Tyrone Charles scored twice in a space of four minutes early in the second half to earn Club Sando a 2-0 win over his ex-employers St. Ann’s Rangers in a rescheduled Pro League (PL) clash on Tuesday night at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The win, Sando’s first after four attempts this season, lifted coach Angus Eve’s side three spots up into sixth, hurdling Rangers, Defence Force and Morvant Caledonia United, but tied on four points with the latter.
Journeyman Charles, who, like seasoned PL players Akim Armstrong, Keyon Edwards and Akeem Redhead, joined Sando in pre-season, scored his first goal for the Oranges in style before getting to his double three minutes later against a ‘keeper, who had acrobatically kept out his 30-yard effort eight minutes from the break.
“We brought in Tyrone Charles for that purpose: to create and to score goals,” Eve told ttproleague.com after the game. “He is also very good on dead-ball situations, something we have been lacking. He is a good goal-scoring threat and good at breaking down the other teams. Losing (last season's PL top scorer) Akeem Roach was a big loss for us in terms of goals, so we also have to set a good base defensively and I thought we were very good with (Leslie) Russell, Trevin Latapy, (Kemuel) Rivers and young Nicholas Thomas at right-back.”
Eve, whose side held a loss-draw-draw record before last night’s fixture, added, “We have actually started a little better than last season although the first couple games we had the problem of gelling because I brought in about five attacking players.
“And, because I thought some of the players weren’t understanding what we are trying to do, tonight I went back with (regulars) Cornwall and Piper and incorporated two of the new forwards. We also went back with Jared London and Jay-son Joseph (in midfield) and tonight the synergy was better, the ball movement was better with guys who knew the system from last season.”
Charles, who really came to life in the 51st minute, dished out a couple step-overs to evade defender Shane Sandy -- who hit the floor in the penalty area -- before beating goalkeeper Cleon John at the near post to break the deadlock.
Then in the 54th minute, the 28-year-old Trinidad and Tobago winger popped up in the area again to bury a Keron Cornwall assist past John following an excellent team move by the hosts.
Ten minutes later Charles attempted a third, but his free kick from the top of the area afforded John a comfortable gather.
It was however, a turnaround by Sando, who were completely wasteful, especially in the first 20 minutes with Armstrong, Kevon Piper – at the end of the most enterprising move of the first half -- and Cornwall all spilling on scoring opportunities.
Nicholas Thomas was also a culprit of wastefulness, when three minutes into the second half, the Sando right-back fired inches overbar after he was picked out by a short feed from Piper in the area.
Rangers coach Anthony Streete, with his side on the ropes following Charles’ early second-half double, replaced Jesse Williams, Sedale Mc Lean and Jordan Devonish with winger Rennie Britto and forwards Anselm Jackson and Josh Toussaint respectively, in search of a comeback against his former club.
The changes, however, did not help Rangers avoid a third defeat this term, and St. Ann’s club remain winless after four games ahead of Saturday’s hosting of North East Stars at St. Augustine Secondary School ground from 4pm.
Instead it was Sando who created latter chances with John making a double-save, twice denying Cornwall in the 77 minute, and substitute Adan Noel drilling an effort inches wide of the far upright five minutes from time.
Rangers’ best effort against Sando was in the first half, and produced by midfielder Omari Lezama who put goalkeeper Stefan Berkeley into full stretch in the 37th minute.
The 22-year-old former Harlem Strikers playmaker lacks the physique one would imagine of a footballer and must improve on his fitness. And, while his noticeably strong passion to represent the Rangers’ shirt, coupled with his ability to read the game, find space and produce passes, compensates… a fitter, leaner Lezama would possibly be a bigger asset for Rangers.
Sando meanwhile, must return to action on Friday against Police from 6pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, preceding a top-of-the-table clash between leaders San Juan Jabloteh and W Connection from 8pm.
“It will be bit difficult,” Eve said of his upcoming clash against Police FC. “We have a shorter space of time to prepare. But it could work both ways, Police on a longer rest being a little rusty while we could be a bit leg-weary. We may have to think about [fresh legs] in certain areas… but I’m very happy with the performance tonight.”
Following Saturday’s clash between Rangers and North East Stars, action will return to the Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday with Defence Force and Point Fortin Civic to battle from 6pm, followed by Morvant Caledonia United taking on three-time holders Central FC from 8pm.
Club Sando 2 (Tyrone Charles 51’, 54’) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Club Sando: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK), 6.Kemuel Rivers, 8.Kevon Piper, 10.Keron Cornwall (12.Michael Basdeo 89th minute), 11.Akim Armstrong (35.Adan Noel 80th minute), 13.Tyrone Charles (15.Keyon Edwards 76th minute), 16.Joel Leslie Russell (Capt.), 17.Jared London, 18.Trevin Latapy, 23.Nicholas Thomas, 27.Jay-son Joseph.
Unused substitutes: 34.Kelvin Henry (GK), 4.Rondell Payne, 9.Jamal Gay, 14.Nical Stephens.
Coach: Angus Eve
St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Cleon John (GK) (Capt.), 3.Kareem Eastman, 4.Shane Sandy, 6.Omari Lezama, 7.Sedale Mc Lean (19.Anselm Jackson 57th minute), 8.Jordan Devonish (10.Josh Toussaint 63rd minute), 14.Xae-Pierre De Fou, 16.Stephon Smith, 20.Aquil Selby, 31.Jesse Williams (12.Rennie Britto 54th minute), 33.Osaze Springer.
Unused substitutes: 22.Christopher Biggette (GK), 5.Tekay Hoyce, 17.Hakeem Baird, 18.Kristian Meloney,
Coach: Anthony Streete
(Friday 07 July 2017)
Club Sando vs Police FC—6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs San Juan Jabloteh—8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
(Saturday 08 July 2017)
MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers vs North East Stars—4pm, St. Augustine Secondary School Ground
(Tuesday 11 July 2017)
Defence Force vs Point Fortin Civic—6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs Central FC—8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium