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W Connection takes Pro lead

Published: 
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Neil Benjamin Jr netted a hat-trick to lead W Connection past MIC-IT St Ann’s Rangers 5-1 and back atop the 2017 T&T Pro League ten-team standings yesterday.

Benjamin opened the scoring at St Augustine Secondary School Ground, Warren Street in the 18th minute, but within a minute Rangers drew level through Xae Pierre Du Four as both teams went into the half-time interval even. Isaiah Hudson restored W Connection’s lead in the 61st minute while Benjamin got his second in the 70th for a 3-1 lead followed by an 80th minute Jameel Antoine item with ten minutes left for a 4-1 advantage. Benjamin then completed his hat-trick in the 84th for his league-best seventh of the campaign while guiding his club back to the table top as well, ahead of Club Sando on goal-dfference while North East Stars which began the day in top spot slipped to third with 16 points.

On Friday night, Stars fell to a shock 1-0 loss away to Pt Fortin Civic while Club Sando edged Morvant Caledonia United by a similar scoreline in the first match of a double-header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

Down at Mahaica Oval, Civic punished Stars on a spill by goalkeeper Akel Clarke in stoppage time with Kevin Moodie, hitting in the loose ball from close up to snap the visitors unbeaten run of six games, while improving their own run to five games unbeaten, the last two ending in wins. The result moved Civic two spots up into seventh with nine points, joining three-time holders Central FC and Defence Force, who rallied late to hold ten-man Police FC to a 2-2 draw in the first game at Mucurapo.

Club Sando, coached by Angus Eve is now undefeated in their last seven games with five of them ending in wins, the latest a revenge result over Morvant Caledonia who had beaten them at the start of the season. Eve had five former Morvant Caledonia players in his artillery-Akim Armstrong, Nical Stephens and Tyrone Charles in the starting line-up and Joel Leslie Russell and Keyon Edwards off the bench. But it took a single strike to put Club Sando back on winning ways against a side they had beaten six out of seven times in all competitions, dating back to the southerners’ debut 2015/16 season at the top flight.

Cornwall’s strike on goal from just inside the area took deflection to beat goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel and Club Sando were in front. The item was recorded by referee Crystal Sobers as an own goal.

Earlier on the night Reon Moore, however, grabbed his third goal of the season with a solid drive past Police FC goalkeeper Adrian Foncette to put his Defence Force side 1-0 ahead after 27 minutes. But a sublime strike from Police midfielder Kareem Perry and into the far netting of Andre Marchan’s net nine minutes later on the other end, off a headed clearance, from the top right of the box, pulled Police level at 1-1.

The Lawmen were fired up in the oldest rivalry of T&T but it wasn’t until the 58th minute that coach Richard Hood’s players took a 2-1 advantage through striker Kareem Freitas. Freitas fired powerfully past a Marchan from close range at the end of a quick move initiated by Foncette’s long feed from the opposite end.

Ten minutes later Freitas had another attempt cleared out by defender Curtis Gonzales after goalkeeper Marchan spilled into the path of the speedy Police forward in the middle of the area. But Freitas, who had earlier entered referee Rashby Mc Phie’s bad book for time wasting, was shown his second yellow card in less than a ten-minute span and the eventual red for what was deemed, by the official, a dive in the Defence Force area 15 minutes from time.

However Defence Force stormed back with coach Marvin Gordon calling on his big guns, Devorn Jorsling, Jerwyn Balthazar and Hashim Arcia, off the bench and they found the equaliser through veteran Balthazar seven minutes from time. The crafty midfielder drilled a low rebound past a hapless Foncette, who had made back-to-back saves to twice deny Hashim Arcia to earn his team a share of the points.

RESULTS

Tuesday: Barataria Oval

San Juan Jabloteh