Substitute Shaquille Dublin got a double in the second half to guide Point Fortin Civic to a 2-0 victory over Prison Services FC on Saturday in the first match of a doubleheader at the Arima Velodrome, as round two of the T&T Premier Football League continued.
The men from Point had a come-from-behind 1-1 tie with Club Sando in their opening match last week, but on Saturday they were more than two goals better than their opponents.
Coach Dexter Cyrus said he could not believe his team did not score in the first half, amidst the dominance they enjoyed.
In spite of their dominance, however, it was Prisons who had the most blatant of chances to score, when defender Lyshaun Morris attempted to head a ball back to his goalkeeper Terrence Lewis while under pressure from striker Antonio Auguste in the 44th minute. But it fell agonisingly short of the onrushing custodian and allowed Auguste in with a one-on-one with Lewis.
However, Auguste procrastinated and allowed Morris to rush back and toe-poke the ball beyond the goalline before the striker could offer a shot.
The teams went to the halfway break with the scores levelled at zero, but soon after they returned to the field, Dublin got the opening goal.
Shackiel Henry found himself at the end of a left-side cross by Luke Phillips for Point Fortin before he quickly released to the oncoming Dublin to hit hard and low past goalkeeper Jevon Bourne in the 55th minute for a 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Dublin sealed the win. This time from a throw-in from the left side, which Prisons’ defender and captain Anthony Parris mistimed, and it fell nicely for Dublin to hit past the goalie for a 2-0 advantage.
Prisons, the new team in T&T’s top-flight football, should have pulled a goal back in the 74th minute, however. Substitute Carlon Wight was allowed a clear path to the Point Fortin goal despite a blatant dangerous tackle on a Point defender earlier, and with only Lewis in front of him, Wight hit straight to him.
The attempt summed up the Prisons’ day as they had to settle for the 2-0 defeat.
Cunupia blanks Jabloteh for first win
Jaimol Layne and captain Rhondel Gibson netted a goal each as Cunupia FC blanked San Juan Jabloteh for their first win in two matches in the 2023 T&T Premier Football League when second round matches kicked off with a doubleheader at the St James Police Barracks, Training Ground, Long Circular on Friday night.
Layne fired in the opener a minute into time added-on at the end of the first half when he beat Jabloteh goalkeeper and captain Jesse Peters with a long-range right-footed blast that nestled into the top right-hand corner of the goal, and in the 71st minute, Gibson reacted quickly to a loss ball in the 18-yard box after Peters failed to clear a right-sided corner.
The win secured the first points for the Michael De Four-coached Cunupia FC who entered the match on the back of a 2-0 loss to Caledonia AIA at the Arima Municipal Stadium, on Sunday last while the Marvin Gordon-coached San Juan Jabloteh drew goalless against T&T Prisons also at Arima on Sunday in their opener.
In the night’s second match, T&T Police, who enjoyed a good showing in the last edition of the Ascension Football Tournament, battled former powerhouse W Connection, who enter the match on the heels of a 2-0 loss to Central FC in their opener.
The ‘Lawmen’ who were in-active in the opening round after their match against Terminix La Horquetta Rangers was re-scheduled will be buoyed by the return from national team duties of goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, while the former perennial kings of local football, W Connection will also see the return of national team duo, striker Nathaniel James, and goalkeeper Denzil Smith, all of whom were part of the T&T team that returned from their two-match international friendlies with the Jamaica ‘Reggae Boyz’, with T&T winning the first encounter 1-0, and earning a 0-0 draw in the other.
On Saturday, March 18, a double-header is also on the schedule for Arima from 5 pm with T&T Prisons entertaining Point Fortin Civic, followed by Central FC who may include T&T international Kadeem Corbin on his return from Jamaica, against Morvant Caledonia AIA from 7.30 pm.
The second round will conclude on Sunday, March 19, when Club Sando which should feature national players Josiah Trimmingham, Kareem Bailey, hosts AC Port of Spain, and fellow T&T internationals, goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Jameel Neptune, Matthew Woo Ling, Michael Poon Angeron, Jomoul Francois and John-Paul Rochford, at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, from 4 pm.
Club Sando vs AC Port of Spain, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, 4 pm.