Wed, May

AC Port of Spain's John-Paul Rochford celebrates with teammates after scoring against Morvant Caledonia at the Arima Velodrome on Sunday, February 18th 2024.

Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) title hopefuls AC PoS (38 points) moved within a point of leaders Miscellaneous Police FC (39 points) when they got an exciting 3-2 win over 1976 FC Phoenix at the Arima Velodrome on May 8.

AC PoS, who finished an agonising second in the inaugural TTPFL season last year, have a game in hand on their rivals Police and similar to last season, they will have their fate in their own hands once more.

AC PoS have two games left against the fourth-placed Tiger Tanks Club Sando (32 points) and sixth-placed Heritage Petroleum Point Fortin Civic (23 points) on May 11 and 19 respectively. Meanwhile, in what promises to be an intriguing final day of the season on May 19, Police will play the cellar-placed Central FC.

With maximum points from their last two games, the “Capital Boys” will be crowned champions on 44 points. Any slip up from coach Walt Noriega’s team, and the lawmen will be well positioned to pip them on the line.

Fresh from their gripping 3-3 draw with Police on May 5, Phoenix started the game full of confidence and they should have taken the lead in the 18th minute when their top marksman Mickaeel “Jem” Gordon was provided with a glorious one-on-one chance. Five minutes later, Gordon drew a fine low save from veteran AC PoS goalkeeper Marvin Phillip after a probing run from midfielder Adriel George.

Phoenix’s wasted chances were AC PoS’s gain, though, and the title chasers struck twice in the space of three minutes to get some daylight. In the 28th minute, midfielder John-Paul Rochford scored with a right-footed shot after receiving a cut back from defender Liam Burns. Attacker Sedale McLean then rolled into an empty net on the half hour mark to make it 2-0 after Phoenix goalie Duvaughn Daniel collided with his burly centre back Jeremiah Bristol as they pursued a loose ball.

In the 56th minute, Phoenix finally made good on their early promise and hard running when Gordon swept home from close range after a lovely counter-attack involving George and centre forward Che Richards to grab his 11th goal of the season. Gordon made the AC PoS defenders uncomfortable with his darting runs in behind, and he spurned a presentable chance just after the hour mark after rounding Phillip and sending a tame effort toward goal.

Similar to the first half, the visiting Tobago outfit were swiftly punished by AC PoS when Grenadian attacker Saydrel Lewis tapped in at the back stick in the 63rd minute after a lovely square from Rochford. Lewis could have doubled his tally four minutes later, but Daniel saved smartly at the first post to stop a firm right-footed shot.

The visitors ensured AC PoS had a shaky final few minutes in Arima, as Phoenix substitute Jahiem Harry scored with a powerful shot from outside the area after getting a layoff from George.

Phoenix got stoppage-time heroics in their last outing to salvage a draw versus Police, but they just fell short in their attempts to take a point off the Capital Boys.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday