DIRECTV W Connection recorded its second straight clean sheet last night. So there was no sign yet of a flutter in the team’s performances following coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s decision to axe captain and custodian Jan-Michael Williams.
It is upfront that Connection’s problems lie as the “Savonetta Boys” produced another largely sterile showing in the offensive third in a goalless stalemate against Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
At present, Connection’s tally of 15 goals from eight matches flatters the Couva-based squad. If one ignores a 7-0 romp against T&TEC FC last November, Charles-Fevrier’s men have scored just eight times from their remaining seven outings.
It is a miserly return from a team that has five strikers with international experience on its books.
Even more worrying is the shortage of chances.
Jerrel Britto had two half-chances off crosses from Kern Cupid and Neil Benjamin in the first half and, on both occasions, his attempted headers lacked conviction and technique and did not trouble Caledonia custodian Glenroy Samuel.
And although club owner David John Williams felt his team was superior on the night, Connection created only one clear chance, which fell to substitute Joevin Jones in the 78th minute after a low Shahdon Winchester cross.
Jones shot too close to Caledonia goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel and then dragged the rebound wide at the near post.
Caledonia coach Jerry Moe was happy with the point although the “Eastern Stallions” have now slipped five points behind leaders Defence Force who played one game more.
Moe made six changes to his starting team yesterday, after losing more than half of his starting team to overseas trials, while he gave debuts to three players as well including lanky 22-year-old Antiguan defender Akeem Thomas, who looked to be about six foot five.
“I was happy with our play,” said Moe. “I think we are further along than I expected considering all the new faces we had coming in.”
Connection,who was also without new captain Clyde Leon due to injury, might console itself with the fact that it had avoided a third successive defeat at the Hasely Crawford.
The Savonetta Boys conceded eight goals and scored just once on their last two trips to the capital after 5-1 and 3-0 hammerings from Defence Force. Three of their four defeats this season have come in Port of Spain.
Goalkeeper Aquelius Sylvester, who inherits the starting role after a fall-out between the Connection coach and captain, must have been relieved.
Connection returns to Marabella next Friday where the defending champions will host second-from-bottom St Ann’s Rangers. If the Savonetta Boys have any title aspirations, they must provide evidence then.
Caledonia (4-4-2): 33.Glenroy Samuel; 12.Kareem Joseph, 20.Akeem Thomas, 4.Colin Nelson, 2.Aubrey David; 11.Abdallah Phillip (17.Akim Armstrong 81), 9.Keyon Edwards, 7.Stephan David (captain), 27.Nathan Lewis (26.Vurlon Mills 73); 23.Jamal Gay (14.Elvis Thomas 63), 6.Trevin Caesar.
Unused substitutes: 1.Shemel Louison, 18.Sherron Joseph, 19.Nical Stephens, 30.Qian Grosvenor.
Coach: Jerry Moe
W Connection (4-2-1-3): 22.Aquelius Sylvester; 13.Kern Cupid, 4.Daneil Cyrus, 5.Elijah Joseph, 32.Kurt Frederick; 12.Gerrard Williams, 20.Silvio Spann; 14.Hashim Arcia; 65.Neil Benjamin (36.Joevin Jones 65), 40.Shahdon Winchester, 31.Jerrel Britto (26.Stefano Rijssel 75).
Unused substitutes: 1.Murilo Da Costa, 17.Andrei Pacheco, 19.Joel Russell, 29.Jomal Williams, 39.Alvin Jones.
Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier
Referee: Rodphin Harris
Digicel Pro League
(Fri Jan 11)
Defence Force 1 (Devorn Jorsling 82), North East Stars 0 at Hasely Crawford
Caledonia AIA 0, W Connection 0 at Hasely Crawford[standings league_id=1 template=extend logo=true]