Home / Volley / Local Football / Zion breathes life into East Mucurapo; more SSFL misery for sullen St Benedict’s

Zion breathes life into East Mucurapo; more SSFL misery for sullen St Benedict’s

East Mucurapo took a massive stride towards SSFL Premier Division safety yesterday with a last gasp winner versus fellow relegation candidates St Benedict’s College to snatch a 2-1 win at Mucurapo Road.

The result saw East Mucurapo hurdle Trinity College (Moka) to 12th place in the 15-team standings with the bottom three clubs doomed to relegation.

Photo East Mucurapo midfielder Joshua Constantine (centre) shows his studs as he goes for the ball while St Benedict's College midfielder Kristoff Burkett (second from left) has second thoughts during SSFL Premier Division action at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo East Mucurapo midfielder Joshua Constantine (centre) shows his studs as he goes for the ball while St Benedict’s College midfielder Kristoff Burkett (second from left) has second thoughts during SSFL Premier Division action at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

For the southern school, it was a different story as St Benedict’s continue a remarkable slide under new coach Leonson Lewis. After finishing second last season under Dexter Cyrus, they have spent the last three rounds at rock bottom and are the only of the Premier Division’s 15 teams without a win to their name.

There was more joy elsewhere in south Trinidad, as Shiva Boys Hindu College, Naparima College and Presentation College (San Fernando) continued to set the pace.

Junior Assoon grabbed the winner for Shiva Boys in Tobago, as they edged Signal Hill 1-0 on Wednesday evening to go three points clear at the top of the table with 22 points.

Naparima, who beat Pleasantville Secondary 3-1 at home, and Presentation College (San Fernando), who roared to a 3-2 win over St Anthony’s College at Westmoorings, are both on 19 points although ‘Naps’ have played a game less.

Elsewhere, Queen’s Royal College registered their maiden win of the season as they pipped the inconsistent San Juan North Secondary 2-1 in St Clair. QRC remain 14th and firmly in the relegation zone although they would be encouraged by Fatima College’s 2-0 loss away to a St Augustine Secondary team showing signs of a slow but steady revival.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College striker Junior Assoon (left) prepares to finish as Signal Hill defender Jokiah Leacock (right) collides with his own goalkeeper during SSFL Premier Division action in Tobago on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College striker Junior Assoon (left) prepares to finish as Signal Hill defender Jokiah Leacock (right) collides with his own goalkeeper during SSFL Premier Division action in Tobago on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Fatima are 11th but just two points clear of QRC.

In yesterday’s other affair, St Mary’s College continued their run of five successive unbeaten outings as they won 1-0 away to Fyzabad Secondary, who were without coach Anthony Rougier due to internal wrangling.

St Mary’s are in fifth place at present with Fyzabad sixth.

The situation was much more dire at Fatima grounds where two relegation threatened teams faced off. And, as Zion McLeod scored the winner with virtually the last kick of the game, St Benedict’s survival hopes seemed in tatters while their goalkeeper, Jasper McLeod, was in tears.

St Benedict’s are winless after eight matches with just two points to their name and four adrift from their closest rivals, QRC. And two of their remaining six games are against Naparima and St Anthony’s.

It would take an effort of divine inspiration to see them escape from here. And, unfortunately for coach Lewis, there was no sign of anything special from the visitors on Mucurapo Road.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Judah Garcia (left) shoots for goal during SSFL Premier Division action against Signal Hill Secondary in Tobago on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College midfielder Judah Garcia (left) shoots for goal during SSFL Premier Division action against Signal Hill Secondary in Tobago on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

St Benedict’s looked nervous from the onset and the slippery field mirrored their less than assured confidence. They were weak in the tackle, second to the loose balls and could have gone behind within the first 20 minutes.

East Mucurapo frontman Kevon Edwards stole a march on the opposing defence and squared from the byline to the enterprising Zion, who, even while surrounded by three green shirted markers, slide in to connect to the cross. But his effort kissed the outside of the near post with the Benedict’s custodian stranded.

Lewis was not amused to say the least. He strode around his technical area for the entire match barking at his players to raise their game and waving his hands furiously to and fro like a steelband conductor on Panorama night.

For all of Benedict’s limitations, however, East Mucurapo were only marginally better in the first half.  The match was shaping up to be exactly what the SSFL table suggested: a tense, error prone affair between two teams struggling for form and consistency.

Lewis’ charges came out in the second half with more impetus as they tried to peg back their opponents.

Jaycee Paras, their best attacking outlet in the first half, began where he left off, as he drove at Mucurapo left back Akiel Matooram and regularly left him for dead or in a puddle on the soggy surface. But his final ball simply could not find any of his fellow attackers.

Photo: St Benedict's College midfielder Jaycee Paras (right) tries to turn on an East Mucurapo Secondary opponent during SSFL Premier Division action at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: St Benedict’s College midfielder Jaycee Paras (right) tries to turn on an East Mucurapo Secondary opponent during SSFL Premier Division action at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

For the most part, Benedict’s biggest problem was East Mucurapo’s long haired, slightly built central defender, Abdus Ramcharan, who seemed to have mastered the art of the last ditch tackle and put on an exhibition of those skills throughout the match.

Whenever Benedict’s finally thought they had a clear cut opportunity, there he was with a block, a toe poke and even an acrobatic clearance after his goalkeeper Terral Cambridge misjudged the bounce of a ball.

But, as is even the case in comic books, the hero can’t save the day all the time. Sometimes he is just that millisecond too late.

In the 64th minute, Ramcharan learnt that lesson. Shemar Ravello headed down a cross and Ramcharan was a fraction too late as Paras curled a left footed shot into the far corner.

It was only St Benedict’s fourth goal this season and the relief was palpable. But, unfortunately for their handful of fans, it was short lived.

Mucurapo were back in the game within 11 minutes after savouring an equaliser that was not of their own making. Benedict’s left back Mickel Ravello somehow scoffed the ball past his own helpless keeper after the ball was squared across the face of the visitor’s goal. Ravello was forlorn.

Photo: Signal Hill Secondary supporters cheer on their team during SSFL Premier Division action against Shiva Boys Hindu College in Tobago on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)
Photo: Signal Hill Secondary supporters cheer on their team during SSFL Premier Division action against Shiva Boys Hindu College in Tobago on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Back to square one for both teams who knew that a point would not be enough from this contest. It prompted a frantic final few minutes.

Ravello, a powerful and direct runner down the left channel, cut inside onto his right foot to let fly. Somehow, with the ball arrowing for the inside of the far corner, Cambridge miraculously clawed the shot away with his fingertips.

It proved to be a game winning save for East Mucurapo. A few seconds later, in the third minute of added on time, the host team won a corner.

The ball was floated to the far post where Zion McLeod rose like a salmon, above his taller peers, to head the ball past his sprawling namesake, Jasper McLeod, in the Benedict’s goal.

As the ball slipped off of Jesper’s glove and nestled beyond the line, there were wild celebrations from the stands: “Muco, Muco, Muco, Muco, Mu-co. Mu-co”.

East Mucurapo coach Dale Saunders was jubilant.

Photo: East Mucurapo Secondary attacker Zion McLeod goes airborne to control the ball during SSFL Premier Division action against St Benedict's College at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: East Mucurapo Secondary attacker Zion McLeod goes airborne to control the ball during SSFL Premier Division action against St Benedict’s College at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

“The whole team was good but I want to single out one player,” Saunders told Wired868. “Zion! He scored the winner [with a] very good effort.

“He has plenty ability in the air and on the ground. He is the leading goalscorer for the school and I want to commend him for his effort today.”

Saunders hopes to avoid the relegation zone for the rest of the season.

“We have a points tally in mind [to secure safety] but we are just looking at taking one game at a time,” said Saunders. “We are looking for three points against QRC [on 12th October] as well. One game at a time.”

Whatever Lewis’ plan for St Benedict’s might be, he decided to keep it to himself. In fact, he refused to talk to Wired868 at all after the final whistle—which was a first for a SSFL coach—and complained about his portrayal in a previous article.

It was a reference to an interview in which he explained why Benedict’s players were not allowed to call him “Coachman” and other coaches should follow his lead, which was mocked by some football fans.

Photo: St Benedict's College coach Leonson Lewis points the way forward for his team during SSFL Premier Division action against East Mucurapo at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: St Benedict’s College coach Leonson Lewis points the way forward for his team during SSFL Premier Division action against East Mucurapo at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

At present, the southern school has bigger problems.

(Teams)

East Mucurapo (4-2-3-1): 30.Terral Cambridge (GK); 5.Jomokie Cassimy, 6.Akquinde Davis (C), 25.Abdus Ramcharan, 23.Akiel Matooram; 17.Darrion Jack, 8.Joshua Constantine (2.Keshawn Hutchinson); 27.Isaiah Alexander (11.Martin Tarik), 12.Jesse Williams (21.Sherlon Roberts), 22.Zion McLeod; 26.Kevon Edwards.

Unused Substitutes: 1.Joshua Davis, 4.Renaldo Prescott, 9.Jelani Ferary, 19.Nathaniel Ryan.

Coach: Dale Saunders

 

St Benedict’s College (4-5-1): 1.Jasper McLeod (GK); 11.Reul Tyson, 5.Daquon Foster, 16.Detori Boucher, 12.Mickel Ravello; 9.Jaycee Paras, 18.Kristoff Burkett, 25.Jevaughn Humphrey, 6.Caleb Gaspar, 14.Justin Cho-Foon (10.Shemar Ravello); 21.Jabari Jones (23.Micah Blackman).

Unused Substitutes: 3.Tarik Eastman, 7.Shaquille DuBoulet, 8.Vishal Gunness, 17.Russell Orie, 22.Lennard Richardson.

Coach: Leonson Lewis

 

Referee: Kern De Souza

Man of the Match: Zion McLeod

Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) winger Jordan Riley (right) takes on Naparima College midfielder Shane Sandy during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Presentation College (San Fernando) winger Jordan Riley (right) takes on Naparima College midfielder Shane Sandy during SSFL Premier Division action at Lewis Street, San Fernando on 28 September 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

SSFL Premier Division results

(Wednesday 5 October)

Signal Hill 0, Shiva Boys HC 1 (Junior Assoon) at Signal Hill;

(Thursday 6 October)

QRC 2 (Darius Dickson 20, John-Paul Rochford 88), San Juan North 1 (Renaldo Boyce 36) at QRC;

East Mucurapo 2 (Mickel Ravello OG 75, Zion McLeod 90+3), St Benedict’s College 1 (Jaycee Paras 64) at Fatima College ground;

St Anthony’s College 2 (Jaydon Prowell 10, Che Benny 65), Presentation (San F’do) 3 (James Alex Lee Yaw 18, 29, 56) at Westmoorings;

St Augustine 2 (Anthony Samuel 64, Kendell Hitlal 75), Fatima College 0 at St Augustine;

Fyzabad Secondary 0, St Mary’s College 1 (Daniel Conocchiari 67) at Fyzabad;

Naparima College 3 (Akinola Gregory 38, 66, Isaiah Lee 45), Pleasantville 1 (Anfernee Joefield 69) at Lewis Street, San F’do;

Trinity College Moka are on a Bye

 

Photo: St Mary's College attacker Justin Brooks (right) tries to hurdle a tackle during SSFL Premier Division action against Pleasantville Secondary at Serpentine Road on 10 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: St Mary’s College attacker Justin Brooks (right) tries to hurdle a tackle during SSFL Premier Division action against Pleasantville Secondary at Serpentine Road on 10 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures

(Saturday 8 October)

Trinity College Moka vs Signal Hill, 3.30pm, Moka;

Shiva Boys HC vs St Anthony’s College, 3.30pm, Penal;

Fatima College vs East Mucurapo, 3.30pm, Fatima;

Presentation San F’do vs Fyzabad Secondary, 2pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium,

St Benedict’s College vs QRC, 4pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Pleasantville vs St Augustine, 3.30pm, Pleasantville;

St Mary’s College vs Naparima College, 3.30pm, Mary’s;

San Juan North are on a Bye

Photo: QRC midfielder Keyshawn Villafana (centre) runs at St Augustine opponents during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: QRC midfielder Keyshawn Villafana (centre) runs at St Augustine opponents during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

SSFL Premier Division standings

(Tabulated as Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Shiva Boys HC    9-7-1-1-17-8-22

Naparima             8-6-1-1-16-7-19

Presentation SF 9-6-1-2-12-9-19

St Anthony’s        8-5-1-2-21-12-16

St Mary’s               9-4-3-2-11-11-15

Fyzabad Sec         9-3-2-4-16-13-11

San Juan North  9-3-2-4-16-14-11

Signal Hill             8-3-2-3-10-9-11

St Augustine        9-2-5-2-9-9-11

Pleasantville        8-2-3-3-10-14-9

Fatima College   8-2-2-4-11-14-8

East Mucurapo  8-2-1-5-10-13-7

Trinity Moka      8-2-1-5-315-7

QRC                        8-1-3-4-5-8-6

St Benedict’s      8-0-2-6-4-14-2

About Amiel Mohammed

Amiel Mohammed
Amiel Mohammed is a sports enthusiast and has worked in communications for Central FC and the Women's Premier League TT. He has also pioneered numerous projects geared towards creating opportunities for the differently abled such as the Differently-Abled Football Camp 2015 and Focus Football Coaching Academy.

Check Also

Photo: Defence Force players (from right) Jamali Garcia, Justin Garcia, Curtis Gonzales, Thurlani George, Jerwyn Balthazar, Rodell Elcock and Chris Durity react to teammate Devorn Jorsling's successful penalty kick during the Pro Bowl final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 February 2017.
Defence Force edged Central FC 5-3 on kicks from the penalty mark after a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Defence Force hurdle controversy to edge Central FC to Pro Bowl via penalty shootout

Defence Force striker Devorn “Droggy” Jorsling brought the 2016/17 season to a close with a …

86 comments

  1. Seeing my son ❤ in this pic.

  2. Ask how many St Benedict’s players from last year are now playing at NAPS and PRES.. first time Coach Leo has met a lot of the players no? Give it at least a year nah 🙂

  3. Meanwhile…Shiva Boy’s Hindu College top of the pack. Possibly their first title this year…4 more games for them.
    After this weekend they could be 6 points clear !!!

    Hope they can pull it off as they have produced some good talent and utilised players from the community and environs.

  4. From 2nd to last has to be down to the coach.

  5. So de coach wants no part of Mr live wired 😂😂😂

  6. From 2nd to last. Dexter Cyrus is the Trinidadian Pep

  7. To say SBC dying is a bit much we’ve had a mistep with our coaching change ….. easily rectified ….. Jan Steadman is and will always be a boss!!

  8. Watching Leonson struggle here, combined with Marcelle’s failure at QRC and Latas with the under 17s….i starting to think that maybe their ideas just too high for our youths to grasp. The portuguese kids might probably flourish under them

  9. Well blame the damn principal for the madness of which I also know a little bit of the story, they wanted the school to be more academic so the football program was stopped for some time my good friend and real professional Coach Jan Steadman who is also an alumini of the school was very successful until he left them and became the coach of Naparima eh and was very successful the same and this is the madness that takes place when some folks feels that they can handle the football business instead of just sticking to educating the students steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

  10. I remember in intercol days when SBC was a force to reckon with when Isa mohamed was the coach and they were feared by all now they are the laughing stock of south ,madness! coach or no coach they had a strong football history and now it’s dying

  11. Well I guess the bootleg Coachman won’t be playing for Mr. Live Wire team at his football festival in January 2017. Them really good yes

    • Mango. Yuh have me choking on meh breakfast.. lol

    • Yeah anytime meh friend Mr. Live Wire want to expose them eh, they never return to the football festival eh, from the ex Mayor/ PNM treasurer eh, well I am hoping that my dictator president doesn’t fall in that category eh, and all the others need to stop the madness and just needs to handle the TRUTH steeuuppss. Them really good

    • Immature and egotistical peeps everywhere man

    • Well if they stop their corrupted and lying ways eh Mr Live Wire will always write good things about what they are doing and they can always get good advice from himself and also the members of wired 868 they just need to read everyday and get some wisdom and satire like mehself because we all donot know everything and as the saying goes. “Each one teach one” but you is so very right a bunch of egotistical peeps everywhere the problem with the Coachman like a few others eh, they feel because that they represented our sweet country and played professionally abroad and at home eh they can become a Coach eh, the bootleg Coachman really needs to leave the school level and open his own Coaching school if he wants to teach the little ones about discipline and for them not to call Coaches coachman eh steeuuppss Them really good yes

    • The Wired868 captain gone against yes Mango. Next thing I will get a transfer request. Lol

  12. Why does st Benedicts have to burn to learn always. Did we really have lose Coach Cyrus to realize that we would lose our best players? Where were the people in this forum opening their uninformed mouths talking about the new discipline Lewis would bring?

    • I’m one of those who said discipline is part of the equation and coaches need it. I did object to the manner in him getting it. However win, lose or draw its always necessary. …..it doesn’t become any less necessary because the coach is f****** up.

    • I understand and I agree…but my point was why was the word coach man the issue and not the fact that we were winless after two games…..but ppl here told me idk what I talking about

    • Coachman wasn’t supposed to be an issue … so it kinda highlighted trivial things he seemed to focus which is why he got some backlash on it.

    • Malik Johnson so where is the discipline in not having ur team warm down after a match ? when the game is finished , warm down/stretching is a must. your coach walk off the field left players crying on the field, who wasnt already washin off themselves or inside the dressing room gettin ready… where sir? where is d discipline in rallyin ur troops for the next battle, preparing them for anything that comes?? where sir ??? where was it ?? in portugal??

    • Dude I agree with yuh but if this is what going down … we would have never known until he got the opportunity …… not every great player can be a great coach. Leo it would seem clearly isn’t. …..

    • i was there!!! i not puttin water in meh mouth in describing what i saw …. but yuh know wah he check sure at the end of the month so he really dont care bout nothing after that!!!!!

  13. When ah team fails as badly as this …everyone needs to be looked at ….management, players, coaches!!
    What I’m waiting for is his approach …it’ll show his character. ….will he blame the kids (mourinho style) or take it upon himself (wenger …conte style) ….ah waitin …. impatiently ….

  14. Little Jack Horner will b sitting in his corner sarcastically whistling ……. occasionally bursting into a cartoon villain’s laugh with his fired self

  15. Shades of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 7 year refusal to speak to the BBC Lasana Liburd lol. What’s the word on the ground regarding Benedict’s remarkable slide? Poor prep? Players adjusting to the coach’s philosophy? Backlash from Wired868 story?

  16. The coach didn’t appoint himself, and deeper introspection should warrant a closer look at the entire management process of replacing the successful Cyrus.. Hard luck SBC!!!

  17. So man coach continuing with his dotishness……Stupes idk again nah Vachel ‘tallo’ Thompson WotlessOutandbadagain Mengus

  18. Leonson getting my alma mater relegated ….. f****** Clown!!!