Jason Marcano grabbed a first half hattrick last night to steer defending Digicel Pro League champions Central FC to an impressive 7-0 win over Point Fortin Civic at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
It was the highest scoring league win for the Couva Sharks this season, but second overall to current DPL leaders Defence Force, who demolished Morvant Caledonia United 8-0 on Jan. 8.
Defence Force (24 points) also enjoyed a win last night, crushing St. Ann’s Rangers 4-0 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium to maintain their three-point gap on second placed Central FC (21 points).
Defence Force veteran midfielder and current team captain, Jerwyn Balthazar, scored all goals to add a beavertrick to his, already exciting, season.
The 33-year-old Balthazar netted three times in the first half for the Army/Coast Guard combination before eclipsing his personal best this season –a hattrick in the win against Caledonia this month – by adding his fourth on the night, just over the hour mark.
While in Couva, Central were sparing no mercy against the visiting Civic.
Marcano scored in the 11th, 23rd and 43rd minutes, all off the assists of midfielder Sean De Silva, who ended the night with four assists and a goal.
De Silva intercepted a pass in midfield to set Marcano free and the veteran midfielder raced 25 yards towards goal before slipping his shot beyond Civic goalkeeper Miles Goodman and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Central lead.
Civic’s trouble doubled when Ataulla Guerra made it 2-0 on 17 minutes, finding the gap from inside the area by curling a right-footer into the far bottom corner following a De Silva pass.
The match was well out of Civic’s reach by the half, trailing 4-0, after Marcano added his second and third items in similar fashion by bundling in De Silva corners.
Former Civic star, Marcus Joseph added another Central goal on 64 minutes, beating a hapless Goodman from close up following a Guerra feed to put the score at 5-0.
And if that didn’t add insult to injury, Central’s interim head coach Dale Saunders threw in young forwards in the onslaught, replacing Joseph with Ricardo John; winger Darren Mitchell with Nicholas Dillion and Marcano with Kadeem Corbin.
John, just eleven minutes onto the pitch, snatched his debut goal for Central by netting on 77 minutes.
The 20-year-old John showed good speed and strength to hold off a challenge from defender Kern Peters, after running onto deep pass from defensive midfielder Elton John, before comfortably hitting past Goodman for a 6-0 score.
De Silva, who scored a double in a 3-0 league win over Civic on Sep. 26, wrapped up last night’s 7-0 win with a deserving item to top off a brilliant match performance. The former Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup player let off a powerful strike to beat Goodman at the near post after surprising defender Andrei Pacheco with speed and composure inside the box.
Earlier at the Couva venue, North East Stars edged Club Sando 1-0 for their second consecutive league win and third unbeaten since acquiring new coach Ross Russell earlier this month.
Gorean “Ratty” Highley gave the Sangre Grande outfit the valuable item on 71 minutes when he smashed a rebound into the roof of the net after Sando goalkeeper Kelvin Henry had made a superb save to deny the striker from the penalty spot.
Highley, now with four goals from the last three outings, was pulled down in the area by defender Coneal Thomas, forcing referee Dennis Changiah to point to the spot.
Sando, riding a three-game winning streak before kick-off, had an excellent equalising opportunity seven minutes later. But forward Kevon Woodley headed overbar off a well-placed Akeem Humphrey cross.
North East Stars had two late efforts through Chike Sullivan and Neveal Hackshaw, while Woodley had a solo attempt for Sando, however 1-0 it remained in favour of the visitors.
North East Stars climbed two spots up the ladder into third with 20 points, two points ahead of Police FC, who must tackle W Connection from 3:30 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium today (Saturday).
Also at the Hasely Crawford Stadium last night, Morvant Caledonia United snapped a five-game slide by edging cross-town rivals San Juan Jabloteh 1-0 through a late Sheldon Holder goal.
The result, however, didn’t lift Caledonia off the bottom of the standings, but improved their points tally to 7 points, one less than Rangers and three away from Sando and Civic.
San Juan Jabloteh 0 vs Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Sheldon Holder 81’)
Defence Force 4 (Jerwyn Balthazar 4’, 26’, 45’, 64’) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0
Club Sando 0 vs North East Stars 1 (Gorean Highley 71’)
Central FC 7 (Jason Marcano 11’, 23’, 43’, Ataulla Guerra 17’, Marcus Joseph 64’, Ricardo John 77’, Sean De Silva 86’) vs Point Fortin Civic 0
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry; 6.Kemuel Rivers, 7.Akeem Humphrey (10.Kevon Neaves 77th minute), 8.Jeromie Williams, 9.Jesse Downing, 15.Amrit Gildharry, 16.Kevon Woodley, 17.Jared London, 19.Ryan Frederick (21.Kerron Mitchell 88th minute), 22.Corneal Thomas, 24.Devon Modeste.
Unused substitutes: 12.Jack Weedon, 13.Kern Cupid, 18.Shane Hospidales, 26.Shaquille Holder, 33.Alexei Julien (GK)
Coach: Anthony Streete
North East Stars: 22.Cleon John; 3.Rickel Dickson, 4.Jesus Perez, 40.Jomoul Francois (29.Hakim Baird 85th minute), 19.Glenton Wolfe, 8.Neveal Hackshaw, 9.Gorean Highley, 14.Chike Sullivan (28.Dillon Jagasar 90th minute), 24.Adrian Noel, 25.Keryn Navarro (Capt.), 23.Brendon Figuera
Unused substitutes: 1.Shane Mattis (GK), 5.Alanzo Adlam, 39.Taryk Sampson
Coach: Ross Russell
Referee: Dennis Changiah
Central FC: 21.Jan Michael Williams (Capt.); 2.Elton John, 4.Andre Ettienne, 24.Kevon Villaroel, 8.Sean De Silva, 7.Jason Marcano (9.Kadeem Corbin 58th minute), 11.Darren Mitchell (14.Nicholas Dillon 66th minute), 12.Jamal Jack, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 45.Ataulla Guerra, 99.Marcus Joseph (18.Ricardo John 68th minute)
Unused substitutes: 1.Javon Sample (GK), 25.Elijah Manners, 5.Akeem Benjamin, 26.Jem Gordon
Coach: Dale Saunders
Point Fortin Civic: 1.Miles Goodman; 15.Nedeon Noel (18.Shaquille Stewart 68th minute), 27.Kern Peters, 21.Ronell Paul, 19.Andrei Pacheco, 9.Shackiel Henry, 20.Jamille Boatswain, 14.Kerwin Stafford (23.Mickell Charles 56th minute), 16.Kelvin Modeste (Capt.), 8Akeem Redhead, 12.Glenn Sutton
Unused substitutes: 2.Garyl Doldron, 99.Cory Cyrus, 22.Stephon Seepersad (GK), 21.Mickell Charles, 25.Troy Moses
Coach: Leroy De Leon
Referee: Keilon Bacchus