 3-1 victory over San Juan Jabloteh.

Jorsling scored his 9th league goal this term for the army/coastguard combination for a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute by beating Police goalkeeper Adrian Foncette from inside the six-yard area after receiving a short Curtis Gonzales cross.

And by the 27th minute Russell’s men were leading 2-0 when midfielder Jerwyn Balthazar, picked out by a Jorsling pass, blasted past Foncette from inside the area.

But Police, who were denied twice by the crossbar within the first 11 minutes, reduced the deficit 1-2 in the 33rd minute through forward Elijah Belgrave, who defeated goalkeeper Kevin Graham from close up following a mix-up in the area.

Defence Force were twice lucky in the opening moments when three minutes into the match an Akiba Peters free-kick crashed onto Graham’s crossbar, and so did a strike from above the area by attacker Kareem Perry eight minutes later.

Then in the 78th minute Elijah was blanked a second by goalkeeper Kevin Graham after meeting a cross from substitute Aaron Stewart.

However it was Elijah’s brother Josimar Belgrave, a second half substitute for Defence Force, that hit past Foncette in the 89th minute for the 3-1 finish from inside the area after substitute Kerry Joseph’s cross from the right found its way past defender Anton Hutchinson.

Joseph had made up for failed chances in the 65th, 70th and 73rd minutes, while Foncette, whose upright was rocked on the hour mark by a Gonzales volley, made a stoppage time save to deny Josimar a second.

Nevertheless the 2010/2011 and 2013/2013 Pro League champions, Defence Force, jumped a spot up into fourth on the standings with 35 points, 10 points behind longstanding leaders W Connection (45 points). With two games in hand must tackle Connection back-to-back on May 4 and 6.

But first Defence Force will meet Police again on Tuesday in Round Three Match Day Seven from 6 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, followed by San Juan Jabloteh against third positioned Point Fortin Civic (36 points) from 8 pm.

And simultaneously at the Hasely Crawford Stadium bottom of the table St. Ann’s Rangers meets Caledonia from 6 pm and from 8 pm, now fifth positioned North East Stars (33 points) will tackle second positioned Central FC (38 points).

Caledonia’s 24-year-old Monserrat international forward Julian Wade scored his first Pro League double on Sunday night, netting on either side of the half against Jabloteh after the San Juan club had held the lead for exactly 30 seconds following a trademark Jean-Luc Rochford free-kick.

Rochford’s kick from 23 yards out in the 28th minute was too good for goalkeeper Shemel Louison, however Caledonia fired back in quick succession within the following two minutes to overturn the deficit.

Wade, who had an overhead attempt wide of an exposed net in the 2nd minute of play and was denied by the crossbar in the 7th minute off a Densill Theobald corner, levelled the scores 1-1 in the 29th minute from inside the area, hitting past 18-year-old rookie goalkeeper Shundelle Mayers, who initially made a block-out against Pernell Schultz following a Nathan Lewis cross.

And by the 30th minute the Jamaal Shabazz-coached Caledonia were leading 2-1 when Theobald found the back of the net with a low from just inside the area.

Six minutes later Caledonia were inches shy of a third item when Lewis, who was denied by Mayers in the 8th minute, sent in a left-footed strike which crashed off the upright.

Jabloteh, occupying eight on the nine-team league standings, tried to level the scores in the 74th minute from another Rochford free-kick but that flew wide and so did their chances of a comeback.

Caledonia, on the other end, wasted two excellent opportunities off substitute Jameel Neptune crosses in the 83rd and 86th minute, with Keyon Edwards heading casually into Mayers and Lewis heading wide of the target.

But on the 90th minute Wade completed his double and the Morvant/Laventille club’s 3-1 score when he headed past Mayers off a hard-worked Lewis cross.

The result pushed Caledonia up a spot into sixth with 27 points, the same as Police FC but ahead by goal-difference, while the “Lawmen” slipped into seventh.

Upcoming Digicel Pro League fixtures
Tuesday 15 April
Round Three Match Day Seven
Ato Boldon Stadium
Police FC vs Defence Force—6 pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs Point Fortin Civic—8 pm

Hasely Crawford Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Caledonia AIA—6 pm
North East Stars vs Central FC—8 pm

Sunday’s results at the Ato Boldon Stadium
Round Two Match Day Seven
Defence Force 3—1 Police FC

Devorn Jorsling 15', Jerwyn Balthazar 29', Josimar Belgrave 89'  ;  Elijah Belgrave 33'

Round Three Match Day Five

Caledonia AIA 3—1 San Juan Jabloteh

Julian Wade 29', 90', Densill Theobald 30'  ;  Jean-Luc Rochford 28'
Defence Force—1. Kevin Graham (GK), 21. Aklie Edwards (C), 2. Glynn Franklyn, 6. Rodell Elcock, 8. Curtis Gonzales (Yellow Card) (10. Josimar Belgrave 75th minute), 9. Devorn Jorsling (26. Richard Roy 86th minute), 12. Jemel Sebro (23. Kerry Joseph 59th minute), 15. Jerwyn Balthazar, 4. Dave Long, 17. Ross Russell Jr., 14. Marvin Jones (Yellow Card)

Unused substitutes—5. Devin Jordan, 7. Balondemu Julius, 18. Sean Narcis, 25. Sheldon Clarke (GK)

Coach—Ross Russell
Police FC—18. Adrian Foncette (GK), 21. Todd Ryan (C), 2. Jasimar Ashers, 5. Anton Hutchinson, 8. Akiba Peters, 10. Trent Noel, 11. Kareem Perry, 12. Vernell Ramirez (22. Aaron Stewart 77th minute), 20. Elijah Belgrave, 25. Kemron Purcell (26. Wendell Joseph 71st minute), 29. Clevon Mc Fee (7. Brendon Christopher 69th minute)

Unused substitutes—1. Errol Charles, 6. Kenaz Williams, 13. Elijah Roberts, 34. Keston Mata (GK)

Coach—Richard Hood

Match Referee—Crystal Sobers

Caledonia AIA—1. Shemel Louison (GK), 4. Nuru Abdullah Muhammad (C), 5. Akeem Thomas, 8. Keron Bethelmy, 12. Kareem Joseph, 9. Keyon Edwards (24. Conrod Smith 84th minute), 13. Julian Wade, 20. Noel Williams (22. Jameel Neptune 79th minute), 21. Densill Theobald (Yellow Card), 27. Nathan Lewis, 28. Pernell Schultz (6. Marcus Armbrose 68th minute)

Unused substitutes—34. Kevin Graham (GK), 16. Tyrone Charles, 18. Denron Frederick, 31. Dylon King
Coach—Jamaal Shabazz

San Juan Jabloteh—36. Shundelle Mayers (GK), 10. Kerry Baptiste (C), 16. Nyron Jones, 24. Kareem Smith, 4. Jean-Luc Rochford (23. Marcus Gomez 74th minute), 19. Dillon Kirton, 5. Mudassa Howe (7. Rennie Britto 43rd minute), 21. Neil Mitchell, 2. Duran Dilworth (22. Maurice Forde 84th minute), 12. Jamal Spencer, 15. Micah Lewis

Unused substitutes—14. Shaquille Bertrand, 20. Dwane James, 13. Savion Kirton, 9. Jelani Felix

Coach—Keith Jeffrey

Match Referee—Cecil Hinds