A first-half double from national midfielder Kerry Baptiste secured a 2-1 win for bmobile Joe Public over Ma Pau in their top of the table Digicel Pro League clash at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, yesterday.
With the win, the Eastern Lions moved back into top spot on the 11-team table with 34 points, the same as Caledonia AIA of Morvant/Laventille who edged Tobago United 1-0 at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva with Guyana’s Randolph Jerome on target. Ma Pau slipped to third with 33 points one ahead of two-time defending champions, Clico San Juan Jabloteh.
But at Macoya it was the Eastern Lions who looked the sharper of both teams and led by Baptiste who took his tally to 25 goals in 17 matches. The nippy Baptiste opened the scoring in the ninth minute when he redirected a right sided cross from fellow national senior team player, Hayden Tinto past stranded Ma Pau goalkeeper Shane Mattis. Baptiste could have doubled his team’s lead in the in the 21st minute, but after finding himself unmarked at the far post, he failed to control a left sided free-kick from Japanese midfielder, Yu Hoshide. Six minutes later, Trent Noel burst through the heart of the “Casino Boys” defence that left two defenders, Dwain James and Akeem Benjamin in his wake but he blasted his right footed attempt straight at Mattis.
The rebound fell nicely for Tinto, but his attempt on his weaker left foot went high over and wide of the target. The Eastern Lions continued to pile on the pressure against a tardy-looking Ma Pau and a minute later it was Hoshide’s turn to squander another chance when he blasted overbar from another Tinto centre. Four minutes before the interval, Baptiste finally doubled his team’s lead in clinical fashion. The league’s leading scorer, Baptiste ran onto a past down the centre of the 18-yard-box from Kareem Young which was cleverly dummied by team-mate Carlyle Mitchell, before he rounded goalkeeper Mattis and slotted into an open net for a 2-0 lead at the interval. Six minutes into second-half, Ma Pau’s substitute, Sayid Freitas signalled his team’s intentions when he volleyed into the side netting from an acute angle.
At the other end of the field, Baptiste attempted to curl in his third, but luckily for Mattis it was wide of the target. Frietas finally pulled one back for Ma Pau when he drilled a loose ball from on top the 18-yard box into the bottom left hand corner of the goal past a stranded Alejandro Figueroa in goal for Joe Public. However, with three key players missing due to duty with the national Under-20 team now in England as they prepare for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Egypt, Ma Pau looked a shadow of themselves and in the end Joe Public were deserving winners. In the day’s other match United Petrotrin blanked Tobago United 3-0 to move up to fifth spot with 27 points.
Caledonia squeeze 1-0 over Rangers, Joe Public back on top.
By: Randy Bando (ttproleague).
Guyanese forward Randolph Jerome on debut for Caledonia AIA of Morvant Laventille scored the lone item in the team's 1-0 win over bottom of the table St Ann's Rangers.
Jerome turned Jameel Perry's chip over goalkeeper Fortunato Valcourt's sliding challenge into the back of the net 30 minutes into the match for what stood as the match winner.
However Jerome would surely be looking back to the beginning when he failed to make a magical start for Caledonia seconds into the match after wasting an effort inside the area under challenge by Elijah Belgrave after a brilliant throughball by Densill Theobald played him goalbound.
Caledonia moved up two spots into second with 34 points, and are behind leaders Bmobile Joe Public by goals difference.
Joe Public returned to the top on Tuesday afternoon thanks to a first half double by Kerry Baptiste which helped the Lions to a 2-1 win.
Baptiste now with 25 goals in 17 matches netted in the 9th and 41st minutes giving his side a 2-0 cushion into the break. Sayid Freitas pulled back a goal for Ma Pau SC in the 79th minute however coach Derek King's side held on for a 2-1 victory and revenge over their Round One defeat against the Michael McComie coached team.
Ma Pau dropped from top to third following its Round Two Match Day Nine defeat. They remain with 33 points, followed by CONCACAF Champions' League campaigners San Juan Jabloteh in fourth one point behind.
United Petrotrin jumped from seventh to fifth following a 3-0 win over Tobago United.
Gary Glasgow, Arnold Dwarika and Nigel Daniel were the goalscorers for the Oilmen against the visiting Tobago United. Tobago slipped one spot into tenth after FC SouthEnd got the better of bottom of the table Police FC 2-0.
Anthony Rougier's 30th minute item was joined by Nathan Holmer's 84th minute strike helping the southerners break their eight-match winless streak.
At the Ato Boldon Stadium, Caledonia AIA dominated play but wasn't as sharp as coach Jamaal Shabazz would have liked in front of goal.
Following Jerome's blunder seconds into the match, teammate Abdallah Phillips was denied by the far upright after meeting Keon Daniel's long cross from the half line in the 10th minute which left onrushing goalkeeper Fortunato Valcourt beaten off his line-however Phillips' right footed volley skinned the post.
Rangers had a couple of good runs as the match progressed but it was Caledonia who continued dominance with disappointing finishing.
Both Charles Pollard and Jameel Perry had attempts in the 26th minute however failed to test Valcourt.
Two minutes later and Perry crashed a half volley into Valcourt as Caledonia continued wasting chances.
Caledonia finally got the opening item in the 30th minute for a 1-0 advantage when Jameel Perry free on the left, picked up Keon Daniel's pass before looping a short cross over Valcourt and Randolph Jerome on debut had the comfort of tapping into an open net.
Caledonia maintained that 1-0 advantage at the break.
Rangers' suffered further at the restart failing to have goalkeeper Valcourt and influential defensive player Coneal Thomas--both nursing first half injuries.
Six minutes into the second period Jerome headed Walter Moore's cross wide of the Rangers' goal after the wingback made one of his blistering runs down the left to feed the telling cross.
Moore had a go at goal himself in the 57th minute hitting the side netting. And two minutes later second half substitute Kendall Velox chipped an attempt just over from inside the area.
Substitute goalkeeper Seegobin made a brilliant save in the 74th minute pushing Densill Theobald's low effort from above the area out for a corner as Caledonia searched for the cushioning item.
Rangers' only on-target effort came in the 73rd minute when midfielder Adrian Narine tried his luck from 25 yards out--however he directed at goalkeeper Dwayne Sandy who gathered comfortably.
Caledonia rightback Kareem Joseph pulled out a fingertip save from Seegobin in added on time and from the resulting corner substitute Nuru Muhammed's shot on goal was gathered by the Rangers' costodian.
Caledonia AIA--Dwayne Sandy, Charles Pollard (capt), Densill Theobald, Randolph Jerome (Marcus Ambrose 90th), Keon Daniel, Stephan David, Kestore Jacobs, Abdallah Phillips (Nuru Muhammed 74th), Kareem Joseph, Walter Moore, Jameel Perry (Kendall Velox 46th).
St Ann's Rangers--Fortunato Valcourt (Javan Seegobin 46th), Devon Modeste (capt) Coneal Thomas (Keston Hamilton 46th), Husani Thomas, Adrian Narine, Josimar Belgrave, Elijah Belgrave (Yellow), Kerron Cordner, Javon Wilson (Jared Williams 90th), Nicholas Valentine, Christon Thomas.
Baptiste takes Public back to top.
By: Ian Prescott (T&T Express).
Kerry Baptiste netted a pair of goals to take his season's tally in the Digicel Pro League to 25, as Joe Public won their top-of-the-table clash with Ma Pau 2-1 at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Tuesday.
Joe Public (34 points) are now back atop the Pro League on goal-difference from Caledonia AIA (34 points), who moved to second after edging St Ann's Rangers 1-0 through a Randolph Jerome goal. Ma Pau, who had won their last five matches, dropped to third on 33 points.
The "Eastern Lions" dominated the big match on their artificial home turf, but converted just a few of the chances they created. Baptiste particularly, could have handsomely increased his tally with better finishing, while Ma Pau seemed to have suffered greatly from the loss of key players Curtis Gonzales, Mikeil Williams and Kevin Molino, who are in England with the national Under-20 team preparing for next month's FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Ma Pau were never allowed to settle and were mostly trying to keep out the hungry Lions, except for a good period in the second half. Baptiste, the runaway league top-scorer, opened his tally when he ran onto a cross from right winger Hayden Tinto and hit the ball past goalkeeper Shane Matthis. Baptiste then made it look easy in the 41st when he collected Kareem Young's pass in the penalty area after a dummy from teammate Carlyle Mitchell completely fooled the defenders.
Mitchell's fake allowed Baptiste to easily collect, and go around the keeper, before scoring into an open net. But Baptiste also missed a couple from similar positions, including a curling shot that went wide in the 55th. Soon after, he hit straight at goalie Matthis after cutting in towards the centre of the penalty area.
Ma Pau hung in and were back alive in the 79th when substitute Sayid Freitas clinically converted the second of two good chances with a low bullet past keeper Alejandro Figueroa to make the score 2-1. Earlier in the 60th, Freitas cut outside of defender Carlyle Mitchell, but could not force his shot past the Colombian keeper Figueroa.
Ma Pau had their best period late in the match, and looked capable of pulling level. But that would not have mattered had Gorian Highley possessed a shooting right foot.
The predominantly left-footed former Arima Senior Comprehensive standout, twice hesitated to shoot with his weaker leg when clear up the right flank. And when he finally got a shot off with his favoured leg, he hit the ball into the side-netting.
Petrotrin 3 (Gary Glasgow 13th, Arnold Dwarika 68th, Nigel Daniel 75th) vs Tobago United 0
Joe Public 2 (Kerry Baptiste 9th,41st) vs Ma Pau 0
Caledonia 1 (Randolph Jerome 31st) vs St Anns Rangers 0