Home / Volley / Local Football / QRC and Green Machine share spoils in goalless Premier clash at QRC Grounds 

QRC and Green Machine share spoils in goalless Premier clash at QRC Grounds 

‘Goals win matches’, says the old adage. But Queen’s Royal College (QRC) and St Augustine Secondary were short on supply today, as the two teams battled to a nil-nil draw in Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division action at QRC grounds.

Scrappy may be the best word to describe the affair, as both schools struggled to play sleek football on the damp QRC outfield. There were no shortage of tackles though, and either team’s physio may have to work overtime to ensure that all players are available for the next round of matches.

Photo: St Augustine player Tajh Devenish (centre) tries to hold off QRC's Miguel Williams during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Augustine player Tajh Devenish (centre) tries to hold off QRC’s Miguel Williams during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

QRC were without influential playmaker and National Under-17 captain John-Paul Rochford, who is currently preparing for the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-17 tournament, which begins in Trinidad on September 16.

The “Green Machine” were also short of experience as new head coach Adrain Romain started only six players from their 2015 season. St Augustine placed fifth in the Premier Division last season and were crowned East Zone Intercol champions. However, former no-nonsense skipper Joshua Marshall and dead ball specialist Jesse Joseph are among several players who moved on to supposed greener pastures—pardon the pun.

“We have a really young squad that is willing to work for the team and that’s what impresses us most,” Romain told Wired868. “We lost Jesse Joseph, Joshua Marshall, the skipper from last year. The only player we have lost to another school is Isaiah Lee, who has gone to Naparima College.”

Romain, who was in charge of Trinity College East at the start of the 2015 season, acquired the top coaching position at St Augustine after the mysterious dismissal of Michael Grayson a few months ago, which the new coach insisted had nothing to do with him.

It appeared that Romain and his technical staff had done their homework on the “Royalians”, though, as St Augustine frustrated their hosts by pressing high up the field.

Photo: QRC midfielder Kalev Keil (right) is tackled by a St Augustine player during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: QRC midfielder Kalev Keil (right) is tackled by a St Augustine player during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

St Augustine nearly took the lead on the half-hour mark as the lively Kristian Spence ghosted into the opposing penalty area, after nice link-up play down the left flank. But, as Spence tried to cut inside on to his right foot, QRC skipper and central defender Anfernee Stokes managed an excellently-timed interception.

QRC were threading a fine line with their reluctance to simply punt the ball from the back and they almost paid the price in the 41st minute, as custodian Kern Thomas had to hastily evade two tackles, in front of his goalmouth, after a back pass by his defender Tevin Lessey.

Aaron Best did not go untroubled in the other goal, as he scrambled off his line to thwart a QRC raid in the 44th minute and then made a smart save to keep out striker Darius Dickson from the ensuing corner kick.

It’s a mystery how the follow-up attempt from Dickson’s effort did not find the back of the net and Lessey may have to answer to QRC coach Dexter Gill for that miss.

“My game plan was really to make QRC as uncomfortable as possible to get them out of their comfort zone, which we did superbly for the first forty minutes,” said Romain. “But then [in the] second half, we decided that we wanted to go all out and attack and we didn’t score the chances we were given.”

Photo: St Augustine midfielder Akeem Hosten (centre) drives the ball while QRC players T’Shad Selvon (right) and Kalev Keil look on during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Augustine midfielder Akeem Hosten (centre) drives the ball while QRC players T’Shad Selvon (right) and Kalev Keil look on during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

St Augustine did not only trouble the host team but match officials and spectators too with a kit—fluorescent green to the front and white to the back—that made its grey playing numbers almost impossible to decipher.

Spence, Rahim Gordon and captain Anthony Samuel were particularly lively for the Green Machine in the second half, but the visitors just could not apply the clinical touches at the crucial moments.

Samuel saw a free kick from the edge of the area pushed away by Thomas in the 63rd minute. And Gordon messed up a promising opportunity in the 76th minute after the QRC goalkeeper tipped a speculative long-range effort by Spence onto the crossbar.

Spence and Thomas were at it again in the 82nd minute as the QRC goalie made another smart save to deny the former player from a dangerous free kick.

Spence, who fought tooth and nail throughout, nearly paved the way for the Royalians to snatch all three points at the death, as he was robbed of possession in the final third by substitute Jabari Mickel. The hosts then relayed the ball smartly to midfielder Shomari Healy but he bent his right-footed effort just over Best’s crossbar.

In the end, Spence and Romain might have breathed a sigh of relief as they shared the spoils with the North Zone team.

Photo: QRC midfielder Keyshawn Villafana (centre) runs at St Augustine opponents during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: QRC midfielder Keyshawn Villafana (centre) runs at St Augustine opponents during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“I’m pleased with the result but I think that we had a lot of chances, especially in the second half, we should have gone on top several times,” Romain said. “Our goal for the season is a top four finish. We really want to finish in the top four and defend our East Zone (Intercol) title.”

(Teams)

QRC (4-1-2-3): Kern Thomas (GK); 3.Darlon Guppy, 4.Anfernee Stokes (captain), 5.Tevin Lessey, 2.T’Shad Selvon; 6.Keyshawn Villafana; 18.Shomari Healy, 8.Kalev Keil (7.Tyrese Pierre 65); 13.Rickson Hill (12.Jabari Mickel 80), 9.Shemar De Gannes (11.Miguel Williams 68), 10.Darius Dickson.

Unused Substitutes: 19.Rawle Felix, 20.Ayoba Moore, 21.Lewis Marquis, 22.Saif Farrag.

Coach: Dexter Gill

 

St Augustine: 22.Aaron Best (GK), 2.Nykoaba James, 3.Zion Holder (17.Tajh Devenish 75), 4.Rayhan Phillip, 5.Stephon Ealie, 8.Kristian Spence, 10.Rahim Gordon (7.Allan Hogan 79), 11.Akeem Hosten, 12.Rivaldo Coryat, 19.Kenton James (23.Kendel Hitlal 65), 9.Anthony Samuel.

Coach: Adrian Romain

 

Referee: Ishmael Mohammed

Man of the Match: Kristian Spence (St Augustine Secondary)

Photo: St Augustine Secondary captain Anthony Samuel (right) tries to escape from QRC defender Tevin Lessey during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: St Augustine Secondary captain Anthony Samuel (right) tries to escape from QRC defender Tevin Lessey during SSFL Premier Division action at the QRC grounds on 8 September 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

SSFL Premier Division

(Wednesday 7 September)

Shiva Boys HC 3 (Ronaldo Edwards 1, 38, Junior Assoon 25), Presentation College (San F’do) 1 (Kareem Riley 36 pen) at Irwin Park;

Naparima College 2 (Akinola Gregory 17, Renaldo Francois 20), San Juan North 2 (Renaldo Boyce 40, 52) at Irwin Park.

(Thursday 8 September)

Signal Hill 1, Pleasantville 1 at Signal Hill;

Fatima College 1, St Anthony’s College 2 at Mucurapo Road;

QRC 0, St Augustine 0 at QRC;

St Benedict’s College 0, Fyzabad Secondary 2 at Mahaica Oval;

St Mary’s College 0, Trinity College Moka 0 at Serpentine Road;

East Mucurapo on a bye.

Photo: San Juan North Secondary forward Renaldo Boyce (right) runs at Naparima College players Aalon Minors (centre) and Jeron Pantor during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: San Juan North Secondary forward Renaldo Boyce (right) runs at Naparima College players Aalon Minors (centre) and Jeron Pantor during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures [All games kick off at 3.40pm]

(Saturday 10 September)

Presentation (San F’do) vs Fatima College at Guaracara Park;

Signal Hill vs QRC at Signal Hill;

Fyzabad Secondary vs St Augustine at Fyzabad;

Shiva Boys HC vs St Benedict’s College at Irwin Park;

St Anthony’s College vs East Mucurapo at Westmoorings;

Trinity College Moka vs San Juan North at Moka;

St Mary’s College vs Pleasantville at Serpentine Road;

Naparima College on a bye

AboutRoneil 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.

Check Also

Intercol 2017: Bourne to the rescue, as 10-man “Caps” edge Chaguanas North to cop zonal title

Carapichaima East retained their Central Zone Coca Cola Intercol title this evening after a 4-2 …

49 comments

  1. Roneil K Walcott, Earl Best called you out!

  2. Professional is as professional does..

  3. It really was a scrappy affair. Both teams couldnt string 4 consecutive passes together in 90 minutes

  4. Earl Best

    With all that envy that inevitably gets in the way, is it possible for a CIC boy to write an unbiased report on a QRC game?

    Just asking, Mr Editor. And maybe I should let you know that I am available to report on any CIC games. But then again, would a CIC boy assign a QRC boy to cover a CIC match, knowing that he would get unbiased, unadulterated truth about how badly the boys from Pembroke Street played?

  5. Aaron Best moved from Chaguanas North to St Augustine!!

  6. Well actually “catches win matches”…”goals win games” 🙂

  7. Them kits rel interesting in that pic.