Well, it took Caledonia AIA long enough.
After 450 minutes without a win in local competition and 16 and a half hours in total if one includes CONCACAF Champions League action, Caledonia AIA finally got the monkey off its back with a 4-1 victory over San Juan Jabloteh last night at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya.
The result moved the “Eastern Stallions” off the foot of the Digicel Pro League standings and into sixth place with five points, although Caledonia has played one game more than Defence Force, Jabloteh and St Ann’s Rangers who all have three points.
Defence Force’s own stuttering start to the season continued in Macoya yesterday as the defending champions were stunned 3-2 by Rangers.
Two free kicks in six minutes by journeyman midfielder Keron “Ballpest” Cummings outwitted stand-in Defence Force custodian Sheldon Clarke and secured an unlikely result for a team that had scored five goals but conceded 14 in its last three outings, which all ended in defeat.
Rangers midfielder Conrod Smith should have managed a fourth but hit wide from six yards after being picked out by a brilliant cross from substitute Michael Yaw Darko. But the St Ann’s team held on for the win, which was the first three point haul for new Rangers coach Gilbert Bateau.
For another new coach, Jabloteh’s Keith Jeffrey, it was a frustrating afternoon as the “San Juan Kings” found their progress blocked by a determined Caledonia AIA outfit.
Jabloteh captain Kerry Baptiste scored in all of his first five outings this season and his ability to find space in threatening areas is well known after his free scoring stint with Joe Public.
Caledonia coach Jamaal Shabazz responded to his threat by scrapping a back four system in favour of three central defenders who plugged the channels between full backs and central defenders, which are favoured by “El Corbeaux.”
And a workman-like five-man midfield anchored by captain Stephan David and also including World Cup 2006 player Densill Theobald and Miguel Romeo proved too streetwise for Jeffrey’s spunky young team.
Romeo, who has barely featured this season, had a hand in two Caledonia’s goals. The Argentine midfielder released Jamal Gay down the right flank in the ninth minute and Gay’s right side cross was buried on the half volley by left wing back Noel Williams for the opening item.
Four minutes into the second half, Romeo swung in the final cross himself and Keyon Edwards met it with a thumping header which flew past teenaged Jabloteh goalkeeper and ex-Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 player Kevin Dodds.
Caledonia veteran Densill Theobald chipped in with a rare goal himself in the 41st minute as he squeezed an angled effort under Dodds from inside the opposing penalty box after collecting a loose ball.
And the Stallions got their fourth and final item in the 65th minute as Jabloteh defender Jamal Spencer inadvertently banged his attempted clearance against teammate Keino Goodridge and into the back of his own net.
Jabloteh substitute Shaquille Bertrand did produce a memorable consolation item in the 75th minute as he scurried away from Theobald, flicked the ball around Antigua international defender Akeem Thomas and sprinted into the Caledonia penalty area before placing past goalie Glenroy Samuel.
It was not enough to spoil Caledonia’s night though.
Caledonia AIA (3-1-4-2): 33.Glenroy Samuel (GK); 5.Akeem Thomas (24.Kevaughn Connell 78), 3.Nuru Muhammad, 14.Jamaal Smith, 7.Stephen David (captain); 12.Kareem Joseph, 21.Densill Theobald, 22.Miguel Romeo (11.Abdallah Phillips 65), 20.Noel Williams; 9.Keyon Edwards (10.Kithson Bain 68), 23.Jamal Gay.
Unused substitutes: 1.Shemel Louison (GK), 6.Marcus Ambrose, 13.Julian Wade, 27.Nathan Lewis.
Coach: Jamaal Shabazz
Jabloteh (4-2-3-1): 1.Kevin Dodds (GK); 26.Keino Goodridge, 12.Jamal Spencer, 18.Jevon Morris (11.Akel James 76), 16.Nyron Jones; 19.Dillon Kirton, 9.Jelani Felix; 8.Anthony Guppy (14.Shaquille Bertrand 59), 17.Kerry Daniel (22.Shane Hospedales 62), 20.Kevon Piper; 10.Kerry Baptiste (captain).
Unused substitutes: 30.Jesse Peters (GK), 3.Lekion Elie, 5.Daryl Mark, 18.Savion Kirton.
Coach: Keith Jeffrey
Pro League results
(Fri Oct 25)
Police FC 4 (Elijah Belgrave 16, 36, Joel Lewis 22, Akiba Peters 68), Central FC 1 (Dwight Quintero 87) at Ato Boldon Stadium
W Connection 2 (Joevin Jones 5, 72), Point Fortin Civic 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium
(Sat Oct 26)
St Ann’s Rangers 3 (Clevon McFee 18, Keron Cummings 62, 69), Defence Force 2 (Kerry Joseph 32, Josimar Belgrave 48) at Marvin Lee Stadium
Caledonia AIA 4 (Noel Williams 9, Densill Theobald 41, Keyon Edwards 49, Keion Goodridge 65 OG), San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Shaquille Bertrand 75) at Marvin Lee Stadium[standings league_id=1 template=extend logo=true]