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Pro League scores: Benjamin steers Connection past Jabloteh; Club Sando spank Police FC

Pacy attacker Neil Benjamin Jr inspired W Connection to an exciting comeback at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva tonight, as the “Savonetta Boys” overturned a 1-0 halftime deficit to whip San Juan Jabloteh 3-1 in a top of the table Pro League clash.

Jabloteh went ahead in controversial fashion from what appeared to be a generous penalty following a shoulder challenge between attacker Keithy Simpson and Connection defender Gerard Williams in the 18 yard box. Former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 defender Josiah Trimmingham converted the spot kick.

Photo: W Connection attacker Neil Benjamin Jr (left) tries to power past Pumas UNAM midfielder Alan Acosta during CONCACAF Champions League action in Couva on 3 August 2016.
Pumas won 4-2.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

However, apart some flashes of skill from striker Julio Noel, Jabloteh—who were without Trinidad and Tobago international winger Nathan Lewis—offered little on the offensive end and it seemed a matter of time before Connection drew level.

Benjamin got the equaliser with a clever chip after breaking clear of the opposing defence in the 55th minute. And the winger played a role in Connection’s second goal too, although Trimmingham got the last touch as he inadvertently converted Alvin Jones’ right side cross. Jamal Charles came off the substitutes’ bench to get Connection’s insurance item in stoppage time.

The result saw Connection leapfrog Jabloteh to first place, as they moved two points clear of the “San Juan Kings.”

There was some movement in mid-table too as Club Sando put on an incisive offensive performance to trounce Police FC 4-0 at the same venue.

Versatile attacker Keron Cornwall seemed to be at the heart of everything Sando did and ended up with a double while captain Jared London and winger Adan Noel chipped in a goal apiece. Police utility player Elijah Belgrave had one deflected free kick strike the opposing bar. But otherwise the Police offence, led by striker Jameel Perry, was kept in firm grip.

Photo: Club Sando midfielder Jared London (centre) tries to force his way past Ma Pau Stars players (from left) Keryn Navarro, Jordan Devonish and Adrian Noel during Digicel Pro Bowl quarterfinal action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 9 February 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The result saw Sando move from sixth to fifth place in the 10-team standings, as they swapped places with Police.

Pro League action continues at the Arima Velodrome on Saturday as North East Stars host St Ann’s Rangers from 4pm. Stars are the only outfit left with a 100 percent record this season and can join Connection on 12 points with a win over Rangers.

Stars still have a game in hand against defending champions, Central FC, to play.

Pro League results

(Friday 7 July)

Club Sando 4 (Keron Cornwall 21, 79, Jared London 50, Adan Noel 90), Police FC 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;

W Connection 3 (Neil Benjamin Jr 55, Josiah Trimmingham 58 OG, Jamal Charles 90), San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Josiah Trimmingham 26 pen) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Photo: W Connection goalkeeper Julani Archibald dives to his left to keep out a penalty from North East Stars midfielder Kerry Daniel during the 2016 Pro Bowl semifinal on May 13 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Connection won 4-2 on kicks from the penalty spot.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures

(Saturday 8 July)

St Ann’s Rangers v North East Stars, 4pm, Arima Velodrome;

(Tuesday 11 July)

Defence Force v Point Fortin Civic, 6pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Morvant Caledonia Utd v Central FC, 8pm, Ato Boldon Stadium Stadium.

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