CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh substitute Angus Eve banged home in the 85th minute to ensure full points for his team, snuffing out Arima Fire’s challenge for a share of the points in yesterday’s Pro League Round 23 showdown at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Jabloteh triumphed 2-0 to maintain their four-point cushion at the top of the standings.
Second-placed Vibe CT 105 W Connection also earned full points. The Independence Bowl champions defeated host team North East Stars 2-0 at the Sangre Grande Recreation Ground.
At the Centre of Excellence, in Macoya, Vladimir Suite led the charge for Joe Public, finding the back of the net three times in his team’s 4-2 victory over Starworld Strikers. And Defence Force, 0-1 down at the half-time interval, bounced back to hammer Caledonia AIA 4-1 at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima. St Lucian striker Valencius Joseph gave the Stallions a shock 10th minute lead, but the Army-Coast Guard combination fought back with a vengeance in the second half.
Goals by Michael Edwards in the 50th, Jason Scotland 65th, Shelton Williams 88th and Scotland again a minute later, sealed the victory for Defence Force.
The first 45 minutes of football at the Hasely Crawford Stadium failed to produce a goal. But 11 minutes into the second half, the Kerrys—Baptiste and Noray—combined to give Jabloteh the lead. Noray found his teammate with a low left-side cross. Baptiste obliged, settling himself before calmly slotting the ball past Fire goalkeeper Peter Fortune.
Within three minutes of the Baptiste strike, Fire’s Handel Manswell rifled a shot from 20 metes out. The powerful effort brought the best out of Kelvin Jack, forcing a fine save—low to his left—from the Jabloteh custodian.
After 60 minutes, Wesley Webb replaced Gary Glasgow in the Jabloteh line-up. Glasgow had created problems for the Fire defence, his deft touches often creating openings. However, his absence in the final 30 minutes of the game did not interrupt Jabloteh’s momentum.
In the 71st minute, Fire’s Daryll James shouldered Cornell Glenn to the ground, conceding a penalty. However, Fortune kept out Travis Mulraine’s weak spot-kick.
A couple minutes later, Alvris Faure Diaz muffed a golden opportunity to make Mulraine pay for his feeble effort. The Fire player just managed to stay on-side, but instead of blasting the ball goalwards, he made a square pass ... a pass that failed to find a red shirt. The sprinkling of Jabloteh supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief.
And then, five minutes from the end of regulation time, Mulraine made amends. The Jabloteh midfielder slipped a pass through to Eve, who crashed the ball past Fortune, from the right side of Fire’s 18-metre box, giving the keeper absolutely no chance of repeating his heroics.
TnT PFL Results.
Hasely Crawford Stadium.
San Juan Jabloteh 2 v 0 Arima Fire.
Kerry Baptiste 55.
Angus Eve 83.
Sangre Grande Recreation.
Vibe W Connection 2 v 0 N/East Stars.
Francis Lastic 70.
Titus Elva 87.
Larry Gomes Stadium.
Caledonia AIA FC 1 v 4 Defence Force.
Valencius Joseph 10. Michael Edwards 50.
Jason Scotland 65.
Shelton Williams 88.
Jason Scotland 89.
Centre of Excellence.
Joe Public FC 4 v 2 Starworld Strikers.
Vladimir Suite 4. Damian Hamilton 44.
Vladimir Suite 8. Sean Julien 50.
Vladimir Suite 65.
Derek King 87.
P W D L F A Pts.
Jabloteh 22 16 5 1 50 13 53
W Connection 22 16 3 3 57 20 51
Joe Public 22 10 8 4 33 23 38
Defence Force 22 9 5 8 46 37 32
Arima Fire 21 6 3 12 26 34 21
Caledonia AIA 21 5 6 10 26 42 21
Starworld Strikers 22 4 6 12 30 48 17
North East Stars 22 3 0 19 18 71 9.