T&T international John-Paul Rochford scored twice and Jameel Neptune, the other, as AC Port-of-Spain (AC PoS) rallied late to beat San Juan Jabloteh 3-1 and maintain their four-point lead at the top of the 12-club T&T Premier Football League (TTPFL) in the first match of a doubleheader at the Phase II Recreation Ground, La Horquetta, on Saturday.
Rochford opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he picked up a ball from Che Benny, which eluded two defenders just over the half and raced down the right flank before firing a right-footed shot that deflected off past goalkeeper Dillon King and overhead his head into the back of the net.
However, against the run of play, Dwight Jordan fired Jabloteh back on even terms on the half-hour mark when his low right-footed effort from an acute angle beat goalkeeper Jadel Poon-Lewis low to his right and into the far corner.
AC PoS, was not having things as easy as one would have expected and needed something special to regain the lead, which they got in the 69th minute via a long-range left-footed grounder from national winger Jameel Neptune, scorer of a hat-trick last time out, which whisked past King.
A minute later, AC PoS was then awarded a penalty by referee Cecile Hinds and Rochford stepped up to comfortably hammer home a right-footed effort to the right of a diving King, before substitute Jomoul Francis added a fourth item in the 82nd minute to extend the tally to 4-1
AC PoS still managed to create a few more chances, the clearest of them falling to influential midfielder Che Benny, but he dragged his left-footed shot wide of the target from the centre of the 18-yard box.
In the end, the Walt Noreiga-coached AC PoS sealed the comfortable win, their second straight by a 4-1 margin to climb to 21 points from eight matches at the top of the 12-club table, four ahead of Tiger Tanks Club Sando.
At the Arima Municipal Stadium, Tiger Tanks Club Sando left it late to snatch victory against cellar-placed T&T Prisons Service FC with out-of-favour national striker Nicholas Dillon netting the lone goal in the 86th minute to keep his team on the heels of leaders AC Port-of-Spain, and one point ahead of Central FC who got a second-half brace from T&T international Kadeem Corbin, and one from Kesean St Rose to come away with a 3-0 win over Police FC, ending the latter's three-match win streak in the process.
And in the day's other early match, at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, Joash Biard scored in the 29th minute to earn W Connection a 1-0 win over Point Fortin Civic clash to climb to sixth with ten points.
Last night in the second match at La Horquetta, fourth-placed Terminix La Horquetta Rangers faced Morvant Caledonia AIA while today at the St James Police Barracks training ground, Defence Force faces Cunupia FC at 4 pm, in the lone match on schedule.
AC PoS 4 (John-Paul Rochford 13th, 69th pen, Jameel Neptune 69th, Jomoul Francois 82nd) vs Jabloteh 1 (Dwight Jordan 30th)
W Connection 1 (Joash Baiard 29th) vs Point Fortin Civic 0
Central FC 3 (Kadeem Corbin 2, Kesean St Rose) vs Police FC 0
Club Sando 1 (Nicholas Dillon 86th) vs Prisons FC 0
La Horquetta Rangers 5 (Real Gill 12th, Ataulla Guerra 26th, Isaiah Lee 28th, Daniel David 34th, Tyrone Charles 77th) vs Morvant Caledonia United 0
Defence Force vs Cunupia FC, St James Police Barracks Training Ground, St James 4 pm
Latest League standings
Teams P W D L F A Pts
AC Port of Spain 8 7 0 1 24 4 21
Club Sando FC 8 5 2 1 14 8 17
La Horquetta Rangers 6 5 1 0 21 8 16
Central FC 8 5 1 2 17 10 16
Defence Force FC 6 4 0 2 13 6 12
W Connection FC 8 3 1 4 7 11 10
Police FC 7 3 0 4 10 13 9
Morvant Caledonia United 8 2 2 4 7 14 8
Point Fortin Civic FC 8 2 1 5 5 8 7
Cunupia FC 7 2 0 5 5 14 6
San Juan Jabloteh FC 8 1 1 6 6 14 4
Prison Service FC 8 1 1 6 4 23 4
John-Paul Rochford’s double gives leaders AC Port of Spain 4-1 win.
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).
AC Port of Spain maintained their four-point lead in the TT Premier Football League as two goals from national midfielder John-Paul Rochford guided the unit to a 4-1 win over San Juan Jabloteh in the first match of a double-header at La Horquetta Recreation Grounds on Saturday.
Rochford opened the scoring in the 14th minute, before Dwight Jordan fired home the equaliser for Jabloteh in the 31st minute. Heading into the final 20 minutes the match was still locked 1-1, but three goals from AC Port of Spain gave the league leaders a comfortable win.
Jameel Neptune gave AC Port of Spain the advantage in the 69th minute and Rochford notched his brace in the 73rd minute. Jomoul Francois rounded off the scoring with a goal in the 83rd minute.
Nicholas Dillon gave second-placed Tiger Tanks Club Sando a narrow 1-0 win over Prisons Service FC with a late goal in the 84th minute at Arima Velodrome.
In the third match which ended before press time, Central FC defeated Police 3-0 at Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima. Kadeem Corbin scored twice (47th, 68th) and Kesean St Rose (83rd) was also on target.