Caledonia close in on stumbling leaders Defence Force

  Caledonia close in on stumbling leaders Defence Force Caledonia AIA’s chances of lifting the Digicel Pro League title this season, just got better with a crucial 1-0 win over defending champions DIRECTV W Connection at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Friday night.

A 74th minute item by Nathan Lewis coupled with the help of North East Stars, simultaneously edging leaders Defence Force 1-0 at the Marvin Lee Stadium in the second match of a double header, Caledonia with a rescheduled Round Three Match Day One match against the Stars on Wednesday from 6pm at the same Couva venue and 4 points away from the soldiers, puts a new perspective on the standings.

Defence Force, 36 points from 16 matches, were once the runaway leaders, but now has a clear view of Caledonia, 32 points from 15 games, in the rearview mirror.

Meanwhile Connection (25 points) in third and a Round Three Match Day One match in hand against Central from 8pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Wednesday, continues to slip further out of the title race.

And while the focus remains at the top; bottom of the table T&TEC FC (now 8 points) registered only its second league win of the season with a 2-0 score over seventh positioned St. Ann’s Rangers (10 points) with early and late items from Sylvester Teesdale (5th minute) and Tigana Sparks (90th minute).

Defence Force, however, failed to keep its foot on the gas, as a 16th minute goal by Stars’ forward Cornell Glen turned out the winner, a contrast to Central FC’s 4-2  win over Police FC in the earlier match of the Macoya double header.

Central temporarily had a sniff of third position with its 22 points, until North East Stars retained the position with its 24 points, dropping the ‘Sharks’ back into fourth.

After creating problems for Defence Force second choice goalie Sheldon Clarke, Glen barged in the winner from close up, spoiling an attempted clearance by defender Devin Jordan who was later whisked away by the Defence Force ambulance following a face injury picked up in the second half.

Despite opting to absorb raids after raids by the soldiers, and special credit to a sterling performance by Elton John at the back, the Stars made it a miserable night for Defence Force goalkeeper, Clarke.

Three minutes prior to Glen’s item, Stars’ Jamaican midfielder Keithy Simpson controlled a deep Kennedy Hinkson cross, beating the offside, but lofted his effort over the crossbar in attempt to beat Clarke.

And a quick release to Glen in the 33rd minute by Keryn Navarro forced Clarke into action again to produce a good stop against the Stars go-to man.

  Caledonia close in on stumbling leaders Defence Force Clarke made another shutout seven minutes before the break, denying Simpson again following a sequence of passes from Jayson Joseph and Navarro. And on the hour mark Simpson was blanked again by the Defence Force goalie.

Defence Force also had their chances, but couldn’t get past its former employee, Cleon John in the 52nd minute through a Jemel Sebro effort and in the 76th minute from a substitute Ross Russell Jr. header off Corey Rivers freekick.

The Soldiers’ best clear cut chance was wasted high overbar by substitute Richard Roy after he was picked out inside the six yard area by Rivers, and in the 83rd minute Clarke—deserving of praise—pulled off yet another save against Kerry Baptiste.

Full Digicel Pro League Round Three Match Day Two results
T&TEC FC 2—0 St. Ann’s Rangers
Sylvester Teesdale 5’, Tigana Sparks 90’

Central FC 4—2 Police FC
Anthony Wolfe 12’, Peter Byers 23’, 34’, Marvin Oliver 26’(pen)  ;  Jameel Perry 29’, Todd Ryan 52’(pen)

Defence Force 0—1 North East Stars
Cornell Glen 16’

Caledonia AIA 1—0 W Connection
Nathan Lewis 74’

Defence Force—Sheldon Clarke(gk), Corey Rivers(capt.), Keston Williams, Devin Jordan(Glynn Franklyn 58th minute), Curtis Gonzales(Yellow Card), Devorn Jorsling, Kevon Carter, Jerwyn Balthazar, Sean Narcis(Richard Roy 58th minute), Rodell Elcock, Jemel Sebro(Ross Russell Jr. 73rd minute)

Coach—Ross Russell

North East Stars—Cleon John(gk)(capt.), Kevon Villaroel, Elijah Manners, Elton John, Cornell Glen(Neveal Hackshaw 88th minute), Jayson Joseph(Kaashif Thomas 76th minute), Glenton Wolfe(Yellow Card), Kennedy Hinkson, Keryn Navarro, Keithy Simpson, Marcus Gomez(Kerry Baptiste 68th minute)

Coach—Angus Eve