Guaya United FC got its first three points in the new Ascension Invitational Football League at the Guayaguayare Recreation Ground on Friday, but T&T Super League campaigners FC Santa Rosa and Queen’s Park CC both shared the points in a goalless stalemate at the Arima Velodrome.
The ‘Green Army’, as Guaya are affectionately known, edged Police FC 2-1 courtesy a goal on each side of the half by Keston Frontin in the 10th minute and Shaquille Ferrier in the 65th.
Frontin drew first blood with his item, benefitting from a neatly delivered right side cross on the doorstep that gave him the simple task of tapping in from the goal line. But Christian Thomas levelled the scores with a 21st-minute goal that returned their focus on the $250,000 winner’s cheque dangling in front of their eyes.
However, Ferrier, a survivor of Guaya’s winning Super League team back in 2017, spoiled their party. The speedy winger appeared to have lost out when another right-side cross, directed to him, was intercepted by a towering Police defence. Ferrier though was quick to rob the defence of the loose ball and with the goal well in his sight, he fired powerfully past the Police goalkeeper for a winner for the Travis Mulraine-coach team.
At the Arima Velodrome, national coach Dennis Lawrence took a front-seat view for the encounter and he was almost lifted off his seat when Santa Rosa’s early dominance culminated with a nicely floated left-side cross to an unmarked Rashad Griffith in the area. However, Griffith, one of the team’s leading scorers in the past few years, put his header wide of the target.
Griffith was again the point-man for another juicy chance for his team in a half that was largely dominated by the Santa Rosa’s Big Cannons, although the Parkites did make their way into the defensive area but cause little real danger.
In the 37th minute, Kheelon Mitchell released himself from a tight-marking Dion Lewis on the right flank and centred for Griffith, who, for a second time, failed to direct his header on target before the half-time interval.
After the resumption, the Parkites created more opportunities but could not beat Jesse Peters in the Santa Rosa goal.
Ricardo John also shot wide of the goal when he found himself free in the area in the 49th minute. And against the run of play a minute later, Juaval Roberts stormed down the right flank and centred for Emmanuel Bunting to turn nicely inside the box. But with the goal at his mercy, he fired wide of the far post with the Santa Rosa custodian in no man’s land.
The Big Cannons turned to John-Paul Rochford to save their fortunes but they were first reduced to 10 men before he could have any say in the match. The Parkites’ Lewis, sent freely on his way to goal, was hacked down by Alfie James in the 71st minute and he was given marching orders by the referee. But the resulting free-kick was squandered.
Four minutes from the end, however, Santa Rosa was given a penalty when Rochford was again brought down inside the area when put through by Kevon Cornwall. But the little midfielder picked himself up and drove his attempt from the spot straight to the Parkites goalie for a share of the points.