Jamal Gay scored a hat-trick as San Juan Jabloteh romped to a 6-0 victory over Club Sando in their Digicel Pro League (DPL) clash on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Club Sando, with regular defenders Corneal Thomas and Devon Drayton unused on the bench, were defensively poor and Jabloteh took full advantage.
Jamaican midfielder Fabian Reid scored Jabloteh’s third goal in the 63rd minute before Gay completed his hat-trick within nine minutes, netting in the 65th and 73rd minutes, to increase his scoring tally to 7 goals in all competitions this season.
Substitute Brent Sam, in his first game for the San Juan Kings this season, marked his return to top flight football with a goal in the 78th minute to complete the 6-0 win.
Sam, a San Juan North Secondary standout in the Secondary Schools Football League, executed a cool finish beyond a hapless goalkeeper Kelvin Henry following a giveaway in the area by Sando.
While the result stands as the biggest win for any team in the DPL this season, it isn’t the highest scoring outing in all competitions this term for the San Juan Kings, who demolished Super League side Marabella Family Crisis Centre 7-0 in the preliminary round of this season’s Toyota Classic before whipping Super League’s Guaya United 5-0 in the quarter-final round.
North East Stars remains with the biggest win in all competitions this season courtesy an 8-0 result over Super League side Siparia Spurs in the preliminary round of the Toyota Classic.
Tuesday’s win, however, pushed the Keith Jeffrey coached-Jabloteh up two spots into second with 13 points, one point behind leaders Defence Force (14 points).
Defence Force kept their position at the top of the 2015-16 standings by halting W Connection's 13-game undefeated streak in all competitions with a 2-0 win over the Savonetta Boys in a feisty battle in the second game of the double-header contested in Couva.
Earlier at the Mahaica Oval, home-side Point Fortin Civic edged Morvant Caledonia United 1-0, courtesy a 10th minute item from forward Shackeil Henry – his third goal of the season – as his side picked up a second consecutive league win.
The win puts Civic up a spot into sixth place on 10 points with North East Stars and W Connection also on 10 points, in ascending order.
Connection had defeated 10-men Defence Force 4-0 in the final of the Toyota Classic on Dec. 6, and while Tuesday’s win for the army/coastguard combination isn’t as valuable as Connection’s title win, there was some level of retribution for Defence Force.
“Tonight (Tuesday) was like a virtual final for us again,” said Defence Force head coach Marvin Gordon after the win. “…because losing tonight would have dropped us down the league table and without a chance to win the first round. The plan is to win the league round by round.”
Defence Force took a 1-0 lead through a powerfully struck Ross Russell Jr. strike, which took a deflection to beat W Connection custodian Julani Archibald four minutes before the break.
Forward Devorn Jorsling, who was red carded in the final of the Toyota Classic, redeemed himself on Tuesday with a brilliant performance which included a penalty goal in the 58th minute.
Referee Gyasi Mc Donald awarded Defence Force the penalty, ruling a foul was committed on Jorsling, who went to ground in the area following a collision of players.
The all-time leading Pro League top scorer then converted from the spot for his fourth goal of the season in all competitions after wrong-siding Archibald for a 2-0 lead.
“We understand how W Connection play in their marking and tracking. We also made a change in our system starting with only one defensive midfielder because I thought tactically I needed that, but we needed to work hard defensively because W Connection have a lot of good (young players) going forward.
I thought we played to plan, we solved them out, and as the game progressed, we got into a rhythm and started to possess the ball and created chances. Tonight my players were brilliant especially in their attitude and how we worked on defence, not giving up anything and making W Connection work for everything. In the final (of the Toyota Classic) the red card hurt us but tonight with all 11 players on the park and the right attitude, it gave us a brilliant result."
Archibald had made a low save to keep out a strike by Defence Force team captain Jerwyn Balthazar before winger Kishun Seecharan whipped in the dangerous return cross, which created problems for the home side and the eventual penalty decision.
Archibald later pulled off a one-handed save in the 65th minute to deny a Jorsling free kick from the edge of the area.
Connection, also this season's First Citizens Cup champions, had an excellent opportunity to reduce the deficit with 16 minutes of regular remaining. But forward Shahdon Winchester's sliding attempt to meet a Kurt Frederick cross at the goalmouth was in vain.
Both sides mounted late openings but no attempts were able to trouble the opposing goalkeepers in the DPL Round One Match Day Seven clash.
“The decision to give the penalty really affected us,” said W Connection head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier. “It wasn’t a penalty… the two army (Defence Force) attackers clashed.
“But having said that, I felt that our players allowed the decision to frustrate them and our game went to pieces after that. It’s because a lot of them are still immature.
“We always knew this game would be tougher (than the final we played against Defence Force). But our players must understand that sometimes you will get decisions that are not correct. I have to address it with my players because it’s all about growing and learning as professional players. It’s a group of young players and you could have seen the frustration in the body language after the penalty, and we lost the game because we got disorganised and mentally we were in pieces. Our players virtually gave Defence Force the game after the penalty.”
Round One Match Day Seven continues today (Wednesday) at the Hasely Crawford Stadium when eight place St. Ann’s Rangers (5 points) welcomes seventh place Police FC (9 points) from 6 pm, before North East Stars tackle third place defending champions Central FC (11 points) from 8 pm.
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Shackeil Henry 10’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0; at Mahaica Oval
Club Sando 0 vs San Juan Jabloteh 6 (Ricardo Harriott 16’, Jamal Gay 27’, 65’, 73’, Fabian Reid 63’, Brent Sam 78’); at the Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection 0 vs Defence Force 2 (Ross Russell Jr. 41’, Devorn Jorsling 59’ penalty); at the Ato Boldon Stadium
Club Sando: 34.Kelvin Henry; 6.Kemuel Rivers, 7.Akeem Humphrey, 8.Jeromie Williams (21.Kerron Mitchell 67th), 9.Jesse Downing, 13.Kern Cupid (Capt.), 16.Kevon Woodley, 15.Amrit Gildharry, 17.Jared London, 24.Devon Modeste, 26.Shaquille Holder (19.Ryan Frederick 79th)
Unused substitutes: 5.Devon Drayton, 18.Shane Hospidales, 22.Corneal Thomas, 30.Derron Maillard (GK), 33.Alexei Julien (GK)
Coach: Anthony Streete
San Juan Jabloteh: 35.Shemel Louison; 5.Rickcardo Harriott, 7.Jamal Gay, 8.Keyon Edwards, 10.Tyrone Charles 18.Jevon Morris, 13.Fabian Reid (27.Nathan Lewis 66th), 21.Aquil Selby, 4.Garth Thomas (16.Kaashif Thomas 75th), 24.Adrian Reid, 11.Damian Williams (Capt.)
Unused substitutes: 36.Raheem Belgrave (GK), 12.Jordan Devonish, 15.Jerome Mc Intrye, 22.Caleb Sturge
Coach: Keith Jeffrey
W Connection: 18.Julani Archibald; 2.Kurt Frederick, 3.Gerard Williams, 5.Triston Hodge, 8.Briel Thomas, 9.Shahdon Winchester, 10.Jomal Williams, 11.Neil Benjamin Jr. (Capt.), 13.Kion Joseph (17.Aikim Andrews 62nd), 14.Andre Toussaint (19.Dwight Quintero 27th), 21.Shannon Gomez (4.Maurice Ford 77th)
Unused substitutes: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK), 46.Anfernee Frederick, 12.Dimitrie Apai, 23.Kevon Goddard
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
Defence Force: 25.Sheldon Clarke; 2.Glynn Franklyn, 6.Rodell Elcock, 8.Curtis Gonzales, 9.Devorn Jorsling, 17.Ross Russell Jr., 18.Sean Narcis (52.Stephan Campbell 75th), 99.Jerwyn Balthazar (Capt.), 21.Aklie Edwards, 23.Kerry Joseph (4.Dave Long 8th), 30.Kishun Seecharan (7.Jelani Felix 66th)
Unused substitutes: 80.Aaron Enill (GK), 12.Jemel Sebro, 16.Kellon Serette
Coach: Marvin Gordon
Wednesday 16 December
St. Ann's Rangers vs Police FC—6 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
North East Stars vs Central FC—8 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Friday 18 December
Club Sando vs Police FC—6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs San Juan Jabloteh—8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium
Saturday 19 December
Defence Force vs North East Stars—4 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Point Fortin Civic—6 pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium
Morvant Caledonia United vs Central FC—3:30 pm, Larry Gomes Stadium