Sat, Mar

Photo: FC Santa Rosa left back Osei Sandy (right) celebrates the opening goal against Guaya Utd while teammate Rivaldo Coryat (centre) tries to catch up during Ascension Invitational action at the Arima Velodrome on 23 August 2019. (Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

Shaquille John scored a sec­ond-half hat­trick to earn San Juan Jabloteh a thrilling come-from-be­hind 4-3 tri­umph over Club San­do in Di­vi­sion One of the As­cen­sion In­vi­ta­tion­al Tour­na­ment Sun­day.

Michael Bas­deo fired Club San­do ahead in the 25th minute at Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um Train­ing Field in Mara­bel­la, on­ly for Sean Bon­val to hit back for Jabloteh from the penal­ty spot 12 min­utes lat­er.

For­mer na­tion­al strik­er Trevin Cae­sar re­stored the lead for Club San­do on the hour mark, but John then net­ted his first in the 71st minute to get Jabloteh even again.

How­ev­er, with­in three min­utes the An­gus Eve-coached Club San­do out­fit went ahead for the third time in the match thanks to Shack­iel Hen­ry and looked well set to hang on for all three points un­til John drew Jabloteh even again in the 86th. Then, a minute in­to time added on John banged home the win­ner from the penal­ty spot af­ter a han­dled ball in­fringe­ment.

The win, the fourth in six match­es for Jabloteh, moved them up to third with 12 points on the 12-team ta­ble, sev­en be­hind De­fence Force with a match in hand, while Mor­vant Cale­do­nia AIA are sec­ond with a max­i­mum 18 points. Club San­do slipped a spot to sixth with nine points.

In yes­ter­day’s oth­er match, Saleem Hen­ry’s lone 18th-minute strike was enough to earn Queen’s Park Crick­et Club their first win in six match­es, 1-0 over Prison Ser­vice FC, at the Youth Train­ing Cen­tre Ground, Arou­ca.

On Sat­ur­day night, Ter­minix La Hor­quet­ta Rangers stopped Cunu­pia FC 4-1 at the La Hor­quet­ta Recre­ation Ground, La Hor­quet­ta.

Leslie Rus­sell opened the scor­ing for the hosts in the tenth minute but Kevon ‘Show­time’ Wood­ley drew Cunu­pia lev­el in the 28th as both teams went in 1-1 at the in­ter­val.

Sev­en min­utes af­ter the restart, Jo­moul Fran­cois re­stored Rangers’ slim ad­van­tage be­fore Kadeem Corbin made it 3-1 in the 63rd, fol­lowed by Ross Rus­sell Jr’s 73rd-minute strike to seal all three points.

In Di­vi­sion Two, Yohannes Richard­son net­ted twice to lead San Fer­nan­do Gi­ants to a 5-2 win over Bethel Unit­ed at the Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um Train­ing Field, Mara­bel­la and with it the lead on the 12-team ta­ble.

Richard­son got his goals in the 39th and 47th min­utes af­ter Kerville Je­re­mi­ah (1st) and Aki­do Joseph (37th) had giv­en Gi­ants a 2-0 lead. Ke­ston Grant got the fifth item in the 72nd while Bethel Unit­ed got a goal each from Do­minique Roberts (41st) and Tee Jay Cadiz (75th).

With the win, Gi­ants moved to 19 points from sev­en match­es, two ahead of De­porti­vo P.F, who suf­fered a first de­feat on Sat­ur­day against Po­lice FC 3-2.

In yes­ter­day’s oth­er match, Erin FC got the bet­ter of Pe­tit Val­ley/Diego Mar­tin Unit­ed 1-0 at St An­tho­ny’s Col­lege Ground, West­moor­ings, thanks to Eye­sse Riefer’s 13th-minute goal.


(Di­vi­sion One)


QPCC 1 (Saleem Hen­ry 18) v Prison Ser­vice 0

San Juan Jabloteh 4 (Shaquille John 71, 80, 91 pen, Sean Bon­val 37 pen) v Club San­do 3 (Michael Bas­deo 25, Trevin Cae­sar 60, Shack­iel Hen­ry 74)


De­fence Force 3 (Dar­ius Ol­livier­ra 57, Jameel Coop­er 76, Re­on Moore 78) v Po­lice FC 1 (Jameel Per­ry 46)

Mor­vant Cale­do­nia AIA 5 (Joshua Sylvester 14, Shem Clauzel 28, Radan­fah Abu Bakr 47, Lukas Ris­to 75, Sedale Mc Lean 94) v Matu­ra Re­Unit­ed 1 (Bren­don Figuera 82)

La Hor­quet­ta Rangers 4 (Leslie Rus­sell 10, Jo­moul Fran­cois 52, Kadeem Corbin 63 Ross Rus­sell Jr 73) v Cunu­pia FC 1 (Kevon Wood­ley 28)


FC San­ta Rosa 3 (Os­ei Sandy 44, John-Paul Rochford 49, Kevon Corn­wall 89 pen) v Guaya Unit­ed 1 (Akeil Paul 85)

(Di­vi­sion Two)


Erin FC 1 (Eye­sse Riefer 13th) v Pe­tit Val­ley/Diego Mar­tin Utd 0

San Fer­nan­do Gi­ants 5 (Yohannes Richard­son 39, 47, Kerville Je­re­mi­ah 1, Aki­do Joseph 37, Ke­ston Grant 72) v Bethel Unit­ed 2 (Do­minique Roberts 41, Tee Jay Cadiz 75)


Po­lice FC 3 (Nicholas Roach 13, Don­avon Der­rick 29, Mekhi Brooks 78) v De­porti­vo P.F 2 (An­drei Pacheco 52 pen, Nathaniel Gar­cia 92)

Harlem Strik­ers 2 (Courie Dhanoolal 14, Josi­ah Phillip 41) v Moru­ga FC 1 (Nigel John 70)

Club San­do UY 4 (Aalon Mi­nors 13 pen, 80, Shavon Daniel Di­az 24, 36) v Mara­bel­la FCC 0

UTT 5 (Kishun Seecha­ran 45, 91, Cyra­no Glen 18, Ke­vaughn Con­nell 31, Che Ben­ny 35) v RSSR FC 3 (Mic­ah Lan­siquot 15, 44, Glen Walk­er 50 pen)

SOURCE: T&T Guardian


Rochford delights again as Santa Rosa ease past Guaya; spectator injured in off-field fracas in Arima.
By Roneil Walcott (Wired868).

FC Santa Rosa jumped to fourth spot in Division One of the Ascension Invitational Football Tournament last night after defeating Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) rivals Guaya United by a 3-1 margin at the Arima Velodrome.

When the ‘Big Cannons’ of Santa Rosa and Guaya meet—both have rotated the TTSL title over the past three seasons—there are usually fireworks.

In 2017, Rosa president Keith Look Loy had a running battle with the local refereeing body, which kicked off after his striker Rashad Griffith suffered a concussion in a collision with Guaya goalkeeper Shane Mattis. Look Loy accused referee Cecile Hinds and her officiating team of not doing enough to protect the players’ safety.

Guaya president Randy Hagley supported a move to replace Look Loy as the TTSL’s representative on the TTFA board earlier this year. And Hagley’s decision to hire Travis Mulraine as head coach would have only added to the tension too.

Let’s just say that Look Loy’s fondness for current Guaya coach Travis Mulraine could be likened to that of former England Premier League rivals Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira. There’s no love lost.

But Rosa were all smiles at the end last night and their diminutive playmaker John-Paul Rochford was a breath of fresh air—scoring a sublime goal and creating another—in a scrappy encounter that lacked genuine quality for much of the 90 minutes.

Rochford was not the only one to get spectators off their seats.

Around the 72nd minute mark, with the hosts leading 2-0 thanks to goals by Rochford and left back Osei Sandy, one male spectator came under attack by a group of men who hurled glass bottles in his direction. Supporters in the covered stands ran for safety as the crashing sound of bottles intensified, while the surprised victim seemed to cause more injury to himself in his bid to escape.

He was subsequently whisked away in an ambulance.

Meanwhile, with no visible police presence at the venue, the unruly assailants, who entered the covered stands in the second half, strolled out of the arena in the midst of the frantic melee.

Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s National Team coach Dennis Lawrence was in attendance and, while he must have been pleased with the maturity and poise shown by the 19-year-old Rochford—who recently earned his Senior Team debut against St Vincent and the Grenadines—the unsavoury incident in the stands may have been too close for comfort.

“In my forty years of watching football I never see something like this,” one spectator exclaimed.

“Trinidad really gone through yes,” another chimed in. “Look how easy you could get your death.”

After a momentary stoppage in play, referee Kwinsi Williams resumed proceedings and a new-look Rosa completed their return to winning ways. Having suffered heavy defeats to Cunupia FC (5-2) and Police FC (4-1) in Ascension Division One action, Rosa have undergone something of an overhaul and their current personnel bear little resemblance to last year’s triumphant TTSL outfit.

Midfielders Akeem ‘Froggy’ Garcia and Jesse Rampersad followed coach Derek King to HFX Wanderers in the Canadian Premier League, while former club captain Ryan ‘Fry’ Stewart has also left, after briefly coming out of retirement to feature in the early rounds of the Ascension Tournament.

Flankers Kheelon Mitchell and Kishun Seecharan and veteran utility player Noel Williams have also departed.

Rosa’s new brigade includes young talent such as Rochford, Rivaldo Coryat and Julio Noel and is reinforced with more experienced campaigners like Russel Alfred, Damani Richards and Soca Warriors custodian Marvin Phillip.

“We had six new starters here tonight, including Marvin Phillip, you cannot get a better goalkeeper than that,” Look Loy told Wired868. “We are bedding these players; some of them are National Under-20 boys. […] We have started a new project to get to the top of Trinidad and Tobago club football and these are just the early teething stages.”

Last night, with the defeats to Cunupia and Police still fresh in their minds, Rosa were merely trying to overcome the Guaya hurdle.

It wasn’t the vintage Guaya by any means. Distracted by ‘Guaya-fest’ in south-east Trinidad, the ‘Green Army’ turned up without their large support base and just 13 players on the night. Mulraine didn’t even bother to make a sub.

A disappointed Mulraine said inconsistent attendance by players in training sessions translated to the end product on the field of play.

“I am hugely disappointed with the result and I don’t think we deserved to lose 3-1,” said Mulraine. “It’s down to a lack of consistency in training. Some days you have a full complement of guys and other days you have six to eight players. It’s very frustrating as a coach.

“You actually have to have two sessions planned in your head [according to your turnout].”

With one team blooding six new players into their starting line-up and the other struggling to get a full turnout, the football spectacle was scrappy and disjointed for the most part, with sporadic flashes of brilliance and quality.

That quality often came from the boot of Rochford, who teed up a willing runner in Sandy with some silky skill down the left flank in the 44th minute. Upon receiving Rochford’s square pass just inside the area, Sandy drilled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner and beyond Mattis’ beefy arms.

“John-Paul is a quality young player for the future. I hope he continues to improve and keeps his feet on the ground and tries to leave Trinidad as soon as possible,” Mulraine said. “Allowing him to play in this League will be good for toughening him up a bit [but] he should be heading overseas soon.”

The Guaya players would probably share that same sentiment. In the earlier stages of the game, they used their physicality to impose themselves on the Rosa players.

But as the game wore on and Rosa reneged on the long ball strategy that was meat and drink for Guaya’s defensive duo of Kerwyn Navarro and skipper Glenton Wolfe, the hosts assumed control of the contest through snappy midfield interplay on the counter.

In the 49th minute, Rochford, who looked to be a man on a mission, received a pass from Alfred near the half line and parted a sea of red Guaya jerseys like Moses before unleashing a right-footed shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

It was his fifth goal in the Ascension’s top flight and Mattis had absolutely no chance. The former National Under-17 and Under-20 captain began the season as a  ‘super sub’ but he must be the first name on Look Loy’s team sheet these days.

“We’re very proud of [Rochford]. He was literally born in Santa Rosa and came through the club’s ranks,” Look Loy said. “And now, we are seeing the benefits as he’s helping to lead the team.”

On the topic of leadership, Wired868 asked Look Loy about the status of the Rosa head coaching job, which was handed to former WASA FC coach Shurland David in March of this year.

“We signed a contract with Shurland David, taking us from April to December—one season. We said it was going to be a trial period,” Look Loy told Wired868. “At the end of May, he said that he had certain domestic issues to resolve. I told him to resolve them.

“[…] We explained that we would cover his back with whatever assistance he needed. That’s the last I’ve seen of him.”

Look Loy said it wasn’t his intention to take a hands-on approach with the team this year but he could not sit idly by and do nothing.

“We have taken over the responsibility without him,” said Look Loy. “Last season, I didn’t have a major role. But, this is my club and if the person who has been chosen as coach has disappeared, I will take on a greater role.

“I’m functioning as a technical director for this team, which is the role I perform for the club on a whole. I’m not going to waste my years of technical experience and knowledge and sit down on the side line in a situation like this.”

Against the run of play, Guaya attacker Akeil Paul glanced a header beyond a flat-footed Phillip in the 84th minute, after Wolfe floated in a beautiful set piece.

Mulraine wished the other Wolfe, Anthony, was on hand to help his team hunt for victory last night.

“I think [Anthony’s] loss was big for the team because he added that bit of quality in the midfield,” Mulraine said. “As you can see we are quite aggressive off the ball but when we win it we give it away far too easily. Anthony added that bit of calm and quality when we’re in possession.”

Guaya hopes of a late comeback were dashed when Rosa sub Kevon Cornwall calmly converted a 90th minute penalty, after being fouled in the area by Mattis.

Back to winning ways, Rosa will next face table toppers Defence Force. Look Loy is looking forward to the challenge.

“I have no doubt that the better and best Super League clubs could match any club in the Pro League. I’ve said that for years and I’m going to stick to it,” Look Loy said. “Now having said that, we’re going to meet the top club in the Ascension Tournament in Defence Force next week. They are the standard in the tournament thus far so we are going to measure my words against them next week.”


FC Santa Rosa (4-2-3-1): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 2.Nykoaba James, 19.Jesse Reyes (captain), 18.Damani Richards, 15.Osei Sandy; 21.Durwin Ross (12.Shaka Pilgrim 85), 11.Rivaldo Coryat; 24.Julio Noel (6.Kadeem Riley 81), 23.John-Paul Rochford, 14.Giovanni Abraham; 17.Russel Alfred (9.Kevon Cornwall 66).

Unused Substitutes: 23.Joel Johnson (GK), 3.Lincoln Brown, 25.Shakiyl Phillip.

Technical director: Keith Look Loy

Guaya United (4-1-4-1): 13.Shane Mattis (GK); 10.Patrick Parris, 23.Kerwyn Navarro, 24.Glenton Wolffe (captain), 21.Dakeil Ferreira; 55.Sylvon Sylvan; 22.Franklyn Romain, 8.Devin Mitchell, 16.Renaldo McIntosh, 7.Jody Allsop; 3.Akeil Paul.

Unused Substitutes: 1.Denzil Carabon (GK), 5.Rondell Ragoo.

Coach: Travis Mulraine

Referee: Kwinsi Williams

Wired868 Man of the Match: John-Paul Rochford (FC Santa Rosa)

Ascension Invitational Tournament - Division One Result

(Friday 23 August)

FC Santa Rosa 3 (Osei Sandy 44, John-Paul Rochford 49, Kevon Cornwall 90), Guaya United 1 (Akeil Paul 84) at Arima Velodrome.