Defending Blink/bMobile National Super League (NSL) champion team, WASA FC, got its first point of the season yesterday afternoon but most of the fireworks occurred off the field in an ill-tempered goalless draw against Joe Public at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
At St Anthony’s College ground, Westside Superstarz gave newly promoted Bethel United a rough welcome with a 3-0 spanking. Attacker Qian Grosvenor maintained his scoring streak after an opening round double against 1976 FC Phoenix while Superstarz striker Akil Clarke chipped in with a first half double.
In south Trinidad, there were draws in two of the three NSL fixtures.
Siparia Spurs and Defence Force played to a 1-1 tie at the Palo Seco Velodrome while there were goals aplenty at Guaracara Park where visitors Malabar FC scored first and last in a 3-3 draw with Malabar FC.
And, at Guaya Recreation Ground, host team Guaya United led Stokely Vale 4-0 at one stage through former World Youth Cup captain Leston Paul, Russell Alfred, Carlon Hughes and Jody Allsop. But late goals from Jamaine Walters, Shellon Manswell and Darron Williams saw the Tobago club claw its way back into contention as Guaya held on for the final whistle.
At Macoya, WASA and Public shot blanks for the second successive match with neither team offering more than catching practice for the opposing goalkeeper. But the match really burst into lifetime at the halftime whistle.
In the closing seconds of the first half, Public midfielder Anthony Joseph shaped to shoot but was dispossessed by WASA midfielder Jahhon Hernandez. Joseph’s momentum took him into the WASA player and he fell in a crumbled heap and never regained his feet. The Public player left the game on a stretcher and, club officials claimed, a broken leg.
WASA and Public players pointed fingers at each other as they tried to identify the guilty party. And referee Keilon Bacchus decided against making any judgment and blew for the break instead.
What happened next was a mad dash for the tunnel by both teams and supporters, nearly three minutes of flying punches and even a flying dustbin.
Remarkably, although WASA coach Anthony Dhanoolal was sent off midway through the first half for abusive language at the officials, no action was taken against either team during the interval.
And, just as oddly, the game returned to its sterile state in the second half too as both clubs left their most passionate work outside their respective dressing rooms.
WASA substitute Andell Noray had the best chance to decide the match as he ran on to a Shane Calderon pass and rounded Public goalkeeper John-Ramses Thomas. But Noray’s movement took him too far wide of the opposing goal and his subsequent effort was wide and ugly. As was much of the game to be fair.
Joe Public did look smart in its new Joma outfits though. The tradition of the “Eastern Lions” somehow being outfitted by whatever shirt sponsor is doing business with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has endured, despite Public owner Jack Warner’s supposed withdrawal from football and the supposed new dawn of present football president Raymond Tim Kee.
Joma only announced a long-term deal with the TTFA last month.
Joe Public (4-4-2): 24.John-Ramses Thomas (GK); 6.Sheldon Nesbitt, 13.Ayinde Chinyelu, 11.Nikkel Collymore, 3.Dominic Hutchinson; 17.Arvid Applewhite (25.Jeremy McMeo 46), 12.Jamel Lewis, 9.Anthony Joseph (26.Trevis Quirico 46), 28.Kevin Caprietta; 18.Keino Goodridge (5.Keron Khan 83), 10.Ellis Dyett (Captain).
Unused substitutes: 1.Keston Aberdeen (GK), 2.Marlon Bernard, 15.Kadeem Graham, 16.Leandro Subero,
Coach: Dale Saunders.
WASA FC (4-4-2): 1.Michael Woods (GK); 29.Odell Fitzallen, 2.Damien Pompey, 5.Akil Harley, 15.Cleveland Cambridge; 14.Jahhan Hernandez (16.Akil Thomas 76), 8.Kevon Henry, 27.Kerry Noray, 25.Ricardo Alleyene (18.Shane Calderon 46); 31.Kareem Freitas, 26.Glen Walker (21.Andell Noray 62).
Unused substitutes: 7.Fabian Garcia, 20.Dillon Peterson, 30.Kirth Hutchings, 34.Denzil Carabon (GK).
Coach: Anthony Dhanoolal.
Referee: Keilon Bacchus
Blink/bMobile National Super League Results
(Sun July 14)
Joe Public 0, WASA 0 at Macoya
Westside Superstarz 3 (Akil Morris 14, 26, Qian Grosvenor 71), Bethel 0 at Westmoorings
Siparia Spurs 1 (Dwayne Edwards 16), Defence Force 1 (Stephen Antoine 20) at Palo Seco
Guaya Utd 4 (Russell Alfred 7, Leston Paul 54, Carlon Hughes 63, Jody Allsop 68), Stokely Vale 3 (Jamaine Walters 72, Shellon Manswell 81, Darron Williams 90) at Guaya
Club Sando 3 (Devon Modeste 17, Anthony Parris 22, Odelle Armstrong 84), Malabar FC 3 (Gorian Highley 4, Kevon Woodley 62, Cyrano Glen 90) at Pointe-a-Pierre[standings league_id=9 template=extend logo=false]