|Trinidad & Tobago||Bermuda|
|Stern John (17')|
|2005-05-27||Manny Ramjohn Stadium||Marabella, Trinidad and Tobago||0|
T&T sweep Bermudan series
|Trinidad and Tobago produced a less fluent display than their showing
in midweek, but were still good enough to come away 1-0 winners over
Bermuda on Friday night at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, to
sweep the two-match friendly series between the teams.|
T&T's Dutch coach Leo Beenhakker named an almost totally different line-up from the one that swept aside the Bermudans 4-0 in Port of Spain on Wednesday, except for the inclusion of out-of-form strike pair Stern John and Gary Glasgow.
Getting a rare start were Hector Sam, Brent Rahim, Glasgow, and Glenton and Anthony Wolfe, while the UK-based trio of Ian Cox , Marvin Andrews and Brent Sancho played their first game under Beenhakker.
When it became apparent that the second unit was not making the necessary impact, Beenhakker made a three-player change at the start of the second half, bringing in Keywyne Jones, Christopher Birchall and Dennis Lawrence , while also giving Anton Pierre a run ten minutes later.
The effect was a better showing than in the first half when the Warriors failed to re-discover Wednesday's dominant performance and allowed the Bermudans an almost equal share of the game.
Separating the teams was a 17th minute goal from experienced striker Stern John, who showed a touch of the old sparkle when clinically tucking away a grounder from Bermudan keeper Nigel Burgess, after a well-worked move which saw left side defender Glenton Wolfe, Sam and Glasgow touching the ball before rolling it wide for John to finish on the right flank.
But despite that piece of vintage finishing, the Coventry City striker once again struggled to find the back of the net with regularity and missed several chances in front of goal.
It was almost heart-breaking to see the once so prolific John trying hard, but faltering badly to find his stride. Not just the goals have dried up, but the touches as well.
Yet, Beenhakker seemed intent on giving his key striker maximum time to come into some form by playing him in both matches when many of T&T's fickle fans were calling for the former Birmingham City player to be given the axe.
John was not the only one looking out of sorts, though. Sam's control seems to have deserted him, until settling later in the match, while Glasgow still has not recaptured his form since breaking his foot for a second time last year.
Glasgow Rangers defender Marvin Andrews also made two amateurish mistakes, twice allowing the ball to drop and almost putting his team and Dundee United goalkeeper Kelvin Jack in jeopardy.
The uncertainty in the Trinidad and Tobago squad gave Bermuda a confidence which they weren't allowed on Wednesday and just ten minutes on they created the first moment of terror when big Jack had to drop low to turn around a hard shot from outside the penalty area.
Trinidad and Tobago responded almost immediately with Glasgow hitting Sam's pass straight at keeper Burgess and then in quick succession Stern struck Rahim's good pass at the custodian and then drove a powerful shot wide.
Eventually, the frustrated striker got it right with his low shot to the far post just past the quarter-hour mark. However, on the stroke of half-time, he almost repeated a similarly glaring miss as in Wednesday's match when meeting a right side cross from Rahim in the six-yard box and turning his shot over the bar.
Beenhakker 's second half changes brought about some improvement, as Birchall, Pierre, Edwards and Jones began combining well with Densil Theobald, who was quietly pulling the strings in midfield.
But more goals never came and the Bermudans themselves almost got a deserved equaliser when Andrews' faux pas allowed striker Rohaan Simmons to run onto a dropping ball.
Luckily, keeper Jack was alert to the danger and stopped the Bermudan in his tracks.
|Marvin Andrews (capt.)|
|0'||Anton Pierre for Ian Cox|
|0'||Dennis Lawrence for Marvin Andrews|
|0'||Christopher Birchall for Anthony Wolfe|
|0'||Kenwyne Jones for Hector Sam|