A first half double by Joe Public attacker Kerry Baptiste paved the way for a winning start for Coach Derek King on Super Friday at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya edging Caledonia AIA of Morvant Laventille 2-1.
Walter moore had Caledonia in front in the 2nd minute when he easily slipped the ball past goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa after defender Seon Power failed to intercept a pass inside the area for a 1-0 early advantage of the Round One Match Day One of the Digicel Pro League.
However the score was levelled in the 7th minute 1-1 when Kerry Baptiste clinically slotted the ball past a fully stretched goalkeeper Kevin Mussio after turning inside his markers in the area.
The tempo continued to climb as Joe Public and Caledonia gave fans a great opening contest in efforts for the best possible start of the 2009 season.
Kareem Moses headed into the side netting in the 29th minute from Kerry Baptiste’s left side free kick after Densill Theobald fouled Tinto just outside the area. Tinto, a former Caledonia player had an impressive first half entertaining the Marvin Lee crowd.
Baptiste had the crowd screaming off their seats in the 32nd when he registered his double minute sending the home crowd wild as the Eastern Lions enjoyed a 2-1 advantage.
Kerry was at it again in the 38th minute hitting just high from a 22 yard free kick as Joe Public looked in control putting some pressure on Caledonia who had three yellow cards in the half.
Caledonia had the last attempt of the half from defender Nuru Abdallah Muhammed which was well wide of Figueroa’s goal.
Following the break, King boosted his attack with former Caledonia player Conrad Smith replacing Devon Leacock in midfield unsatisfied with his one goal advantage.
Joe Public showed their intent for more goals with defender Seon Power guided Baptiste’s freekick just wide of Mussio’s upright two minutes into the second period.
King’s charges had another good chance in the 56th minute but midfielder Akeil Guevara’s shot was tipped out by goalkeeper Mussio. And less than two minutes later Guevara was again denied, this time by defender Muhammed who cleared off the line.
Guevarra had a go at goal again in the 62nd only winning a corner after his attempt from distance clashed off Muhammed.
Caledonia’s coach Jamaal Shabazz responded with changes in his offence replacing Abdullah Phillips and Kendall Velox with some younger faces in Akim Armstrong and Keyon Edwards respectively in the 64th minute.
But their chances of a comeback darkened when Akeil Guevara finally got his item in the 72nd minute beating goalkeeper Mussio from the left and into the far upright for a 3-1 lead.
Two minutes later Shabazz responded with his final substitution in 2009 signee Judah Hernandez replacing Jameel Perry upfront to add some pressure on the Lions and brought their chances of a comeback closer. Second half introduction Keyon Edwards made no mistake in the 84th minute guiding the ball into Figueroa’s net reducing the deficit 2-3.
That added life into the match in its dying stages with Akim Arstrong making two clearances off the face of his goal against Joe Public, the eventually winners at the final whistle 3-2.
Caledonia AIA 2—3 Joe Public
Walter Moore 2’, Keyon Edwards 84’ - Kerry Baptiste 7’, 32’, Akeil Guevara 72’
Caledonia AIA: Kevin Mussio, Charles Pollard (capt.), Brion Baker, Stephan David, Abdallah Phillips (Akim Armstrong 64th), Jameel Perry (Judah Hernandez 74th), Walter Moore, Marcus Ambrose, Densill Theobald, Nuru Abdallah Muhammed, Kendal Velox (Keyon Edwards 64th).
Joe Public FC: Alejandro Figueroa, Dale Saunders (capt.), Akeil Guevara (Kareem Young 90th), Carlyle Mitchell, Devon Leacock (Conrad Smith 46’), Gorian Highley (Tiba McKnight), Hayden Tinto, Jason Springer, Kareem Moses, Kerry Baptiste, Rashad Griffith.
Match Referee: Neil Brizan