With all to play for in the Luacozade Big Six, Caledonia AIA caused a mini upset when they beat North East Stars 1-0 in the second game of a Big Six double header at the Ato Boldon stadium, Couva on Saturday.
With North East having beaten league leaders Joe Public in their first Big Six game and Caledonia holding League giants W Connection to a 1-1 draw, local football fans were expecting a cracker. Though the game lacked goalmouth action and scoring opportunities, the two teams did not disappoint—but it was substitute Hayden Tinto’s spectacular 2nd half effort that made the difference,.
Both teams took a while to settle, it was North East who would have the first chance at goal when in the 14th minute Kenwin Matthew hit over bar after a good build-up started by Kevin Jeffrey.
The game was reduced to a battle for control for the midfield and it was a whole ten minutes before another goal scoring opportunity was created, this time by Caledonia, but Leslie Holligan shot over bar after a patient build-up.
Two minutes later Stokely Mason hit wide after being sent through by Kevin Jeffrey.
In the 35th minute Caledonia’s Shawn Bishop shot wide from 40 yards out and in the 40th Kendall Jagdeosingh did the same from outside the 18 yards box. North East’s Walter Moore should have done better in the 43rd but he shot straight at keeper Jhonny Ortiz Cardona when gifted the ball by the Caledonia defence.
The second half started much like the first neither team able to gain dominance over the other but it was Caledonia who would have the chance of the half when in the 50th minute recently recalled national midfielder Denzill Theobald hit overbar from on top the 18 yard box.
The game again settled down to a midfield battle when in the 70th minute Caledonia’s coach Jamaal Shabazz showed a piece of genius, bringing on Hayden Tinto and Conrad Smith for Abdallah Phillips and Kendall Jagdeosingh respectively.
It was only three minutes later that the move was to pay dividends, with spectators already beginning to settle for a 0-0 result. The two substitutes combined with telling effect, Conrad Smith delivering a perfect right-sided corner that was spectacularly turned in with an overhead kick by Hayden Tinto, 1-0 Caledonia in front.
The game came alive after that goal with North East trying hard to get the equalizer but try as they may, there was to be no way back for the Sangre Grande Boys.
The game ending 1-0 in favor of the ‘Morvant Men’ and North East Stars giving up their lead in the Big Six, they will next play W Connection on Monday hoping for a better result to keep their Big Six dream alive.
Akeno Morgan, Charles Pollard(capt), Curtis Granger(Gk), Howard Lowe, Jesse Martinez, Kayode Mc Kinnon( 76th Marc Leslie), Kenwin Matthew, Kevin Jeffrey, Stokely Mason(60th Oneke Ford), Vernon Bailey, Walter Moore(85th Keryn Navarro )
Coach: Everald Cummings
Jhonny Ortiz Cardona(gk), McKenzie Cadette, Julio Ceasr De La Rosa, Leslie Holligan, Sheldon Emmanuel(88th Marcus Ambrose), Stephan David, Shawn Bishop, Abdallah Phillips(70th Hayden Tinto), Denzill Theobald, Kendall Jagdeosingh(70th Conrad Smith), Nigel Pierre.
Goals: Hayden Tinto
Coach: Jamaal Shabazz