Marcus Joseph registered a second hat-trick in four days and suddenly Point Fortin Civic are back in the race for the 2013/2014 Digicel Pro League championship.
Joseph, scorer of a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-0 trouncing of Police FC at the Mahaica Oval, scored all three goals in side’s 3-0 win over cellar positioned St. Ann’s Rangers in the first match of a Round Two Match Day Three double header at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Tuesday.
The win propelled Point Fortin three spots up into third on the standings with 16 points, one point behind second positioned North East Stars (17 points), but a very long way behind leaders DIRECTV W Connection (29 points), while Joseph, now with 7 league goals is on the heels of Kerry Baptiste for the Golden Boot award.
The unstoppable Connection extended its unbeaten run to eleven league games and boasts a massive 12-point lead after overcoming San Juan Jabloteh 4-1 in the second match at the Macoya venue.
Shahdon Winchester, who is back in Connection colours on a short stint before heading back to Finland’s FF Jaro in under two months time, led the scorers’ list with a double.
Winchester made it 1-0 by the 12th minute when he smashed a half volley into the roof of goalkeeper Kevin Dodds’ net after getting a favourable bounce inside the area.
Then in the 31st minute, coach Stuart Charles Fevrier’s men were celebrating a 2-0 cushion when defender Leslie Joel Russell turned in a free ball from close range after the Jabloteh defence failed to successfully clear a Silvio Spann left side corner.
Winchester later completed his double with a cool finish in the 54th minute after powering into the area and slipping a low strike past a helpless Dodds.
Dodds and his Jabloteh teammates were lucky not to concede another in the 56th minute when Kurt Frederick’s strike crashed off the post.
Jabloteh finally pulled a goal back in the 59th minute, reducing the deficit 1-3, when Jevon Morris unleashed a powerful crack from distance beating a fully stretched goalkeeper Aquelius Sylvester.
Connection kept pressing the San Juan club, while keeping Kerry Baptiste at bay, and got close in the 74th minute when an ambitious chip by substitute Neil Benjamin Jr. from distance flew inches over.
But in the third and final minute of stoppage time Connection sealed the comfortable 4-1 victory with brothers Alvin and Joevin Jones combining.
Second half substitute Alvin, picked out on the right by another substitute Stefano Rijssel, whipped in a cross and Joevin, who missed the target by inches in the 9th minute, and was denied by Dodds in the 45th minute from a free kick, made no mistake guiding in at the back post.
In the earlier match Joseph, very familiar with the artificial surface at the Macoya venue being a former Joe Public player, clearly was on top of his game.
The Trinidad and Tobago player’s swerving left footed strike in the 6th minute which defeated goalkeeper Terrence Lewis and fitted inside the left upper corner for a 1-0 Point Fortin advantage, was a sign of what was to follow.
Joseph popped up again in the 13th minute with a telling cross which was unfortunately guided wide of the goal by Sylvester Teesdale, under challenge by Lewis.
Joseph, who struck the side netting in the 22nd minute, combined with Bevon Bass in the 29th minute but the latter’s effort crashed onto the base of the upright. And ten minutes later it was Joseph’s pass to Akeem Redhead that saw a swerving effort shave the upright.
Joseph followed up with a crack from 25 yards out and was only a couple metres wide, but the power on the effort gave Rangers reason for concern.
And after taking control of a long diagonal pass by Bass inside the area, ahead of defender Jair Edwards, Joseph poked wide to the delight of goalkeeper Lewis.
But Joseph, who gave Bass another look at goal in the 53rd minute, wasn’t as generous to Rangers in the 56th minute when he rushed the area and rifled in a low strike for a 2-0 cushion.
Joseph later completed his hat-trick and the 3-0 score in the 73rd minute from the penalty spot after referee Gyasi Mc Donald awarded the kick for a foul on Redhead by Jelani Peters.
Joseph was close again in the 90th minute, after a neat exchange with substitute Andrei Pacheco, but only struck the side netting.
Meanwhile Jabloteh’s best chances of the match came from winger Kennedy Isles, who forced a tip behind by goalkeeper Marvin Phillip in the 50th minute from a free kick and curled another effort wide twenty minutes later.
Simultaneously at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Police FC hosted Caledonia AIA and in the end both teams walking away with a point following a 1-1 draw.
Digicel Pro League 2013/2014 Round Two Match Day Three Results
St. Ann’s Rangers 0—3 Point Fortin Civic
Marcus Joseph 6’, 56’, 73’ (PEN)
Police FC 1—1 Caledonia AIA
Jameel Perry ; Densill Theobald
San Juan Jabloteh 1—4 W Connection
Jevon Morris 59’ ; Shahdon Winchester 12’, 54’ Leslie Joel Russell 31’, Joevin Jones 90’+3
St. Ann’s Rangers—25. Terrence Lewis (C), 4. Jelani Peters (Yellow Card), 14. Michael Yaw Darko, 16. Kennedy Isles, 21. Jair Edwards (12. Tevin Gilkes 61st), 26. Josh Toussaint (23. Valdir Andreas Silva 74th), 18. Jemel Berot (Yellow Card), 31. Jameel Antoine, 33. Isaiah McIntyre, 41. Kevin Carter, 49. Chad Clinton (13. Caleb Sturge 55th)
Unused substitutes—1. Akel Clarke (GK), 28. Kadeem Corbin, 32. Joshua Sylvester, 36. Hakeem Legall
Point Fortin Civic FC—1. Marvin Phillip, 5. Andre Ettienne (C), 8. Steven Joseph, 4. Wesley John, 17. Glen Sutton, 18. Akeem Redhead, 10. Marcus Joseph, 11. Andre Toussaint (30. Akiniyel Rouse 78th), 14. Bevon Bass (31. Kendall Davis 61st), 20. Sylvester Teesdale (19. Andrei Pacheco 71st), 7. Nickolson Thomas
Unused substitutes—26. Miguel Payne (GK), 23. Kelvin Hernandez, 13. Ancil Wells, 32. Kestwin Goolie
San Juan Jabloteh—1. Kevin Dodds, 10. Kerry Baptiste (C) (Yellow Card), 25. Alfie James (15. Micah Lewis 46th), 26. Keino Goodridge (3. Lekion Elie 60th), 6. Dario Holmes, 12. Jamal Spencer, 16. Nyron Jones, 20. Dwane James, 7. Rennie Britto (21. Neil Mitchell 75th), 14. Shaquille Bertrand, 18. Jevon Morris
Unused substitutes—9. Jelani Felix, 19. Dillon Kirton, 13. Savion Kirton, 11. Akel James
Coach – Keith Jeffrey
W Connection—22. Aquelius Sylvester, 3. Gerard Williams (C) (Yellow Card), 25. Christian Viveros, 14. Hashim Arcia (26. Stefano Rijssel 82nd), 7. Silvio Spann, 16. Shahdon Winchester, 19. Leslie Joel Russell, 40. Jomol Williams (65. Neil Benjamin Jr. 32nd), 2. Kurt Frederick, 10. Joevin Jones, 15. Mekeil Williams (Yellow Card)
Unused substitutes—18. Julani Archibald (GK), 13. Devaughn Elliot, 11. Tremain Shayn Paul, 39. Alvin Jones, 31. Jerrel Britto
Coach—Stuart Charles Fevrier