Home / Volley / Local Football / Maracas hit 10-man Stokely Vale for six; Tobagonians suffer meltdown

Maracas hit 10-man Stokely Vale for six; Tobagonians suffer meltdown

Real Maracas gave themselves an emotional lift in their bid to avoid relegation yesterday evening, as they started 2016 with an emphatic 6-1 win over Stokely Vale FC in a clash between the CNG National Super League (NSL) Premiership Division’s two bottom clubs.

But, in more ways than one, this was not your average football match.

Photo: Real Maracas striker Christian Thomas (centre) runs at the Stokely Vale defence during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Real Maracas striker Christian Thomas (centre) runs at the Stokely Vale defence during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Maracas and Stokely Vale both had 15 points at kick off. The former team, now under the guidance of former Pro League Coach of the Year Michael McComie, are hellbent on avoiding relegation.

And Stokely Vale?

Well, the Tobago team travelled to the mainland with just 10 players and no goalkeeper. And one of their defenders, Anthony Cooper, had a heavily strapped knee and moved with all the agility of a tractor trying to weave through traffic.

“(Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Team star) Karyn Forbes usually throws a tournament for our (Plymouth) village and she threw it (on Saturday) night,” said veteran Stokely Vale coach James Campbell, as he tried to explain his shorthanded team. “So after playing in the tournament, they had to come to play (on Sunday afternoon). And some of our players got injured in the tournament…”

Their missing numbers were barely half of Vale’s problems, though, as Campbell’s players bickered constantly and almost went into meltdown during a bizarre halftime team talk.

At the other end, McComie was not trying to win as much as he was trying to prevent his team from losing.

Photo: Real Maracas coach Michael McComie (right) gestures on the sidelines during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action against Stokely Vale yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Real Maracas coach Michael McComie (right) gestures on the sidelines during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action against Stokely Vale yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

“It is amazing in terms of what is now a local attitude that was bad, which believe it or not, has gotten plenty worse,” McComie told Wired868. “The local players in particular tend to measure themselves against the opposition. So if the opposition is terrible, they play just less than terrible.

“(They are) never trying to maximise their potential (and are) always getting themselves in trouble (as a result).”

It was an interesting analysis and, to be fair, not especially unkind to Stokely Vale.

Before kick off, although the 10 Vale players got to Maracas together, only six players started warming up in unison. Three of their teammates were casually lacing up their boots or doing their own stretches while another juggled a ball on his own.

It was a premonition of what would follow.

“Listen to me… after this I will sit down,” McComie told Maracas captain Kerwyn Bartholomew, with all the gravitas of a man about to reveal the secrets of the universe. “Right now, allyuh measure the game and think allyuh win already. So allyuh will wait for the other team to score before you do what you have to do.

“Just do what you have to do out there for me please.”

Photo: Real Maracas captain Kerwyn Bartholomew (left) and teammate Dillon Bartholomew (right) try to keep a leash on Stokely Vale winger Kerwin Thomas during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Real Maracas captain Kerwyn Bartholomew (left) and teammate Dillon Bartholomew (right) try to keep a leash on Stokely Vale winger Kerwin Thomas during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Of course, McComie didn’t say it exactly like that. The former Joe Public coach swears like a sailor with a nail in his foot. So feel free to add your own colour to his speech.

Stokely Vale, who lined up in a 4-4-1 formation, actually held their own for much of the first 20 minutes. On either flank, the Tobago team possessed wingers, Travis Joseph and Krishawn Joseph, who were built like heavyweight boxers but possessed the feet of tap dancers. And their lone striker, Brian Hinds, was strong and lively.

But poor Jeyriel Stephen, despite his best efforts, was hopeless between the uprights and did not even have goalkeeping gloves.

Maracas scored with their first real low shot on target, as Aaron Peters cut in from the left flank and blasted a low rocket below Stephen in the 25th minute.

Christian Thomas doubled Maracas’ advantage with the goal of the match, in the 32nd minute, as he spun on Jevon Williams and flicked the ball over the head of Ken Alleyne before beating Stephen with a crashing volley.

Photo: Real Maracas striker Christian Thomas prepares to lash home a superb volley during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action against Stokely Vale yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Real Maracas striker Christian Thomas prepares to lash home a superb volley during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action against Stokely Vale yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

It was quite a reversal of roles from Christian’s day job. The Maracas striker is a lifeguard by profession. And the Stokely Vale custodian was definitely all at sea.

Peters made it a three goal cushion, two minutes before the interval, with a close ranged header off a cross from ex-North East Stars and Central FC midfielder Marc “Passion” Leslie.

But McComie was far from pleased with the halftime result and told  his players as much.

“The halftime talk was just a stern talk about their attitude towards the game,” said the former Joe Public coach. “It is a disrespect towards the game and it is sad to me that local players do not understand when they disrespect the game. They see that as nothing wrong…

“It is sad to see the majority of local players, not all obviously, but the majority of them; they disrespect the game in terms of effort and attitude towards the game itself.

“That was the team talk at half time. And they went on and I think you can see a lot more urgency and purpose from them in the second half.”

Photo: Real Maracas coach Michael McComie (standing) talks to his team at halftime during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action against Stokely Vale yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Real Maracas coach Michael McComie (standing) talks to his team at halftime during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action against Stokely Vale yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

In truth, the widening chasm between the sides in the second half probably had as much to do with the Stokely Vale team talk as it did with McComie’s soliloquy.

Vale coach, Campbell, sat silently on the bench as captain Travis Winchester and defender Omar Charles, a former Central FC player, initially discussed tactics with their teammates.

But Thomas (K) wanted to hear from his coach as well.

“So coach you have nothing to say?” asked Thomas. “Every time I watch your face, I does feel to cry yuh know. You sit down dey like a rum drinker in a bar.”

“What you want me to tell you?!” Campbell retorted. “You are a big man. You don’t know what to do?!”

“Well give me a vibes self nah,” said Thomas.

“You get ball to cross, you dribble,” said Campbell, “you get ball to pass, you dribble… What you want me to tell you?! You have to know your role and function as a player!”

Photo: Stokely Vale coach James Campbell doubled up as physiotherapist yesterday, as he rushes on to the field to treat an injured player in 2015/16 CNG NSL action against Real Maracas at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Stokely Vale coach James Campbell doubled up as physiotherapist yesterday, as he rushes on to the field to treat an injured player in 2015/16 CNG NSL action against Real Maracas at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Thomas’ teammates murmured approval for their coach. But the player stood his ground.

“The one thing I do right, allyuh doh compliment me on that,” said Thomas. “Allyuh does only see wrong. Allyuh won’t say: ‘Boy, I see yuh try.’

“You could tell me about allyuh coaches!”

“I understand what the coach saying,” Cooper interjected. “He’s saying he’s talking to you right through and you (keep) doing the same thing.”

As both teams walked back on the field, Thomas was still trying to find a sympathetic ear among his Vale comrades.

“All I trying to tell the man is to build a vibes yuh know,” said Thomas, as his teammates looked in the other direction.

Photo: Stokely Vale winger Kerwin Joseph (right) tries to squeeze past Real Maracas playmaker Ricardo Bennett during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Stokely Vale winger Kerwin Joseph (right) tries to squeeze past Real Maracas playmaker Ricardo Bennett during 2015/16 CNG NSL Premiership action yesterday at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Within the next six minutes, Vale conceded another three goals, as Peters completed his hattrick, veteran midfielder Ricardo Bennett scored a solo effort and defender Marvin Manswell got in on the action.

“The second half was much better,” said McComie.

Coach Campbell was not the only leadership figure within Vale’s ranks to have his authority questioned yesterday either.

“How we defence getting ripped apart so, boy?!” asked the frustrated Vale captain, Winchester, midway through the second half.

“Boy, hush yuh mudda c*** and play nah!” Charles responded.

Campbell suggested it was all a bit of ‘Tobago love’ and the squad will be a stronger and more harmonious bunch for their next game.

“I think the quarrelling in the team was because of the pressure they were under,” said the longstanding coach. “The team came down short and they were feeling the pressure because of that scenario…

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago star Karyn "Bibi" Forbes (left) celebrates the decisive goal against Puerto Rico in the 2015 Caribbean Olympic qualifying final at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. Looking on is Puerto Rico goalkeeper Karly Gustafson. Forbes' football tournament in Plymouth on Saturday created problems for the Stokely Vale team yesterday. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago star Karyn “Bibi” Forbes (left) celebrates the decisive goal against Puerto Rico in the 2015 Caribbean Olympic qualifying final at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Looking on is Puerto Rico goalkeeper Karly Gustafson.
Forbes’ football tournament in Plymouth on Saturday created problems for the Stokely Vale team yesterday.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“But, at the end of the day, when we go back you will see a difference in the team.”

The final word from the Tobago visitors was a positive one, as Lashawn Roberts—who answered to the nickname, “Rat Trap”—ran on to a through ball from Winchester and flicked a header over Maracas custodian Kelon Rampersad for a consolation goal.

“I must score boy!” Roberts shouted in glee, as he grabbed the ball and sprinted back to the centre circle. “I must score!”

If Vale are to rescue their place in the Premiership Division, they will need much more of Rat Trap’s enthusiasm and much less of Charles and Joseph’s bickering. It is a tall order, though.

(Teams)

Real Maracas (3-4-3): 1.Kelon Rampersad (GK); 16.Kerwyn Bartholomew (captain), 4.Marvin Manswell, 27.Kester Mejias; 20.Aaron Peters, 11.Ricardo Bennett (24.Michael Yaw Darko 81), 23.Marc Leslie, 15.Kadeem Graham; 9.Dillon Bartholomew (6.Jabari Braithwaite 72), 21.Christian Thomas (25.Isaiah Irish 78), 12.Curt Danclair.

Unused substitutes: 30.Emmanuel John (GK), 3.Anthony Frank, 19.Shirkel Diamond, 28.Kevin McLean.

Coach: Michael McComie

 

Stokely Vale FC (4-4-1): 28.Jeyriel Stephen (GK); 2.Jevon Williams, 4.Anthony Cooper, 3.Ken Alleyne, 29.Lashawn Roberts; 27.Kevin Thomas, 13.Omar Charles, 7.Travis Winchester (captain), 10.Krishawn Joseph; 21.Brian Hinds.

Coach: James Campbell

 

Referee: Sheldon Gomez

Man of the match: Ricardo Bennett (Real Maracas)

Photo: Spectators enjoy action between Real Maracas and Club Sando in a previous 2015/16 CNG National Super League game at the Maracas Recreation Ground. (Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)
Photo: Spectators enjoy action between Real Maracas and Club Sando in a previous 2015/16 CNG National Super League game at the Maracas Recreation Ground.
(Courtesy Sinead Peters/Wired868)

CNG National Super League League Premiership

(Sunday January 9)

Siparia Spurs 2 (Andy London 87, 89), Defence Force 3 (Michael Edwards 7, 24, Ronald St Louis 77) at Petrotrin Ground, Fyzabad;

Real Maracas FC 6 (Aaron Peters 25, 43, 53, Christian Thomas 32, Ricardo Bennett 47, Marvin Manswell 49), Stokely Vale FC 1 (Lashawn Roberts 75) at Maracas Recreation Ground;

La Horquetta SA 2 (Omeaku Barbour 7, Kwesi Windsor 79), Marabella Family CC 4 (Juma Clarence 8, 41, 67, 85) at Larry Gomes Stadium;

Guaya United 3 (Jody Allsop 21, Kheelon Mitchell 45, Ryan Stewart 47), FC Santa Rosa 2 (OG 10, Gary Bart 43) at Guaya Recreation Ground;

Matura ReUnited 1 (Dorian Robinson 65), Police FC 0 at Matura Recreation Ground;

Bethel United 2 (Teejay Cadiz 3, 32), Club Sando Moruga 4 (Nigel John 22, 90, Anderson Toussaint 65, Trevon Mitchell 78) at Montgomery Recreation Ground;

Petrotrin Palo Seco 2 (Willian Garcia 60, Cebastian Bailey 90), Tobago FC Phoenix 1976 3 (LeJandro Williams 14, 38, Aqui-Raiem Raymond 87).

Photo: Defence Force attacker Josimar Belgrave (left) tries to find a way past Guaya United defender Sherlon Campbell during 2015/16 CNG National Super League action in Guayaguare. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Defence Force attacker Josimar Belgrave (left) tries to find a way past Guaya United defender Sherlon Campbell during 2015/16 CNG National Super League action in Guayaguare.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Upcoming NSL fixtures

(Thursday January 14)

Club Sando Moruga v Marabella Family CC, 4 pm, Grand Chemin Recreation Ground;

Matura ReUnited v Petrotrin Palo Seco, 4 pm, Matura Recreation Ground;

FC Santa Rosa v La Horquetta SA, 5 pm, Marvin Lee Stadium;

Stokely Vale v Guaya United, 5 pm, Plymouth Recreation Ground;

WASA FC v Real Maracas FC, 5 pm, Matura Recreation Ground.

Photo: WASA attacker Gary Glasgow (centre) drives past a Stokely Vale defender during 2016/16 CNG National Super League action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: WASA attacker Gary Glasgow (centre) drives past a Stokely Vale defender during 2016/16 CNG National Super League action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Standings (Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Defence Force  24-17-3-4-55-28-54

Guaya United  23-17-2-4-63-36-53

T’go Phoenix   24-14-5-6-48-30-46

Matura ReUtd 22-11-5-6-41-37-38

Santa Rosa       24-10-6-8-39-34-36

Police FC          24-10-5-9-52-39-35

WASA FC         23-10-4-9-35-25-34

Siparia Spurs   23-9-7-7-52-54-34

Marabella         24-7-9-8-49-48-30

Sando/Moruga 23-8-5-10-39-44-29

Petrotrin P/S    22-7-5-10-41-45-26

Bethel United   23-6-2-15-29-46-20

La Horquetta   22-5-4-13-37-60-19

Real Maracas   23-5-3-15-29-48-18

Stokely Vale      24-3-6-15-23-58-15

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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79 comments

  1. Glad to see my favourite local coach back in action on a formidable stage 🙂 Making a statement already

  2. …Well. let me at least try to be objective. GUAYA is the best team in the Super League. They are the only team that Santa Rosa has played more than once and not beaten. In the two matches between the teams we twice let them off the hook after taking the lead. Yesterday we allowed them two goals in five minutes and lost 3:2. Now in our fourth Super League season, we are happy that Santa Rosa is now a very serious opponent for any team, including one of GUAYA’s quality. The Stewart goal – the winner – was an excellent strike and deserving of being a match winner. All of that said, the referees allowed GUAYA to batter my players on and off the ball with near total impunity. Their second equalizer came from a contentious free kick awarded to GUAYA after their player elbowed one of ours, followed by a brief confrontation. Both players were yellow carded AND THEN THE REFEREE AWARDED THE KICK TO GUAYA, FROM WHICH THEY SCORED! The referee also refused to award a penalty to Santa Rosa for a blatant foul in the big area. If you allow me a tangent, local referees are shite, by and large. And the people who appoint them are more shite. Yesterday’s referees all have personal connections to Guayaguayare village and GUAYA players. The referee – guy named Peruse – accepted personal abuse from the GUAYA players with a smile on his face all match long. How is it possible for those who appoint match officials to make such appointments? Earlier this season I successfully objected to a Tobago referee being flown into Trinidad to do Santa Rosa’s match versus Bethel FC. I have repeatedly asked over the years for match officials to be drawn from neutral zones. To no avail. At the end of the day, however, Santa Rosa’s focus must be on itself and on our own progress. We are still in the fight for fourth place…

  3. I know but I really wonder why they knocking taking it seriously

  4. They still have some good talent Sherdon. That isn’t their problem.

  5. Stokely Vale has really lost their momentum they had a few years ago… they produced some good talent… In November i went a game in Plymouth and the players arrived 15 mins before kick off etc

  6. Great report…really tells the full story of the game…im ready to shoot again!

  7. Jovan Rochford keeps makin promises… but they never materialize! Lol Lasana Liburd

  8. With Carlon Hughes being suspended and the pressure the coach was under, I knew Guaya would have had some problems. I’m not surprised that it was Fry who bailed them out. Again!

  9. Heard it was tit for tat… but the Fry strike stole the show…

  10. Wow. I knew that game would be interesting. How was it Keith?

  11. If it wasn’t for the stats at the end of the article I swear I was reading ah Mr. LiveWire!!!! lmao

  12. In the other game though… heard Ryan Fry Stewart scored a blinder… one time volley off a rebound… if I wasnt tied up… I would have provided video…

  13. Really nice shooting again Dumplin. I thought the game was kinda static at times. So I wasn’t expecting many lively shots. But you got some nice stuff for us.

  14. Nah nah… if All reporters brought the sports news to us like u did… maybe the Pro League bleachers wouldnt be so MT!! #dey_cya_ban_yuh

  15. I hope they don’t ban me from sitting between the two benches!

  16. If is all da “vibes” Vale wanted, dey cuda hire meh… I is a DJ… let dem bring d team… I go bring d vibes!! Lol

  17. man want d coach to “build ah vibes”

  18. Christian Thomas is quite the athlete!

  19. But Nicole, I thought the Stokely Vale player had a point eh. The coach was so passive throughout the match. And even though he was overdoing the dribbling, I actually thought he could do some damage with the right tactical instructions.
    But as for the way he put his point across to the coach… Hahaha. He is on his own there!

  20. But I think there is much to ponder from this piece on both the attitude of the players and the frustration a coach faces when dealing with that players with poor work ethic

  21. Exactly. I thought about that immediately. I think it was Kion who spoke about how we always drop our intensity to match our opponents’.
    It was a theme of this piece.

  22. On a serious note though…McComie’s comments about complacency and failing to maximize potential etc…seem to echo what some of you guys were saying about the on the field attitude of the national team against Haiti.

  23. Now, I have to add here that I’m not trying to make anyone laugh at the teams really.
    And i think there is stuff we can really muse over here too.
    But when you get lemons…

  24. Chabeth Haynes I have a headache from laughing!!!

  25. This has got be be one of the funniest things you’ve written Lasana Liburd!!!

  26. Omg! This story is freaking hilarious! What an awesome report!

  27. “You get ball to cross, you dribble,” said Campbell, “you get ball to pass, you dribble… What you want me to tell you?!

    hahahahaaaaaaaaaa

  28. that look like ah massacre son!
    yeikes!

  29. so hear nah….I reach yuh sit down dey like a rum drinker in ah bar…and I hadda take a 5 inno…mih head hurting…mih belly hurting…mih face muscles hurting…Ah cyar laugh no more!!!!

  30. Dennis, community football is loads of fun man and makes for really entertaining reports. 🙂

  31. Real Maracas? Hahahahaaaa…no man

  32. Kester, good luck with the fight for safety. 😉

  33. Vernal, as a former country bookie, you should enjoy this one.