A second half free kick by Presentation College (San Fernando) midfielder Terrell Williams stunned the Bourg Mulatresse faithful yesterday and propelled “Pres” to second in the SSFL Premier Division standings after a 3-2 triumph over San Juan North Secondary.
Williams’ 77th minute free kick was no master class but it was good enough to bewilder San Juan North custodian D’Andre Villaroel and his defenders before settling in the back of the net.
“Coming to San Juan and defeating them at a venue like this is like capturing six points,” Pres coach Shawn Cooper told Wired868.
A day at San Juan’s Bourg Mulatresse ground is never easy and Cooper must have been relieved that the home team was willing to help Pres out yesterday. San Juan defender Kenyan Huggins inadvertently knocked the ball into his own net in the fourth minute while trying to cut out a dangerous cross by lively Pres winger Nion Lammy.
And just like that Bourg was behind.
Teams rarely come to Bourg and keep talismanic striker Brent Sam out of the thick of things, and in the 19th minute Sam showed why he is the most feared schoolboy with the ball at his feet; particularly his left.
“I coached Sam at National level and I know his strengths and his weaknesses,” said Cooper. “So the plan was to put one man in front and one behind to kinda stop his natural course of playing the ball.”
Presentation centre-backs Kori Cupid and Shirwin Noel momentarily forgot Cooper’s memo as they both missed a lobbed ball which Sam quickly raced on to and dispatched ruthlessly.
The boisterous Bourg crowd, inclusive of Central FC playmaker Marvin Oliver, made their voices heard as the pendulum appeared to swing San Juan’s way while an anxious Cooper reiterated instructions to his players.
And the 300-plus home crowd roared again in the 27th minute as pint-sized fan favourite Jerome Cyrus slammed past Pres custodian Ishmael Salaam from inside the penalty area after a failed clearance.
All the while, Presentation wingers Lammy and National Under-17 player Keston Julien were running San Juan rugged down the flanks, as the hosts often resorted to illegal measures to stop the tricky duo.
Bourg’s luck ran out in the 39th minute though, after another foul on Julien, as Noel rose to nod home Cupid’s lofted left-side free kick back across Villaroel’s goal and into the far corner.
“I thought the ball was long enough in the air for the keeper to come,” said San Juan coach Jerry Moe, “but that’s his decision.”
Villoroel got the home fans back in his corner in the first minute of the second half, as he made a double save to thwart an effort from striker Nate Brooks and a cheeky near post attempt by the dangerous Lammy.
Referee Keilon Bacchus was never slow to blow his whistle yesterday in Bourg Mulatresse. But, crucially, Bacchus held his breath in the 49th minute when San Juan midfielder Rhondel Gibson went down in a heap inside the opposing box.
The second half action was nowhere near the relentless pace set in the first half but both teams still tried their luck from long range.
Pres midfielder Kareem Riley looked particularly intent to score from distance and he fluttered some Bourg hearts in the second half with his venomous right foot.
“Don’t worry yuh bursting that net just now,” muttered a Pres supporter.
Sam nearly beat him to that honour at the opposite end, in the 69th minute, when he faked two defenders out of the game before hitting a left-footed shot against the post.
But yesterday belonged to Pres.
Lammy went on another determined run down the right flank in the 77th minute before being hacked down by Kareem John. And, like in the first half, the San Juan schoolboys were punished for their transgression.
Williams hammered a dangerous looking cross-cum-shot into the area which evaded Pres skipper Kyle Moodie and Villaroel before bouncing into the net.
“The goalkeeper went out of what we did in practice because we don’t ever put somebody on the post,” Moe told Wired868. “We don’t do it for that same reason because it causes a crowd in front of him.”
The lethal Sam had chances from both open play and set pieces in the dying moments but was unable to beat Salaam or the post again in the contest.
“I give all the praises and glory to the boys because they fought hard from the first minute to the last,” said Cooper.
San Juan North (4-2-3-1): 1.D’Andre Villaroel (GK); 12.Warren Chase, 4.Kenyan Huggins, 16.Kyle Williams, 17.Kareem John; 29.Lukman Brooks, 5.Rhondel Gibson; 19.Joshua Leach, 20.Jerome Cyrus (11.Joshua Jerome 82), 28.Chike Aming (6.Brandon Semper 55); 9.Brent Sam (captain).
Unused Substitutes: 15.Myles Oliver, 18.Maldini Diaz, 24.Obadele Dickson, 26.Tigana O’Brien, 27.Mazi Lewis.
Coach: Jerry Moe
Presentation College S’do (4-4-2): 1.Ishmael Salaam (GK); 16.Mylz Barrington, 23.Kori Cupid, 2.Shirwin Noel, 12.Darnell Hospedales; 7.Nion Lammy, 11.Kareem Riley, 8.Terrell Williams, 15.Keston Julien; 18.Nate Brooks (4.Ayandike Francis 85), 10.Kyle Moodie (9.Levon Bass 90+3) (captain).
Unused Substitutes: 28.Tyrek James (GK), 13.Jarod Gordon, 17.Bradley Lee Foon, 14.Akiel Bridgeman, 19.Jordan Riley.
Coach: Shawn Cooper
Man of the Match: Nion Lammy (Presentation College)
Referee: Keilon Bacchus
SSFL Premier Division results
(Saturday October 10)
St Mary’s College 0, QRC 3 at St Mary’s;
Naparima College 3 (Kierron Mason 51, Anderson Toussaint 53, Isaiah Hudson 60), St Augustine 1 (Anthony Samuel 45) at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;
San Juan North 2 (Brent Sam 19, Jerome Cyrus 27), Presentation San F’do 3 (Kenyan Huggins OG 4, Shirwin Noel 39, Terrell Williams 77) at Bourg Mulatresse;
Trinity College East 0, Carapichaima East 2 at Trincity;
Trinity College Moka 2, Shiva Boys HC 2 at Moka;
St Anthony’s College 3 (Kwesi “Jep” Allen 7, 53, Haile Beckles 58), Fyzabad Secondary 1 (Marcus John 77) at Westmoorings;
St Benedict’s College 3 (Nickel Holder 5, 8, Jevaughn Humphrey), Speyside Secondary 0 at Mahaica Oval.
SSFL Standings (Tabulated as Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)
Naparima College 9-7-1-1-18-5-22
Presentation SF 9-6-2-1-19-12-20
Shiva Boys HC 9-5-3-1-14-7-18
San Juan North 10-6-0-4-18-12-18
St Benedict’s 9-5-2-2-13-10-17
St Anthony’s 9-5-2-2-16-14-17
St Mary’s College 10-5-1-4-20-12-16
St Augustine Sec 10-4-2-4-15-15-14
Trinity Moka 9-2-4-3-16-17-10
Fyzabad Sec 9-3-0-6-12-18-9
Carapichaima E 10-1-4-5-8-17-7
Fatima College 9-1-3-5-13-16-6
Speyside High 9-1-1-7-9-24-4
Trinity East 9-0-0-9-5-24-0