AC Port of Spain have dethroned Central FC as the league leaders in the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League, after a 2-1 victory on Wednesday at the La Horquetta Recreation Grounds, Arima.
The top-of-the-table clash lived up to the pre-game expectation as both teams battles hard for supremacy.
Central FC drew first blood when midfielder Akeem Roach slipped an excellent through ball into the path of Kesean St Rose who made no mistake in slotting it to the left of national goalkeeper Marvin Phillips in the 29th minute. The striker has now scored in consecutive matches and has three goals in the campaign.
The end-to-end action lasted all the way throughout the first half with both goalkeepers tested. Central`s goalie Hakeem Lucas was called to action repeatedly to preserve his team`s lead.
However, in the last minute of the first half, national midfielder John Paul Rochford sped down the right flank and rounded his defender before crossing to an unmarked Michel Poon- Angeron who slid it home for the 1-1 equaliser.
The high intensity and attacking play continued in the second period. AC Port of Spain were the more aggressive team and went ahead 2-1. Rochford was brought down in the box by Maurice Dick and was awarded a penalty by referee Crystal Sobers. The midfielder stepped up and sent goalie Lucas the wrong way in the 62nd minute.
Rochford was everywhere on the pitch as his brilliance in the second half forced Lucas into several point-blank saves. Central went hunting for an equaliser in the final minutes but the "town boys" held on for the three points. AC POS move to 15 points whilst Central FC remained on 13 points.
W Connection 2 v San Juan Jabloteh 1
Club Sando 2 (Nicholas Dillon 71, Nathaniel James 87) v Defence Force 0
Rangers 3 (Isaiah Lee 3, Isaiah Raymond 60, Real Gill 66) v Cunupia 0
Police 5 (Christian Thomas 4, 15, 61, Jameel Perry 78, Jabari Mitchell 79) v Prison Service FC 2 (Anthony Parris 6-Pen, 70-Pen)
AC PoS 2 (Michel Poon-Angeron 45, John-Paul Rochford 65-Pen) v Central FC 1 (Kesean St Rose 20)
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Jeremiah Kesar 66) v Morvant Caledonia United 0
‘Capital Boyz’ take lead, Club Sando, Rangers move up
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express).
JOHN PAUL ROCHFORD gave a Man-of-the-Match performance as AC Port of Spain jumped to the top of the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League with a 2-1 victory over previous leaders Central FC Wednesday evening at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground.
Other results saw Terminix La Horquetta Rangers see off Cunupia FC 3-0 to move into fourth spot. Late goals from Nicholas Dillon (71st minute) and Nathaniel Garcia (87th) saw Tiger Tanks Club Sando move up to third and drop Defence Force two places down to fifth, after winning 2-0 against the “Army” at Police Barracks. Also at the Barracks, forward Christian Thomas scored a hat-trick as the home team, Police FC, also won 5-2 against Prisons.
W Connection gained a valuable 2-1 win over San Juan Jabloteh and Point Fortin Civic won 1-0 against visitors Morvant Caledonia United at the Mahaica Sporting Complex.
At La Horquetta, Rochford had a stellar performance, setting up the opening goal for Michel Poon Angeron and converting a second half penalty himself, as the “Capital Boyz” came from a goal down to win.
Central FC took the lead against the run of play when in-form striker Kesean St Rose exposed T&T national goalkeeper Marvin Phillip with a low shot in the 29th minute, after running onto a delicate through ball from midfielder Akeem Roach.
Later, Rochford’s forceful drive up the right flank provided the pass from which Poon-Angeron roofed the ball to level the match at 1-1 in the 44th minute.
Unplayable at times, Rochford was in everything and had it not been for a handful of spectacular saves from Central FC goalkeeper Hakeem Lucas, the Capital Boys could have won far more handsomely. However, Lucas found no answer to Rochford from the penalty spot. Cut down by defender Maurice Dick when racing into the penalty area, Rochford got up and converted the penalty with a low shot in the 65th minute after referee Crystal Sobers had awarded the spot kick.
“Great performance by the team, great effort, great fight, great enthusiasm coming into the game,” Rochford stated afterward when taking the best player award.
“Nice place to be top of the table,” added Gilbert Bateau, who is assistant coach to Walt Noreiga at AC Port of Spain.
“Rochford had an excellent, excellent game,” stated Bateau, who also credited a strong midfield combination and stern defending as important factors in the victory.