Morvant Caledonia United snapped a five game win-less streak yesterday evening as they downed table proppers Cunupia FC 3-1 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The ‘Eastern Stallions’ have not had a result to celebrate since they downed Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 2-0 on 21 January at the Hasely Crawford Stadium—a triumph followed by losses against Defence Force, San Jan Jabloteh and Tiger Tanks Club Sando and draws with AC Port of Spain and Police FC.
In that sense, Cunupia could not have turned up at a better time. The game was 13 minutes old when Caledonia defender Otev Lawrence carved open the opposing team like a Christmas ham with a through pass from distance to his baby brother, Tev Lawrence, who completed the play with a precise finish at the near post.
If the St Lucian pair whetted the crowd’s appetite with a clever opening goal, Guyanese international Pernell Schultz raised the bar considerably with Caledonia’s second item in the 20th minute.
Schultz collected a pass inside the Cunupia penalty box and, nonchalantly, flicked the ball over the head of opposing defender Maestro Mensah to get a clear sight of goal. Then, sensing that Mensah was a bit too eager to recover, Schultz dipped his left shoulder and swerved past the Ghanian defender a second time before finishing with a rocket into the roof of the net.
Poor Mensah would probably spend his entire weekend trying to find a chiropractor.
If there was a downside to Schultz’ impudent trick, it was that it made his teammates just a bit too sure of themselves. In the 31st minute, Caledonia’s usually sensible goalkeeper Katibi Kolapo inexplicably decided to show off his own dribbling skills in the wrong penalty area. And, one heavy touch and a desperate lunging tackle later, Kolapo had a yellow card and Cunupia captain Kevon ‘Showtime’ Woodley was rolling the resulting penalty kick into the corner of the net.[sports-match template=”logos” match=”60994″]
Kolapo’s gift was as good as it got for the woeful Cunupia, though, as another Guyanese international, Sheldon Holder, put the game to bed in the second half with a close range header, which helped the Stallions retain their fifth place in the 11-team table.
If there was a gift in yesterday’s other fixture at Couva between Jabloteh and Rangers, it came from referee Rodphin Harris.
Three minutes after the interval, Kendall Hitlal dusted himself off from a foul committed by Rangers and caught the eye of Jabloteh playmaker Micah Lansiquot in a threatening position. In a flash, Hitlal slipped a pass into Lansiquot’s path. Harris put the whistle to his lip but did not blow—and the former national youth player slipped the ball past Rangers goalkeeper Jabari St Hillaire to cue enthusiastic celebrations.
And, at that point, Harris blew and farcically offered Jabloteh another chance to take the free kick. It was farcical and the ‘San Juan Kings’ were anything but pleased.
Rangers made good use of the reprieve as forward Tyrone Charles put the visitors ahead in the 59th minute with a glancing header off a fine cross by substitute Kadeem Corbin. And, seven minutes later, Charles doubled their advantage with a fine finish off a pass behind the opposing defence as Rangers wrapped up a 2-0 win.
It was a good evening for Point Fortin Civic too, as they made home advantage count again with a 1-0 win over third placed Police FC at Mahaica Oval.
Playmaker Tyrel ‘Pappy’ Emmanuel got the decisive item for the team from deep south, who are sixth in the standings and tied on points with fourth placed W Connection and fifth placed Morvant Caledonia.
Pro League results
(Friday 28 February)
San Juan Jabloteh 0, Terminix La Horquetta Rangers 2 (Tyrone Charles 59, 66) at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Point Fortin Civic 1 (Tyrel Emmanuel 53), Police FC 0 at Mahaica Oval;
M’vt Caledonia Utd 3 (Tev Lawrence 12, Pernell Schultz 20, Sheldon Holder 68), Cunupia FC 1 (Kevon Woodley 32 pen) at Ato Boldon Stadium.