Game Report: Barbados vs Trinidad and Tobago

Friendly Turns To A Frenzy
by Erica Yarde-Greenidge

A FIST fight, which led to two expulsions, was the show-piece in an otherwise dull,  boring and goalless Barbados-Trinidad football international that went by the misnomer of a “friendly”.

Barbados’ captain Gregory Goodridge and Trinidad’s midfielder Shurland David were given walking tickets in the 60th minute.

Referee Sherlock Wall had already blown a foul against Trinidad when the incident occurred. But David, it seemed, could not take another Goodridge hard tackle lightly.

David had already watched his countryman, Sturley Mason, stretchered off in the 12th minute and his custodian, Clayton Ince, having to seek on-the-field attention for a few minutes all at the hands of Goodridge; and when it was his chance, he lashed out.

Goodridge was putting the ball down to take a freekick when David turned to him and punched him in the chest. Somewhat dazed, or surprised perhaps, Goodridge did not retaliate immediately but a fresh rain of blows brought out the worst in him.

However, Wall would have none of that and after a temporary halt, in which both men had refused to leave the field, he managed to calm things down.

Both men will have to miss their country’s next match. Barbados are scheduled to face Jamaica in Kingston on Tuesday, while Trinidad will be away to St. Vincent on Sunday.

Neither Trinidad and Tobago nor Barbados seemed to know the intended value of  the exercise and apart from the opening and dying minutes, they both played without enthusiasm and without imagination.

Still, it can be said, that for the first time this season fans got the chance to see Barbados confident enough to try building from the back, though nothing but a few wayward shots came out of it.

The return of sweeper Wayne Sobers to the squad seemed to have its pluses although yet again, the unit fell apart in the dying stages and was poor in marking.

Sobers, with his speed and excellent anticipation, covered the backs well and was able to neutralise the Trinidad attacks easily.

However, he seemed to be trying a bit too hard to regain favour after being expelled earlier and two attempts to nod the ball back to a somewhat lazy Adrian Chase almost proved costly.

The defence on a whole could be credited for a fairly comfortable game although Larry Alleyne had a poor one and could have been subbed. The midfield has yet to play to its true potential although there was little pressure from laid-back Trinis.

Minus eight of its professionals, Trinidad played like what they were: a bunch of Under-23 nationals against Barbados’ senior national side. Like Barbados they opted to play the ineffective long ball and were a bit carefree in the exercise.

Not a single person stood out on the night but had he scored his two counter-attacking chances, Trinidad’s midfielder Gary Glasgow certainly would have been the man. He got a chance in the last minutes of each half.

In the first, he latched on to a rebound that hit the cross bar from a Dennis Lawrence header but had his shot cleared off the line by Barbados’ right back, Jonathan Straker. In the second, Chase denied him a blast after he was left unmarked in the box.

A bit of credit must also go to Barbados midfielder Norman Forde, who provided a bit of difficulty for Trinidad’s custodian, Clayton Ince, with his two freekicks. Forde, who was returned to the central midfield, looked far more comfortable and creative there and coach Horace Beckles should take note.

Bajans hold T&T 0-0


 TRINIDAD and Tobago had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Barbados in a friendly encounter at the National Stadium, Bridge-town, on Thursday night.

 Defender Shurland David was given marching orders in the 60th minute for fighting with Barbados' captain Gregory Goodridge, who was also shown the red card.

 Reports out of Barbados indicated neither team impressed in front of 3,500 fans, but T&T came closest to scoring, through efforts by Kansas City Wizards striker, Gary Glasgow and Raith Rovers defender, Marvin Andrews.

 The big defender headed onto the crossbar from a corner and Glasgow followed, only to see his effort rebound off the woodwork as well.

 With the likes of captain Russell Latapy, Dwight Yorke and Stern John missing because of club commitments, coach Ian Porterfield opted for Glasgow and Joe Public striker Nigel Pierre up front.

 Defence Force forward Sherman "Ants" Phillip made his senior international debut, replacing Carlos Edwards in the 79th minute. The Bajans also had some good spurts during the affair.

 Crewe Alexandra, goalkeeper, Clayton Ince did well to save a powerful free kick by midfielder Norman Forde.
 Ince's opposite number Adrian Chase also had some work to do, being forced to push out Glasgow's effort one minute from full time.

 Porterfield's unbeaten run since being named coach in March, has now gone to seven. He will no doubt be hoping for an impressive victory when T&T face St Vincent and the Grenadines in another friendly at Arnos Vale, from 4 pm tomorrow. The local squad then return home to face Cuba on Tuesday and Jamaica on July 8, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

 T&T open their World Cup qualifying semifinal campaign against Canada on July 16, in Edmonton.

Trinidad & Tobago ­ Clayton Ince, Carlos Edwards (Sherwin Phillips-79th), Sherwyn Julien, Marvin Andrews,
 Dennis Lawrence, Lyndon Andrews (Brent Sancho-64th), Shurland David (red card-60th), Reynold Carrington, Stokely Mason (Kerwyn Jemmott-12th), Gary Glasgow, Nigel Pierre.