Football fans at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya got far more than they bargained for last night as Round Two of the 2014/15 Pro League season came to a dramatic end amidst a flurry of goals and flying fists.
There were eleven goals in total as Defence Force trashed cellar place St Ann’s Rangers 7-0 before Point Fortin Civic scored three times with Police FC managing one item in response. But, after 91 minutes of wonderful football, the latter two clubs decided to end things with a ‘no holds barred’ boxing match.
Perhaps the upcoming welterweight title fight between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao has excited locals more than we realised.
Elsewhere in Couva, defending Pro League champions DIRECTV W Connection edged San Juan Jabloteh 1-0 at the Ato Boldon Stadium to move within two points of current leaders, Central FC, while Caledonia AIA stretched their unbeaten run to three matches with a surprise 1-0 triumph over North East Stars.
The biggest shock came on turf at the Centre of Excellence’s football ground, though.
The opening match of the double header was a mismatch as veteran striker Devorn Jorsling scored three times in a one-sided affair to take his season tally to a joint League high 10 goals. Connection striker Jerrel Britto, who was also on the score sheet yesterday, also has 10 items.
The second affair was much more competitive and physical. Both teams were rugged and rash in their challenges and referee Keon Yorke could easily have brandished more than the two yellow cards he showed in the contest.
Police’s Anton Hutchinson, who was booked in the second minute, was particularly lucky not to see red after clattering into striker Jamille Boatswain early in the second half.
“Referee, referee!” shouted some Civic supporters who demanded firmer action.
In the 92nd minute, the players eventually took God and Yorke out of their thoughts as they took matters into their own hands.
The drama started when Civic striker Marcus Joseph, scorer of two goals on the night, was impeded with his back to goal by an opposing defender while another Police player inadvertently crashed into Joseph.
The three players got entangled and Joseph appeared to be stepped on by a Police player. Last season’s top goal scorer did not take kindly to the incident and, as Yorke looked content to let the infringement go unpunished, Joseph shoved his opponent who pushed back.
Players from both teams rushed to the scene where, for a moment, it seemed as though the situation could be quelled. However, about two more shoves later, Police and Point players were at each other’s throats and there just were not enough officials present to calm the storm.
Both substitutes’ benches were emptied by then as incensed players pulled and tugged, punched, you name it. It appeared that even one match official felt the brunt of the flying fists while spectators were not to be left out either.
One spectator flung a bottled water at a member of Police’s technical staff on the sidelines and prompted an even uglier scene as he was swiftly surrounded and accosted by Police FC supporters, presumably plain clothes officers, who threatening unlawful action.
Civic captain Andre Ettienne and veteran attacker Andre Toussaint rushed to the assistance of the ‘bottle thrower’ in an effort to defuse the situation.
By then, Yorke and his officiating team had already made their way down the tunnel.
“And the game was going nice you know,” muttered one supporter.
A Pro League committee would decide the fate of the match and the two clubs now.
“They (the Pro League officials) are the ones who will decide what will happen,” said one match official yesterday, “the referee don’t have a hand in who win, lose or draw (now).”
Before those 15 minutes of chaos in stoppage time, Civic striker Joseph had left his palms all over the game as he was influential in all three goals. First, he neatly set up teammate Akeem Redhead for the opener after some good close control in the box before scoring twice with scrumptious finishes in the 73rd and 85th minutes respectively.
Joseph’s second item was the goal of the night as he expertly lobbed Police goalkeeper Adrian Foncette after being played through by Toussaint.
Police, who gave a good account of themselves in the encounter, got their lone item from skipper Todd Ryan via the penalty spot in the 28th minute. The “Lawmen” could have gotten more from the encounter in truth but lively midfielder Kareem Freitas did not work out his angles on the night.
Twice, Freitas was mere inches away from hitting the back of the net in the latter stages of the second. But, on both occasions, his efforts went agonisingly wide.
It was an entertaining game from start to finish with gilt-edged chances for both teams. Joseph was in Civic’s red and gold colours and that was the difference in the score summary.
It is a pity the game would not be remembered for that.
Point Fortin (4-4-2): 52.Akini Adams (GK); 2.Garyl Doldron, 5.Andre Ettienne (captain), 4.Weslie John, 19.Andrei Pacheco; 9.Matthew Bartholomew (12.Glen Sutton 67), 18.Trent Lougheed, 11.Andre Toussaint (7.Kelvin Modeste 86), 6.Akeem Redhead; 20.Jamille Botswain, 10.Marcus Joseph.
Unused Substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 13.Tevin Belfor, 25.Andre Matthew, 26.Wrenn Hector, 27.Bevon Bass.
Coach: Leroy De Leon
Police (4-2-3-1): 18.Adrian Foncette (GK); 20.Elijah Belgrave, 5.Anton Hutchinson (YC), 2.Jasimar Ashers, 25.Noel Williams; 21.Todd Ryan(captain), 6.Kenaz Williams (32.Kaaron Foster 75); 35.Kerry Frederick, 1.Kareem Freitas, 29.Clevon McFee (23.Shaquille Nesbitt 66); 7.Makesi Lewis (17.Dexter Alleyne 66).
Unused Substitutes: 34.Keston Mata (GK), 4.Karlon Murray, 8.Kurdell Brathwaite, 30.Marcus Chandool.
Coach: Richard Hood
Referee: Keon Yorke
Pro League results
(Fri Feb 27)
Defence Force 7 (Devorn Jorsling 7, 19, 39, Ross Russell Jr 35, 52, Kellon Serrette 69, Josimar Belgrave 84), St Ann’s Rangers 0 at Macoya;
Police FC 1 (Todd Ryan 28), Point Fortin Civic 3 (Akeem Redhead 26, Marcus Joseph 72, 85) at Macoya;
*—Game blown off after brawl
Caledonia AIA 1 (Domini Garnett 84), North East Stars 0 at Couva;
W Connection 1 (Jerrel Britto 80), San Juan Jabloteh 0 at Couva.