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23
Fri, Aug

Guaya Utd wins Ascension opener.
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Guaya Unit­ed FC got its first three points in the new As­cen­sion In­vi­ta­tion­al Foot­ball League at the Guayagua­yare Recre­ation Ground on Fri­day, but T&T Su­per League cam­paign­ers FC San­ta Rosa and Queen’s Park CC both shared the points in a goal­less stale­mate at the Ari­ma Velo­drome.

The ‘Green Army’, as Guaya are af­fec­tion­ate­ly known, edged Po­lice FC 2-1 cour­tesy a goal on each side of the half by Ke­ston Fron­tin in the 10th minute and Shaquille Fer­ri­er in the 65th.

Fron­tin drew first blood with his item, ben­e­fit­ting from a neat­ly de­liv­ered right side cross on the doorstep that gave him the sim­ple task of tap­ping in from the goal line. But Chris­t­ian Thomas lev­elled the scores with a 21st-minute goal that re­turned their fo­cus on the $250,000 win­ner’s cheque dan­gling in front of their eyes.

How­ev­er, Fer­ri­er, a sur­vivor of Guaya’s win­ning Su­per League team back in 2017, spoiled their par­ty. The speedy winger ap­peared to have lost out when an­oth­er right-side cross, di­rect­ed to him, was in­ter­cept­ed by a tow­er­ing Po­lice de­fence. Fer­ri­er though was quick to rob the de­fence of the loose ball and with the goal well in his sight, he fired pow­er­ful­ly past the Po­lice goal­keep­er for a win­ner for the Travis Mul­raine-coach team.

At the Ari­ma Velo­drome, na­tion­al coach Den­nis Lawrence took a front-seat view for the en­counter and he was al­most lift­ed off his seat when San­ta Rosa’s ear­ly dom­i­nance cul­mi­nat­ed with a nice­ly float­ed left-side cross to an un­marked Rashad Grif­fith in the area. How­ev­er, Grif­fith, one of the team’s lead­ing scor­ers in the past few years, put his head­er wide of the tar­get.

Grif­fith was again the point-man for an­oth­er juicy chance for his team in a half that was large­ly dom­i­nat­ed by the San­ta Rosa’s Big Can­nons, al­though the Parkites did make their way in­to the de­fen­sive area but cause lit­tle re­al dan­ger.

In the 37th minute, Kheelon Mitchell re­leased him­self from a tight-mark­ing Dion Lewis on the right flank and cen­tred for Grif­fith, who, for a sec­ond time, failed to di­rect his head­er on tar­get be­fore the half-time in­ter­val.

Af­ter the re­sump­tion, the Parkites cre­at­ed more op­por­tu­ni­ties but could not beat Jesse Pe­ters in the San­ta Rosa goal.

Ri­car­do John al­so shot wide of the goal when he found him­self free in the area in the 49th minute. And against the run of play a minute lat­er, Juaval Roberts stormed down the right flank and cen­tred for Em­manuel Bunting to turn nice­ly in­side the box. But with the goal at his mer­cy, he fired wide of the far post with the San­ta Rosa cus­to­di­an in no man’s land.

The Big Can­nons turned to John-Paul Rochford to save their for­tunes but they were first re­duced to 10 men be­fore he could have any say in the match. The Parkites’ Lewis, sent freely on his way to goal, was hacked down by Al­fie James in the 71st minute and he was giv­en march­ing or­ders by the ref­er­ee. But the re­sult­ing free-kick was squan­dered.

Four min­utes from the end, how­ev­er, San­ta Rosa was giv­en a penal­ty when Rochford was again brought down in­side the area when put through by Kevon Corn­wall. But the lit­tle mid­field­er picked him­self up and drove his at­tempt from the spot straight to the Parkites goalie for a share of the points.