All-time Pro League top-scorer Devorn Jorsling turned back the clock on Saturday afternoon, netting an uninterrupted hat-trick, off his usually avoided right boot, to pace Defence Force to a comprehensive 6-1 win over North East Stars at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The winners of the Rawle Fletcher Trophy, however, will not be decided until the league resumes with the final Round One slate of games on January 8-9 after the two-week Christmas break.
Police FC (4-3-1; 15 points), who had a temporary stint atop the standings following Friday night’s 2-0 win over Club Sando, are now two points behind in second.
While Central FC, last season’s DPL champions and winners of the Rawle Fletcher, Akeem Adams and Kevon Carter trophies for each round of the league, are virtually unable to defend the Rawle Fletcher Trophy although defeating Morvant Caledonia United 4-0 at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Saturday.
Defender Jamal Jack opened the scoring in the 4th minute for the Couva Sharks before midfielders Jason Marcano, five minutes later, and Leston Paul, in the 45th minute, added a goal each for a 3-0 lead at the break. Then on the 90 minute, forward Marcus Joseph wrapped up the 4-0 scoring.
The result snapped a two-game losing run for Central (4-2-2; 14 points) now three places up into third and three points away from leaders Defence Force. But are well behind the army/coastguard combination on goal-difference (+14 to +7).
Defence Force, needing just a point in their final game of Round One against Morvant Caledonia United, stands with the best chance of capturing the Rawle Fletcher Trophy, which is named in honour of their late teammate.
Jorsling scored twice in the first half against North East Stars, sending the Marvin Gordon coached-Defence Force into the break with a 2-0 cushion on Saturday.
The 31-year-old ex-Trinidad and Tobago international fired past the fingers of goalkeeper Shane Mattis from the centre of the area for his first goal. It was from a sweeping move down the left by Ross Russell Jr., who exchanged a return pass with Jerwyn Balthazar, before providing the assist to Jorsling in the 30th minute.
Jorsling got to his second on the 39th minute after a right-side Curtis Gonzales’ cross was glanced off the head of Balthazar and into his path.
Jorsling missed out on another three minutes inside the second period, hitting just overbar off his thigh from a perfect Gonzales cross behind the defence.
But the veteran Defence Force forward completed his first hat-trick of the season and seventh goal in all competitions by the 52nd minute, showing excellent composure sharpness inside the box, following a Balthazar feed, to find the far bottom corner of Mattis’ net for a 3-0 score.
North East Stars later reduced the deficit 1-3 in the 64th minute after Keron Cummings converted from the spot, beating Defence Force goalkeeper Sheldon Clark down the centre, after he was fouled just above the six-yard area.
Clarke, who made a point blank diving save to keep out substitute Neveal Hackshaw’s strike in the 47th minute, had pulled off another excellent shutout to deny Hackshaw again after Alanzo Adlam’s rocket cannoned off the crossbar and back into play.
But in the follow-up off Clarke’s save, Cummings was bundled to ground, forcing referee Rashby Mc Phie to point to the spot.
North East Stars managed a few wide attempts in their quest to further reduce the deficit. But Defence Force’s dominance paid off with three more goals.
Gordon’s men made it 4-1 on the 68th minute through Kishun Seecharan.
Seecharan, who was excellent in the wide attacking role and was involved in the plays leading up to two of Jorsling’s goal, capped off his performance with an exceptional goal.
After collecting a Ross Russell Jr. cross with a deft tough on his favoured left boot, the former T&T youth player, with the same boot, calmly lifted the ball beyond an advancing Mattis and into the back of the net.
Defensive midfielder Sean Narcis joined in on the fun in the 75th minute by smashing Gonzales’s deflected cross into Mattis’ net for a 5-1 score.
Mattis was hung out to dry again in the second minute of stoppage-time by his defence after making a save to keep out substitute Kellon Serrette’s attempt, but another substitute Stephan Campbell was alive in the box to smash the ball beyond the goalie to complete the 6-1 rout.
In the second game of the Port of Spain double-header on Saturday, St. Ann’s Rangers edged visiting Point Fortin Civic 1-0 through a 40th minute item from Keron Cornwall.
Rangers (2-2-4; 8 points), under new coach Angus Eve, remains in eight place but have already outdone last season in which they tallied just 5 points from 24 league games.
Civic (3-1-4; 10 points) are seventh and were on a two-game winning run prior to kick-off against Rangers.
Caledonia meanwhile, are winless in their last three outings and occupies ninth place with 4 points, while debuting Club Sando are anchored at the bottom with just one point.
Morvant Caledonia United 0 vs Central FC 4 (Jamal Jack 4’, Jason Marcano 9’, Leston Paul 45’, Marcus Joseph 90’)
Defence Force 6 (Devorn Jorsling 30', 39', 52', Keshun Seecharan 68', Sean Narcis 75', Stephan Campbell 90'+2) vs North East Stars 1 (Keron Cummings 64')
St. Ann’s Rangers 1 (Keron Cornwall 40’) vs Point Fortin Civic 0
Defence Force: 25.Sheldon Clarke;, 2.Glynn Franklyn, 6.Rodell Elcock, 8.Curtis Gonzales, 9.Devorn Jorsling (16.Kellon Serette 80th), 17.Ross Russell Jr., 18.Sean Narcis, 99.Jerwyn Balthazar (Capt.), 21.Aklie Edwards, 4.Dave Long (52.Stephan Campbell 69th), 30.Kishun Seecharan (7.Jelani Felix 82nd)
Unused substitutes: 80.Aaron Enill (GK), 13.Marvin Jones
Coach: Marvin Gordon
North East Stars: 1.Shane Mattis; 4.Jesus Perez, 5.Alanzo Adlam, 6.Duane Muckette (40.Jomoul Francois 57th), 10.Keron Cummings, 19.Glenton Wolfe, 21.Neil Mitchell (8.Neveal Hackshaw 35th), 24.Adrian Noel, 25.Keryn Navarro (Capt.), 28.Dillon Jagasar (23.Brendon Figuera 46th), 26.Carey Brown
Unused substitutes: 22.Cleon John (GK), 14.Chike Sullivan, 27.Quincy Charles, 39.Taryk Sampson
Coach: Roland Clarke
Match Referee: Rashby Mc Phie
Friday 8 January 2016
Central FC vs St. Ann’s Rangers
Club Sando vs W Connection
Saturday 9 January 2016
Defence Force vs Morvant Caledonia United
San Juan Jabloteh vs North East Stars
Police FC vs Point Fortin Civic