W Connection, recently referred to as the teenaged bunch, is improving game after game with its latest installment a 4-1 win over DIRECTV North East Stars on Tuesday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in day two of the 2011 First Citizens Cup quarterfinal round to advance into the semifinals.
Connection started off the 2011-2012 campaign on September 9 with a 2-1 Digicel Pro League Championship win over St. Ann’s Rangers at the Ato Boldon Stadium and followed up with a 4-2 win over Caledonia AIA last Friday in their first Group B quarterfinal clash of the First Citizens Cup.
On Tuesday night 19 yearold Shahdon Winchester netted his second goal in three games with an item in the 33rd minute, defender Mekeil Williams in the 36th minute, midfielder Hughtun Hector notched his third item of the tournament in the 53rd minute and 19 year old striker Jerrel Britto completed a goal a game in his first three outings for the Couva based club in the 75th minute.
While Stars debutant, former Birmingham and Coventry City striker Stern John notched his team’s only item in the 80th minute.
It’s already clear that the young players are playing to the expectations of Connection owner David John Williams, technical director/head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier and assistant coach Earl Jean.
“We came into the match at 0-0 and not thinking of the 4-2 victory we had against Caledonia (in the previous match),” said Shahdon following the match. “We just put our minds into the game and executed what the coach wanted.
“Age is just a number. The team talk before was the same as you would give older players,” he cleared.
Meantime 17 year old Jomol Williams, standing out in a position previously held by ex-Connection player Clyde Leon and Romauld Aguillera explained, “It was a really difficult job for me at the start but as time go on I’m becoming more comfortable.
“Organizing the team is a very difficult job for someone my age but I’m no longer a kid now and have to live up to the responsibilities and be a man, because I’m playing a man’s game.
“People are saying that we are a young team, and we want to come out and show them that even though we are young, we are very capable. Top players aren’t old men. Lionel Messi won World Player of the Year at age 22, 23 so youths are taking over,” highlighted the teenager.
Although enjoying a comfortable victory, Williams admitted that his side still needs to sharpen up on finishing all of its chances.
“It was a good result (in the end), coming off a victory,” he said. “Any coach would want a result like that.
“But we will go back to the training pitch and continue working in our finishing to come back out and try to finish all our chances,” he ended.
Connection, starting with just three players Hector, goalkeeper Aquilius Sylvester and Rennie Britto over the age of 23, rubbed salt to North East wound on Tuesday by replacing Hector with 16 year old Matthew Woo Ling and 17 year old Neil Benjamin both picking up their first ever run out with the senior team.
Six-time First Citizens Cup winners W Connection became the first club to qualify for this season’s semi-final round after trashing DIRECTV North East Stars 4-1 on Tuesday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Connection topped Group B with maximum six points with a 4-2 win over Caledonia AIA last Friday and Tuesday’s comfortable 4-1 victory in quarterfinal round day two.
Connection dominated the clash against Stars and had the result to prove it with first half goals by Shahdon Winchester in the 33rd minute and Mekeil Williams in the 36th minute, plus second half items by team captain Hughtun Hector netting his third item of the tournament in the 53rd minute and striker Jerrel Britto netting his third item in as many games for his new club in the 75th minute.
T&T international and former England based striker Stern John netted on debut for the Stars, however the 80th minute strike only reduced the deficit 1-4.
Connection will now prepare for the semi-final round while North East Stars will face Caledonia AIA on Friday 23 September from 7pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in their final group match in a do or die contest.
Connection boasting its youthful squad showcased a businesslike approach from kickoff, taking the game to North East Stars.
In the 6th minute the 19 year old Jerrel Britto smashed in an effort off Rennie Britto’s cross only to be denied by the crossbar and a minute later goalkeeper Andrew Durrant brilliantly pushed behind an on target Hector freekick.
Meantime Stars marquee signing Stern John had two early efforts firing just wide in the 13th minute after a neat string of passes and in the 19th minute he had a tame header against goalkeeper Aquilius Sylvester.
But in the 33rd minute Winchester had Connection in front 1-0 with a magnificent header beating Durrant after he was beautifully picked out by Hector’s cross.
And three minutes later defender Williams made it 2-0 diving in to brilliantly head Kerron Cummings freekick from the right past the Stars’ Guyanese goalie.
Six minutes inside the second period Hector flashed a curling effort overbar after turning inside defender Stephen Cruickshank to open his shot on goal, but made no mistake in the 53rd minute when Winchester returned the first half favour whipping in an early cross and Hector guided it low past Durrant for a 3-0 advantage.
And in the 75th minute Jerrel Britto who missed out of a scoring opportunity moments earlier made no mistake smashing his shot past Durrant and celebrated it to the fullest, as Connection enjoyed a 4-0 score.
Connection head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier boasted his confidence introducing young talents in 17 year old Neil Benjamin and 16 year old Matthew Woo Ling to the already talented starting line-up which included 17 year old standout holding midfielder Jomol Williams.
Apart from Stern John’s item in the 80th minute, North East Stats highlights included a set piece effort by Anthony Wolfe which was directed at Sylvester who made a comfortable gather.
W Connection 4—1 North East Stars
Shahdon Winchester 33’, Mekeil Williams 36’, Hughtun Hector 53’, Jerrel Britto 75’ ; Stern John 80’
W Connection—Aquilius Sylvester, Hughtun Hector (capt) (Matthew Woo Ling), Akeem Benjamin, Mekeil Williams, Jomol Williams, Joevin Jones, Rennie Britto, Keron Cummings, Jerrel Britto, Shahdon Winchester (Neil Benjamin), Andre Quashie (Yellow) (Elijah Joseph).
Coach—Stuart Charles Feevrier.
North East Stars—Andrew Durrant, Marc Leslie (capt), Stephen Cruickshank (Jeremy Williams), Charles Pollard, Seon Power, Keryn Navarro, Kevaughn Connell (Kendall Velox), Kaydion Gabriel, Akeil Guevara (Kevin Jagdeosingh) (Yellow), Stern John, Anthony Wolfe.