Attacker Tyrone Charles returned to devastating effect yesterday evening as San Juan Jabloteh stretched their winning run to four consecutive matches with a 3-0 triumph over a hapless Morvant Caledonia United at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
The result saw fourth placed Jabloteh pull within four points of second placed Defence Force with just seven matches left in the TT Pro League 2015/16 season. The top two clubs advance to the qualifying rounds of the CONCACAF 2017/18 competition.
DIRECTV W Connection lost ground with their own title chase as they were held goalless by Police FC at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The tie snapped a two game losing streak by Police while it was their first clean sheet in four matches.
Connection remained in third spot with 37 points—two more than Jabloteh and two shy of Defence Force—while the “Lawmen”, who led the Pro League until a week before Christmas, are sixth with 28 points, which is a whopping 18 points behind leaders and defending champions, Central FC.
In yesterday’s other fixture, veteran marksman Kerry Baptiste bagged a double in North East Stars’ 4-3 win over St Ann’s Rangers, which brings the tally with his new employers to six goals in three outings.
Rangers have gone five games without a point while they have not won a league match since a 1-0 victory against Point Fortin Civic on 19 December 2015.
Thrice, Rangers trailed yesterday and, each time, the Angus Eve-coached team clawed their way back to level terms, only for an Anthony Guppy item in the 82nd minute to secure the three points for Stars coach Ross Russell.
In Malabar, it was a matter of when and not if Jabloteh would gun down an impotent Caledonia team. If anything, Jabloteh coach Keith Jeffrey might be disappointed that he had to wait as long as the 58th minute for the opener.
But he would have enjoyed the decisive move, as Charles, who was making his first appearance after a lengthy injury-enforced break, flew past Caledonia right back Antonio Joseph and crossed for striker Jamal Gay, who teed up playmaker Fabian Reid for a simple tap in.
Jabloteh should have had another in the 67th minute, as Jabloteh’s other flying flanker, Nathan Lewis, rolled the ball through the legs of Caledonia’s other full back, Ordell Flemming, before crossing to Reid. Only for the Jamaican to hit overbar from inside the six yard box.
Charles, a former Caledonia employee, was again instrumental for Jabloteh’s second, as he won a corner kick and took it himself, with the lanky Gay applying the finishing touch with a flicked header home.
Three more former Caledonia players combined for the third and final item.
Midfielder Marvin Oliver glided past an opponent and passed for the overlapping Noel Williams, who sent a hopeful, diagonal pass through the opposing defence.
Inexplicably, Flemming failed to cut it out and Lewis collected the through ball before blasting past Morvant Caledonia and Trinidad and Tobago international goalkeeper Phillip to seal a handsome 3-0 triumph.
Jabloteh will have a much sterner test on Saturday evening, when they host Defence Force from 6.30 pm at the Barataria Recreation Ground in Barataria.
Morvant Caledonia and Police will both hope to regain momentum when they square off from 6 pm on Friday in the first of a double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
W Connection face Point Fortin Civic in the second match at the same venue from 8 pm.
San Juan Jabloteh (4-2-3-1): 35.Andrew Durant (GK); 4.Garth Thomas, 21.Aquil Selby, 24.Adrian Reid, 6.Akeem Benjamin (2.Noel Williams 46); 11.Damian Williams, 26.Marvin Oliver; 27.Nathan Lewis (20.Aaquil Campbell 84), 13.Fabian Reid, 10.Tyrone Charles; 7.Jamal Gay (9.Brent Sam 84).
Unused substitutes: 30.Shemel Louison (GK), 8.Keyon Edwards, 15.Jerome McIntyre, 23.Kennedy Hinkson.
Coach: Keith Jeffrey
Morvant Caledonia United (4-1-3-2): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 16.Antonio Joseph (20.Jamaal Harvey 62), 3.Ranaldo Bailey, 18.Joel Russell, 4.Ordell Flemming; 5.Mensah Maestro; 12.Kareem Joseph (captain), 17.Akim Armstrong, 22.Jameel Neptune (8.Anthony Charles 86); 28.Pernell Schultz, 29.Kareem Knights (2.Robert Primus 67).
Unused substitutes: 34.Stephon Seepersad (GK), 11.Abdallah Phillips, 15.Otev Lawrence.
Coach: Jerry Moe
Referee: Marlon Peruse
Man of the match: Tyrone Charles (San Juan Jabloteh)
TT Pro League results
(Wednesday March 9)
Morvant Caledonia Utd 0, San Juan Jabloteh 3 (Fabian Reid 58, Jamal Gay 71, Nathan Lewis 81) at Larry Gomes Stadium;
W Connection 0, Police FC 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
St Ann’s Rangers 3 (Kevon Piper 39, Jeromie Williams 63, Kadeem Hutchinson 80), North East Stars 4 (Kerry Baptiste 33, 57, Ryan Stewart 71, Anthony Guppy 82) at Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Friday March 11)
Morvant Caledonia Utd v Police FC, 6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
W Connection v Point Fortin Civic, 8 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Saturday March 12)
San Juan Jabloteh v Defence Force, 6.30 pm, Barataria Recreation Ground.[standings league_id=2 template=compact logo=true]