Defence Force persevere, beat
By Mark Pouchet.
30-Sept-2004 - The Defence Force showed the value of sticking to
strategy as they gained two late goals and an unlikely 2-0 win
yesterday in their Trinidad and Tobago Pro League game against
defending champions CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh yesterday.
For 84 minutes, as much through wasteful Jabloteh forays and extremely
resilient defending by the Army/Coast Guard combination, the Defence
Force coached by former Strike Squad standout Kerry Jamerson, remained
committed to their plan of stout defensive play and quick
The Defence Force backmen, with former national player Anton Pierre
marshalling the troops adeptly, got a testing workout ahead of their
FCB Cup final against Vibe CT W Connection tomorrow at the Manny
Eventually, after absorbing unrelenting pressure from a very
attack-minded Jabloteh side, substitute forward Odelle Armstrong
netted twice from breaks to knock the wind out of the Bourg Mulatresse
team and earn three points for his side.
Earlier in the game, Jabloteh had established their dominance with
their quick passing game and high pressure play.
The loose balls always seemed to zero in on a Jabloteh player like a
laser-guided missile and the deft touches of Aurtis Whitley and Nigel
"Croc" Pierre gave Pierre (Anton) and company a lot of work
But they withstood the Jabloteh forays with timely clearances and
interceptions, getting the ball to safety so that they could
reorganise or finding outlets so they could launch speedy
That tactic frustrated Jabloteh's goal attempts for the duration of
After a goalless first half, D/Force goalkeeper Cleon John unnerved
them more with two saves from Travis Mulraine and Josh Johnson.
And when Armstrong caught them out first with a looping header over
Jabloteh keeper Daurance Williams from a Kurt Williams right side
cross, and then with his own skill at the end of regulation time,
getting around Ian Gray with a nice touch before shooting low past
Williams (D), the strategy had paid off, Jabloteh however will not
truly be affected by the results of this match as both teams have
effectively qualified for the Big Six playoffs which will decide the
league title. That competition is scheduled to begin on October 24.
San Juan Jabloteh:
Daurance Williams, Ronald Primus, Ian Gray, Travis Mulraine, Vernon
Bailey (Cyd Gray 45th), Nigel Daniel (Josh Johnson 87th) Angus Eve
(capt), Trent Noel, Kerry Baptiste, Aurtis Whitley (Kerry Noray),
Cleon John, Kelshall Alexander, Anton Joseph, Anton Pierre, Claude
Adams, Kurt Williams (capt), Ronald St Louis, Kwesi Smith (Shelton
Williams 77th), Christon Baptiste (Michael Edwards 64th), Jerwyn
Balthazar, Devon Jorsling (Odelle Armstrong 62nd).
\Jabloteh held by Defence Force.
By Ian Prescott.
10-May-2004 - No one arrived late for yesterday's T&T Pro League
match in which defending champions CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh and
Defence Force played to a 1-1 draw at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Advertised to begin at 4 p.m. the match started an hour late to
accommodate the Senior Games which started earlier at the same venue.
When referee Richard Piper finally got the action going, it took a
full 10 minutes before Jabloteh's Aurtis Whitley (Otis Seaton) made
the first threatening move by either team. But Seaton's initial foray
seemed to spark Jabloteh into action and two minutes later, he netted
(12th minute) to take his season's tally to six goals in four matches.
Kerry Baptiste produced a burst of acceleration in midfield and
meandered his way through the Army defence before cracking a powerful
shot which goalkeeper Selwyn George did well to fend away. However,
the Defence Force custodian only parried the ball to Seaton, who
absolutely abused the sphere when he volleyed it powerfully into the
back of the net.
Before the goal, the 'Army' were having the better of the earlier
exchanges and leisurely stroked the ball around. But once in front,
Jabloteh became competitive.
Midfielder Kerwyn Jemmott just missed putting Jabloteh further ahead
with a chip over keeper George in the 28th minute and moments later,
Trent Noel skilfully eluded a lunging tackle, but hit overbar from
close up. Noel should have scored, and he knew it.
Having relied heavily on a fortified back-line to keep them in the
game, the Defence Force were rewarded for their resilience with a 43rd
minute equaliser from midfielder Marvin Gordon, who ran down a through
ball and slipped the ball past the Duarance Williams in the Jabloteh
Jabloteh had the better of the second half, but again Jemmott missed a
sitter when dragging a low shot wide and later, Stokely Mason also
came close with two rasping shots.
While Jabloteh were failing to convert, Anton Joseph almost scored for
Defence Force with a glancing header onto Christon Bapise's left-side
cross in the 61st minute. The flick looked like a certain goal from
the moment it left Joseph's head, until keeper Williams got a late
touch to turn the ball away. The Jabloteh custodian also prevented
Army substitute Ronald Boyce from stealing the match five minutes from
the end, when he squeezed out a low shot at his near post.
'Army' tame Arima Morvant Fire.
By: Ian Prescott.
22-Apr-2004 - Odelle Armstrong made an impressive debut as the Defence
Force opened their 2004 T&T Pro League season with a comfortable
3-0 victory over Arima-Morvant Fire yesterday at the Hasely Crawford
The striker, one of five new recruits in the Defence Force starting
line-up, scored a brace (35th and 85th), while national under-23
forward Kevon Carter got the other in the 39th minute.
Running out for the first time in the Defence Force colours were Rawle
Fletcher (formerly W Connection), Addison Belfon (formerly W
Connection), Anton Joseph (formerly W Connection) and Christon
The Army also acquired Caledonia AIA's Armstrong-a workman-like
striker in the mould of Jason Scotland-and he began the destruction of
his former team-mates by scoring the Defence Force's opening goal in
the 35th minute.
Arima Morvant Fire, formed by the merger of Caledonia AIA and Arima
Fire, had slightly the better of the first half hour but Fire found
themselves behind when Armstrong headed the Army ahead.
The goal resulted from a powerful run from Carter, who delivered a
pin-point cross onto Armstrong's head.
Having struggled to get their attacks going earlier, the Defence Force
were soon two goals ahead in the 39th minute when Carter used his
blistering pace to outrun the Arima-Morvant Fire defence, before
scooping the ball over Botswana keeper Kagiso Tshelametse.
Fire almost replied immediately from the re-start when lazy defending
by Belfon allowed Arima Morvant Fire's Nathaniel Charles to find Alvis
Favre, whose shot struck a Defence Force upright.
Fire's Romauld Aguillera later headed wide after beating Army
custodian Selwyn George to a bouncing ball and later, the striker hit
over from inside the penalty area.
Even then, the Defence Force may have been flattered by the scoreline
as they struggled to get going in the middle.
The unlucky Arima-Morvant Fire team laid siege to the Defence Force
goal in the second half. But despite striking the crossbar from Ryan
Stewart's powerful swerving drive, they fell further behind in the
85th when Armstrong collected a floated cross from Anton Pierre and
pushed the ball past Tshelametse.
D/Force draw 2-2 vs Joe Public.
TnT Newsday Reports.
05-Dec-2003 - Defence Force were held to a 2-2 draw by “the Eastern
Lions” Joe Public in their rescheduled 26th round fixture in the
T&T Pro League at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, Arima.
Following Wednesday night’s match, the Army-Coast Guard combination
remain fourth on the standings with 44 points from 28 matches while the
Macoya-based club are seven points behind in sixth spot. CL Financial
San Juan Jabloteh head the standings with 68 points, seven more than W
Connection. Striker Christian Freitas put the Eastern Lions ahead in the
11th minute but quick goals by Corey Rivers, in the 55th, and Vincent
Garcia three minutes later, put Defence Force in the ascendancy. But
their lead will not last however, as ex-national Under-17 midfielder
Ochieng Abosi found the mark in the 79th. And St Anthony’s College
midfielder Clevon George registered a hat-trick, scoring in the 32nd,
42nd and 76th minutes, as the Army-Coast Guard combination prevailed 3-0
in their Under-20 matchup against the Lions.
Starworld outshine Defence
By Ian Prescott.
20-Oct-2003 - The long trip from San Fernando was well worth it for
Starworld Strikers as they were able to come away 4-2 victors over the
Defence Force after an eventful T&T Pro League match at the Hasely
Crawford stadium yesterday.
Going into game, the teams were balanced on 29 points with Starworld
just holding fourth position in the standings by the slimmest of
After an even first half, the teams were balanced 1-1. Ronald Boyce
shot the Defence Force into the lead in the 16th minute, only for
former SWIF striker Bevon Lewis to find a 23rd minute equaliser.
But that all changed during an 11 minute stretch in which a burst of
Starworld energy produced three second half goals to turn the match
their way. The shock of conceding three quick goals spurred Hutson
Charles into action, and the Defence Force coach immediately made a
triple change, bringing on substitute striker Shelton Williams,
striker Kerwyn Coa and midfielder Marvin Gordon. Gone in the clear-out
was Kevon Carter, who had been scoring freely for the soldiers this
season. Yesterday, Carter found himself a marked man and did not like
it a bit–frequently complaining to referee Robin Murray about the
extra attention paid to him by Starworld marker and international
team-mate Errol Charles.
Even after dropping into the deepest of holes, coach Huston Charles
seemed to think that his bunch could overcome a 4-1 deficit. But the
damage had already been done. It all started in the 50th minute when
Marc Borde slid in Dale Saunders’ right flank cross. Eight minutes
later, Nicholas Addlery met another right side cross–this time from
midfielder Marlon Stoute–with a glancing header which eluded Army
goalkeper Cleon John at the far post. And a further three minutes
later, marksman Bevon Lewis got his second goal of the game when he
outpaced the Defence Force back line and rolled the ball low past
It all happened so suddenly. One minute, Defence Force were applying
pressure in the Starworld penalty area and then they were facig a
quick counter-attack when a clearance put Lewis through the centre of
the Army defence.
The entire second half must have flashed past equally as quickly for
coach Charles. On minute, his soldiers were level and having the
better of play and then they were beaten. His best option at that
moment might have been to appeal for bad light, and had it been a game
of cricket, referee Murray might well have obliged. As rapidly fading
light rendered the stadium darker and darker, ref Murray met with
match commissioner Boris Punch to consider the situation and after a
fairly long delay, the final eight minutes were played under
“Mr Optimism”, Charles, never gave up and was seen constantly
waving on his forces to attack with full force. In the minutes after
the lights were switched on, substitute Williams’ shot crashed off
the Starworld crossbar. Williams then hit a penalty-kick wide, after
Coa was bundled over in the area. Fuelled by good play from
midfielders Gordon and Kwesi Smith, the “Army” abandoned defence
and eventually pulled a goal back through striker Vincent “Slappa”
Garcia from a goal-mouth scramble.
Corey Rivers also had Starworld keeper Jefferson George scrambling to
cover a hard, low free-kick. But by then, the effort was too little,
Army beats Tobago United 4-0 in
First Citizen Cup.
TnT Guardian Repoets.
12-Jun-2003 - Defence Force, having a lean season so far in the
Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League, remained in line to
make a successful defence of the First Citizens Bank Cup by defeating
Tobago United 4-0 in a qualifier at Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet,
With just two wins from five outings in the league, the Army will now
meet last year’s beaten finalist Vibe CT 105 W Connection in one of
the four first round matches next Wednesday.
Over in Tobago, Junior Roberts, the goalkeeper for the home side,
started his team’s slide when he handled the ball outside the area
in the 24th minute. And, he was unable to stop the resulting free-kick
by Shelton Williams.
Within three minutes, the score was increased by Russell Pope
following a defensive blunder and the same player made it 3-0 three
minutes before the interval.
Another defensive mistake swelled the soldiers lead to four in the
78th minute with Vincent Garcia being the goalscorer.
Defence Force pip unlucky
By Ian Prescott & Nigel Simon.
02-June-2003 - North East Stars are no longer the pushovers who lost
the first 20 matches they played in the Pro League last season.
They proved that yesterday when matching the Defence Force in all
departments, until the 84th minute when a well-placed header from
striker Russell Pope secured all three points for the Army-Navy
combination at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Round Five victory gave the Defence Force a second success this
season as they continued an upward move off the bottom of the 2003
Trinidad and Tobago Pro League.
A year ago, only a committed few would have left Sangre Grande to
accompany the country boys to the big city for their outings against
one of the major Port of Spain teams.
But things have changed. Traditional powers Defence Force are
struggling while Stars are having a better run after a hard first
season at the top level last year.
So when they entered the field yesterday, the teams were on level
But after half-hour of enterprising play, the Sangre Grande squad
might well feel they should have had the lead.
It was just ten minutes into the match when big stopper Charles
Pollard got their first chance.
Pollard could not believe his luck when his powerful header deflected
onto the fingertips of goalie Selwyn George and off the Defence Force
crossbar. The Guyanese defender, having come forward for a
corner-kick, came as close as possible without scoring.
The Stars came close a couple more times, but on each occasion Shawn
Lee was not as clinical as he needed to be in front of goal. Having
also tried to pick out Randolph Jerome for much of the first half,
they would have been most disappointed with his effort when they
finally succeeded in freeing him.
The dangerous Guyanese front-man had the goal laid out on a platter
for him by a deceptive pass from Glenton Wolfe, but hesitated to use
his left foot from eight yards out. Instead, Jerome turned the ball
onto his right foot and skied his shot overbar.
Striker Sherman "Ants" Phillip had the best chance for
Defence Force in the 35th minute, but failed to get a short pass from
Pope past the dive of Trevor Nottingham in the North East Stars goal.
After dominating the early portion of the second session, the Stars
should have scored in the 58th minute. The chance came when Defence
Force keeper George tried to be cute when handling a cross-ball and
only succeeded in giving the ball to Jerome.
After eluding George, Jerome tried brute force to get the ball in the
goal but on two occasions found the body of stopper Kelshall
Alexander. The missed opportunity would return to haunt North East
Defence Force looked the stronger down the stretch and got the winner
when Pope flicked the ball away from Nottingham from the resulting
corner kick, after earlier striking an upright.
Later, substitute Devon Bobb would also get between Alexander and the
Defence Force goalie, but just when he looked to give his team a
deserved equaliser, George foiled his attempt to score.
San Juan Jabloteh bomb Defence
Reports By: Ian Prescott.
23-May-2003 - The flag must have been flying at half mast at Defence
Force headquarters in Teteron yesterday after the former national
champions suffered the biggest-ever defeat on a football field.
It seems almost unbelievable, but Wednesday night’s 9-1 hammering of
Defence Force by reigning champs CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh in the
Trinidad and Tobago Pro League was real indeed. So real that it will
go down as a record.
The 250 supporters at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, including
national players Stern John, Brent Sancho and ex-Defence Force striker
Jason Scotland were in awe at the aggressive display by Jabloteh
against a clearly unfit and ragged Army-Coast Guard combination.
Goals from Kerry Baptiste (61st, 87th, 89th), Cornell Glenn (31st,
35th), Angus Eve (9th, 70th), Travais Mulraine (49th), and an own goal
by Kurt Williams (57th) relegated the Army-Coast Guard squad to their
greatest humiliation in local football history.
Substitute Sherman “Ants” Phillip (90th) salvaged some personal
pride when he beat Jabloteh custodian Kelvin Jack in the final minute
of the match.
Not since Trintoc ravaged them 5-0 at the Arima Velodrome on November
19, 1986, have Defence Force heads bowed so low. That defeat had
marked the biggest humbling suffered by the Army team since the start
of the then Trinidad and Tobago National League in 1974.
Coach Hudson Charles readily admitted that his charges were not
competitive against Jabloteh. Charles, a key midfielder with the team
which fell to Trintoc 17 years ago, also agreed that the Defence Force
team of that era was a better bunch.
“We cannot compare these two teams.” he suggested. “The team
which Trintoc beat 5-0 was at least competitive. But we (Defence
Force) were not competitive against Jabloteh last night.”
Charles was correct. The 1986 Army team, which included Kenrick
Fleary, Roderick “Rambo” Gibbs, Richard Frazer and Bertrand O’Brien
had already captured the Cola Cola League Cup and the Stag Big Four
title before being humbled by Trintoc.
Trintoc were a star-studded bunch. The South combination, which had
Russell Latapy, Adrian Fonrose, “Marvellous” Marvin Faustin,
Philbert Jones, Clayton Morris and Dexter Francis in their ranks, won
the FA Trophy and then bombed the Army 5-0 in their final match of the
season to clinch the National League.
That year also marked probably the best finish by a local team in
international competition, when Defence Force lost the Inter-American
Cup final 1-0 to Boca Juniors of Argentina. It was a match they should
have won, too.
Now, after scaling such heights, the Army-Navy combination have
reached the point where they are pushovers.
On Wednesday night, Jabloteh never allowed them to be competitive.
From the onset, the defending Pro League champs were in full flight
and took the lead from as early as the ninth minute when Angus Eve’s
free-kick looped off the wall and beat Marlon Sylvester in the Defence
Striker Cornell Glenn was a handful on the night and scored twice
before the half ended. After striking the crossbar early, Glenn turned
swiftly around his marker and beat goalie Sylvester from close up to
notch his team’s second goal in the 31st minute.
At that stage, the Defence Force had not even remotely threatened the
Jabloteh goal. It only got worse for the Army when Glenn forced
defender Michael Edwards into a second rash tackle.
After picking up a yellow card for a hefty slide into Glenn, Edwards
was given marching orders after an elbowing incident involving his
Glenn would pick himself up to punish the Army with a long-range blast
which beat Sylvester from almost 40 metres.
Just four minutes had elapsed in the second session when Mulraine
shrugged off two hard tackles before sliding the ball past goalkeeper
Sylvester for Jabloteh’s fourth goal.
A 57th minute mix-up saw Sylvester beaten again, this time by an
errant back pass from defender Kurt Williams.
Four minutes later, Kerry Baptiste slid in a Kerry Noray pass. It was
the first of three late goals Baptiste would score.
Eve also got a second in the 70th when he was picked out by a long,
low pass down the centre of the Army defence. All Eve had to do was
slide the ball away from Sylvester and into the goal.
Substitute Phillip had hardly gotten a touch before, but in the final
minute of the match he outpaced the Jabloteh back line to score his
team’s only goal.
Despite the impressive win, Jabloteh (seven points) trail unbeaten
leaders W Connection (12 points), after a 4-0 win over last year’s
bogey team Arima Fire at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
‘Croc’ striker gives
Eastern Lions 1-0 win.
By Nigel Simon.
Arima Fire burn Defence Force
12-May-2003 - National striker Nigel “Croc” Pierre scored his
second goal in as many games to give Joe Public a 1-0 win over Defence
Force and joint second place in the T&T Professional League Senior
The 24-year-old Pierre, who netted in the Lions 1-1 draw with champs
Jabloteh, got the decisive strike in the 30th minute beating Defence
Force custodian Selwyn George at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya,
With his back towards goal, the tricky Pierre collected a pass from
Devon Caseman before he wrong-footed his marker, spun on his left foot
and fired a low right footer to the bottom right hand corner of the
goal, past a motionless George.
That was the only goal, as both teams found it difficult to control
the flow of the game on the dry, bouncy surface.
Several chances went abegging.
Andre Toussaint and Devon Caseman of Joe Public and second-half sub
Kevon Carter of the Defence Force all fired wide when it seemed easier
Toussaint and Caseman had clear-cut chances to extend their team’s
advantage midway in the second half, having been put through on
one-on-one chances with George.
Twice Caseman kicked over the bar from just inside the penalty area
while a hesitant Toussaint dragged his efforts wide.
Lions’ midfielder Denzil Theobald also found himself in a
goal-scoring position, after eluding Marvin Gordon in the penalty
area, but after doing all the hard work he chose to pass the ball.
Within seconds of his ill-advised pass, Theobald was almost made to
pay for his mistake, but Defence Force front-man Carter, missed the
easiest chance of the game.
Carter, a 60th minute replacement for Wendell Salvary was left with an
open goal after Michael McComie ventured out, but hit the right side
of the net instead.
By George Baptiste.
22-Oct-2002 - Arima Fire recorded a convincing 3-0 victory over
Defence Force in their Round 26 match in the 2002 TT Pro League
Played in front of a sparse crowd at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar,
Arima on Sunday night, Dale Simon sent the firemen into the lead in
the 16th minute, while Handel Manswell put the game out of the reach
of Defence Force with a 63rd minute goal.
And the misery of the Army-Coast Guard combination was complete when
Ronald Clarke netted the third item in second-half stoppage time.
CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh are atop the eight-team standings with
62 points, four ahead of W Connection with two more rounds of matches
W Connection edge Army.
By Mark Pouchect.
17-Oct-2002 - IT WAS a dramatic twist to an otherwise dull game.
But drab game or not, Vibe CT W Connection would have loved the timely
strike by super sub Titus Elva that gave them a 2-1 win over the
Defence Force yesterday in their rescheduled T&T Pro League game
at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
Elva took advantage of the generous decision of fourth official Robyn
Murray to add four minutes on at the end of regulation time to score a
decisive goal that brought his team within four points of current
leaders CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh.
The result gives the “Savonetta Boys” a glimmer of hope of
successfully defending their title with the completion of the league
just three games away.
Coach Stuart Charles Fevrier has his substitutes to thank for the
In a game where the starters failed to show off their best game, the
subs provided the spark, albeit a fleeting one, off the bench that
secured the goal that counted in the end.
Before the belated substitutions in the second half that saw Elva,
Jose Manoel and Silvio Spann make their entry onto the field, the
Southerners’ game lacked the necessary zeal and intensity for a team
who were trying to close the gap on their Jabloteh rivals.
The first half was symptomatic of that play, usual Brazilian playmaker
Gefferson Da Silva Goulart and the normally nippy midfielder Ronaldo
Viana seemed out of sorts and did not figure prominently in the
construction of their sparodic attacks.
Also not displaying their customary sharpness were defender Jose
Seabra jnr and striker Luciano Sato, part of the Brazilian element of
the South squad.
For their part, opponents Defence Force did not look much the better.
Sluggish and lethargic at the outset, their game also suffered from
excessive dribbling and holding on to the ball too long.
An innocuous corner sent Connection ahead when Francis Lastic glanced
home with his head from a Ralston James head-on after Seabra delivered
a right-side corner in the 13th minute.
In the 69th, Jason Scotland benefited from Seabra’s cheeky defending
when Kurt Williams regained possession before driving to the byline
before squaring to Scotland. On one of the few possessions when he
move nimbly, Scotland cut back on before firing home low past
Alejandro Figueroa in the goal for Connection.
The substituions came at different intervals after that.
And from a Connection break in time added on, Spann forced a ball
through the middle that trickled off a Defence Force defender and Elva
latched onto the ball before lashing past Selwyn George for the
It wasn’t pretty but it was a victory nonetheless.
W Connection beats Army 2-1.
TnT Guardian Reporting.
26-Sept-2002 - Leader CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh dropped two vital
points last night, when it was held 0-0 by Joe Public in the Trinidad
and Tobago Professional Football League at the Hasely Crawford
Both teams missed scoring chances in the dull affair in which two
national senior players were sent off by the referee - Dale Saunders,
the skipper of Joe Public, and Cyd Gray of Jabloteh.
Both Saunders and Gray were given marching orders for two bookable
Jabloteh’s new signee, Nigel “Pistol” Pierre was not in its
starting line. However, national defencemen Brent Sancho, who has been
playing overseas, was on the team.
Champion, Vibe CT 105 W Connection, the early pacesetters, recovered
some lost ground with a 2-1 win over Defence Force at the Ato Boldon
St Lucian Francis Lastic continued his fine form by netting both goals
for Connection - the first, a right-footer in the 28th minute from a
Jose Luis Seabra corner, and the second, from the penalty spot in the
Lastic scored the penalty on the second attempt, as referee Richard
Piper ordered a re-kick after goalkeeper Selwyn George moved before
the ball was kicked in the first try.
Piper also had to send off Army’s Curte Fermin for showing dissent
to the man in the middle, after he (Piper) awarded the penalty for a
foul on Rolston James in the area.
Akudu Goodridge scored the Army’s lone goal in the 44th minute when
he beat goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa with a right-foot shot.