Sun, Jun
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Police FC kicked in with all guns blazing to defeat Defence Force 2-0 in a battle of the armed-forces on Tuesday night, ahead of Sunday’s First Citizens Cup semi-finals.

Todd Ryan opened the scoring before setting up another scored by Elijah Belgrave for the Lawmen in the first half of an electrifying second game of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium after Ma Pau Stars had edged Courts Morvant Caledonia United 1-0 thanks to a late Jerrel Britto strike.

The result snapped a six-game winless run in the Digicel Pro League for the Richard Hood-coached Police, moving three spots up into sixth with 8 points, ahead of their First Citizens Cup semi-final clash with Ma Pau Stars from 6pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Morvant Caledonia and Defence Force will meet in semi-final one of the First Citizens Cup from 4pm at the Couva venue on Sunday for a place in the final on Dec. 2.

But first, action in the DPL continues on Friday with a top-of-the-table clash between San Juan Jabloteh and W Connection when the PL moves to the Brian Lara Recreation Ground in Santa Cruz for the first time from 6pm. 

Police had Defence Force on the back foot from early on and had a goal ruled out by referee Cecile Hinds in the first minute of play on Tuesday night when Dexter Alleyne headed into the Army net off a Kareem Freitas corner. And two minutes later a Jibri Mc David effort forced goalkeeper Andre Marchan into a fine save from distance.

But the breakthrough arrived for Police on 38 minutes when Ryan smashed a ferocious 25-yard free-kick into the top corner, beating a fully-stretched Marchan, who had moments before kept out a Christon Thomas effort.

Belgrave then made it 2-0 four minutes before the break with a diving header off a right side Ryan cross and Police, who previously had just one league win this term with a 5-1 result over Ma Pau, were well in control.

Marchan denied Police a third just before the half-time whistle by making a point-blank save to blank Thomas. The Marchan-Thomas contest continued in the second half with the Army goalie keeping out a stinger from the Police winger on the hour mark.

Belgrave then spurned a couple chances to increase his side’s lead and his tally within a space of four minutes as Police continued to hold control on the game.

First, Belgrave turned Kareem Freitas cross overbar, then spilled wide of the upright with the goal at his mercy after referee Hinds wisely allowed play to continue following a foul on Thomas -- during goal-searching run across the six yard area -- by Marchan.

Police’s next best chance of a third item arrived in the 77th-minute at the end of a counterattacking move involving Freitas and Belgrave, but striker Keion Wilson’s low effort was cleared off the line by Defence Force defender Justin Garcia.

Defence Force had two excellent scoring opportunities in the second half but were left with their heads in their hands.

Darryl Trim wasted high and wide on the second bite of two attempts following a spill by goalkeeper Adrian Foncette in the 53rd-minute. Defence Force coach, Marvin Gordon, reacted by immediately replacing the Tobago-born forward with Cassim Kellar.

Then just before the hour mark, team captain and veteran Defence Force creative midfielder, Jerwyn Balthazar, saw his downward header at the goalmouth, off a Marvin Jones cross, bounce overbar.

The Police goal was under threat again eight minutes from time but Devorn Jorsling shaved the side netting from a 25-yard free-kick.

In the earlier game of Tuesday’s double-header, Ma Pau Stars looked the better side against Morvant Caledonia.

But it wasn’t until the 83rd minute that Britto broke the deadlock to earn Ma Pau the 1-0 win to move up a spot into fourth on 13 points—six points adrift of leaders Central FC.

Britto, picked out in the area by substitute Jason Scotland, held off a challenge before firing past goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.

Britto saw another effort hit the upright three minutes from time before Scotland hit overbar on the rebound.

Scotland, who has returned to the Pro League after nearly a decade of professional play in the United Kingdom, added the late lift needed by Ma Pau after replacing Kerry Baptiste, who had at least four first half chances fall to him but failed to convert.

Digicel Pro League 2016-2017
Round One Match Day Eight
(Tuesday, November 22, 2016)

Ma Pau Stars 1 (Jerrel Britto 83’) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Defence Force 0 vs Police FC 2 (Todd Ryan 38’, Elijah Belgrave 41’), at Ato Boldon Stadium.

Upcoming fixtures
Digicel Pro League 2016-2017
Round One Match Day Eight
(Friday 25 November 2016)
Santa Cruz Recreation Ground

San Juan Jabloteh vs W Connection—6pm

First Citizens Cup 2016
Semi Finals
(Sunday 27 November 2016)
Ato Boldon Stadium

Morvant Caledonia United vs Defence Force—4pm
Police FC vs Ma Pau Stars—6pm

Digicel Pro League 2016-2017
Round One Match Day Eight
(Tuesday 29 November 2016)
Ato Boldon Stadium

Club Sando vs Point Fortin Civic—6pm
Central FC vs St. Ann’s Rangers—8pm

Teams at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday
Ma Pau Stars: 22.Glenroy Samuel (GK), 2.Carlos Edwards (Capt.), 4.Kerry Baptiste (9.Jason Scotland 63rd minute), 5.Taryk Sampson, 6.Neil Gerard Mitchell (Yellow Card) (21.Neil Gibson Mitchell 70th minute), 7.Kerry Daniel (16.Kareem Eastman 78th minute), 10.Jerrel Britto, 11.Elton John, 19.Glenton Wolffe, 25.Keryn Navarro.

Unused substitutes: 1.Shane Mattis (GK), 8.Adrian Noel, 12.Sayid Freitas, 14.Chike Sullivan.

Coach: Ross Russell

Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 4.Ordell Flemming, 5.Seon Thomas, 6.Taje Commissiong, 7.Kordell Samuel, 10.Sheldon Holder, 12.Kareem Joseph (22.Jameel Neptune 60th minute), 14.Keron Bethelmy (23.Lester Joseph 75th minute), 17.Akim Armstrong (Capt.) (16.Amos Ramsay 68th minute), 18.Maestro Mensah, 21.Densill Theobald.

Unused substitutes: 2.Kevin Layne, 8.Anthony Charles, 11.Dominic Douglas, , 30.Stephon Seepersad (GK).

Coach: Rajesh Latchoo

Referee: Kevin Smart
Assistant Referee 1: Oladele Thomas
Assistant Referee 2: Kyle Carabon
Fourth Official: Dennis Changiah

Game 2
Defence Force: 1.Andre Marchan (GK), 3.Jamali Garcia, 8.Christopher Durity, 9.Devorn Jorsling (Yellow Card), 13.Marvin Jones, 14.Darryl Trim (37.Cassim Kellar 55th minute), 17.Curtis Gonzales, 19.Thurlani George, 21.Aklie Edwards (10.Hashim Arcia 46th minute), 26.Justin Garcia (Yellow Card) (6.Rodell Elcock 78th minute), 99.Jerwyn Balthazar (Capt.).

Unused substitutes: 5.Devin Jordan, 22.Anthony Charles, 33.Kevin Carter, 35.Tirek George.

Coach: Marvin Gordon

Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK), 6.Jibri Mc David, 10.Kareem Freitas, 16.Keion Wilson, 17.Dexter Alleyne, 19.Christon Thomas, 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (Capt.), 25.Kenaz Williams, 32.Kemron Purcell (Yellow Card) (39.Joshua Leach 78th minute), 38.Nequan Caruth (2.Akiel Thomas 88th minute).

Unused substitutes: 8.Kurdell Brathwaite, 12.Kadeem Riley, 13.Dillon Kirton, 22.Theon Browne (GK), 24.Wendell Joseph.

Coach: Richard Hood

Referee: Cecile Hinds
Assistant Referee 1: Glen Kevin Charles
Assistant Referee 2: Johann Corneille
Fourth Official: Rashby Mc Phie