Wed, Oct
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Police made an emphatic return to the Trinidad and Tobago top flight but, in the end, had to be happy with a point as they drew 3-3 with St Ann's Rangers in yesterday evening's Digicel Pro League action at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
Police stormed two goals clear in the opening half hour but Rangers fought back and, remarkably, were ahead by the 66th minute after a tidy finish by captain Errol McFarlane. But two penalty decisions changed the outcome of the match-one given by referee Lee Davis and the other denied the "Lawmen" after a handled ball by Rangers full back Jerome Charles.

The Policemen, who return to the Pro League after a year off, made their feelings known to the match official at the final whistle. Not that Davis was the only culpable person on the field in a game that featured half a dozen goals.

The season appeared to start too soon for the Rangers defence as Ricardo Peltier put Police ahead in the fifth minute and the Lawmen doubled their advantage, 23 minutes later, when a speculative effort from Shala Julien squirmed away from Rangers' Haitian custodian Fortunato Valcourt.

But Police were conceding free kicks at a reckless rate and, after defender Keon Archie lunged in to tackle Christon Thomas in the 44th minute, Charles made them pay with a neat curling effort that beat goalkeeper Anthony Marshall at his near post.

Five minutes after the interval, Rangers pulled level as Josimar Belgrave and McFarlane traded passes to release Kerron Cordner who produced a clever finish. And McFarlane matched Cordner's item in the 66th minute as the stretched Policemen lost control of central midfield.

Yet, a rush of blood from Valcourt-who made his Pro league debut yesterday-offered Police a lifeline with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game. The Haitian made two good close-range saves to deny Kaaron Foster but, with the striker now heading away from goal, the goalkeeper lunged in greedily and upended his opponent and Davis pointed to the spot.

Police substitute Christopher Sam did the honours from the penalty spot for the game's sixth item.

There might have been a seventh goal too as Sam's shot on the turn appeared to strike Charles on his arm and there was daylight space between limb and body. Davis, to the ire of the Policemen, waved play on.

On the balance of play, a draw seemed a fair result, although it did not excuse Davis' error.


St Ann’s Rangers:—Fortunato Valcourt, Jerome Charles, Coneal Thomas, Elijah Belgrave, Shem Mc Farlane, Keeron Cordner, Richard Santana (Clevon Mc Fee 66th), Gyasi Joyce, Errol Mc Farlane (capt).

Coach—Anthony Streete

Police FC:—Anthony Marshall, Jason James, Kaaron Foster, Keion Wilson (Terryl Elwin), Ricardo Peltier, Randy Harris, Shala Julien (Anthony Cambell ), Keron Archie (capt), Todd Ryan, Jason Eastman, Dwayne Ellis

Coach—Richard De Coteau