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Sat, Dec

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Jomoul Francois scored a second half double after being involved in two earlier goals as St. Ann’s Rangers snatched their third win of the season with a 4-0 hammering of home side Point Fortin Civic on Sun-Fun-Day.

Previously dubbed the whipping boys of the Digicel Pro League, Rangers are now up one spot into third, hurdling San Juan Jabloteh, who plays Police FC on Tuesday, by one point, to join second positioned W Connection on 10 points—three points adrift of 2016-2017 leaders and two-time defending champions Central FC.

Rangers coach Anthony Streete said afterwards, the target is to achieve “more than fourteen points”. That’s the points tally Rangers achieved under last season’s coach, Angus Eve, as the struggling St. Ann’s club finished last for a third consecutive time.

“I just want to prove it wasn’t really the players [at fault],” said Streete who returned this season as coach of Rangers. “Don’t take a job that you know will have faults and make the players the problem. If you take such a job, you have to do your best to try and make it work.”

Coincidentally, Eve now heads Club Sando, the side Streete led to a seventh-position finish on Pro League debut last season.

Sando were also in action on Sunday but had to settle for a point after thrilling 3-3 draw against Morvant Caledonia United in the first game of the Mahaica Oval double-header.

Sando had led on three occasions with goals by Keron Cornwall, Akeem Roach and substitute Shaquille Holder but failed to hold out against the Eastern Stallions who snatched their third equaliser in stoppage time. 

Kordell Samuel first equalised for Morvant Caledonia three minutes from the half off a low feed from Jameel Neptune after Cornwall had put Sando ahead just over the half hour mark with a solo item.

Roach then restored Sando’s advantage in the 56th minute with his second league goal this season after beating goalkeeper Stephon Seepersad to the ball to hit into an exposed net. But six minutes later Akim Armstrong, also for his second goal of the season, headed in a Densill Theobald corner to level the scores again.

The see-saw effect continued after Holder buried a rebound to again put Sando ahead following a save by Seepersad -- who started in absence of injured Marvin Phillip (groin) -- to deny Keithy Simpson in the 89th minute.

Morvant Caledonia were in the end celebrating a point after staring defeat in the face.

Neptune the hero.

The winger connected to a long pass out of the back by defender Seon Thomas before quickly rounding goalkeeper Kelvin Henry inside the area to hit into the net for his third league goal of the season and a 3-3 finish in stoppage time.

The result saw Morvant Caledonia (5 points) and Sando (4 points) maintain seventh and eight positions, respectively.

“It was a roller-coaster game,” said Morvant Caledonia coach Rajesh Latchoo, who condemned his defence. “I’m not pleased with our defenders. We kept making mistakes and paid for those mistakes.

“Yes we are getting better, but if we didn’t make mistakes, we won 3 nil (sic). 

“We stay in front [of Sando], they don’t leapfrog us,” continued the irate Morvant Caledonia coach. “…but that’s not where we wanted to be. We wanted to move forward on seven points and unfortunately we had to keep chasing the game because of those moments of lack in concentration by our defenders.”

Latchoo did however credit his offence with special mention of Neptune for his late equaliser and early assist.

In the second game, however, Civic were caught cold and Rangers grabbed a two-goal cushion within the first seven minutes through attackers Osaze Springer and Dylon King before Francois completed the rout with two to his name following the break.

A diminutive Springer handed Rangers a 1-0 lead on four minutes when he completed a solo move with a low drive into the far bottom corner of goalkeeper Miles Goodman’s net after he was set into motion by Francois outside the right of the area.

Francois, enjoying his first start for Rangers this season, then picked out King lurking at the top of the area in the 7th minute, and the former Police FC attacker, after shuffling to make room for himself, let off a strike to beat Goodman for a 2-0 cushion.

Rangers continued their dominance against the cellar-placed Civic, who were without injured forwards Jamille Boatswain and Nigerian Ahinde Adeshigin, but featured three teenaged Venezuelan signings on coach Dick Furlonge’s 18-man squad. Jose Herrera, 17, started in attacking midfield and winger Mario Romeo, 19, off the bench in the second half, while defender Nestor Ruiz, 18, remained an unused substitute.

Perhaps it was a wise choice by Furlonge not to toss Ruiz into a sure baptism of fire against a fully charged Francois, who frolicked against the Civic defenders more than kids had earlier enjoyed romping in the bouncy castle on Sun-Fun-Day.

Francois, who was denied twice in the first half by Goodman, finally beat the Civic goalie four minutes after the break with a hit from the right to find the far top corner as Rangers enjoyed a 3-0 lead.

The former North East Stars winger then completed his double and Rangers 4-0 scoring in the 82nd minute with a low strike off a Jameel Antoine feed to find Goodman’s far netting.

Civic’s Sylvester Teesdale and Akeem Redhead were both denied by the frame in the 86th minute and stoppage time, respectively, as the home side searched for a late consolation item.

“Praises to my team and the staff for reaching this far,” said coach Streete, whose side stands with three wins (Defence Force, Police FC & Point Fortin Civic), one draw (Morvant Caledonia United) and one loss (Ma Pau Stars). “…especially the players believing in themselves. I think the last couple years they weren’t believing in themselves. Now they are winning and they are more and more believing in themselves.”

Streete, who considers himself a tactician, said his players are committed to the task and the team even on the training pitch. Streete also said the younger players are feeding off the experience of teammates such as goalkeeper Cleon John, Devon Drayton and Dylon King who he considers the backbone of the team.

Sando must next face W Connection and Streete, who steered his former side Sando to two league wins over the Savonetta Boys last season, is hoping to extend his winning trend as coach against the Couva powerhouse.

Results

Club Sando 3 (Keron Cornwall 32', Akeem Roach 56', Shaquille Holder 89') vs Morvant Caledonia United 3 (Kordell Samuel 42', Akim Armstrong 62', Jameel Neptune 90'+), at Mahaica Oval.

Point Fortin Civic 0 vs St. Ann’s Rangers 4 (Osaze Springer 4', Dylon King 7', Jomoul Francois 49', 81'), at Mahaica Oval.

Teams

Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK), 6.Kemuel Rivers (Yellow Card), 7.Akeem Humphrey (Capt.), 8.Kevon Piper (16.Anderson Toussaint 90th minute), 9.Keron Cornwall (14.Anthony Guppy 69th minute), 13.Akeem Roach (10.Shaquille Holder 74th minute), 18.Trevin Latapy, 19.Leslie Russell, 23.Nicholas Thomas, 27.Jayson Joseph, 29.Keithy Simpson.

Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK), 11.Joel Kevin Lewis, 15.Kaashif Thomas, 16.Anderson Toussaint, 21.Sharkeel Donatien.

Coach: Angus Eve

Morvant Caledonia United: 30.Stephon Seepersad (GK), 3.Teriq Highland (16.Amos Ramsey 60th minute), 5.Seon Thomas, 6.Taje Commissiong, 7.Kordell Samuel, 11.Dominic Douglas (13.Jordan Devonish 46th minute), 12.Kareem Joseph, 17.Akim Armstrong, 18.Maestro Mensah, 21.Densill Theobald (23.Lester Joseph 71st minute) (Yellow Card), 22.Jameel Neptune.

Unused substitutes: 8.Anthony Charles, 14.Keron Bethelmy, 15.Otev Lawrence, 31.Hakeem Lucas (GK).

Coach: Rajesh Latchoo

Referee: Marlon Peruse

Teams

Point Fortin Civic: 22.Miles Goodman (GK), 4.Keron Neptune (24.Austin Hernandez 46th minute), 6.Shane Garraway, 8.Akeem Redhead, 9.Sylvester Teesdale, 11.Shaquille Dublin, 14.Nicarlon Turton (99.Tereek Joseph 55th minute), 16.Tyrell Johnson, 17.Kestwin Goolie (30.Mario Jose Romeo Marin 66th minute), 13.Jose Herrera, 33.Kerron Gaskin.

Unused substitutes: 3.Kurfri Pierre, 21.Callum Marshall (GK), 23.Shaquille Stewart, 32.Nestor Miguel Ruiz Salazar.

Coach: Dick Furlonge

St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Cleon John (GK), 5.Devon Drayton, 6.Dylon King, 7.Sedale Mc Lean, 8.Jameel Antoine (Capt.), 9.Jomoul Francois, 10.Devon Modeste, 11.Kazim Donald (32.Marvin Lee 76th minute), 20.Kareem Baptiste, 30.Lester Durham, 33.Osaze Springer.

Unused substitutes: 16.Richard Williams, 17.Francis Rojas, 19.Tafari Williams, 22.Christopher Biggette (GK), 44.Dyllon Lara.

Coach: Anthony Streete

Referee: Rashby Mc Phie