Jamille Boatswain came off the bench to score twice in the second half to help Civic hold off St. Ann’s Rangers 4-2 in a bottom-of-the-table Digicel Pro League clash at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Wednesday as the Point Fortin club snapped a six-game losing streak in all competitions.
On the opposite end of the ladder, defending champions Central FC are four points clear at the summit with a chance to open a seven-point gap when the “Couva Sharks” tackle seventh-positioned Club Sando from 7pm on Friday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in a rescheduled Round Three game, after which there are three games left in the in the title race.
Civic took the lead three minutes before the break through mid-season forward signing Juma Clarence and following second half goals by midfielder Akeem Redhead and forward Boatswain, the southerners were three goals up 15 minutes to the end.
Rangers, who were previously unbeaten against Civic this season – 2-1 and 1-1, stormed back with a goal each from substitutes Johan Peltier and Anselm “Worm” Jackson to reduce the deficit to one goal.
But Boatswain ended Rangers fight on the 90th minute, completing his double and the Civic win with his seventh league goal this season.
Clarence, the 27-year-old former Trinidad and Tobago Youth World Cup player, fired past Rangers goalkeeper Christopher Biggette from just inside the area in the 42nd minute, giving Civic the physiological advantage into the break.
Rangers’ coach Angus Eve responded at the restart with the introduction of Peltier and Jackson, and within the first minute on, the talented pair forced Civic goalkeeper Miles Goodman into two saves.
Goodman was forced into action again in the 66th minute when he put behind an attempt from Jackson, and from the resulting corner Peltier headed overbar.
Civic coach Leroy De Leon, aware of the danger, counterattacked by introducing Boatswain, who less than a minute onto the pitch forced Biggette into a save.
Then from the resulting corner swung in by Shackiel Henry, winger Redhead doubled the visitors lead 2-0 on 72 minutes.
Boatswain then fired in his first of the afternoon for a 3-0 Civic cushion in the 75th minute by capitalising on a rebound after Biggette was tested from distance by Henry.
But Rangers fired back twice in a space of twelve minutes to reduce the deficit 2-3 after Peltier bundled a Keron Cornwall cross into the back of the net in the 77th minute and Jackson pounced on a rebound to score after Goodman had dived to his left to keep out a Cornwall attempt in the 88th minute.
And had Jameel Antoine not missed the far upper corner in the 82nd minute following a feed from Jackson in the area, Rangers could have been level.
However it was all over for the St. Ann’s club in the final minute of regulation time when Boatswain, picked out by substitute Tigana Sparks, hammered his second beyond Biggette to end the game 4-2.
St. Ann's Rangers 2 (Johan Peltier 77', Anselm Jackson 88') vs Point Fortin Civic 4 (Juma Clarence 42', Akeem Redhead 72', Jamille Boatswain 75', 90')
St. Ann’s Rangers: 22.Christopher Biggette; 2.Shakiyl Phillip, 7.Sedale Mc Lean, 8.Kevon Piper, 9.Keron Cornwall, 13.Jeromie Williams, 16.Richard Williams, 17.Kadeem Hutchinson (15.Anselm Jackson 46th minute), 18.Trevin Latapy (Capt.), 27.Kareem Baptiste (10.Johan Peltier 46th minute), 29.Jameel Antoine
Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK), 20.Shomarie Antoine, 33.Mykal Campbell, 34.Jerrell Hibbert
Coach: Angus Eve
Point Fortin Civic: 1.Miles Goodman; 3.Kurfri Pierre, 4.Nicholas Thomas (20.Jamille Boatswain 70th minute), 7.Nickcolson Thomas (11.Tigana Sparks 82nd minute), 8.Akeem Redhead, 9.Shaquille Henry, 10.Bevon Bass, 18.Shaquille Stewart (19.Andrei Pacheco 59th minute), 24.Juma Clarence, 27.Kern Peters, 32.Jamal John,
Unused substitutes: 11.Tigana Sparks, 14.Kerron Gaskin, 21.Ronell Paul, 33.Daniel Smith,
Coach: Leroy DeLeon
Referee: Marlon Peruse