DIRECTV North East Stars boasted its new Brazilian coach Emerson dos Santos Alcântara while Adam’s Construction San Juan Jabloteh in-form forward Willis Plaza was very noticeably absent in Tuesday’s 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship clash, but both teams had something in common.
It was penalty spot strikes that gave both sides their goal in a 1-1 draw at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Round One Match Day Four.
Stern John was the first to convert from the spot with a powerfully taken kick giving goalkeeper Cleon John no chance in the 14th minute for a 1-0 advantage.
The former Coventry City and Sunderland forward won the penalty a minute earlier when he was brought down inside the area by Tobagonian defender Jamal Jack. It took referee Rekish Jullipsingh more than usual time to signal the penalty having to run from the centre of the field to the area.
The Sangre Grande side actually had wasted opportunity just five minutes into the match, to the disappointment of Alcântara who later spent all of his time at the edge of his technical area giving instructions to his new side.
Winger Kevaughn Connell had the opening after eluding his marker at the edge of the six yard area but fired his effort directly at goalkeeper John who made an easy wrap.
Jabloteh were forced to make a premature substitution in the 38th minute with Johan Peltier replacing the most flamboyant player Jason Marcano who injured his left ankle on the defensive against Seon Power from a Stars corner.
Despite the setback Jabloteh leveled the scores 1-1 when former England based striker Hector Sam enjoyed a second penalty attempt against goalkeeper Andrew Durrant burying his effort on the Guyanese’s left in the 68th minute.
Sam, who was brought down inside the area by the Stars’ goalie, was denied by Durrant on an initial kick from the penalty spot; however it was ruled out for moving off the goal-line too early.
And ten minutes from time Durrant pulled off a fine one handed save to deny Sam after a great buildup by Jabloteh—the only time really breaking down the North East defense which solid throughout the game with a solid performance by defender Power.
Meantime Jabloteh certainly lacked the presence of Plaza who already has five goals this season.
Jabloteh will host T&TEC FC on Friday 28 October from 7pm at the same Malabar venue, while North East Stars will travel to central Trinidad against W Connection from 6pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Round One Match Day Five of the Digicel Pro League Championship.
San Juan Jabloteh 1—1 North East Stars
Hector Sam 68’ (pen) ; Stern John 14’ (pen)
San Juan Jabloteh - Match Statistics - North East Stars
1 Goals 1
3 Attempts on Target 1
2 Attempts Wide 1
2 Offsides 2
4 Corners 2
9 Fouls 16
0 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
San Juan Jabloteh—Cleon John (capt), Marvin Oliver, Karlon Murray, Devon Jamerson, Nigel Daniel, Elijah Manners, Jason Marcano (Johan Peltier 38th), Luke Gullick (Kwame Wiltshire 86th), Kennedy Hinkson, Hector Sam, Jamal Jack.
North East Stars—Andrew Durrant, Charles Pollard (capt), Stern John, Seon Power, Marc Leslie, Glenton Wolfe, Keryn Navarro, Kendall Velox (Yellow 76), Akeil Guevara, Kevin Jagdeosingh, Kevaughn Connell (Yellow 42) (Stephen Cruickshank 66th)
Coach—Emerson dos Santos Alcântara.