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D/Force virtually snatches Digicel Pro League third place finish

Larry Gomes Stadium, MALABAR – Leading scorer Devorn Jorsling netted his 20th goal of the 2014-2015 Digicel Pro League season on Sunday to lift Defence Force to a 1-0 win over San Juan Jabloteh to virtually earn the army/coastguard combination a creditable third place finish this season behind frontrunners Central FC and W Connection.

The 31-year-old Jorsling had two earlier tries before getting it right in the 34th minute when his lethal left leg sent the ball into the left upper corner of goalkeeper Shane Mattis' netting following a short Kerry Joseph feed at the top of the box.

The win improved coach Marvin Gordon’s side to 39 points in third position, six points clear of Point Fortin Civic and North East Stars, both with 33 points in fourth and fifth respectively.

North East Stars still stand with a mathematical shot at third with remaining matches against leaders Central FC and Caledonia AIA in the coming week but with Defence Force’s goal difference at 15, compared to the Sangre Grande club’s goal difference of 1, it is near impossible target even if the soldiers lose their final match against cellar placed St. Ann’s Rangers.

Jabloteh, this season’s Toyota Classic champions, occupying sixth with 28 points and must face W Connection on the final day at the end of the week, were prevented from scoring on three occasions by Defence Force goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke, who did well to preserve his side’s slim lead.

Clarke made a huge saves in the 53rd, 70th and 90th minutes to blank Kerry Baptiste and Tyrone Charles twice respectively.

While his opposite number, Jamaican Shane Mattis in goal for Jabloteh, also had an excellent afternoon despite conceding in the 34th minute.

Mattis, who pushed out substitute Akeem Roach’s attempt toward the bottom left corner in the 55th minute, denied Jorsling in the 77th and 90th minutes, parrying solid strikes on both instances.

Jorsling, who leads the TT Pro League all-time scoring chart with 135 goals and this season's league scorers with 20 goals, stands two goals shy of beating his personal best in a season of 21 goals.

Digicel Pro League action continues on Tuesday 28 April with a rescheduled double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium when second positioned W Connection (46 points) meet seventh placed Police FC (27 points) from 6 pm before Central FC (52 points), one point away from hoisting the 2014-2015 league crown, tackle North East Stars from 8 pm on the penultimate day.

But if Connection, last season’s winners, were to lose or draw against Police, Central, boasting a somewhat unassailable goal difference, will be the champions even before kicking off against North East Stars.

Results

Defence Force 1 (Devorn Jorsling 34’) vs San Juan Jabloteh 0

Teams

Defence Force: 25.Sheldon Clarke; 4.Dave Long (Yellow Card), 6.Rodell Elcock, 9.Devorn Jorsling, 12.Jemel Sebro (11.Akeem Roach 55th), 13.Marvin Jones, 17.Ross Russell Jr. (90.Jelani Felix 72nd), 21.Aklie Edwards, 22.Jamali Garcia, 23.Kerry Joseph (10.Josimar Belgrave 62nd), 99.Jerwyn Balthazar

Unused substitutes: 2.Glynn Franklyn, 16.Kellon Serette, 26.Richard Roy, 28.Andre Marchan (GK)

Coach: Marvin Gordon

San Juan Jabloteh: 30.Shane Mattis; 4.Garth Thomas, 6.Dario Holmes, 7.Andell Noray (25.Micah Lansiquot 61st), 8.Newton Sterling (9.Johan Peltier 61st), 10.Kerry Baptiste (20.Nkosi David 71st), 11.Damian Williams, 15.Isaiah Mc Intyre, 18.Jevon Morris (Yellow Card), 24.Adrian Reid, 29.Tyrone Charles.

Unused substitutes: 23.Brendon Figuera, 28.Kendes Garcia, 36.Raheem Belgrave (GK), 27.Tekay Hoyte

Coach: Keith Jeffrey

Match Referee: Johann Corneille