Civic spank Jabloteh 5-1; Police holds off gritty effort by Ron La Forest’s Rangers in 4-3 thriller

  • Boatswain double helps Civic move into third on DPL standings

  • New Rangers coach Ron La Forest wants to instil ‘football discipline’

Point Fortin Civic forward Jamille Boatswain (pictured against St. Ann's Rangers earlier this season) scored twice during a 5-1 Digicel Pro League win over San Juan Jabloteh on March 11, 2015

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Marvin Lee Stadium, MACOYA – Excitement erupted on Wednesday night as Point Fortin Civic whipped Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh 5-1 to move into third position on the Digicel Pro League 2014-2015 standings, but not before Police FC needed a Makesi Lewis second half double to hold off cellar-placed St. Ann’s Rangers 4-3.

With the result, Civic (9-3-7, 30 points) hurdled North East Stars (9-3-7, 30 points) – 2-0 losers against second positioned and defending champions DIRECTV W Connection (11-4-3, 37 points) on Tuesday – by goal difference to move into the top three, twelve (12) points adrift of leaders Central FC (13-3-3, 42 points).

Jabloteh and Police, both with 7-5-7, 26 points, are only separated by goal difference as they maintain sixth and seventh places respectively, while Rangers (0-1-18, 1 point) are bottom the table with just one point.

In the opening match of the double header – which wrapped up the Round Three Match Day Three fixtures of this season’s DPL – Rangers, led by debuting coach Ron La Forest, gave an impressive account of themselves in the first half, equalising twice against the “Lawmen”.

“[Our players] are in a slump right now; dead last,” said La Forest, a former Trinidad and Tobago international and former coach at Jabloteh, Joe Public, the now defunct Ma Pau SC, and Guaya United. “So we would want to at least put some points on the board so that [our] players can start to feel like humans.”

The no-nonsense coach added, “I’m here for the rest of the season for observation. Also the guys play pretty well but they lack what we call football discipline so I am trying to instil football discipline in them to get results.”

Jason Spence, who started the season as head coach, returns to his former position as team manager while former T&T and Rangers player Dean Pacheco will continue to serve as assistant coach.

Sedale Mc Lean first equalised for Rangers from close up in the 38th minute after Todd Ryan headed in the Police opener in the 6th minute of play past goalkeeper Junior Granger.

Then on a second bite of the cherry in the 40th minute Police forward Kareem Freitas restored his team’s advantage with a blast past the Rangers’ goalie but that lead only lasted one minute after a 25-yard curling free-kick by Shaquille Williams entered the upper netting of goalkeeper Adrian Foncette’s goal to send the match tied at 2-2 at the break.

Police did the necessary in the second with a double by forward Makesi Lewis, scoring in the 62nd and 66th minutes, for a two-goal cushion that Rangers were unable to match.

But credit to the bottom dwellers, they were able to pull a goal back in the 84th minute from the penalty spot with Josh Toussaint converting for a 4-3 finish after Keron Cornwall was fouled in the box.

With the win, the Richard Hood-coached Police also extended their winning run to three matches in the DPL to lead in the race for the Kevon Carter (Round Three) Trophy.

In the second match of the night, Civic, led by interim head coach and Leroy De Leon – a Trinidad and Tobago football legend – stretched their unbeaten run in the league to four matches.

De Leon’s appointment as interim head coach in February following a walkout by Reynold Carrington saw a complete turnaround by Civic, registering 6 wins, 1 draw and just 1 loss in their least eight league matches.

Civic and this season’s leading DPL scorer, forward Marcus Joseph notched his 13th goal this season with a simple tap in past Jabloteh goalkeeper Shane Mattis in the 7th minute before a Jamille Boatswain double, for his 9th and 10th league goals this season in the 29th and 45th minutes, lifted the Point Fortin club to a 3-0 advantage at the break.

Jabloteh teenaged forward and Trinidad and Tobago youth player Brent Sam reduced the deficit 1-3 in the 53rd minute with a simple finish from close up but Civic restored their three-goal advantage with a goal from team captain Andre Ettienne in the 55th minute before Steven Joseph wrapped up the 5-1 win in the 77th minute.

Jabloteh, who must face North East Stars on Sunday in the semi-final round of the TTFA FA Trophy, will meet the Sangre Grande club again on Tuesday in Round Three Match Day Four of the DPL from 9 pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, following 7 pm kick-off between Defence Force and Caledonia AIA at the Port of Spain venue.

Also on Tuesday, Rangers will meet W Connection from 4 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium, and simultaneously at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Central FC must take on Police FC.

But before Tuesday’s league fixtures, Couva rivals Central FC and W Connection must first tackle each other on Sunday in the FA Trophy, in a repeat of last season’s final, for a place in the 2015 final.

Digicel Pro League 2014-2015
Round Three Match Day Three results
Wednesday 11 March 2015

St. Ann’s Rangers 3 (Sedale McLean 38’, Shaquille Williams 41’, Josh Toussaint 84’ penalty) vs Police FC 4 (Todd Ryan 7’, Kareem Freitas 40’, Makesi Lewis 62’, 66’)

San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Brent Sam 53’) vs Point Fortin Civic 5 (Marcus Joseph 7’, Jamille Boatswain 29’, 45’, Andre Ettienne 55’, Steven Joseph 77’)

Tuesday 10 March 2015
Central FC 2 (Willis Plaza 63', Atualla Guerra 89') vs Caledonia AIA 0

W Connection 2 (Akeem Garcia 41', Hashim Arcia 84') vs North East Stars 0

Upcoming DPL matches
Round Three Match Day Four
Tuesday 17 March 2015
Larry Gomes Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs W Connection—4 pm

Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
Central FC vs Police FC—4 pm

Hasely Crawford Stadium
Defence Force vs Caledonia AIA—7 pm
San Juan Jabloteh vs North East Stars—9 pm