Police FC stretched their unbeaten Pro League run to nine games when the Richard Hood-coached outfit held leaders W Connection to a goalless draw on Tuesday night at Ato Boldon Stadium to maintain push for a Caribbean Club Championship/CONCACAF qualifying spot—a top two finish on the domestic scene.
Connection (28 points), despite three drawn results from their last four fixtures, are still unbeaten in their 12 league outings and still way out front by five points with just six games left, beginning with rivals Central FC when the competition resumes in full on the weekend of Oct. 19-21 following the international break.
Police, meanwhile, remain third, tied on 23 points with three-time former league champions Central FC.
Club Sando, in the earlier game at the Couva venue, twice came from behind to hold Central to a 2-2 draw after a gritty affair.
Akim Armstrong put the Couva Sharks in front against his former club after 10 minutes with his 11th league goal this season tying him with Connection’s Marcus Joseph as leading scorers when he met a Duane Muckette cross to head past goalkeeper Kelvin Henry before Jayson Joseph levelled the game with a header of his own on 33 minutes. Joseph connected to Jabari Mitchell’s free kick to put the ball past Trinidad and Tobago and Central ‘keeper Marvin Phillip.
Central later took a 2-1 lead in at the break after Densill Theobald bagged a rebound in the 39th minute after Leston Paul’s effort, after combining with the World Cup 2006 midfielder, had come back off the upright.
But Tyrone Charles, who was always a torn in Central’s defence, finished with aplomb in the 58th minute to level the game 2-2. The lanky forward controlled off his chest before firing past Phillip, who had denied him on either side of the break, to celebrate his ninth league goal of the season.
Later, Police and Connection were unable to avoid a stalemate, cancelling out each other for the majority of the contest which saw an Alvin Jones free kick deflected onto the Lawmen’s post in the 5th minute and teammate Kevon Goddard narrowly missing the target near the end.
Police veteran midfielder Todd Ryan almost fired the Lawmen in front near the hour mark, but his free kick from 25 yards out crashed off the bar to the relief of Connection.
Elsewhere, cellar-placed North East Stars celebrated their first win of the season after 16 attempts in all competitions by edging San Juan Jabloteh 2-1 in the first of two matches contested at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Kordell Samuel, recently back with North East Stars for his third career stint at the club, scored deep in stoppage-time to earn the Pro League holders victory at the death.
Vincentian full-back Nical Stephens had broken the deadlock four minutes into the second half to put Jabloteh ahead, but Dareem Daniel levelled coach Zoran Vranes’ side on 63 minutes with his second top-flight goal before Samuel, a former United States, Malaysia, Thailand, El Salvador, and most recently Maldives-based player, snatched the winner.
Morvant Caledonia United were also 2-1 winners over Point Fortin Civic in the second at the Mucurapo Road venue.
Malik Mieres and Sheldon Holders scored in the 2nd and sixth minutes, respectively, to cushion the Eastern Stallions early before Justin Sadoo pulled one back from the penalty spot for the visitors in the 55th minute.
Elsewhere, Devorn Jorsling (16 & 90) scored twice as a depleted Defence Force outfit rebounded from last Saurday’s 4-0 loss against Police by whipping Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers 4-1 at Larry Gomes Stadium. Aaron Lester (27), with his first top-flight goal, and Hashim Arcia (52) were also on the scoresheet for the Tetron Boys. Kerry Baptiste (53) scored the lone Rangers’ item as his side bowed to an eighth straight defeat.
Results - Round Two Match Day Three
San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Nical Stephens 49’) vs North East Stars 2 (Dareem Daniel 63’, Kordell Samuel 90+4), at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Police FC 0 vs W Connection 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Morvant Caledonia United 2 (Malik Mieres 2’, Sheldon Holder 6’) vs Point Fortin Civic 1 (Justin Sadoo 55’ pen.), at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Central FC 2 (Akim Armstrong 10’, Densill Theobald 39’) vs Club Sando 2 (Jayson Joseph 33’, Tyrone Charles 58’), at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Police FC 0 vs W Connection 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers 1 (Kerry Baptiste 53’) vs Defence Force FC 4 (Devorn Jorsling 16’, 90’+, Aaron Lester 27’, Hashim Arcia 52’), at Larry Gomes Stadium.
Central FC: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 3.Ewan Grandison, 7.Hakim Baird, 8.Akim Armstrong (9.Tyrik John 86th minute), 10.Leston Paul, 12.Taryk Sampson, 15.Kaydion Gabriel, 18.Densill Theobald (Capt.) (13.Rhondel Gibson 78th minute), 19.Jared London, 24.Duane Muckette (23.Andell Brown 72nd minute), 29.Russel Alfred.
Unused substitutes: 30.Zane Coker (GK); 11.Xavier Rajpaul, 17.Renaldo Alexander, 27.Kareem Williams.
Coach: Stern John
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK); 6.Kemuel Rivers (19.Quinn Rodney 86th minute), 7.Akeem Humphrey, 10.Keron Cornwall, 11.Jabari Mitchell (25.Aaquil Campbell 90th minute), 12.Michael Basdeo, 15.Jabarry Francis, 17.Tyrone Charles, 18.Aaron Kennedy, 23.Nicholas Thomas (Capt.), 27.Jayson Joseph.
Unused substitutes: 33.Enrique Changiah (GK); 8.Kevon Piper, 9.Shackiel Henry, 14.Kadeem Gittens.
Coach: Angus Eve
Referee: Keilon Bacchus
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK) (Capt.); 3.Ryan O’Neil, 5.Kenaz Williams (13.Dillon Kirton 75th minute), 8.Kurdell Brathwaite, 10.Kareem Freitas, 11.Micah Lewis (38.Makesi Lewis 78th minute), 12.Nequan Caruth, 15.Christian Thomas (14.Michael Hyacinth 89th minute), 21.Todd Ryan, 29.Clevon Mc Fee, 33.Kemrom Purcell.
Unused substitutes: 22.Theon Browne (GK); 4.Kadeem Boyce, 9.Jameel Perry, 17.Dexter Alleyne.
Coach: Richard Hood
W Connection: 18.Julani Archibald (GK), 3.Gerard Williams (Capt.), 5.Triston Hodge, 6.Kevon Goddard, 9.Kadeem Corbin (11.Adan Noel 78th minute), 13.Caleb Sturge, 13.Caleb Sturge, 16.Alvin Jones, 17.Neil Benjamin Jr., 19.Briel Thomas, 23.Kennedy Hinkson (27.Kierron Mason 71st minute), 26.Isaiah Garcia.
Unused substitutes: 33.Jason Belfon (GK); 8.Jameel Antoine, 15.Otev Lawrence, 32.Salas Cannonier, 34.Cephas St. Rose.
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
Referee: Cecile Hinds