Joseph shine again as Point Fortin close gap on leaders Connection; late Hinkson strike keep Stars above Caledonia in Macoya thriller

Joseph shine again as Point Fortin close gap on leaders Connection

MARVIN LEE STADIUM, Macoya - Point Fortin Civic returned to second position on the Digicel Pro League 2013/2014 standings on Friday night, while North East Stars also maintained ambition of a top-two finish this season.

Both sides preserved a one hundred percent league record, this term, against Police FC and Caledonia, respectively, with Civic enjoying a comfortable 3-0 win over the "Lawmen", while the Stars were 3-2 winners over the Jamaal Shabazz coached—Morvant/Laventille club.

Civic, moved up a spot into second with 29 points, and now trail leaders DIRECTV W Connection by just 5 points.

However Connection, with 34 points and a game extra, will tackle bottom of the table St. Ann's Rangers from 5 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Saturday 8 March, with an excellent opportunity to restore it's 8-point advantage.

Marcus Joseph, who rewarded traveling supporters with a goal and two assists on Friday, fired Civic ahead 1-0—taking his leading tally to 12 goals—with a low laser past a helpless goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, who was left to dry following defensive lapses by Jasimar Ashers.

The 22-year-old Joseph later forced three good saves out of Foncette in the 23rd, 31st and 52nd minutes, but it was the Point Fortin star's cross from the left that Civic double its advantage in the 38th minute.

Joseph, who was set free down the left by hardworking teenaged winger, Akeem Redhead, whipped a low cross behind the Police defence and Andre Toussaint completed his well timed run by hitting past Foncette for a 2-0 score before the break.

Toussaint missed out on his second, six minutes from time, to Foncette's delight, when he completely failed to make contact on Redhead's left side cross into the area.

But in stoppage time Civic added a third to complete the 3-0 win against the side it defeated 3-1 in Round One and 5-0 in Round Two this season.

It was from Joseph's right side corner that Kariym Balthazar was credited with heading the ball past Foncette.

Point Fortin coach Reynold Carrington featured goalkeeper Akini Adams for the first time in over five months, since the player's brother, Akeem Adams, suffered a massive heart attack in Hungary on September 25, which eventually led to his unfortunate passing on December 30.

Akini, enjoyed his return to competitive action with a number of shutouts, including a point blank save eight minutes into the match, and another crucial one in the 69th minute to deny Jameel Perry. And the rebound effort by Police midfield substitute Kenaz Williams flew inches high of the crossbar.

In the end Police remained sixth on the standings with 21 points, as does the fifth positioned Caledonia.

Ahead of them are fourth positioned North East Stars and third positioned Central FC, both with 26 points.

Central will meet defending champions Defence Force on Sunday 9 March from 4 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium to wrap up Round Three Match Day One.

Caledonia, last season's runners-up, failed snap their losing spell against fourth positioned North East Stars, who defeated them 3-0 in Round One and 2-0 in Round Two, despite nearing a point on Friday night.

Former Caledonia striker Trevin Caesar was the most dangerous, firing the Angus Eve coached-Stars ahead in the 21st minute after getting the better of defender Nuru Abdallah Muhammad and hitting into Shemel Louison's far netting for a 1-0 score.

Moments later Stars' goalie and captain Cleon John had to push behind a Tyrone Charles free kick and then saw his crossbar rocked by a glancing Keyon Edwards' glancing header off substitute Jameel Neptune's cross.

However John was beaten in the 32nd minute by a low powerful strike from Densill Theobald, leveling the score 1-1, after a neat heeled pass by Edwards.

Both sides continued to slug it out, and even had a Stars' shout for penalty after a handball by Marcus Ambrose inside the area, but referee Ishmael Mohammed wasn't in favour.

It wasn't long after that Caesar notched his second in the 61st minute to restore the Sangre Grande club's advantage, 2-1, when he rushed in at the back post to guide Chike Sullivan's floated ball past Louison.

The speedy Tobagonian forward came close to another in the 72nd minute, curling an effort onto the Louison's upright, and forcing a save out of the Grenadian ten minutes later.

But the scores were level again, 2-2, on the 85th minute when Theobald secured his double with a left footed strike took a slight deflection off defensive midfielder Keithy Simpson to beat John.

Then it crumbled for Caledonia three minutes from time after Louison spilled substitute Lemuel Lyons' effort and Kennedy Hinkson reacted with urgency to hit into the back of the net for a 3-2  final score, in the contest that was temporarily marred by a heated confrontation near the end between both sides after a foul on Stars midfielder Keryn Navarro—on a quick break—by Stephan David just beyond centre circle.

Digicel Pro League 2013/2014

Round Three Match Day One results

Police FC 0—3 Point Fortin Civic
Marcus Joseph 21’, Andre Toussaint 38’, Kariym Balthazar 90'+

Caledonia AIA 2—3 North East Stars
Densill Theobald 32’ , 85’ ;  Trevin Caesar 7’, 61’, Kennedy Hinkson 87’

Police FC—18. Adrian Foncette (GK), 21. Todd Ryan (C) (6. Kenaz Williams 46th minute), 2. Jasimar Ashers (Yellow Card), 5. Anton Hutchinson, 11. Kareem Perry (8. Akiba Peters 70thminute), 13. Elijah Roberts, 15. Jameel Perry, 17. Dexter Alleyne, 20. Elijah Belgrave, 29. Clevon Mc Fee, 39. Joel Kevin Lewis (12. Vernell Ramirez 65thminute)

Unused substitutes—34. Keston Mata (GK), 24. Ariei Mc David, 26. Wendell Joseph, 33. Kurdell Brathwaite

Coach—Richard Hood

Point Fortin Civic—22. Akini Adams (GK), 5. Andre Ettienne (17. Glen Sutton 46th minute), (C), 8. Steven Joseph (6. Kelvin Modeste 72nd minute), 4. Weslie John, 2. Garyl Doldron, 18. Akeem Redhead, 7. Nickcolson Thomas, 35. Kariym Balthazar, 19. Andrei Pacheco (15. Sean Cooper 69th minute), 11. Andre Toussaint, 10. Marcus Joseph

Unused substitutes—1. Marvin Phillip (GK), 21. Andre Alexis, 29. Kevin Rouse, 33. Jamille Boatswain

Coach—Reynold Carrington

Caledonia AIA—1. Shemel Louison (GK), 3. Nuru Abdullah Muhammad (Yellow Card), 6. Marcus Ambrose (Yellow Card), 7. Stephan David (Yellow Card), 9. Keyon Edwards (13. Julian Wade 82ndminute), 11. Abdallah Phillips (22. Jameel Neptune 14th minute), 12. Kareem Joseph, 16. Tyrone Charles (10. Ralph Lundy 67th minute), 20. Noel Williams, 21. Densill Theobald, 27. Nathan Lewis

Unused substitutes—8. Keron Bethelmy, 19. Nical Stephens, 30. Akil Stafford, 34. Kevin Graham (GK)

Coach—Jamaal Shabazz

North East Stars—22. Cleon John (GK) (C) (Yellow Card), 4. Keithy Simpson (Yellow Card), 6. Jeromie Williams, 7. Elijah Manners, 9. Akiel Guevara (11. Lemuel Lyons 59thminute), 15. Chike Sullivan (21. Neveal Hackshaw 76th minute), 18. Kaashif Thomas, 19. Glenton Wolfe, 20. Trevin Caesar (24. Jomoul Francois 93rdminute), 23. Kennedy Hinkson, 25. Keryn Navarro

Unused substitutes—1. Stefan Berkeley (GK), 3. Kevon Villaroel, 16. Franz Husbands

Coach—Angus Eve