Police FC defeated Central FC 3-0 with a vengeful performance Friday on the first meeting between the two sides since the “Couva Sharks” knocked them out via the penalty spot at the semi-final stage of the 2018 First Citizens Cup on Jul. 13 before going on to win the title against Defence Force FC.
Kemron Purcell prodded Police in front before 19-year-old winger Christian Thomas struck one and set up another scored by Kareem Perry, all scored in the first half, as coach Richard Hood’s side put the Pro League match beyond Central’s reach before the break at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Police, now undefeated in six consecutive outings, returned to winning ways after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Morvant Caledonia to climd four spots to usurp Central for second on the 2018 league standings albeit only goal-difference separating the two teams tied on 16 points.
But with Defence Force and Club Sando (both on 13 points) against Point Fortin Civic and Morvant Caledonia United, respectively, at the Ato Boldon Stadium today (Saturday) from 6pm and 8pm, a lot can change on the standings over the coming hours.
W Connection, six points ahead of the pack, will first look to extend the gap when they travel to the Larry Gomes Stadium from 4pm against cellar-placed North East Stars, the side they defeated 7-1 in the curtain-raising Charity Shield on Jun. 1 and 2-0 in the group stage of the First Citizens Cup fifteen days later.
Purcell headed Police in front after 13 minutes off a Christon Thomas corner which resulted from a save by Central goalkeeper Marvin Phillip to deny Christian Thomas.
Christian Thomas, a brilliant addition to Hood’s squad this season, then celebrated his second league goal and third in all competitions, when he put a low right side Clevon Mc Fee cross past Phillip to cushion the “Lawmen” against a side that entered the game on four consecutive wins.
The lanky teenaged winger later provided a telling pass into the box and Kareem Perry made good use by hammering the ball past a hapless Phillip to complete the 3-0 score in stoppage time of the first half.
Central were awarded a penalty five minutes into the second half but Duane Muckette’s effort from the spot crashed off the bar and many around the venue felt justice had triumphed after referee Crystal Sobers ruled a handball against Dexter Alleyne when a powerful shot from Jamaica international Ewan Grandison struck the leg then arm of the substitute defender.
It was the second time on the night that Central were denied by the frame after Akim Armstrong’s beautiful curling effort struck the upright in the 37th minute.
On the opposite end, Phillip, who made first-half saves to deny Kenaz Williams and Kareem Freitas, twice denied the latter with two magnificent saves in the 74th and 78th minutes to avoid Central further humiliation.
Freitas had one last chance against Phillip ten minutes from time. But, with the Trinidad and Tobago national team shot-stopper at his mercy, the star Police forward failed to force even a save.
The missed chances could return to haunt Freitas who stands with three league goals less than the 11 boasted by leading Golden Boot contender, Marcus “Lobo” Joseph. The W Connection forward has already scored 18 goals in all competitions this season, with four of them against North East Stars—the side his team faces today.
Earlier on Friday, head coach Keith Jeffrey of San Juan Jabloteh (14 points) seemed eager to end his side’s three-game rot with a scheduled fixture against Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers at the Mucurapo Road venue.
The match however did not play due to an unprepared pitch despite the late efforts of Jeffrey, though being the away team coach, in preparing the nets and finding corner flags as the pitch was stripped and marked for rugby action on Sunday.
Jeffrey must now, however, switch his focus to Tuesday’s trip to the Mahaica Oval against Point Fortin Civic with a decision pending against Rangers.
Pro League 2018
Round 1 Match Day 9 result
(Friday 21 September)
Police FC 3 (Kemron Purcell 13’, Christian Thomas 25’, Kareem Perry 45’+2) vs Central FC, at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers vs San Juan Jabloteh
Pending league decision. Match did not play due to unprepared pitch.
Round 1 Match Day 9
(Saturday 22 September)
North East Stars vs W Connection, 4pm at Larry Gomes Stadium;
Defence Force FC vs Point Fortin Civic, 6pm at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Club Sando vs Morvant Caledonia United, 8pm at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Pro League 2018 standings
# Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 W Connection 8 7 1 0 24 4 20 22
2 Police FC 9 5 1 3 18 13 5 16
3 Central FC 9 5 1 3 19 15 4 16
4 San Juan Jabloteh 8 4 2 2 9 8 1 14
5 Defence Force FC 8 4 1 3 21 10 11 13
6 Club Sando 8 4 1 3 14 10 4 13
7 Morvant Caledonia Utd 7 1 4 2 11 11 0 7
8 Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers 8 2 0 6 3 31 -28 6
9 Point Fortin Civic 8 1 2 5 8 15 -7 5
10 North East Stars 7 0 1 6 7 17 -10 1
Teams at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK) (Capt.); 3.Ryan O’Neil, 5.Kenaz Williams, 7.Kareem Perry, 10.Kareem Freitas, 15.Christian Thomas (11.Micah Lewis 89th minute), 16.Brendon Creed (17.Dexter Alleyne 38th minute), 19.Christon Thomas (12.Nequan Caruth 46th minute), 21.Todd Ryan, 29.Clevon Mc Fee, 33.Kemrom Purcell.
Unused substitutes: 22.Theon Browne (GK); 4.Kadeem Boyce, 13.Dillon Kirton, 38.Makesi Lewis.
Coach: Richard Hood
Central FC: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 3.Ewan Grandison (13.Rhondel Gibson 72nd minute), 8.Akim Armstrong, 10.Leston Paul, 12.Taryk Sampson, 15.Kaydion Gabriel (5.Dwight Pope 32th minute), 18.Densill Theobald (Capt.), 19.Jared London, 22.Jameel Neptune, 24.Duane Muckette, 29.Russell Alfred (11.Xavier Rajpaul 46th minute).
Unused substitutes: 30.Zane Coker (GK); 7.Hakim Baird, 9.Gibbs Braxton, 17.Renaldo Alexander.
Coach: Stern John
Referee: Crystal Sobers
Assistant Referee 1: Ainsley Rochard
Assistant Referee 2: Caleb Wales
Fourth Official: Gordon Maloney
Match Commissioner: Oswald Davis