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ON THE RUN:  W Connection striker Neil Benjamin Jr, left, is on the attack, while Police FC defender Tyrese Bailey and W Connection striker Russell Alfred, right, look on. Benjamin scored the winning goal as W Connection defeated Police 2-1 t in a TT Premier Football League match Friday night at the Police Barracks, Long Circular, St James. —Photo courtesy TTPFL Media

W CONNECTION bounced back from an opening defeat to Central FC, with an upset 2-1 win over Police FC in the second match of a Friday night TT Premier Football League (TTPFL) double-header at the St James Barracks.

A nice turn-out of fans saw W Connection getting a shocking early goal after just seven minutes’ play through central midfielder Isaiah Hudson. Having played for W Connection since aged 15, Hudson, now a seven-year veteran at 22, put a low shot past national goalkeeper Adrian Foncette for the opening goal, after he initially won the ball in midfield.

It would not be the first time Police gave away the ball on a night where they put W Connection under plenty pressure, and missed other chances to score, but also looked vulnerable on the counter-attack.

Having gone behind, Jabari Mitchell could have had Police level soon after, but after going around Connection goalkeeper Shakeem Darius, his shot lacked power, allowing defender Dwight Pope to keep it out of an unguarded net.

Having defended stoutly, even desperately at times, particularly through central defenders Pope and Ronald Charles, W Connection were caught napping by a quickly-taken free-kick which saw midfielder Mitchell pick out veteran striker Kareem Freitas, who finished with an angled shot across goalkeeper Darius for 1-1 in the 49th minute.

And after soaking a lot of Police pressure, W Connection stole all three points through 28 year-old veteran Neil Benjamin Jr, a former TT Pro League top-scorer, who had a 2018 professional stint in Vietnam at Xanh Nam Dinh FC Running onto a Jahmahlee Barclay pass, Benjamin Jr roofed the ball when shooting past keeper Foncette at the near post in the 82nd minute.

Police head coach Richard Hood thought his team played some good football in defeat.

“We had a lot of good opportunities that we did not take advantage of. I thought that we lacked a lil bit in the finishing part,” Hood said. “Of course, the goals came from some silly errors at the back.”

W Connection coach and former T&T defender Brian Williams praised the hard work and intensity of his team containing several former schoolboy footballers.

“We have been working on increasing our intensity,” Williams explained. “Our youngsters are now gelling together and it will take some time for that to happen. But I was really pleased with the results.”

Earlier, Cunupia FC took their chances when winning 2-0 over a San Juan Jabloteh team loaded with teenagers, such as outstanding national youth footballers Dantaye Gibert and Lindell Sween. Both had good chances, as the young Jabloteh failed to get any of 15 shots past goalkeeper Jon-Pierre David, who kept Cunupia alive with several timely saves in the first half .

While the Jabloteh youngsters missed, Cunupia converted most of their chances. Central midfielder Jaimol Layne shot from long distance and comprehensively beat goalkeeper Jesse Peters in first half added-on time for 1-0. Defender and captain Rondell Gibson made it 2-0 in a second half dominated by Cunupia, when blasting the ball high in the net, after Jabloteh failed to clear the ball in their penalty area.

“I thought this game should have (been) finished in the first 45 minutes,” stated disappointed Jabloteh head coach Marvin Gordon.

“They were easy chances. I thought we should have at least tucked away two,” Gordon lamented.

TTPFL action continues today with a match between AC Port of Spain, winners on match-day one, and Club Sando, which has been shifted to the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, from its originally scheduled venue of the Manny Ramjohn stadium in Marabella.



Venue—Larry Gomes stadium, Malabar (venue change)

4 p.m.—Tiger Tanks Club Sando vs AC Port Of Spain

SOURCE: T&T Express