First half goals by Anthony Wolfe and Carlos Gonzales paved the way for a 3-1 North East Stars win on Thursday against home team St Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium while substitute Randolph Jerome rang in the third item in injury time.
Meantime Rangers dropped two places into fifth failing to add to their 31 points after Thursday’s round of matches.
Anthony Wolfe opened the scoring in the 13th minute jumping between defenders to head in a right side cross by Colombian Carlos Gonzales past goalkeeper Keston Hamilton.
However Rangers levelled the scores 1-1 in the 20th minute from the penalty spot after Jerome Charles shot on goal struck the arm of Akeil Guevara forcing referee Russell Casimere to point to the spot and after some deliberation Rangers captain Josimar Belgrave stepped to the spot and converted past goalkeeper Andrew Durant.
Seven minutes later Wolfe missed out on his double when his cheeky back flick on Sean Cooper’s low cross missed Hamilton’s far post.
Less than a minute later North East Stars debutant Brent Sancho missed out on glory when the World Cup defender failed to do as his former T&T teammate Wolfe and headed a Marc Leslie corner onto the upright.
Rangers suffered their second item to go 2-1 down when Gonzales turned from provider to scorer in the 32nd minute stabbed in from close range on Hamilton’s parry—erasing two previous saves on Sylvester Teesdale and Wolfe by the Rangers custodian.
Six minutes from the break Rangers suffered a huge blow when injured Josimar Belgrave had to be replaced by Christon Thomas.
In the 44th minute Marc Leslie failed to put his name on the scoresheet and give the Stars a 3-1 cushion hitting wide of the far post after being set free by Sean Cooper with only the goalkeeper to beat.
However the Stars, newcomer Brent Sancho and owner Darryl Mahabir were all happy with the 2-1 score at the break.
Coach Miguel Hackett who preferred to stand the entire 90 minutes was urging his team to go for the kill in the second period but the Grande based side had Hamilton in their way.
The Rangers goalie was in brilliant form on a few occasions denying point blank efforts by Guevara and Gonzales in the 50th minute before Teesdale struck over bar.
Teesdale was denied again in the 61st by Hamilton and was replaced soon afterwards by Guyanese Randolph Jerome.
Sean Cooper also felt the Hamilton effect when the Rangers goalie did enough to get his body behind the ball diverting it away from goal in the 67th minute.
North East Stars suffered a scare just before the end of regulation time after a bunch up of players inside their area—however to their relief the ball was cleared to safety.
Jerome then capped off the scoring in injury time 3-1 after a combination of passes between himself and another second half introduction Jason Cudjoe the break past the Rangers defence and slot the ball past Hamilton.
Rangers will meet Ma Pau SC on Saturday at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Round Three Match Day Five with a 5pm kickoff as the League and Big Six spot race continues.