San Juan Jabloteh beat North East Stars 3-1 on Sunday as the Sangre Grande outfit recorded their seventh straight league game without a win.
The result moved Jabloteh up a spot on the Digicel Pro League 2015-16 standings into fourth with 29 points, six points behind W Connection and 11 points away from leaders Central FC, while the troubled North East Stars, once leaders this season, continue to occupy sixth spot with 23 points.
Defence Force (36 points) also moved up a spot on Sunday, hurdling W Connection for second by a point to keep the pressure on Central FC by trimming the Couva Sharks lead to four points after a late 2-1 win over eight-placed Morvant Caledonia United.
Forwards Richard Roy and Devorn Jorsling scored in the 82nd minute and third minute of stoppage-time, respectively, for Marvin Gordon’s men, before Kareem Joseph pulled back a consolation item for Caledonia in the fourth minute of stoppage-time at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
At the Larry Gomes Stadium on Malabar, Keith Jeffrey’s Jabloteh went ahead 1-0 on 24 minutes through Jamaican midfielder Fabien Reid.
North East Stars goalkeeper Shane Mattis slowed the pace on his countryman’s initial attempt, but Reid, who was picked out inside the area, was quick to find his way around the ‘keeper to regain possession before hitting into an open net.
Jabloteh took the one-goal advantage into the break, however seconds after the restart, striker Gorean “Ratty” Highley pulled Ross Russell’s men level 1-1 with a left-footed volley that bounced beyond goalkeeper Shemel Louison and into the net.
That goal arrived when the 32-year-old Wolfe, who recently re-joined to the Sangre Grande club after stints in India with Churchill Brothers and Sporting Goa, headed Jesus Perez’s long pass from the back into the path of Highley.
But Jabloteh fired back almost immediately, putting the score at 2-1, when Lewis struck past Mattis from close-up off a right side cross in the 47th minute.
Jabloteh in an attempt to extend the lead saw defender Aquil Selby head a Keyon Edwards free-kick onto the crossbar in the 57th minute and moments later Mattis had to tip behind another free-kick.
Mattis was also lucky midway in the first half when Stars’ captain Keryn Navarro cleared off the line after the Jamaican misjudged an Edwards’ free-kick which was headed to goal by Garth Thomas.
There was little though that Mattis could do on 75 minutes when Lewis completed his double for the 3-1 score with a superb volley to beat the former Jabloteh ‘keeper off a Sean Bonval cross.
Louison prevented another North East Stars with late saves to deny a Jean-Luc Rochford free-kick five minutes from time and a stoppage-time attempt from Anthony Guppy, who had struck the upright on the hour mark.
North East Stars 1 (Gorean Highley 46’) vs San Juan Jabloteh 3 (Fabien Reid 24’, Nathan Lewis 47’, 75’), at Larry Gomes Stadium;
Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Kareem Joseph 90’+4) vs Defence Force 2 (Richard Roy 82’, Devorn Jorsling 90’+3), at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.
North East Stars: 1.Shane Mattis; 3.Kion Joseph, 4.Jesus Perez (29.Hakim Baird 50th minute), 6.Jean-Luc Rochford (24.Adrian Noel 87th minute), 7.Kerry Daniel, 8.Anthony Guppy, 9.Gorean Highley, 19.Glenton Wolfe, 21.Neil Mitchell (14.Chike Sullivan 58th minute), 25.Keryn Navarro (Capt.), 26.Anthony Wolfe
Unused substitutes: 22.Cleon John (GK), 2.Reon Moore, 23.Brendon Figuera, 39.Taryk Sampson
Coach: Ross Russell
San Juan Jabloteh: 30.Shemel Louison; 14.Sean Bonval (10.Tyrone Charles 80th minute), 8.Keyon Edwards (23.Kennedy Hinkson 80th minute), 7.Jamal Gay, 27.Nathan Lewis (19.Domonic Douglas 90th minute), 24.Adrian Reid, 13.Fabien Reid, 21.Aquil Selby, 4.Garth Thomas, 11.Damian Williams, 6.Akeem Benjamin
Unused substitutes: 3.Lincoln Burns, 12.Jordan Devonish, 35.Andrew Durant (GK), 15.Jerome Mc Intyre
Coach: Keith Jeffrey
Match Referee: Gordon Maloney