In form North East Stars forward Cornell Glen notched his 15th Digicel Pro League item on Saturday night to rescue the Sangre Grande club to a 2-2 draw against Police FC in the first match of a Round Three Match Day Three double header at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
Byers opened the scoring four minutes before the break after picking up a Jason Marcano pass and skipping past two defenders before slipping a low strike past goalkeeper Akini Adams for the 1-0 advantage.
And the bulky forward completed his beaver-trick with three items in the second period following a 55th minute penalty strike by teammate Marvin Oliver after Marcano was tripped inside the area by defender Antuan John.
Marcano, contributed in yet another item, when he fed Byers for a quick turn and finish past Adams in the 60th minute, and twenty minutes later (80th minute) the Antiguan knocked in a right side Darren Mitchell cross for his team's fourth.
Byers later wrapped up his scoring in the 86th minute when his attempt to send a low cross towards substitute Hector Sam was cut out by a T&TEC defender and back on his feet for an easy tap in from close range.
The result improved Central to 26 points, however the “Sharks” remained fifth on the standings.
Stars too, failed to climb the ladder remaining fourth with 28 points, and were lucky to even walk away with a point against a commendable Police performance.
The “Lawmen” dominated for most parts and took a come-from-behind lead with a pair of late goals by Todd Ryan, netting in the 80th and 82nd minutes.
But in the fourth and final minute of injury time, re-called Trinidad and Tobago international won a penalty blow out of referee Joel Davidson after going down on a challenge by Noel Williams.
Glen, who replaced Kerry Baptiste following the break, then slammed the penalty strike into the roof of the net beating goalkeeper Adisa Alleyne to level the scores 2-2.
Much earlier, Ryan was actually denied by defender Elton John three minutes inside the second period, and following a scuffle for the rebound, Kareem Perry blasted wide from inside the six yard area.
However the deadlock was broken by North East Stars in the 61st minute when a communication lapse between goalkeeper Alleyne and defender Karlon Murray, saw the later muff at a clearance and Marcus Gomez took full advantage blasting into the net.
Nine minutes later Ryan with a cracker from distance was denied by the finger tips of Stars’ goalie Cleon John who preserved the Sangre Grande club’s one-goal advantage.
Only as far as the 80th minute when Ryan converted from the spot in a controversial call by referee Davidson, for what looked like dangerous play on the part of defender Elton John.
And two minutes later Ryan curled a strike out of goalkeeper John's reach and into the far netting after a clearance by defender John fell to his feet above the area.
The "Lawmen" continued to enjoy ball possession as a victory seemed imminent, until that final minute of injury time when Glen had the Stars level.
Central FC 5—0 T&TEC FC
Peter Byers 41’, 60’, 80’, 86’, Marvin Oliver 55’(pen)
North East Stars 2—2 Police FC
Marcus Gomez 61’, Cornell Glen 90’+(pen) ; Todd Ryan 80’(pen), 82’
North East Stars—Cleon John (capt.), Elton John (Yellow Card), Kareem Moses (Yellow Card), Kennedy Hinkson, Keryn Navarro, Akeil Guevara (Keithy Simpson 46th), Jeromie Williams, Marcus Gomez, Elijah Manners, Kerry Baptiste (Cornell Glen 46th), Jayson Joseph (Kaashif Thomas 75th).
Police FC—Adisa Alleyne, Todd Ryan, Elijah Belgrave, Karlon Murray, Jasimar Ashers, Jameel Perry (Yellow Card) (Makesi Lewis 55th), Kenaz Williams, Noel Williams, Kareem Perry (Yellow Card) (Christon Thomas 64th), Akiba Peters (Dexter Alleyne 46th), Trent Noel.
Central FC—Marvin Phillip (capt.), Keion Goodridge, Hayden Tinto (Hector Sam 79th), Anthony Wolfe (Rennie Britto 75th), Marvin Oliver (Yellow Card) (Sayid Frietas 69th), Peter Byers, Carey Harris, Adrian Noel, Jason Marcano, Weslie John, Darren Mitchell.
T&TEC FC—Akini Adams, Cebastian Bailey, Eustace Darius, Daniel Garcia (Keeron Benito 61st), Tigana Sparks, Bevon Bass (Husani Thomas 76th), Simeon Augustus (Sylvester Teesdale 61st), Brent Garcia, Givon John, Nathaniel Garcia, Antuan John (Yellow Card).
Central's Byers routs T&TEC; Stars hold Police
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868)
A Cornell Glen penalty kick, deep into stoppage time, salvaged a draw for North East Stars this evening as the Sangre Grande-based football club drew 2-2 with Police FC in the first game of a Digicel Pro League double header at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
A late double by Police captain Todd Ryan looked to have given the “Lawmen” their first League win against a team other than T&TEC FC. But, yet again, Glen rescued the Stars after referee Joel Davidson ruled that Police defender Jasimar Ashers fouled the 2006 World Cup attacker in the opposing penalty area.
It was more woe for bottom placed T&TEC tonight as Antigua and Barbuda international striker Peter Byers notched a beaver trick for fifth placed Central FC as the “Couva Sharks” mauled the “Electricity Boys” 5-0.
Only 14 from the 46 registered T&TEC players showed up at Macoya this evening for the match. The Pro League’s difficulties in drawing spectators is one thing but when even players stay away, it is surely time for action and it would be a surprise if T&TEC is invited back next season.
Byers took full advantage of his opponent’s disenchantment as he tucked home a Jason Marcano through pass in the 40th minute and then scored three more close range items in the second half. Veteran Central playmaker Marvin Oliver also chipped in with a penalty after a trip by Antuan John on Marcano.
The opening fixture was nowhere near as one-sided. North East needed a win to reclaim third place from defending champions DIRECTV W Connection but, in the end, was lucky to get even the solitary point.
Coach Angus Eve opted to rest star striker Cornell Glen, who was substituted with a knock during Stars’ 3-1 midweek win over Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA. But, not for the first time, his team laboured offensively without its talisman and only wayward finishing from Police kept the match goalless at halftime.
Glen was introduced for the start of the second half and, 16 minutes later, the Sangre Grande team was ahead although he was not directly involved.
Police goalkeeper Keston Mata looked set to comfortably gather a low Elijah Manners cross when his defender, Karlon Murray, stuck his boot in and diverted the ball off the custodian and into the path of Marcus Gomez. The teenage winger made no mistake.
But Police, led by its impressive midfield triangle of Kenaz Williams, Trent Noel and Ryan, refused to wilt.
Ryan, who was in inspired form, almost managed a specular equaliser with a 22-yard blast towards the top corner in the 70th minute but Stars captain and custodian Cleon John was equal to the task with a fingertip save.
John could not keep Ryan out from the penalty spot, though.
Davidson ruled, rather harshly, that an attempted acrobatic clearance from Stars defender Elton John constituted reckless play. And Ryan’s penalty hit the upright and ricocheted off the goalkeeper before crossing the goal line in the 80th minute.
The burly Police captain saved his best for last as, two minutes later, he collected a weak headed clearance from John (E) on the top of the box and brilliantly beat the Stars goalkeeper with a curling effort into the far corner.
Police was still ahead after 90 minutes expired plus the four minutes allotted stoppage time. But, in the fifth minute of added time, Glen tumbled under a challenge from Ashers and Davidson again pointed to the penalty spot.
And Glen dispatched the ball high to Mata’s right for his 15th Pro League goal this season, which tied Devorn Jorsling’s tally at the top of the scoring charts.
Central FC (4-1-2-3): 1.Marvin Phillip (captain); 16.Carey Harris, 33.Weslie John, 3.Keion Goodridge, 19.Adrian Noel; 10.Marvin Oliver (15.Sayid Freitas 69); 32.Jason Marcano, 21.Darren Mitchell; 9.Anthony Wolfe (31.Rennie Britto 74), 7.Hayden Tinto (28.Hector Sam 79), 14.Peter Byers.
Unused substitutes: 13.Shane Mattis, 18.Cyrano Glen, 27.Omar Charles, 37.Johan Peltier.
Coach: Terry Fenwick
T&TEC FC (4-2-3-1): 1.Akini Adams; 15.Tigana Sparks, 66.Antuan John, 7.Cebastian Bailey, 8.Eustace Darius; 20.Brent Garcia, 25.Givon John; 16.Bevon Bass (18.Husani Thomas 76), 46.Nathaniel Garcia, 19.Simeon Augustus (14.Keeron Benito 60); 10.Daniel Garcia (9.Sylvester Teesdale 60).
Unused substitutes: None.
Coach: Dexter Cyrus
Referee: Rodphin Harris
Digicel Pro League Weekend Results
(Fri March 15)
W Connection 3 (Clyde Leon 20, Joevin Jones 48, Stefano Rijssel 76), St Ann’s Rangers 0 at Macoya
Caledonia AIA 0, Defence Force 0 at Macoya
(Sat March 16)
North East Stars 2 (Marcus Gomez 61, Cornell Glen 90+ pen), Police 2 (Todd Ryan 80 pen, 82) at Macoya
Central FC 5 (Peter Byers 41, 59, 80, 86, Marvin Oliver 55 pen), T&TEC FC 0 at Macoya