Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA produced a scintillating performance against a familiar foe last night as the “Eastern Stallions” spanked Defence Force 4-2 in Digicel Pro League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
Caledonia found room for a quartet of offensive midfielders in its starting line-up—Conrod Smith, Ataullah Guerra, Densill Theobald and Keyon Edwards—and it resulted in some sumptuous football as the army/coast guard combination looked on the verge of embarrassment at times.
But Defence Force possesses two formidable strikers too and Devorn Jorsling and Richard Roy scored one goal apiece as the “Teteron Boys” also contributed to an exciting outing.
The excitement started early although from an unusual source as a flare-up between a spectator and a security guard near the players’ tunnel caused a 15-minute delay to kick off. The patron involved is not known to have any involvement with either Pro League team.
But Smith, who started as a lone striker, brought attention back to the game with a wallop into the corner after 17 minutes for the opening goal following a give-and-go with Guerra.
Ten minutes later, Smith returned the favour with a low cross that Guerra neatly steered home to put Caledonia two goals clear.
Comprehensively outplayed in the first half, Defence Force threatened a recover after the interval as Roy smashed an angled drive past Caledonia custodian Glenroy Samuel at his near post in the 54th minute after a lobbed pass from Jorsling.
But Caledonia responded with two more well taken goals from Theobald and substitute Jamal Gay to put the game to bed well before the final whistle.
Theobald ghosted in the box to collect a clever pass from captain Stephan David and elegantly place into the far corner with his left boot in one flowing move in the 79th minute. And, four minutes later, Gay drove home Caledonia’s fourth from just outside the 18-yard box after a build-up involving another substitute Trevin Caesar and left back Aubrey David.
Jorsling, who spent last season at Caledonia, added some respectability to the score summary with a successful penalty kick in the 85th minute after defender Kemron Purcell inexplicably handled a cross from Defence Force substitute Ross Russell Jr.
But the final whistle confirmed Caledonia’s first League win this season while the manner in which it was executed arguably set a marker for its top flight opponents.
Caledonia AIA: 33.Glenroy Samuel; 12.Kareem Joseph, 3.Nuru Muhammad, 24.Kemron Purcell, 2.Aubrey David; 7.Stephan David (capt); 9.Keyon Edwards, 25.Ataullah Guerra (6.Trevin Caesar 81), 21.Densill Theobald (28.Sheldon Holder 86), 27.Nathan Lewis; 10.Conrod Smith (23.Jamal Gay 70).
Coach Jamaal Shabazz
Defence Force: 1.Kevin Graham; 14.Cory Rivers (capt), 20.Rodell Elcock, 5.Devin Jordan, 23.Christian Baptiste; 24.Jahvon Neptune (17.Ross Russell Jr 66), 19.Dexter Pacheco (8.Curtis Gonzales 46), 18.Sean Narcis (29.Jemel Sebro 82), 11.Kevon Carter; 9.Richard Roy; 10.Devorn Jorsling.
Coach Ross Russell
Digicel Pro League
(Fri Oct 26)
W Connection 1 (Shahdon Winchester 51, Rennie Britto 83), St Ann’s Rangers 1 (Elijah Belgrave 42) at Hasely Crawford
Referee Gyasi McDonald
Cautions: Cecil Jeffrey (Rangers), Gerrard Williams (W Connection)
Caledonia AIA 4 (Conrod Smith 17, Ataullah Guerra 27, Densill Theobald 79, Jamal Gay 83), Defence Force 2 (Richard Roy 54, Devorn Jorsling 85) at Hasely Crawford
Referee Gordon Maloney
Cautions: Jahvon Neptune (D/Force)[standings league_id=1 template=extend logo=true]