Belgrave snatches late winner for 10-man Police as Central loses at home

Police FC defender Elijah Belgrave, airborne, punches into the air as he celebrates with teammate Dexter Alleyne, right, and coach Richard Hood during a Digicel Pro League (DPL) match last season. On Sunday Belgrave scored a stoppage-time winner to beat Central FC 3-2 at Gilbert Park in Couva in their Round One Match Day Four clash of the 2014-2015 DPL.
Sunday 9 November 2014
Elijah Belgrave ruined Central FC’s maiden show at Gilbert Park in Couva on Sunday when he scored a stoppage-time winner to lift 10-man Police FC 3-2 over the side that defeated them in the semi-final round of last month’s 2014 First Citizens Cup, which was later won by the “Couva Sharks”.

The Round One Match Day Four result propelled Police four spots up the 2014-2015 Digicel Pro League standings into third position with 7 points, joining second positioned Central one point behind leaders San Juan Jabloteh (8 points).

Belgrave, known for his ability to hit the ball powerfully from dead-ball situations, smashed a low free-kick from 21-yards out, beating the Central wall and a fully stretched Guyana national team goalkeeper Akel Clarke for the winner.

The defender's late strike handed Central its first league defeat of the season and also brought to an end an excellent comeback effort staged by the “Sharks” following a second half double by 39-year-old veteran Marvin Oliver.

But it was Police, despite losing forward Hector Sam to a direct red card in the second period, who saved themselves the embarrassment in the end after letting go of a 2-0 advantage achieved in the first half.

Coach Richard Hood's "Lawmen" went ahead in the 20th minute with a strike from forward and former Central FC player Sam before a wonder goal by midfielder Kaaron Foster on the 45th minute.

Sam netted from close-up near the back post, with the ball hitting the underside of the crossbar before landing into the back of the net, following a low Christon Thomas' cross from the right which slipped through the Central defence.

Sam then turned provider in the 40th minute but attacker Marcus Chandool, who troubled Clarke in the 13th minute, flopped on an excellent scoring opportunity when he struck his effort directly at the Central goalie from inside the area.

But then came the Foster goal following a break away from inside his own half.

Foster took the play all the way, slipping past two Central challenges, before sending a low strike under the “Sharks”’ second choice goalkeeper Clarke and into the back of the net from close range.

However both Sam, ejected in the 59th minute, and Foster, who was replaced injured in the 82nd minute, failed to battle on till Belgrave's winner came in stoppage-time.

Sam was sent off with a direct red card when referee Neal Brizan ruled dangerous play against the former Trinidad and Tobago and England-based forward after he stepped on the face of Oliver inside the Central area.

At the time Central had already reduced the deficit 1-2 after midfielder-turned-defender Oliver headed past Police second choice 'keeper Keston Mata off a Sean de Silva corner swung in from the left.

Central head coach Zoran Vranes was forced to summon Oliver out of defence and into attack, without the services of midfielders Ataulla Guerra and Leston Paul and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams who are all with the Trinidad and Tobago national team in Jamaica for the Caribbean Cup Finals along with Police first choice ‘keeper Adrian Foncette.

Central thought they had the equaliser in the 70th minute when Dwight Quintero's glancing header off Argentine substitute Miguel Romero's cross found the back of the net. But Brizan pulled the plug on the celebrations, ruling that a foul was committed by Central inside the area.

Nine minutes later Oliver was inches wide of grabbing the equaliser and his second on the night, after meeting a Kaydion Gabriel cross from the right.

But by the 83rd minute Oliver finally completed his double and leveled the scores 2-2 when he dived low to head past Mata from a Nathaniel Garcia cross.

However a free-kick awarded to "The Blues" near the end of stoppage-time was utilised fully by Belgrave as Police celebrated the late win against last season’s runners-up and the recently crowned First Citizens Cup champions.

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015
Round One Match Day Four
Saturday's result at Gilbert Park, Couva
Central FC 2 (Marvin Oliver 51', 83') vs Police FC 3 (Hector Sam 20', Kaaron Foster 45', Elijah Belgrave 90'+)

Central FC: 30. Akel Clarke (C), 19. Nathaniel Garcia, 5. Akeem Benjamin, 99. Dwight Quintero (Yellow Card), 11. Darren Mitchell, 14. Jean-Luc Rochford (Yellow Card), 15. Kaydion Gabriel, 17. Marcelle Francois, 10. Marvin Oliver (Yellow Card), 8. Sean de Silva (C), 23. Denzil Daniel (28. Miguel Romeo 54th minute)

Unused substitutes: 1. Javon Sample (GK), 18. Kevon Goddard, 3. Keion Goodridge, 9. Qian Grosvenor, 27. Shaquille Williams, 13. Seon Thomas

Coach: Zoran Vranes

Police FC: 34. Keston Mata (GK) (Yellow Card), 2. Jasimar Ashers, 9. Hector Sam (RED CARD), 19. Christon Thomas, 20. Elijah Belgrave, 21. Todd Ryan (C), 24. Jibri Mc David (Yellow Card), 10. Trent Noel (35. Kerry Frederick 28th minute), 30. Marcus Chandool, 32. Kaaron Foster (13. Elijah Roberts 82nd minute), 17. Dexter Alleyne

Unused substitutes: 29. Clevon Mc Fee, 38. Jabari Williams, 31. Theon Browne, 39. Kevin Lewis, 14. Devon Jamerson

Coach: Richard Hood