Manny Ramjohn Stadium, COUVA – Scoring ace, Devorn Jorsling, continued on his excellent form by bagging a hat-trick against Point Fortin Civic as Defence Force shrugged off the southerners 4-2 on Sunday to maintain hold of third position on the Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 standings with just two matches remaining.
While at the Larry Gomes Stadium, in the only other Round Three Match Day Seven contest on Sunday, sixth-placed San Juan Jabloteh (7-7-8, 28 points) needed to twice come from behind to pull off a 2-2 draw against eight-placed Caledonia AIA (7-5-10, 26 points).
Jorsling, coming off a double scored against second-placed defending champions DIRECTV W Connection on Tuesday, extended his lead at the top of the DPL scorers’ list with 19 goals – five ahead of Civic’s Marcus Joseph (14 goals) in second – while the Marvin Gordon-coached team improved their position with 36 points, three points ahead of Civic (33 points).
The pair trail leaders Central FC (15-4-3, 49 points) and Connection (13-4-4, 43 points), who have already caged the top two spots as the championship nears the end.
Jorsling, the former Toyota/TT Pro League Player of the Year and multiple-time Golden Boot winner, gave Defence Force a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute with a well-timed finish past Civic goalkeeper Akini Adams from inside the six-yard area following a perfectly placed Jerwyn Balthazar cross from the left.
But that lead wasn’t enough for the soldiers after Civic fired back on either side of the half, twice on rebounds, to take a 2-1 lead.
Only a minute had passed since Jorsling’s opening goal when Civic attacker Andre Toussaint equalised, 1-1, with only his fifth league goal this season when he pounced on a rebound to hit past Sheldon Clarke for a 1-1 score after the Defence Force goalie had initially made a low one-handed save to keep out a Joseph (M) strike.
Clarke, who had even made an earlier one-handed save to deny Joseph (M), was beaten again in the 55th minute as Civic celebrated a 2-1 lead.
Clarke had executed a brilliant save, pushing Shackiel Henry’s blast onto the crossbar, but was again left to dry by his defence and Civic midfielder Glenn Sutton capitalised on the rebound by hitting into the exposed net inside the box.
However Defence Force, undefeated in their previous three league outings, leveled the scores 2-2 on the hour mark with a cool finish by midfielder Kerry Joseph.
Joseph was slipped a pass inside the box by substitute Akeem Roach and with confidence the veteran struck the ball low to the right of Adams and into the far netting.
Then it was back to the Jorsling show. The 31-year-old overlooked Trinidad and Tobago forward pushed Defence Force ahead again with a 3-2 advantage in the 66th minute by bundling over the line a Joseph (K) cross.
And in the 73rd minute Jorsling, who had a goal ruled out in the 90th minute by the offside law, completed his scoring with an amazing left-footed 26-yard free-kick that Adams was unable to match after it entered the top corner for a 4-2 Defence Force lead.
On the opposite end in the 86th minute, Clarke preserved the soldiers’ two-goal cushion by pushing wide a close-range Sutton attempt. Then from the resulting corner, the Defence Force ‘keeper denied Weslie John.
Two minutes later Defence Force mesmerized Civic to create an excellent scoring opening following some silky passing but winger Ross Russell Jr. – son of former team coach Ross Russell – failed to capitalise. He also wasted a good scoring move in the 59th minute.
In Malabar, in a see-saw effect, Caledonia went ahead in the 18th minute from a Nathan Lewis strike before Nkosi David levelled Jabloteh in the 45th minute. Purnell Schultz later restored Caledonia’s lead in the 61st minute – the Guyana international forward taking his DPL scoring this season to 13 goals, tied with Central FC’s Ataullah Guerra – but former Toyota/TT Pro League Player of the Year and record holder for goals scored in a season, Kerry Baptiste, netted his ninth league goal of this season in the 66th minute to earn Jabloteh a 2-2 draw.
Digicel Pro League Results
Point Fortin Civic 2 (Andre Toussaint 38', Glenn Sutton 55’) vs Defence Force 4 (Devorn Jorsling 37', 66', 73' Kerry Joseph 60')
Caledonia AIA 2 (Nathan Lewis 18', Purnell Schultz 61’) vs San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Nkosi David 45'+1, Kerry Baptiste 66’)
Defence Force: 25.Sheldon Clarke; 2.Glynn Franklyn (11.Akeem Roach 55th), 4.Dave Long (3.Keston Williams 72nd), 6.Rodell Elcock, 9.Devorn Jorsling, 12.Jemel Sebro, 17.Ross Russell Jr., 21.Aklie Edwards, 22.Jamali Garcia, 23.Kerry Joseph (26.Richard Roy 80th), 99.Jerwyn Balthazar
Unused substitutes: 10.Josimar Belgrave, 16.Kellon Serette, 28.Andre Marchan (GK), 90.Jelani Felix
Coach: Marvin Gordon
Point Fortin Civic: 52.Akini Adams; 3.Steven Joseph, 4.Weslie John, 5.Andre Ettienne, 10.Marcus Joseph, 11.Andre Toussaint, 12.Glenn Sutton, 18.Trent Lougheed (27.Bevon Bass 71st), 19.Andrei Pacheco, 23.Kevin Rouse, 99.Shackiel Henry
Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 6.Akeem Redhead, 13.Tevin Balfor, 20.Jamille Boatswain
Coach: Leroy DeLeon
Upcoming Digicel Pro League Matches
Friday 24 April 2015
Central FC vs Point Fortin Civic
W Connection vs Caledonia AIA
North East Stars vs St. Ann’s Rangers
Defence Force vs San Juan Jabloteh
Tuesday 28 April 2015
W Connection vs Police FC—6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Central FC vs North East Stars—8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Friday 1 May 2015
Defence Force vs St. Ann’s Rangers
San Juan Jabloteh vs W Connection
Saturday 2 May 2015
North East Stars vs Caledonia AIA
Point Fortin Civic vs Police FC