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Caesar’s revenge: Eve’s Stars continue Caledonia mastery

If it continues like this, there is the distinct possibility that Angus Eve would lead his North East Stars team into Caledonia one day and declare the district as an outpost of Sangre Grande.

Another Pro League meeting between Stars and Caledonia AIA, meant another triumph for the boys from North East as they whipped the “Eastern Stallions” 2-0 on Friday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.

Photo: North East Stars goalkeeper and captain Cleon John (centre) takes a cross in a crowded penalty area against Caledonia AIA. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars goalkeeper and captain Cleon John (centre) takes a cross in a crowded penalty area against Caledonia AIA.
(Courtesy Wired868)

The result kept Stars and Caledonia at second and third respectively in the Pro League standings while leaders DIRECTV W Connection carried on as usual with a 2-0 win over bottom placed St Ann’s Rangers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Connection left back Kurt Frederick scored a hattrick when the two teams last met on 14 September 2013 and he opened the scoring yesterday too after 15 minutes. Rangers almost mustered a surprise equaliser but Connection goalkeeper Aquelius Sylvester kept out Josh Toussaint’s first half penalty, which was controversially awarded by referee Cecile Hinds.

And teenager Jomal Williams grabbed an insurance item in the second half as Connection maintained its nine point lead over second place Stars.

Elsewhere at the Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin Civic roared back to life today with a 5-0 mauling of Police FC. Marcus Joseph scored a second half hattrick while Bevon Bass and Andre Toussaint notched one goal apiece at the site of former comrade Akeem Adams funeral, just 24 hours earlier.

Photo: Point Fortin attacker Bevon Bass (second from left) celebrates the winning item against North East Stars earlier in the season. (Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Point Fortin attacker Bevon Bass (second from left) celebrates the winning item against North East Stars earlier in the season.
(Courtesy Allan V. Crane/Wired868)

The result saw Police drop three places to seventh while Point Fortin climbed from eighth to sixth spot in the Pro League standings.

Stars should have faced a tougher test against a third place Caledonia team which has represented the Caribbean at CONCACAF level for the past two successive seasons. Instead, Stars maintained its traditional mastery over the Stallions.

In five League clashes since Stars owner Darryl Mahabir hired Eve, his club has beaten Caledonia on four occasions.

It gets worse too.

On the sole occasion that Caledonia defeated Stars, the game’s lone goal scorer was speedy, bustling striker Trevin Caesar. Cue deep intake of breath if you are a Caledonia supporter.

Last July, Caledonia coach Jamaal Shabazz decided that Caesar was surplus to requirements, Eve snapped him up and, last night, the former national under-23 striker enthusiastically bit the hand that fed him with a superb double in Port of Spain.

Photo: North East Stars coach Angus Eve. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars coach Angus Eve.
(Courtesy Wired868)

There was a certain logic in Shabazz’s decision. Caledonia prefers to attack down the flanks and is better suited to patient strikers who can hold the ball up and charge the opposing penalty area.

Eve’s Stars team plays a more direct style and a tear-away striker capable of causing havoc on the counter-attack is the perfect topping.

The game itself was a tactical affair devoid of goalmouth action; just the way Eve seems to like it. Two teams locked in a loveless clinch until someone stumbles.

A careless pass inside Caledonia’s own half of the field, in the 14th minute, saw Caesar took full advantage. He darted in from the left flank, stepped inside opposing right back Noel Williams and spanked a low effort that squirmed under Caledonia goalkeeper Kevin Graham for the opener.

Photo: Caledonia AIA defender Aubrey David (right) tackles a North East Stars attacker while teammate Marcus Ambrose looks on. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Caledonia AIA defender Aubrey David (right) tackles North East Stars midfielder Keron Cummings attacker while teammate Marcus Ambrose looks on.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Muhammad partially atoned for his error in the 60th minute with a goalline clearance after Caesar had flicked the ball around Graham. But the diminutive bundle of energy completed his double with a brilliant trademark finish in the 88th minute.

Credit due to 17-year-old Arima North Secondary student and defender Jesus Perez for his role in Caesar’s second. Perez replaced the injured Glenton Wolfe in the 66th minute and oozed raw potential with his strength and pace.

As Caledonia tried to find a way through the Stars backline, the alert Perez stole the ball from Keyon Edwards and immediately ushered it forward to Caesar near the halfway line. Caesar had Aubrey David and Muhammad in attendance but they failed miserably at their babysitting duties.

Caesar lowered his shoulder and danced around David before gliding past Muhammad with the nonchalance of a Prado or 370Z overtaking a Datsun. Graham never stood a chance and Caesar drove the ball past the goalkeeper without breaking stride.

Maybe it will be different on the seventh meeting between the two teams. It would help if Shabazz doesn’t leave his most dangerous players lying around for Eve to snatch up.

Photo: North East Stars attacker Trevin Caesar (centre) holds off Caledonia AIA players Nathan Lewis (left) and Nuru Muhammad. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: North East Stars attacker Trevin Caesar (centre) holds off Caledonia AIA players Nathan Lewis (left) and Nuru Muhammad.
(Courtesy Wired868)

(Teams)

Caledonia AIA (4-1-3-2): 34.Kevin Graham (GK); 20.Noel Williams, 3.Nuru Muhammad, 2.Aubrey David, 6.Marcus Ambrose (10.Ralph Lundy Jr 71); 7.Stephan David (captain); 17.Akim Armstrong, 21.Densill Theobald, 27.Nathan Lewis (16.Tyrone Charles 71), 9.Keyon Edwards, 23.Jamal Gay (13.Julian Wade 82).

Unused substitutes: 33.Jesse Peters (GK), 5.Akeem Thomas, 12.Kareem Joseph, 25.Keron Bethelmy.

Coach: Jamaal Shabazz

 

North East Stars (4-2-3-1): 22.Cleon John (GK) (captain); 23.Kennedy Hinkson, 5.Aquil Selby, 19.Glenton Wolfe (48.Jesus Perez 66), 25.Keryn Navarro; 6.Jeromie Williams, 12.Jayson Joseph; 18.Kaashif Thomas (41.Neveal Hackshaw 87), 8.Keron Cummings, 20.Trevin Caesar, 11.Lemuel Lyons (9.Akiel Guevara 38).

Unused substitutes: 1.Stefan Berkeley (GK), 7.Elijah Manners, 37.Neil Mitchell, 40.Jomoul Francois.

Coach: Angus Eve

 

Referee: Michael London

Pro League results

(Fri January 17)

North East Stars 2 (Trevin Caesar 14, 88), Caledonia AIA 0 at Hasely Crawford

W Connection 2 (Kurt Frederick 15, Jomal Williams 59), St Ann’s Rangers 0 at Ato Boldon

(Sat January 18)

Point Fortin Civic 5 (Bevon Bass 2, Marcus Joseph 59, 76, 89, Andre Toussaint 82), Police 0 at Mahaica Oval

[standings league_id=1 template=extend logo=true]

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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