Heading into the Digicel Pro league Christmas break, defending champions Central F.C still occupy poll position on the points table four points ahead of second placed W Connection but all eyes are fixed on midtable and the Defence Force. Marvin Gordon and his men registered their fourth successive league win on Tuesday to surge into 4th position on the standings.
At the time of their First Citizens Cup triumph three weeks ago, Lance Corporal Gordon along with his soldiers, sailors and airmen were wallowing in the bottom half of the table and seemingly headed for a terrible season but grabbing the most popular title in local football apparently cured what was ailing the men from Tetron. The resurgence continued on Match Day Three of Round 2 with a workman-like 2-0 win over Club Sando. Once again it was Devorn Jorsling leading the charge up front, the ace marksman opened the scoring in the 32nd minute and as Club Sando went in search of another late draw similar to what they did against Central on Friday, Jorsling knocked the wind out of their efforts with his second goal which came with just four minutes remaining in regulation time. Those strikes bring his league tally to nine goals so far, that coupled with his seven from the FC Cup makes for some impressive scoring form.
The taste of the victory became even sweeter later that night because the second match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium between Ma Pau Stars and San Juan Jabloteh ended in a 1-1 stalemate which allowed Defence Force to leap-frog the team from Sangre Grande and settle in fourth place. Jerrel Britto opened the scoring for Ma Pau with a 35th minute item but that was cancelled out ten minutes into the second half by national team striker Willis Plaza. The draw keeps Jabloteh in third but coach Keith Jeffrey may be uneasy during the break with the knowledge that the military team is just one point behind and Ma Pau two adrift.
At the top of the table Central F.C remains unbeaten but made it look hard against Morvant Caledonia United in a 2-0 win at the Ato Boldon Stadium. Rajesh Latchoo’s team put up a tough fight until the 64th minute, that’s when substitute Johan Peltier eased the nerves of Dale Saunders and the Central coaching staff with a well taken goal. The hard-working Jason Marcano got the second with three minute remaining to give the defending champions their tenth win in twelve matches.
In the second match at the Couva venue, Police F.C were on course for a ‘bounce back’ win versus St. Anns Rangers following their loss last week but Jameel Perry’s 25th minute goal was not enough for Richard Hood’s team because a late strike by Lester Durham in add-on time is what put a rare smile on the face of Rangers coach Anthony Streete as the draw kept his team third from bottom.
The other strugglers did not do much better. W Connection travelled to the Mahaica Oval and wrapped up a win versus Point Fortin Civic F.C by the 22nd minute of the contest. Daniel Diaz (18th) and Shackiel Henry (20th and 22nd) were the early scorers for the Savonetta Boys and this blitz was capped off with an 80th minute item by the in-form Dimitri Apai to make the final score 4-0 ‘W’.
There will be only six Match Days to go when the League resumes on January 6th but none can rest comfortably in the race for the title…although it will be brave to bet against Central with ‘W’ already out of their path.