Jomal Williams added a hat-trick to his scoring form this season, and W Connection dumped St. Ann's Rangers 5-0 on Saturday night at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Also making upward movement on Saturday were Point Fortin Civic, who jumped one spot into seventh place with 7 points after a 3-1 come-from-behind win over table-propping Club Sando in the first match of the Couva double-header.
Forward Jamille Boatswain scored on either side of the break before Andrei Pacheco converted from the penalty spot, and Civic, who ended the match with 10 men, were celebrating three points away from home.
Sando took a 1-0 lead on the 23rd minute when Kevon “Showtime” Woodley scored past goalkeeper Miles Goodman from a cross.
Just two minutes later and Boatswain levelled the scores 1-1 when he struck past goalkeeper Kelvin Henry.
Boatswain later completed his double in the 53rd minute after running onto a long pass forward by midfielder Kelvin Modeste, evading Henry and hitting past a last gasp effort from a defender for a 2-1 Civic lead.
Pacheco then made it 3-1 for the Leroy DeLeon coached-Civic on the 60th minute when he sent a low penalty strike beyond the Sando custodian and into the net. Referee Kevin Smart had awarded the kick after forward Shackeil Henry was brought down in the area by defender Corneal Thomas.
Sando too, had an attempt from the penalty spot but goalkeeper Goodman was excellent to deny a not-so-good strike from Woodley on the 69th minute.
Referee Smart had ruled a handball against Ronell Paul after a cross by Kemuel Rivers struck the defender’s arm in the area.
There was another brief shout for penalty in the 77th minute when Ryan Frederick went to ground in a challenge with Civic defender Kern Peters, but Smart awarded a free-kick against Sando.
Sando, quite lethargically, also failed to take advantage with a player more, after Civic’s Glenn Sutton was ejected in the 67th minute—receiving his second yellow card in a space of two minutes while his team led 3-1.
Sando had a couple tries in the final eight minutes but Goodman, who was generally brilliant on the evening including a point-blank save in the 57th minute to deny Woodley, did well to steer attempts by Akeem Humphrey and Devon Modeste wide.
In the second match at the Couva venue, Jomal Williams stole the night with three goals, putting his tally to 9 goals in all competitions this season.
The 21-year-old attacker opened the scoring against Rangers just 62 seconds into the match with a clinical strike into goalkeeper Stefan Berkeley’s net after combining with Shahdon Winchester inside the left of the area.
Jomal made it 2-0 on the 19th minute, sending a strike off the upright and into the net after he was picked out by a Kurt Frederick pass.
Rangers, led this season by coach Angus Eve who has tasked himself to turn the St. Ann’s club into a formidable outfit, conceded a third in the 28th minute when the 23-year-old Winchester headed a Frederick cross over a hapless Berkeley.
The score read 3-0 to Connection at the break, and Rangers were lucky not to conceded more after close misses by Andre Toussaint and Briel Thomas, including a desperate clearance at the line by Rangers defender Shakiyl Phillip after directing a Neil Benjamin cross towards his own net.
But just three minutes inside the second period and Jomal completed his hat-trick for a 4-0 Connection lead with strike from 23 yards that flew into Berkeley’s far netting.
Connection chasing a bigger score-line, saw Benjamin miss the far post by inches after a flicked return pass into the area by Jomal and substitute Dmitrie Apai forcing a save out of Berkeley later on.
But Berkeley, who avoided embarrassment in the 33rd minute by plucking a lobbed Jomal attempt out of the air, was beaten again in the 84th minute—this time from the penalty spot as Connection completed a 5-0 rout, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 13 games.
Winchester, from the penalty spot, completed his double on the night and seventh goal in all competitions this season, after referee Gyasi Mc Donald ruled a handball against Rangers defender Jelani Peters in the area.
Connection, like Jabloteh and North East Stars, are now one point adrift of Defence Force and defending champions Central FC, who have held first and second place, respectively, in the last five days on 11 points.
Stars, with a chance to return to the top on Saturday, failed to do so after surrendering to a 2-1 loss against visiting Morvant Caledonia United at the Larry Gomes Stadium earlier in the day.
Caledonia, for their first league win of the season, got their goals from unlikely sources in Jamaal Harvey and Kyle Bartholomew, netting their first goals of the season in the 2nd and 25th minutes respectively, before the hosts pulled back a goal through Trinidad and Tobago international Keron Cummings five minutes before the break.
Despite the win, Caledonia remained in ninth place with 4 points, one less than Rangers and three more than cellar place Sando.
North East Stars 1 (Keron Cummings 40’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 2 (Jamaal Harvey 2’, Kyle Bartholomew 25’)
Club Sando 1 (Kevon Woodley 23’) vs Point Fortin Civic 3 (Jamille Boatswain 25’, 53’, Andrei Pacheco 60’ penalty)
W Connection 5 (Jomal Williams 2’, 19’, 48’, Shahdon Winchester 28’, 84’) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry; 5.Devon Drayton (15.Amrit Gildharry 64th), 6.Kemuel Rivers (Capt.), 9.Jesse Downing, 13.Kern Cupid, 16.Kevon Woodley, 17.Jared London, 18.Shane Hospidales (24.Devon Modeste 58th), 19.Ryan Frederick, 22.Corneal Thomas, 26.Shaquille Holder (7.Akeem Humphrey 58th)
Unused substitutes: 8.Jeromie Williams, 21.Kerron Mitchell, 30.Derron maillard (GK), 33.Alexei Julien (GK)
Coach: Anthony Streete
Point Fortin Civic: 1.Miles Goodman; 15.Nedeon Noel, 27.Kern Peters, 21.Ronell Paul, 19.Andrei Pacheco, 12.Glenn Sutton (Y+Y—Red Card), 9.Shackeil Henry (18.Shaquille Stewart 81st), 20.Jamille Boatswain, 14.Kerwin Stafford (99.Corey Cyrus 71st), 16.Kelvin Modeste (Capt.)
Unused substitutes: 23.Mickell Charles, 3.Kurt Pierre, 22.Stephon Seepersad (GK), 5.Akil Stafford, 13.Stephon Bain
Coach: Leroy De Leon
Match Referee: Kevin Smart
W Connection: 18.Julani Archibald; 2.Kurt Frederick (23.Kevon Goddard 70th), 3.Gerard Williams, 5.Triston Hodge, 8.Briel Thomas, 9.Shahdon Winchester, 10.Jomal Williams (12.Dimitrie Apai 65th minute), 11.Neil Benjamin Jr. (Capt.), 13.Kion Joseph, 14.Andre Toussaint (19.Dwight Quintero 60th), 21.Shannon Gomez
Unused substitutes: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK), 4.Maurice Ford, 17.Aikim Andrews, 46.Anfernee Frederick
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Stefan Berkeley; 2.Shakiyl Phillip, 4.Jelani Peters, 5.Miguel Romeo (Capt.) (17.Kadeem Hutchinson 46th), 7.Sedale MC Lean, 8.Kevon Piper (6.Shaquille Moses 30th), 9.Keron Cornwall, 14.Jemel Berot (11.Josh Toussaint 46th), 16.Richard Williams, 19.Rasheed Simon, 23.Sayid Freitas
Unused substitutes: 12.Darius Ollivierra, 18.Trevin Latapy, 21.Keon Peters, 22.Christopher Biggette (GK)
Coach: Angus Eve
Match Referee: Gyasi Mc Donald
Tuesday 15 December
Point Fortin Civic vs Morvant Caledonia United—6 pm, Mahaica Oval
Club Sando vs San Juan Jabloteh—6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs Defence Force—8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Wednesday 16 December
St. Ann's Rangers vs Police FC—6 pm
North East Stars vs Central FC—8 pm
Friday 18 December
Club Sando vs Police FC—6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs San Juan Jabloteh—8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Saturday 19 December
Defence Force vs North East Stars—4 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Point Fortin Civic—6 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs Central FC—3:30 pm, Larry Gomes Stadium