Point Fortin Civic withstood Police FC’s second-half assault to earn their first point after opening the new campaign with back-to-back defeats.
The table-propping Civic had looked set for their first win of the 2016/17 Digicel Pro League term under new coach Dick Furlonge after a quick-fire double by striker Jamille Boatswain in the second game of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday night.
But the Lawmen pulled the scores level through substitutes Joshua Leach and Kaaron Foster.
However, despite dominating the second half and twice rattling the Civic crossbar in the late moments, Police failed to find the winner.
The result saw Police (5 points) slip one spot into fourth after three games, while Ma Pau Stars (6 points) moved four spots up into third and tied on points with second positioned San Juan Jabloteh after a comfortable 3-0 win over 10-man St. Ann’s Rangers in the earlier game at the Couva venue.
Two-time defending DPL champions, Central FC (9 points), leads the standings, and, like W Connection must compete in their final Concacaf Champions League fixture this week before refocussing on their domestic ambitions.
Anthony Wolfe, Jason Scotland and substitute Kerry Baptiste all found the back of the net for the Ma Pau Stars, with Carlos Edwards playing a pivotal role in each item.
Wolfe acrobatically fired Ma Pau (1-0) ahead with an overhead kick on 16 minutes after controlling off his chest a floated Edwards’ free-kick ahead of former Stars goalie, Cleon John.
Scotland, who, like Edwards, recently returned to the Pro League after spending more than a decade abroad, made it 2-0 on the half hour mark. Scotland folded back the years when turned defender Devon Drayton before letting off a left-footed strike beyond John and into the far netting following a throw-in by Edwards.
Rangers’ troubles tripled six minutes into the second half when referee Kevin Smart—who later handed over outfield duties to fourth official Dennis Changiah—awarded forward Devon Modeste a direct red card for a foul on Kareem Eastman.
Changiah later became the focus of attention with two minutes left when he allowed play to continue after Stars’ substitute Jerrel Britto, who had two scoring opportunities in the second half, was brought down in the box by Kareem Baptiste.
Ma Pau’s protest was brief, possibly because the Ross Russell coached-side were already 3-0 in front at the time.
Baptiste (K) had completed a simple tap-in at the goalmouth in the 75th minute following a right side move by Edwards to round defender Kareem Baptiste before squaring a pass across the six-yard area to find his teammate.
Marvin Lee had the best scoring chance for Rangers—back with Anthony Streete as coach—which arrived in stoppage-time but the substitute forward skied overbar from inside the area in the last kick of the match.
In the second match, Police coach Hood saw his troubles heap up in doubles after both starting forwards Keion Wilson (hamstring) and Kareem Freitas (ankle) failed to continue beyond 25 minutes. And with Jameel Perry possibly out through injury and last season’s DPL topscorer Makesi Lewis out for the season with a broken leg, it was down to experimenting in attack.
Then came Boatswain’s double within a space of two minutes.
Boatswain, starting upfront in absence of injured Nigerian forward Ahinde Adeshigbin (ankle), handed Civic the shock lead (1-0) on 24 minutes after beating a host of Police players including goalkeeper Adrian Foncette just outside the top of the box to meet a long pass forward by Shaquille Stewart before hitting low into vacant net.
The powerful Boatswain then made it 2-0 a minute later when he capitalised on a blunder by the Police defence to complete his double by poking a Kestwin Goolie cross past goalkeeper Foncette.
Goodman preserved Civic’s two-goal cushion just before the half hour mark with a penalty save to deny Todd Ryan, who he had also blanked after 15 minutes.
The Civic ‘keeper had the travelling pack of Point Fortin supporters cheering again when he rushed off his line to blank Christon Thomas.
But even on his best night, Goodman was unable to stop a left-footed screamer by substitute Leach which fitted like a hand to a glove in the top left corner from 28 yards out as Police reduced the deficit 1-2 two minutes before the break—moments after defender Ryan O’Neil only won himself a yellow card for a “hand of God goal” from a corner play.
Foster later pulled Police level (2-2) on the hour mark when he headed in at the goalmouth after Goodman had produced a double-save by keeping out a powerfully struck Ryan free-kick then the initial follow-up by Leach.
The Lawmen continued to pile on the pressure with second half substitute Micah Lewis, who was also denied brilliantly by Goodman, causing havoc in Civic’s half. But a winner couldn’t be produced by either side.
Boatswain, who was inches wide of his side item early into the second half, failed to put Civic back in front ten minutes from time by hitting wide with goalkeeper Foncette at his mercy.
Then on the other end, Leach and Ryan rocked Goodman’s crossbar five minutes apart, before Kenaz Williams with the best chance of snatching the win on the latter’s rebound, skied his attempt overbar.
Police are back at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Friday against Rangers from 8pm, following a 6pm kick-off between Club Sando and Defence Force.
Ma Pau Stars meanwhile, will be at the Barataria Recreation Ground on Sunday from 5pm against hosts San Juan Jabloteh.
Play will later return to the Ato Boldon Stadium next Tuesday with W Connection hosting Civic from 6pm and Central FC welcoming Morvant Caledonia United from 8pm.
Digicel Pro League 2016/17
Round One Match Day Three
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium
Ma Pau Stars 3 (Anthony Wolfe 16’, Jason Scotland 30’, Kerry Baptiste 75’) vs St. Ann’s Rangers 0, at the Ato Boldon Stadium
Point Fortin Civic 2 (Jamille Boatswain 24’, 25’) vs Police FC 2 (Joshua Leach 43’, Kaaron Foster 60’), at the Ato Boldon Stadium
(Sunday, October 16, 2016)
Morvant Caledonia United 2 (Kareem Joseph 45’+ penalty, Akim Armstrong 73’) vs San Juan Jabloteh 4 (Willis Plaza 2’, 60’, Adrian Reid 42’ penalty, Tyrone Charles 45’), at Morvant Recreation Ground.
(Friday, October 14, 2016)
W Connection 2 (Shackiel Henry 50’, Jamal Charles 70’) vs Club Sando 1 (Kemuel Rivers 36’ penalty), at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Central FC 4 (Marcus Joseph 13’, 61’ penalty, Jason Marcano 43’, Darren Mitchell 90’+1) vs Defence Force 1(Hashim Arcia 56’), at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Round One Match Day Four
Friday Oct. 21, 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium
Club Sando vs Defence Force—6pm
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Police FC—8pm
Sunday Oct. 23, 2016
Barataria Recreation Ground
San Juan Jabloteh vs Ma Pau Stars—5pm
Tuesday Oct. 23, 2016
Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection vs Point Fortin Civic—6pm
Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia United—8pm
Teams at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday
Ma Pau Stars: 22.Glenroy Samuel (GK), 2.Carlos Edwards, 7.Kerry Daniel (10.Jerrel Britto 57th minute), 8.Adrian Noel, 9.Jason Scotland (4.Kerry Baptiste 69th minute), 11.Elton John (14.Chike Sullivan 57th minute), 16.Kareem Eastman, 17.Haydon Tinto, 19.Glenton Wolffe, 23.Anthony Wolfe (Capt.), 25.Keryn Navarro.
Unused substitutes: 1.Shane Mattis (GK), 6.Neil Mitchell, 12.Sayid Freitas, 20.Quincy Charles.
Coach: Ross Russell
St. Ann’s Rangers: 1.Cleon John (GK), 5.Devon Drayton, 6.Dylon King, 7.Sedale Mc Lean, 8.Jameel Antoine (Capt.), 10.Devon Modeste (Red Card), 11.Kazim Donald (9.Jomoul Francois 56th minute), 19.Tafari Williams (32.Marvin Lee 72nd minute), 20.Kareem Baptiste, 30.Lester Durham, 33.Osaze Springer.
Unused substitutes: 17.Francis Rojas, 22.Christopher Biggette (GK), 44.Dyllon Lara.
Coach: Anthony Streete
Referee: Kevin Smart (Dennis Changiah 66th minute)
Assistant Referee 1: Joseph Bertrand
Assistant Referee 2: Nicholas Augustus
Fourth Official: Dennis Changiah (Kevin Smart 66th minute)
Point Fortin Civic: 22.Miles Goodman (GK), 2.Ancil Wells, 6.Shane Garraway, 8.Akeem Redhead, 11.Shaquille Dublin, 12.Rondell Phillip, 13.Shevon Abraham, 14.Nicarlon Turton (9.Sylvester Teesdale 46th minute), 17.Kestwin Goolie (4.Keron Neptune 72nd minute), 20.Jamille Boatswain, 23.Shaquille Stewart (99.Tereek Joseph 75th minute).
Unused substitutes: 16.Tyrell Johnson, 21.Callum Marshall, 24.Austin Hernandez, (GK), 40.Tevin Moore
Coach: Dick Furlonge
Police FC: 18.Adrian Foncette (GK), 3.Ryan O’Neil (23.Micah Lewis 56th minute), 6.Jibri Mc David, 10.Kareem Freitas (14.Kaaron Foster 26th minute), 12.Kareem Riley, 16.Keion Wilson (39.Joshua Leach 22th minute), 19.Christon Thomas, 20.Elijah Belgrave, 21.Todd Ryan (Capt.), 25.Kenaz Williams, 38.Nequan Caruth.
Unused substitutes: 5.Anton Hutchinson, 17.Dexter Alleyne, 22.Theon Browne (GK), 29.Kadeem Hutchinson.
Coach: Richard Hood
Referee: Rashby Mc Phie
Assistant Referee 1: Ainsley Rochard
Assistant Referee 2: Kyle Carabon
Fourth Official: Dave Daniel