Two well taken goals by Jean-Luc Rochford and Micah Lewis paced San Juan Jabloteh to a comfortable 2-0 win over St Ann’s Rangers this afternoon in a Lucozade Sport Goal Shield qualifier at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
Jabloteh will now face defending Shield champion club, DIRECTV W Connection, in a quarterfinal fixture from 5 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Saturday evening.
It was only Jabloteh’s second win of this calendar year and the club’s last triumph was at this same venue against Rangers on January 11. The Rangers team, in contrast, has not won a football match since 26 October 2013 when, remarkably, the St Ann’s-based team edged defending champions Defence Force 3-2.
Richard Fakoory’s team has been in freefall ever since and it would not have helped that Rangers’ scorers against Defence Force, Clevon McFee and Keron Cummings, are now at Police FC and North East Stars respectively.
Today, three of Jabloteh’s starters, Jamal Spencer, Dwane James and Duran Dilworth, began the season as Rangers employees. And, over the 90 minutes, the trio would have seen nothing from their former comrades to regret their exit.
After just five minutes, Rochford, a former World Youth Cup midfielder, put the “San Juan Kings” ahead with a cracking angled free kick from distance that went in off the underside of the bar.
It might have been 2-0 in the 47th minute as captain Kerry Baptiste headed against the crossbar from a swerving Rochford corner.
But, on the hour mark, Micah Lewis put the game to bed as he cut in from the left flank and placed the ball past Rangers goalkeeper Akel Clarke without the inconvenience of a tackle from an opponent.
Anthony Streete made his return to the Rangers bench today in place of the sacked Gilbert Bateau, who has since joined the Jabloteh staff.
Streete’s brief was to provide reasonable success in either the Lucozade Sport or Digicel Pro Bowl competitions and take the team off of three points. And the manner in which the Pro League’s second from bottom club swatted Rangers away might give the well-travelled coach a restless night.
For Jabloteh, today’s win provided a chance to bask in the spotlight of a glamour tie with Connection on Saturday. Coach Keith Jeffrey’s afternoon was spoiled only by the late dismissal of utility player Nyron Jones who somehow managed to pick up a second caution during stoppage time of a match that was already decided via a needless tackle at the side of the pitch.
It epitomised the careless thinking that has seen both teams cut adrift from the rest of the pack in Trinidad and Tobago’s top flight competition.
St Ann’s Rangers (4-3-3): 1.Akel Clarke (GK); 23.Trevin Latapy, 39.Shaquille Moses, 33.Isaiah McIntyre, 4.Jelani Peters (captain); 7.Jemel Berot, 28.Kadeem Corbin, 44.Sedale McLean (31.Jameel Antoine 71); 51.Keron Cornwall (16.Keron Alexander 68), 14.Michael Yaw Darko, 10.Kennedy Isles,
Unused substitutes: 25.Terrence Lewis (GK), 12.Tevin Gilkes, 18.Ryan Porter, 26.Josh Toussaint, 49.Chad Clinton.
Coach: Anthony Streete
San Juan Jabloteh 4-4-1-1): 21.Shundelle Mayers (GK); 20.Dwane James, 24.Kareem Smith, 19.Dillon Kirton, 12.Jamal Spencer, 16.Nyron Jones, 4.Jean-Luc Rochford, 2.Duran Dilworth (7.Rennie Britto 65), 15.Micah Lewis, 21.Neil Mitchell (23.Marcus Gomez 65), 10.Kerry Baptiste (captain) (9.Jelani Felix 80)
Unused substitutes: 1.Kevin Dodds (GK), 6.Dario Holmes, 13.Savion Kirton, 17.Kerry Daniel.
Coach: Keith Jeffreys
Lucozade Sport Goal Shield
(Thu Apr 3)
San Juan Jabloteh 2 (Jean-Luc Rochford 5, Micah Lewis 60), St Ann’s Rangers 0 at Malabar
Red Card: Nyron Jones (Jabloteh)
Quarter Final Round
(Fri April 4)
Central FC vs Caledonia AIA, 6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
Point Fortin Civic vs Defence Force, 8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Sat April 5)
W Connection vs San Juan Jabloteh, 5 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
North East Stars vs Police FC, 7 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.