Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) jumped to second spot in the CNG National Super League Championship Division yesterday with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Cunupia FC at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Playing before a sparse home crowd, the “Parkites” showed their Central opponents that their skill sets were not limited to just bat and ball.
In fact, QPCC played some very attractive football in the first half and former national youth player Jason Devenish was the chief orchestrator.
The diminutive Devenish helped himself to a goal from the penalty spot in the 26th minute but on another night he could have had a hat-trick. He was a constant threat from the start of the contest and his silky dribbles and off the ball movement were too much for Cunupia right back Askhay Sooknanan.
In the second minute, Devenish cut through Cunupia’s defence like a knife through butter and then, in the fourth minute, he placed a delicate shot onto Cunupia custodian Kevin Graham’s far upright.
Parkites striker Troy Thompson was also having things his way down the left hand flank in the early going as he and Devenish combined with neat flicks and dummies. Thompson even had a goal-bound shot blocked during a goalmouth scramble in the 15th minute.
It was only a matter of time before QPCC found the back of Graham’s net and the surprise was just the manner in which it came.
In the 26th minute, Cunupia midfielder Antonio Calliste innocuously handled in the penalty area while trying to evade a clearance and referee Gregory Guevarra who promptly pointed to the spot.
“Dangerous Devenish” stepped up to the plate and dispatched the penalty with some aplomb; it was no more than the midfielder deserved.
If Devenish’s match was going like a fairytale then Calliste’s was a total nightmare, as the midfielder was replaced seven minutes after costing Cunupia a penalty.
And, while the visitors could barely establish any rhythm in the first half, their hosts moved the ball sweetly across the lush Oval playing field.
The Parkites’ second item came in the 38th minute as Benedict Barrett picked out his strike partner Thompson with a beautiful angled pass from the right flank, which eluded the reach of an onrushing Graham. Thompson kept his composure and coolly applied the finishing touch.
Queen’s Park was not as dominant or as fluid thereafter, though. And, as the Cunupia team desperately tried to claw themselves back in the contest, Parkites coach Shawn Cooper feverishly urged his troops to maintain possession in the latter stages of the first half.
“At 2-nil, everyone in football knows that it is not a (secure) lead,” Cooper told Wired868. “I thought the team started to get a bit more into the game and we were a bit loose in our ball possession. So I wanted us to get back control of the ball in the key areas.”
QPCC rarely looked troubled in the second half as Cunupia’s final ball was often wayward. And the most worrying moment for Cooper and his coaching staff might have been when central defender David Campbell took a boot to the face, midway through the second half.
Dreadlocked Cunupia skipper Dillon Walker tried his best to be a thorn in the Parkites’ skin, as he rallied his teammates by way of encouragement and example. But his fight and grit did not transfer to his teammates last night.
A 66th minute free-kick by midfielder Lester Joseph was the closest Cunupia came to beating a largely untroubled QPCC goalkeeper Nicholas Dick in the second half. And the Central Zone unit all but gave up the ghost when Queen’s Park substitute Jerome Charles slotted home from close range in the 78th minute, after some more smart play by Barrett on the wing.
A satisfied but subdued Cooper applauded his team’s display and also endorsed playmaker Devenish, who was truly unplayable on the night.
“I think Devenish is comfortable at this level because of his commitments off the field,” said Cooper, “but players like those are always handy to have because they can break down the opposition. I think we need more Devenish-type players in Trinidad and Tobago football.”
QPCC (4-4-2): 1.Nicholas Dick (GK); 21.Alex Knaggs, 6.Chad De Freitas, 5.David Campbell, 3.Jovan Marshall; 11.Mikhail Walters-Dindial, 14.Ryan De Silva, 4.Mikhail Awai (captain), 10.Jason Devenish (13.Kishan Geelal 90+1); 9.Benedict Barrett (23.Abiola Clarence 80), 7.Troy Thompson (19.Jerome Charles 68).
Unused Substitutes: 22.Matthew Jardim (GK), 17.Ross Dowden, 24.Chike Phillip, 25.Ackime Prudhomme, 30.Jeremiah Goddard.
Coach: Shawn Cooper
Cunupia FC (4-2-3-1): 13.Kevin Graham (GK); 5.Askhay Sooknanan, 2.Raymond Alleyne, 6.Dale Simon, 12.Jamal Spencer; 8.Dillon Walker (captain), 16.Owayran Osman (21.Shane Glasgow 65); 19.Antonio Calliste (17.Stevon Stoute 33), 11.Lester Joseph, 25.Andrew Tinto (23.Dillon Charles 46); 9.Omari Lezama.
Unused Substitutes: 1.Andy Thomas (GK), 14.Nkosi Mc Queen, 15.Kyle Mack, 18.Kascian Forde.
Coach: Michael De Four
Referee: Gregory Guevarra
Man-of-the-Match: Jason Devenish (QPCC)
CNG NSL Championship Division Results
(Tuesday September 8)
Xtra Foods Chaguanas FC 2 (Kareem Beckles 10, 23), UTT 0, New Settlement Ground, Chaguanas;
QPCC FC 3 (Jason Devenish 26 pen, Troy Thompson 38, Jerome Charles 78), Cunupia FC 0, Queen’s Park Oval;
Petit Valley United FC 2 (Jabari Carasquero 14, Karamo Samuel 19), Barrackpore United SC 0, Northern Recreation Ground, Diego Martin;
Saddle Hill Hotspur 1 (Hector Sam 67), Malabar FC 3 (Mikheil Peters 8, 48, 73), Hasely Crawford Stadium training field;
Edinburgh 500 FC 0, Prisons FC 2 (Curtis Carrington 76, Roland Walcott 80), Edinburgh 500 Recreation Ground.
(Sunday September 13)
Defence Force FC v Siparia Spurs, Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground, 4 pm;
Club Sando Moruga v Bethel United, Grand Chemin Recreation Ground, 4 pm;
Marabella Family CC v NLCB La Horquetta SA, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, 4 pm;
FC Santa Rosa v Guaya United, Marvin Lee Stadium, 4 pm;
Police FC v Matura ReUnited, St James Barracks, 4 pm;
Stokely Vale FC v Real Maracas FC, Plymouth Recreation Ground, 5 pm;
1976 FC Phoenix v Petrotrin Palo Seco, Canaan Recreation Ground, 5 pm;
(Tuesday September 15)
Prisons FC v Saddle Hill Hotspur, YTC, Arouca, 4.15 pm;
Barrackpore Utd v UTT, Barrackpore Recreation Ground, 7 pm;
Cunupia FC v Petit Valley Utd, Edinburgh 500 Recreation Ground, 7 pm;
Malabar FC v QPCC, D’Abadie Recreation Ground, 7 pm;
X/Foods Chaguanas FC v Edinburgh 500, New Settlement Ground, Chaguanas, 7 pm.