W Connection’s Pro League title tilt hit a fifth consecutive bump on Friday after the 10-men Stuart Charles Fevrier-coached leaders were edged 1-0 late by Morvant Caledonia United, allowing Central FC and Police FC to close in three points behind with just three games left.
Ex-Defence Force star Ross Russell Jr. celebrated his first goal in Morvant Caledonia colours when he buried an Aikim Andrews rebound past goalkeeper Connection custodian Julani Archibald two minutes from time to eke out the narrow win, snapping the “Savonetta Boys”’ undefeated campaign to earn Jerry Moe’s side a fifth win from their last six outings.
Fevrier’s countryman and Connection assistant coach Earl Jean afterwards took a dig at referee Rashby Mc Phie’s performance which included the sending off of utility player Alvin Jones, saying the “Savonetta Boys” usually gets a “hard time” from the veteran official.
Jones was carded seventeen minutes into both halves, receiving an automatic red for a challenge on Andrews as Mc Phie reminded players, “This is not rugby.”
Jean also condemned his players’ disappointing performances in front of goal for Connection’s current rot of five consecutive games without a win but remains optimistic of his side’s ability to complete an unprecedented sixth league title since the turn of the professional era in 1999.
“The last [few] games have been difficult,” Jean conceded. “[…] we haven’t been scoring our goals and that’s the main problem about it. [But] I think the league is still in our hands, we have three games and they are three games we have to win. If we take our chances we will win those games.”
Central (27 points) later defeated hosts Point Fortin Civic 3-0 courtesy a double from forward Russel Alfred (73 & 84) and a deadlock-breaking item from defender Jared London (69) at Mahaica Oval to hurdle Police for second place with a better goal difference after the “Lawmen” were held to a 2-2 draw by minnows Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers in the first game of a double-header at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Police failed to pile the pressure on Connection (30 points) as a win against the bottom-placed Rangers would have positioned coach Richard Hood’s men just a point adrift of the leaders before the league resumes on the weekend of Nov. 23-24 following the international break (Nov. 12-20).
Jameel Perry’s (32 & 41) first-half brace proved not enough for Police after an own goal credited to goalkeeper Adrian Foncette sliced the Rangers’ deficit in stoppage time of the first half before Nicholai Orr (64), with his first top-flight goal, tied the game for Dave “Hog Head” Quamina’s men.
Hashim Arcia (6 & 88) later scored Defence Force FC’s opening and closing items, separated by Adrian Welch (26) first goal for the “Tetron Boys” in a 3-0 win over San Juan Jabloteh in the second game at the Mucurapo Road venue.
The result lifted Defence Force two spots into fourth, but tied on 24 points with Morvant Caledonia, a side unbeaten in their last seven outings, and Club Sando—all three preserving their mathematical chance of challenging for a CONCACAF qualifying spot which goes to the top-two Pro League finishers.
Pro League 2018
Round Two Match Day Six
(Friday 9 November)
W Connection 0 vs Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Ross Russell Jr. 88’), at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
Police FC 2 (Jameel Perry 32’, 41) vs Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers 2 (Own Goal [Adrian Foncette] 45’+3, Nicholai Orr 64’), at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Defence Force FC 3 (Hashim Arcia 6’, 88’, Adrian Welch 26’) vs San Juan Jabloteh 0, at Hasely Crawford Stadium;
Point Fortin Civic 0 vs Central FC 3 (Jared London 69’, Russel Alfred 73’,84), at Mahaica Oval.
Pro League 2018 standings
# Team MP W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 W Connection 15 8 6 1 30 7 23 30
2 Central FC 15 8 3 4 35 22 13 27
3 Police FC 15 8 3 4 30 18 12 27
4 Defence Force FC 14 7 3 4 31 16 15 24
5 Morvant Caledonia Utd 15 6 6 3 29 18 11 24
6 Club Sando 14 7 3 4 29 21 8 24
7 San Juan Jabloteh 15 7 2 6 21 20 1 23
8 Point Fortin Civic 15 2 2 11 16 35 -19 8
9 Terminix St. Ann’s Rangers 14 2 1 11 8 50 -42 7
10 North East Stars 12 1 3 8 11 33 -22 6
Teams at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Friday
W Connection: 18.Julani Archibald (GK), 2.Kurt Frederick, 3.Gerard Williams (Capt.), 5.Triston Hodge, 6.Kevon Goddard (24.Isaiah Hudson 75th minute), 7.Jomal Williams (99.Marcus Joseph 30th minute), 16.Alvin Jones, 17.Neil Benjamin Jr., 23.Kennedy Hinkson, 26.Isaiah Garcia, 27.Kierron Mason (9.Kadeem Corbin 54th minute).
Unused substitutes: 33.Jason Belfon (GK); 8.Jameel Antoine, 11.Adan Noel, 15.Otev Lawrence.
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
Morvant Caledonia United: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK); 8.Ross Russell Jr., 9.Sedale Mc Lean (19.Renaldo Francois 69th minute), 10.Sheldon Holder (Capt.) (13.Saydrel Lewis 82nd minute), 11.Quincy Ballah (3.Richard Williams 90th minute), 12.Kareem Joseph, 14.Melvin Doxilly, 17.Kerry Daniel, 20.Keron Cummings, 21.Keion Goodridge, 29.Aikim Andrews.
Unused substitutes: 5.Joshua Sylvester, 24.Osei Charles, 25.Joshua Martin, 28.Jomokie Sandy.
Coach: Jerry Moe
Referee: Rashby Mc Phie
Assistant Referee 1: Noel Moore
Assistant Referee 2: John Barkley
Fourth Official: Dennis Changiah
Match Commissioner: Lennox “Bullet” Pilgrim