Teenaged striker Jerrel Britto scored on debut and wingback Joevin Jones netted the winner to give W Connection a 2-1 comeback victory over visiting St. Ann’s Rangers in their opening 2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship fixture at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Saturday.
One of Rangers’ pre-season signings, midfielder Mikhail Awai stunned the home side in the 17th minute with a perfectly struck strike from distance for an early 1-0 advantage after he was played back atop the area by Kaashif Thomas.
W Connection goalkeeping signing Aquelius Sylvester had little chance on stopping the effort when his full stretch proved in vain.
Rangers equipped with midfielder Trent Noel and returning striker Errol Mc Farlane, along with the very familiar faces of midfielder Devon Modeste, defender Elijah Belgrave and Akil Clarke provided good contest for Connection in the opening moments.
However it was Connection’s gelled mixture of experienced youths proved the better team on the night although failing to put away a number of chances.
Thirty-two minutes into the match Rangers Jamaican goalie Shane Mattis denied Britto, pushing the 19 yearold effort overbar and two minutes later the former San Juan Jabloteh player headed over from a Hughtun Hector—after Hector made a steal on Kaashif Thomas just above the area.
In the 40th minute Britto found himself one on one with Mattis, but was robbed of the ball just inside the six yard area.
However Britto levelled the scores 1-1 three minutes from the break when he climbed perfectly at far post to head in his debut item from Keron Cummings right side corner to send both teams level at the half.
Connection led by midfielder Hughtun Hector as captain this season and defender Kern Cupid as the two most experienced players, created another opening in the 51st minute but blasted overbar by teenager Shahdon Winchester.
Hector himself had a decent effort just wide two minutes later, as goalkeeper Mattis the low swinging effort swoosh past his upright.
2011-2012 Digicel Pro League Championship
Round One Match Day One result
Saturday 10 September
W Connection 2—1 St. Ann’s Rangers
Jerrel Britto 45’, Joevin Jones 72’ ; Mikhail Awai 17
W Connection—Aquelius Sylvester, Hughtun Hector (capt.), Akeem Benjamin, Kern Cupid, Andre Quashie, Keron Cummings (Rennie Britto 78th), Jomal Williams, Jerrel Britto (Neil Benjamin 90th), Mikeil Williams, Joevin Jones, Shahdon Winchester (Hashim Arcia 55th).
Coach—Stuart Charles Fevrier
St. Ann’s Rangers—Shane Mattis, Errol Mc Farlane (capt.), Kareem Moses, Clevon Mc Fee (Shaquille Nesbitte 55th), Trent Noel, Elijah Belgrave, Devon Modeste (Yellow) (Keon Peters 83rd), Mikhail Awai, Kaashif Thomas (Jaime Ruiz Jamies 79th), Jevon Morris, Akil Clarke.