Strike Force dent Pride
By EZRA STUART | Sat, October 13, 2012 - 12:05 AM
KICK L.G. Strike Force continue to show their football power in the LIME Pelican Football Challenge.
And the Bayland-based franchise did so on Thursday night without their injured inspirational captain John “Nobby” Parris.
Strike Force flexed their muscles for a second straight victory under the guidance of new technical director and coach Keith “Grell” Griffith when they sent defending champions Tiger Malt Bajan Pride crashing to a second successive defeat with a 2-0 win in the feature match at Kensington Oval.
Kadeem Latham (26th minute) and substitute Shawn Hackett (86th) were the goalscorers but it was the outstanding goalkeeping of Kareem Farrell that allowed Strike Force to prevail and join unbeaten Akademiks, who have a game in hand, at the top of Zone A on six points.
In the first game, Emmerson Boyce 5th Avenue Bajan Elite ended a two-match losing streak with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Broad Street Men and Women Red Tridents, courtesy of an 80th-minute goal by Kemar Headley.
Headley could’ve had a second goal in the dying moments but strike partner Chai Lloyd, on a two-to-one breakaway, was blocked after going for glory instead of passing to his unmarked teammate.
Young defender Zico Phillips stood out for Bajan Elite, constantly thwarting the efforts of Jesse Turton and also making a goaline clearance after custodian Jason Boxill was beaten.
For the first 20 minutes of the nightcap encounter, it looked as if Bajan Pride would score any time as midfielder Jabar Greene threatened with his crosses and passes after some penetrating runs.
With Parris unable to suit up, the experienced Bryan Neblett took his position in the centre of the defence and was kept busy, along with Kimoi Seale and Demetro Browne.
A through ball from Greene set free Walton Burrowes but with Farrell advancing off his line, Burrowes shot wide.
Lanky striker Travis “Angus” Coppin missed a header and had some other chances but his control was awful, while Kimar Griffith forced Farrell into tipping over a long-range shot for a corner.
It came as no surprise when Latham, set up by Carl Joseph, scored against the run of play, neatly beating big goalkeeper Morrison Taylor.
An emotional Latham celebrated by holding up his jersey and revealing on an inside shirt a picture of his late friend and Paradise teammate Marcus Marshall, to whom he dedicated the goal.
Midfielder Elsid Miggins’ celebratory run toward the Greenidge And Haynes Stand came to nothing when his goal after a melee was disallowed, as a teammate was adjudged to be off-side.
At the other end, Farrell brilliantly blocked a fierce shot by Shane Clarke and was spared when Greene lashed the rebound over the crossbar.
Bajan Pride missed a golden opportunity to equalize when they were awarded a contentious penalty by promising young referee Matthew Alleyne.
Coppin, who was involved in a tangle with Seale as both players fell, was entrusted with the spot kick, but his weak push was easily parried by Farrell who dived to his left.
Both teams made a substitution at half-time with Strike Force’s Aaron Leacock coming on for Akel Roach and Jason Collymore replacing Shane Clarke in Bajan Pride’s line-up.
Carlo Perry also came on for Coppin while Rudy Grosvenor replaced Latham.
Farrell’s good work continued when he blocked a stinging free kick from Greene. At the other end, Hackett sealed the outcome when he collected a perfect pass from Dwayne Mars and buried a low left-foot shot into Taylor’s far corner.
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