A goal, the result of a magnificent effort on the part of veteran Bertie Thompson, scored seven minutes to full time, earned for Trinidad a one-all draw in the first soccer test match between Trinidad and Barbados representative teams at the Kensington Oval yesterday afternoon.
With his team one down, and play fast coming to a close, the clever Thompson climaxed a grand afternoon's play with a brilliant solo effort from far down the field, and drove a hard, high shot which goalkeeper King allowed to pass through his hands; and "Sackie" Goiva was on the spot to bang it in and make the goal doubly sure.
Barbados had smashed home a goal after play was in progress for three and half minutes, and tenaciously held on to the lead for more that 50 minutes, then game Thompson's effort and Trinidad's goal.
The match was a thriller all along, the first half being played at a very fast rate, and Prior Jones, Trinidad captain, at its conclusion, stated that his team did not have the better of the play.
Goalkeeper King, of the Barbados team, saved two certain goals in yesterday's play, while Merritt got one that looked like a goal all the way.
The Barbados defence with Mike Foster outstanding and Clyde Walcott, Medford, and Harold Griffith all holding their own, was sound, but the Trinidad forwards lacked that fire of the earlier games.
Yesterday the ground was heavy, and not as hard as the previous days and it was expected that the visitors would be more at home and give a better display, but this was the reverse.
This is the first of a three-match test series, and the third game of the tour, the visitors having previously beaten Spartan 5-1 on Saturday, and a combined second division team 9-1 on Monday.
Trinidad made two early thrusts on the homesters' goal, but King was unruffled, tipping the ball over the bar, then game Robinson's grand run and goal.
Dudley Husbands carried the ball, lost it and left only Warner to defend. Left-winger Robinson who was unmarked, cut in with a burst of speed, and beat Merritt.
Robinson made another brilliant run but minutes later, passed the ball across, and Frankie Morris tried but a corner resulted.
King saved a brilliant shot from Sealy as Trinidad attacked, then he turned a fast grounder from the edge of the penalty area by Thompson around the post and Mike Foster headed away the resulting corner. Foster was full of energy.
From a long shot by Trinidad full-back Husbands, Govia tried to deflect the ball into the goal but tangled with Clyde Walcott and it went outside.
MERRITT IN FINE FORM
Merritt saved in fine form from Sammy Griffith following closely on a Barbados free kick, then two minutes later Robinson headed out as Husbands missed.
There were two corners by Barbados in the final eight minutes of the first half, Robinson kicking over the bar from the second, a high shot from right-winger Morris.
Merritt saved a Taylor shot right after half-time, then at the other end Foster cleared in the nick of time.
Shortly afterwards Morris beat McLean and centred lovely, but Taylor ran up and kicked over the bar, and a Barbados goal was lost.
Sam Griffith next made a grand run through, but Merritt stopped what looked like a certain goal.
Trinidad bucked up at this stage; King turned a difficult Thompson shot around the goal, Medford saved a dangerous situation robbing Burnett of a right foot shot as he was about to shoot in a scrimmage; and Sealy, after receiving a perfect Govia pass, kicked hard but the ball travelled across the goal.
Burnett figured again prominently, then the ball went to the other side of the field and a high Taylor shot hit Merritt in the forehead as he ran out—a narrow escape.
Right after this came Thompson's grand effort, the equaliser, and seven minutes later the game ended, one-all.
Mr. H. Thomas, former Barbados player, was the referee. Teams were:
BARBADOS: King; Walcott, Foster; Ishmael, H. Griffith, Medford; Morris, Taylor, S. Griffith, Williams, Robinson.
TRINIDAD: Merritt; Warner, Husbands; Knowles, Jones, McLean; Downes, Thompson, Govia, Bernett, Sealy.