Joshua Leach came off the bench on Saturday afternoon to rescue a point for 10-man Police FC with a 1-1 draw against MIC-IT St. Ann's Rangers in Pro League action at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
Xae-Pierre De Fou, a 22-year-old forward signing relatively unknown to the top flight, had put Rangers ahead with a well-placed strike just over the half-hour mark, before Police's troubles doubled on the stroke of half-time after defender Jasimar Ashers was given his marching orders with a direct red card for bringing down Sayid Freitas above the box.
But Police, who had only themselves to blame after wasting a barrage of chances, avoided defeat with an equaliser through second-half substitute Leach and an acrobatic clearance off the line by Dillon Kirton near the end, which keep out a Sedale Mc Lean strike following a wonderful team move by Rangers involving Anselm "Worm" Jackson.
A decision by a Rangers defender to leave what should have been a simple headed clearance, allowed Police forward Jameel Perry -- who should have at least scored twice on the sun-soaked afternoon -- a clear chance on goal.
Cleon John had other ideas, though, making yet another point-blank save to deny the bow-legged Blues' forward.
Leach, however, arrived as the Police hero two minutes after replacing Kenaz Williams in the 68th minute. The winger reacting inside the left of the area to put the rebound into the back of the Rangers net as John's teammates offered no help to their star 'keeper.
Similarly, Rangers had help from due to a lapse by their opponents when they found the back of the net in the 32nd minute.
Police defenders had parked their legs, hoping for an offside call against a red shirt after Hakeem Baird launched a pass up field. But De Fou, driving through midfield from an onside position, soon found himself free on goal against goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, who couldn't stop the ball from entering his right bottom corner.
In the end, Police and Rangers, after three and two games respectively in the truncated 2017 season (18 games), remain in search of their first wins.
Police will next face leaders W Connection on Friday while Rangers are to travel against San Juan Jabloteh a day later at the Barataria Recreation Ground, also known as the Barataria Oval.
PL action will however continue on Tuesday June 27 at the Ato Boldon Stadium with Defence Force and Morvant Caledonia United against North East Stars and Jabloteh respectively.
Police FC 1 (Joshua Leach 70') vs St. Ann’s Rangers 1 (Xae Pierre De Fou 32'), at Larry Gomes Stadium.
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK), 2.Jasimar Ashers (Red Card), 5.Kenaz Williams (16.Joshua Leach 68th minute), 8.Kurdell Brathwaite (Yellow Card), 9.Jameel Perry, 10.Kareem Freitas, 13.Dillon Kirton, 19.Christon Thomas (38.Kevin Lewis 77th minute), 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (Capt.), 36.Kadeem Riley (3.Ryan O'Neil 46th minute).
Unused substitutes: 22.Theon Browne (GK), 4.Kadeem Boyce, 23.Shaquille Williams, 25.Shawndel Augustus.
Coach: Richard Hood
St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Cleon John (GK) (Capt.), 3.Kareem Eastman (Yellow Card) (20.Aquil Selby 82nd minute), 4.Shane Sandy, 6.Omari Lezama (Yellow Card), 11.Kazim Donald (7.Sedale Mc Lean 74th minute), 12.Rennie Britto, 14.Xae-Pierre De Fou (28.Shem Alexander 70th minute), 15.Keshawn Hutchinson, 16.Stephon Smith, 17.Hakeem Baird, 19.Anselm Jackson.
Unused substitutes: 22.Christopher Biggette (GK), 5.Tekay Hoyce, 18.Kristian Meloney, 31.Marvin Lee.
Coach: Anthony Streete
Referee: Keilon Bacchus