VIBE CT 105 W Connection will be pressing for
the top spot in the Professional Football League by using
returning St Lucian striker Earl Jean when they face cellar-placed Doc's Khelwalaas in a sixth round match at
Frederick Settlement, Caroni, from 4 pm today.
Jean was a force in the Connection line-up
last season before heading off to Scottish Premier League club
Hibernian on loan from the local club.
He returned to Trinidad on Sunday and coach
Stuart Charles Fevrier may just decide to give him a run today
alongside Brazilians Jose Manuel and Gefferson Goulart who have so far shouldered much of Connection
responsibilities up front. Al Ansar striker Peter Prosper, currently on loan with the Southern club will also be
pressing for some time on the field. Currently, Connection trail leaders Joe Public (10 points) on goal-difference.
Public entertain Arima Fire in another encounter at the Concacaf Centre of Excellence from 6 pm today.
The "Eastern Lions" will be favourites to take
full points with national striker Arnold Dwarika and Nigel Pierre,
coming off a beaver-trick in the previous round, in their line-up.
Elsewhere, reigning champions Defence Force (seven points), now in fifth spot, tackle Police at the Arima
Stadium from 6 pm.
Another key clash today involves third place
CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh and Courts Caledonia AIA at the
Hasely Crawford Stadium from 7 pm.
Caledonia are currently one point behind the
San Juan club.
Jabloteh may use this match to expose their new signing, St Kitts/Nevis striker Keith Gumbs. But they will play
their first game without Hector Sam who will head out to English Second Division side Wrexham in July to begin a
three year contract.
Meanwhile, the Professional League has called
up 16 players for trials to represent a PFL All Star team against
English Premiership club Newcastle United on May 19.
They are Marvin Faustin, Alejandro Figueroa, Keith Pierre, Sherwin Gomez, Dale Saunders, Kerwin Jack
(Jabloteh), Michael McComie, Kerwin Jemmot (Joe Public), Kendal Velox, George Isaac, Andre Cooper
(Caledonia AIA), Alexander Da Rosa, Colin Samuel (Doc's Khelwalaas), Elijah Joseph, Addae Rique (W
Connection), and Darril Toussaint (Arima Fire).
The talented 26-year-old forward who is already
in the country, has agreed to a one-year-deal with the former
FA Trophy champions and is likely to make his debut in Jabloteh's next Professional League match against Courts
Caledonia AIA on May 10.
Gumbs had been playing professionally in Greece prior to coming here.
He was also on the wanted lists of English
clubs Fulham, Oldham Athletic and Wimbledon but was never able to
secure a work permit.
Gumbs joins countryman Seretse Cannonier on
the Jabloteh roster which now has seven foreigners including four
Colombians and one Grenadian.
Another St Kitts striker George Isaac is currently
attached to Courts Caledonia AIA and has caught the eyes of
local fans with his stylish approach. Seretse and Isaac had been on trial at Oldham two years ago but were not
granted permits. Gumbs and Isaac were also part of the Caribbean All Star team which defeated Jamaica in an
exhibition game in 1998.
THE chances were plentiful but they failed to produce any goals.
And in the goalless game at the João
Havelange Centre of Excellence Friday night, Kelvin Jack's heroics between
the uprights earned Doc's Khelwaalas their first point of the season against CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh.
The point Jabloteh secured was enough to keep
them atop the 2000 Professional Football League standings. But
had Jack and their strikers Hector Sam and Ralston James co-operated, Jabloteh's advantage over the rest of
PFL teams would have been three points.
Jack's first save came from one of two goodish chances captain Dale Saunders and company had in the first half.
Stephan David pounced onto a ball that was
slipped to him at the top right-hand side of the penalty area and
side-footed a shot goalwards. Jack reacted quickly enough to push the shot to safety.
As early as the first minute, though, Sam had
failed to shoot into an open net after Jack dived bravely at James's
feet to stop the initial attempt.
But it was in the second period that Jack was
given more work to do by the attacking Jabloteh team.
James with a close-range effort? No problem.
Substitute Sherwin Gomez bursts down the right
side and shoots on goal? The Khelwaalas goalkeeper proves
equal to it, parrying it out of harm's way. Temporarily.
So the rebound falls kindly to Gomez again?
Jack is not called on to intervene as he crashes his shot against the
crossbar, the rebound finding Otis Seaton at the top of the box.
Seaton's blast had Jack flinging himself from one post to the next to stop the shot.
Substitute Jerson Peñaranda, one of
coach Ron la Forest's Colombian importees, also found Jack impassable.
And so did Saunders.
Frustratingly for Jabloteh, referee Noel Bynoe
put an end to the contest. Jack, it could be said, made them settle
for a draw.
With four teams just one point behind Jabloteh, their lead could be short-lived.
In a crucial game at Palo Seco from 6 p.m.
today, Vibe CT W Connection will be challenging the inspired
If the result is a draw, both teams would join
Saunders and his men on eight points. But if there is a positive result
for either side, they would take sole possession of the lead.
The other two teams on seven points, Police
and Joe Public, will meet at the Centre of Excellence. Their game will
be preceded by the Team 2001 and Martinique clash at 1.30 p.m..
And Arima Fire, on six points, will be at home
to last year's champions Defence Force at 6 p.m. at the Arima
YOUNG national striker Nigel "Crock" Pierre
went on a scoring splurge yesterday, hitting the first beaver trick of
the season to spur Joe Public to a 5-1 thrashing of Police in a Professional League fifth round game at Concacaf
Centre of Excellence, Macoya.
That result effectively put Joe Public on the
top of the standings, level with 10 points and a plus five goal difference
with Vibe CT 105 W Connection, but they hold the edge having scored a goal more.
Connection completed a hard fought 2-0 victory
over Courts Caledonia AIA at Industry Park, Palo Seco.
Brazilian Jefferson Goulart opened the scoring in the 26th minute and St Lucian Alvin Xavier, a second half
substitute, got the second goal seven minutes from the end.
Reigning champions Defence Force also tasted
victory yesterday, outing Arima Fire 3-0 at Arima Municipal
Stadium. National under 23 striker Jason Scotland, former national Dean Pacheco and Russell Pope were the
soldiers hitting the mark.
At Macoya, the homesters enjoyed better possession
but had to wait until the 30th minute before giving about
450 fans something to make noise about.
Pierre, who would have been campaigning with
English Second Division club Bristol Rovers had it not been for
work permit problems, set the pace for the "Eastern Lions".
National player Sherwyn Julien picked out Arnold Dwarika on the right flank before he centred for an onrushing
Pierre to stab home past goalkeeper Ryan Edwards.
The lawmen were without 'keeper Raymond Hernandez,
who was enjoying good form previously but sat out for
the national custodian. Their fans were left wondering whether Hernandez's presence would have made a
For Pierre and company that didn't matter.
A minute after the half time interval, Pierre
collected an Alvin Thomas pass and raced goalwards before shooting
past Edwards for the second goal.
Police who had scored two previous victories never had their opponents under any serious pressure before the
closing stages but by then it was obviously too late.
Dwarika netted his fourth of the season, heading home a Stokely Mason right side cross in the 52nd minute.
Nine minutes later Pierre combined well with
Dwarika and went for goal from the top of the 18-yard box, leaving
Edwards to make yet another retrieve from behind the goal line.
The lawmen were not prepared to go down scoreless and pulled one back in the 70th minute through Sean
McCleishie's volley past 'keeper Michael McComie.
A minute from time, Pierre completed the rout
with an effort from inside the box.
PFL action takes a break until May 10 because of this country's 2002 World Cup qualifying game against Haiti
Sunday at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
IT took substitute Marc Borde just three minutes
to score the game winner to see Joe Public past CT 105 W
Connection on Wednesday night at Industry Park, Palo Seco.
Borde came on in the 65th minute of the Professional
Football League game and by the 68th his team were
ahead-to stay. Borde raced in alone down the left flank, collected a lobbed pass from Arnold Dwarika at the top
of the area and squeezed a bullet between Connection keeper Anthony Clarke and the near post.
It was a result that was somewhat surprising since WCFC were still unbeaten after three rounds of the
competition and were playing their first home game. But it was clear from the outset that the Eastern Lions
intended to tarnish their hosts' record.
Colvin Hutchinson almost opened the scoring
against his former club, but his attempt from the edge of the six-yard
box sailed safely over the WCFC citadel. Then Dwarika had a crack on goal after he won the ball in a battle with
Clarke. Clarke was able to paw the ball away to deny the dreadlocked forward.
WCFC skipper Reynold Carrington was the first
to test Michael Mc Comie in the Joe Public goal, but his
right-footed volley just missed the upright. Then the skipper turned provider, setting up former lion Fabiano
Agripino with a beautifulpass but Mc Comie had no trouble holding on to the forward's powder-puff.
Connection's top goal-scorer, José María
Manoel, missed two fairly easy chances to puit his team ahead before
the interval and the teams went in goalless at the half.
The Brazilians continued to miss the mark early
in the second half, and a Manoel header that rocked the upright in
the 55th minute provoked this gem from an irate fan: "At least last year when ah get vex a coulda call dey name!"
The miss seemed to wake Joe Public, and Stokely
Mason found himself with a clear shot on goal but Clarke was
equal to the task.
Minutes after Borde beat him to open the scoring,
Clarke had to fling hemself at full stretch to stop Pierre from
doubling the score. That was the last footballing moment of note in the game as a series of stoppages and three
yellow cards stopped the flow of the game in the half-an-hour that remained.
Joe Public defender Sherwin Julien, Ronaldo
Viana of WCFC and Dwarika all were involved in incidents that
required the intervention of referee Neal Brizan.
With five minutes to go, former Connection
defender Derek King was hacked down in full flight as he advanced
upfield and the young defender had to be carted off the field, right foot elevated, and a painful grimace on his face.
The fans must be hoping that when WCFC return
to Palo Seco on Sunday against Caledonia AIA, there will be
an appreciable improvement in the quality of the play.
By SHAUN FUENTES
CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh hold the edge
over four other teams on goal difference to lead the Professional
Football League standings following Wednesday's fourth round games.
Jabloteh spurred on by goals by national striker
Hector Sam, Ralston James and Kerwin Jack overcame Arima
Fire 3-0 at the Arima Stadium to move to seven points.
They will hope for a similar result when they
come up against Doc's Khelwalaas in the lone match at Concacaf
Centre of Excellence, Macoya from 7 pm tonight.
Previous leaders Vibe CT 105 W Connection succumbed
to Marc Borde's 67th minute item as Joe Public moved
to seven points after the 1-0 victory at Industry Park, Palo Seco.
Caledonia stand third ahead of Police by having scored more goals after completing an impressive 2-1 win over
the lawmen at Macoya.
Before an appreciative crowd, Police were forced
on the defensive during the early stages.
Trevor Puckerin almost gave Caledonia the lead after 21 minutes when his flick-on header from a right side cross
was cleared on the line by defender Dwight Elliot.
Despite the early pressure, the lawmen drew
Neri Joseph shot straight at advancing goalkeeper Donovan Thomas but in an attempt to gather the loose ball, the
Jamaican born 'keeper brought Joseph to the ground.
Alvin Boisson had followed up to shoot home
but referee Cassie Moore ordered a penalty instead.
Nevertheless, Shawn David stepped up to convert.
Caledonia continued to press but the men in
blue held on until the half-time interval.
St Lucian striker George Isaac and national defender Shurland David had efforts denied by Police 'keeper
Raymond Hernandez, who also came up big on a few other occasions to keep his side in the match.
On 49 minutes, Isaac collected on the edge
of the 18-yard box to hit home and Vincentian Emerson Jean Marie
met Garth Burgess' right side cross to convert from close range in the 75th.