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MVP Jomal shines as Connection brush aside 10-man Army for Toyota Classic title

DirecTV W Connection attacker Jomal Williams continued his dazzling form yesterday, as he helped the “Savonetta Boys” cruise to their second cup triumph of the 2015/16 season with a 4-0 whipping of the 10-man Defence Force team in the Toyota Classic final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.

Photo: DirecTV W Connection captain Alvin Jones (centre) takes the Toyota Classic trophy from Toyota marketing manager Sean Shaffie while Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene (third from left) and his Connection teammates look on. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: DirecTV W Connection captain Alvin Jones (centre) takes the Toyota Classic trophy from Toyota marketing manager Sean Shaffie while Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene (third from left) and his Connection teammates look on.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The result meant a $75,000 cash prize for Connection and a second MVP of the season for Williams, who was also named First Citizen’s Bank Cup MVP for his exploits just over a month ago.

“Jomal is developing but he still can improve and be a little more consistent during the 90 minutes,” W Connection coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier told Wired868. “But he definitely has come a long way and he has tremendous talent.”

Although Williams was the man of the moment, it was Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling who provided the biggest talking point of the final, as he had a moment of madness in the 45th minute.

The Pro League’s all-time leading goal scorer is not known for holding back his feelings but last night referee Crystal Sobers was in no mood to hear his thoughts.

With Defence Force already trailing two-nil, Jorsling reacted angrily to a decision which went against him, after a tussle with a couple of Connection defenders near the penalty area, and talked his way into a yellow card.

Photo: Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling (left) fires past a crowd of W Connection defenders during the 2013/14 Pro League season. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling (left) fires past a crowd of W Connection defenders during the 2013/14 Pro League season.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“If you get a yellow card for talking I think there and then you should hush your mouth,” said disappointed Defence Force coach Marvin Gordon. “Because if she give you one card for talking, automatically she will give you another if you continue.”

However, the yellow card did not seem to deter Jorsling, who continued to press Sobers and, within seconds of his first booking, was giving marching orders.

By then, Connection were already in charge, with veteran playmaker Andre Toussaint and skipper Alvin Jones controlling proceedings in the middle of the park.

The Connection skipper was the first to test the mettle of Defence Force goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke in the 12th minute, as he arched a wicked, dipping 38-yard free kick towards the bottom corner which brought a smart save from the shot-stopper.

But Clarke was hapless to stop Williams, nine minutes later, as the MVP slotted home unmarked at the back post, after being found by a right side Jones pass that was intended for Winchester.

Photo: W Connection attacker Jomal Williams (left) places past Defence Force goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke and defender Jelani Felix to put his team ahead in the 2015 Toyota Classic final. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker Jomal Williams (left) places past Defence Force goalkeeper Sheldon Clarke and midfielder Jelani Felix to put his team ahead in the 2015 Toyota Classic final.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“I thought defensively we weren’t marking and tracking (off-the-ball runs) well enough,” said Gordon, “and the first goal was a soft goal. It was bad marking and tracking on our part.”

Connection’s goal brought the Army/Coast Guard combination into life and Gordon’s adjustments caused some worrying moments for the Savonetta Boys after the half-hour mark.

Midfielder Jelani Felix had a stinging left-footed shot deflected wide from a tight angle in the 34th minute while a header from centre-back Glynn Franklyn off the ensuing corner kick yielded the same agonising result.

At the other end, Connection showed that they did not need many bites at the cherry.

Toussaint and combative Dominican midfielder Briel Thomas strolled through the Army’s passive backline in the 39th minute before feeding Winchester on a platter, inside the six-yard box, to make it 2-0.

Photo: W Connection midfielder Briel Thomas (centre) controls the ball under pressure from Defence Force player Rodell Elcock in the 2015 Toyota Classic final. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection midfielder Briel Thomas (centre) controls the ball under pressure from Defence Force player Rodell Elcock in the 2015 Toyota Classic final.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“Knowing the threat of Winchester, Williams and Benjamin, I wanted one of my centre halves to try and drop off in case the other went into a challenge,” said Gordon, “because they are all very quick players.

“But I think my players didn’t work hard enough defensively to stop them.”

As if trailing two-nil and being a man down was not bad enough, imagine shooting yourself in the foot.

That is exactly what defender Curtis Gonzales did in the 66th minute as he cheaply gave possession away to Connection substitute Dwight Quintero, inevitably leading to Connection’s third goal which was easily scored by Benjamin Jr.

“At the start of the second half I thought we were doing brilliantly but another defensive mistake let us down as Curtis Gonzales gave away the ball cheaply and that caused the third goal,” said Gordon. “The third goal really buried us.”

Photo: W Connection attacker (centre) skips past Defence Force player Rodell Elcock (right) while his teammate Jerwyn Balthazar looks on in the 2015 Toyota Classic final. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker (centre) skips past Defence Force player Rodell Elcock (right) while his teammate Jerwyn Balthazar looks on in the 2015 Toyota Classic final.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Former Connection attacker Hashim Arcia had half a chance to grab a consolation for his team in the 72nd minute but he failed to control a pass by midfielder Stephan Campbell, just on the edge of the 18-yard box.

Instead, it was Connection who notched their fourth and final item in the 89th minute through a tap in by substitute Aikim Andrews, after some excellent play by Williams on the left side of the box.

“I thought we deserved to win,” said Charles-Fevrier. “We were the better team and we definitely showed more quality than Defence Force.

“But knowing them, they’ll go back to the drawing board and bounce back because they have the capability to do so.”

Connection have now won both knockout competitions on offer thus far this season. But, despite their excellent cup form, they are yet to win a game in the 2015/16 TT Pro League season.

Photo: W Connection custodian Julani Archibald makes a fine low save against Defence Force in the 2015 Toyota Classic final. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection custodian Julani Archibald makes a fine low save against Defence Force in the 2015 Toyota Classic final.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Charles-Fevrier explained why his team is yet to hit top gear in Pro League play.

“The cup is a shorter competition where it can give you glory after about three or four games,” said the Connection coach, “and we get a certain level of focus because we know we can be champions after (a short period). So it’s about being more consistent in the league and keeping that focus.”

“No two games are the same, every game is different. We have to take our chances and score our goals and tonight we did that.”

Thankfully for Defence Force, Clarke stopped a fair share of Connection’s chances, otherwise the Classic final could have finished with a tennis score.

There was a similar 4-0 score line in the Secondary Schools Toyota Classic Challenge match, which preceded the grand final, as St Mary’s College trounced North Zone rivals Fatima College after a clinical first half display.

Photo: St Mary's College striker Chinua Bernard (left) troubles Fatima College defender Andrew Abraham during 2014 SSFL Premier Division action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: St Mary’s College striker Chinua Bernard (left) troubles Fatima College defender Andrew Abraham during 2014 SSFL Premier Division action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The $10,000 Classic Challenge purse would have been a welcome sight for the “Saints”, who largely struggled for consistency throughout a difficult Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division season before a mid-table league finish and a North Zone Intercol final loss.

On the other hand, Fatima changed coaches during the Premier Division season and only escaped relegation through a superior goal difference to Tobago’s Speyside High.

(Teams)

W Connection (4-2-1-3): 18.Julani Archibald (GK); 21.Shannon Gomez, 3.Gerard Williams, 5.Triston Hodge, 2.Kurt Frederick; 16.Alvin Jones (captain), 8.Briel Thomas; 14.Andre Toussaint (17.Aikim Andrews 70); 11.Neil Benjamin Jr (12.Demitri Apai 80), 10.Jomal Williams, 9.Shahdon Winchester (19.Dwight Quintero 57).

Unused Substitutes: 1.Terrence Lewis (GK), 4.Maurice Ford, 13.Kion Joseph, 23.Kevon Goddard.

Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier

 

Defence Force (4-2-3-1): 25.Sheldon Clarke (GK); 8.Curtis Gonzales (3.Jamali Garcia 70), 6.Rodell Elcock, 2.Glynn Franklyn, 21.Akile Edwards (10.Hashim Arcia 51); 99.Jerwyn Balthazar (captain), 52.Stephan Campbell; 7.Jelani Felix, 23.Kerry Joseph (26.Richard Roy 51), 17.Ross Russell Jr; 9.Devorn Jorsling [Red card 45].

Unused Substitutes: 80.Aaron Enil (GK), 4.Dave Long, 5.Devin Jordan, 12.Jemel Sebro.

Coach: Marvin Gordon

 

Referee: Crystal Sobers

Man of the Match: Jomal Williams (DIRECTV W Connection)

Photo: W Connection attacker Jomal Williams (left) celebrates his opening goal with teammate Andre Toussaint (centre) while Defence Force utility player Curtis Gonzales berates his defence in the 2015 Toyota Classic final. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: W Connection attacker Jomal Williams (left) celebrates his opening goal with teammate Andre Toussaint (centre) while Defence Force utility player Curtis Gonzales berates his defence in the 2015 Toyota Classic final.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Toyota Classic Most Goals: Jomoul Francois (North East Stars) (4)

Toyota Classic MVP: Jomal Williams (DIRECTV W Connection)

 

Toyota Classic Cup final 

(Sunday December 6)

DirecTV W Connection 4 (Jomal Williams 21, Shahdon Winchester 39, Neil Benjamin Jr 66, Aikim Andrews 89), Defence Force 0 at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

SSFL Toyota Classic Challenge

(Sunday December 6)

Fatima College 0, St Mary’s College 4 (Daniel Conocchiari 7, Chinua Bernard 19, Tyrese Spicer 42, Ethan Shim 44) at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

About Roneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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71 comments

  1. Jomal Williams aka “Bebo” is a name known in downtown Port of Spain much like ‘Hardest’ [Kerwyn Jemmott]. Good kid & great talent. Hope W Connection keeps in mind he was another Anthony Wickham Trendsetter Hawks recruit!

    • Yes, it’s something they have to do. But in fairness to W.C, I think there is a relationship with Dada for that hurdle. I do wish I can find the next Hardest, but I haven’t seen anyone ‘consistently’ close, lol

    • Well, Trendsetter needs to create a log of its players to allow the club to receive payment for its training work when they move abroad.
      He is a talent. But not like Hardest. That would be like comparing Guerra with Latapy.
      Hardest was very special.

  2. By the way, Jomal Williams has been coming along well and is more effective as a player this year. He is only about 21. International standard?
    I think this World Cup campaign might be too soon for him. And I’m worried that he failed to stand out with the national under-20 or under-23 teams. In both cases, he began as a starter and was on the bench by the time they played their last games.
    What does that say Keith Look Loy?
    Of course I accept that he is still young and learning.

    • I think this season he is playing almost like outside striker than a holding midfielder

    • He played here before. Never as holding midfielder but sometimes as the box to box guy or 10.
      His current role might be best. But my main problem with Connection attackers is I don’t feel they work hard enough off the ball.
      At any international level, he will have to get back and chase quality full backs.
      If they were prepared to do that, I would recommend Jomal and Neil Benjamin Jr in a heartbeat.

    • ..The difference between local and international standard. At least in part. Coaching also has a lot to do with it..

    • I think he definitely has the edge on Benjamin as far as tracking back goes. He did good work on both sides of the ball last night.

    • How come his move to French fourth division club, Pau FC never materialized?

    • That was the lowest rung of professional football in France. I assumed the deal wasn’t great. I was never sure about that option to be honest.

    • I think it is crazy to see teenaged players who should be full of energy being so disinterested in tracking back to help their midfield.
      Earl Jean, does Connection ask its three attackers not to track back as some sort of tactical ploy?
      That is one thing that might work at Pro League level. But I always feel it will be suicide if players tried that at senior international level.

    • Because of what the offer was…on the table…we wanted him to go for the experience but the club was going through some financial difficulties. .I spoke to the owner and president. ..the coach was amazed when he saw the quality that jomal produced and wanted a way forward ….our president tried to come in and help out half way but I think what they wanted was a free player and to pay over half his wages. ..then we would still have to give him his same salary. ..how can we do that as a club…they are in constant contact with us but I think unless he gets a decent club in the 2nd or first division then we will have to look for other options. ..there are interested parties in jomal so as long as he keeps the right mental and good form then he will be off to a foreign club pretty soon if not by January. ..

    • And what about Connection’s wingers failure to track back consistently Earl Jean? Is that a tactic? Or slackness?

    • Its a constant work in progress with players. ..that consistency in carryin out what you want tactically. ..some games you get the good work ethic and other times its lacking…sometimes they do track back and other times they are left wanting but in saying that there are games that we would try to give them more cover because we need them pushing higher up the park…so its whatever instructions that we give in certain games but we do like our players tracking back we defend with 10 and the keeper and attack with the same philosophy. …take for example they did an amazing job in the concacaf games here so they can give you the work its just sometimes the lack of concentration. ..that professional mentality…doing your work consistently week in week out. ..but the boys do have a bright future. .it’s players we have monitored and worked with for a while and there are interested parties for the young lads…

    • Understood perfectly Earl. Hope this kids understand that few teams play with wing forwards anymore. So they have to show the work ethic of midfielders to convince scouts.
      Aikim is good at that and Britto was too.
      Jomal was lovely in his lol sweat against Peru. But it would be great to see that commitment regularly.
      Marcus Joseph is another who comes up short in that regard.

    • Yes …think britto did a great job and aikim is another good candidate to keep the two on their toes… Marcus is such a talent but like so many players…that mentality he needs to refocus….man we can only pray that they take it in quickly because every year is a year old…no time to prance about…this is serious business. ..

  3. What are your thoughts on the Secondary school game for $10k ?

  4. It might be instructive that even the Defence Force coach chose to criticise the player as opposed to the referee in this instance.

  5. I thought he got more animated after the yellow. Who knows what words he used to her.

  6. Take note that Jorsling was given a Yellow card then a Red Card not 2 yellows so that had to be “Very bad”

  7. ..Yeah. She good. And I don’t say that jess so..

  8. It was a bit iffy for me because the team was 2-0 down heading into half time probably a yellow card in my opinion… Sobers a very good referee and i never saw her giving a card before in a match so she was on fire

  9. ..I hear you. And I am not defending action I didn’t witness. But i also agree that in the heat of the game, much is said and done. In principle, referees need to tolerate more – unless it is abusive or threatening – while players and coaches need to tolerate normal referee errors. However, it is the big referee decisions and non-decisions that provoke confrontation…

  10. Keith, I was on the disciplinary committee last year and I remember that we got video footage of the brawl between Point Fortin and Police which helped tremendously.
    The disciplinary committee won’t re-examine the referee’s decision. That is a separate matter to be adjudicated by the referee’s assessor. But the committee can better gauge Jorsling’s behaviour.
    Because sometimes referees’ reports and the match commissioner’s report only add to the confusion.

    • ..Yes. I agree. I am also saying that video evidence should be used to sort out the weekly rubbish referees deliver across our football without repercussion or consequence..

    • Well, we would routinely tell club officials that they need to speak to the league and demand better from the referees since it is the clubs who pay the refs.
      We have seen some scary stuff from officials as well. But then we hear when meetings are called to discuss officiating, clubs don’t turn up.

    • ..Not true of the Super League. We have complained as an entity and individual clubs have repeatedly complained and written about specific referees. To no avail…

    • Ok. It might be that Super League owners are closer to the field. Pro League coaches tend not to be owners and might be less inclined to put as much pressure.

  11. Keith Look Loy weren’t you “ejected” from a match and made to sit in the stands the other day?
    Your actions that day and Jorsling’s actions yesterday do not deserve the same punishment.

  12. ..Crystal Sobers is a good referee. Certainly the best my club (FC Santa Rosa) has had for the season and she’s done three of our matches. I wasn’t at the match as we were in Tobago to play Bethel FC where another female referee gave an entirely underwhelming display of biased officiating. We won, by the way. Still, let’s not over-react. Jorsling was ejected for dissent. He messed up any chance his team had. He didn’t kill anyone. As for video evidence? That’s a slippery slope where the referees are concerned. Their tidal wave of nonsense would inundate anyone who attempts to review their decisions..

  13. I was at the match. It was that bad. She had to lean away from him, he was so up in her face.
    If they were two random people on the street and he was barking at her like that I would have been concerned for her. It is only because it was a football match that I doubted it wouldn’t escalate beyond words.
    Maybe somebody else in the group was at the match and can dispute or confirm what I saw and my interpretation.
    But from where I was sitting, it was that bad. It was that terrible. And this isn’t my first match of the season. Nor my first match with a female referee.
    Jorsling’s display yesterday is without a doubt the worst display of player behaviour I have seen for this season thus far.
    A red card is insufficient. I hope he is mortified with himself.

  14. Surely it could not be that bad. I haven’t seen the game, but have been to enough games to see that the refs…are too emotional. This is not the first time cards were given for talking…and crunching tackles were left unpunished…too many games are spoilt because of this.

  15. It was that bad? The disciplinary committee would decide in the end. And there have been cases of lengthy bans. Video clips would help.

  16. The league has no teeth Chabeth Haynes

  17. I hope the league has some other avenues to greater penalize Devorn Jorsling. He didn’t talk his way to those cards… he charged and stomped and barked his way to them. It was ridiculous.

  18. After jomal was only flopping in the semis….he stars in the final #comeoncentral

  19. Beebo on the go, well done young man.