Empire’s Romario Carter battling to get through Silver Sands’ defence. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
Jabarry Chandler’s second beaver-trick of a prolific campaign launched Empire to an emphatic 4-2 victory over Zone 1 strugglers Abrahams United Silver Sands as the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League continued at the Wildey Turf.
Also in action on Tuesday night were the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP), who were forced to settle for their second consecutive draw after stumbling to a 2-2 result with Crane and Equipment Ellerton.
Empire kicked off the action against the team they met in the 2018 domestic season curtain raiser, eager to reverse the 1-0 defeat. Leading scorer Chandler hit the mark in the sixth minute to give his team the early advantage.
It would not be long before Silver Sands replied through Derrine Gale-Forde in the 20th minute, capitalising on some slack defending by Empire.
Silver Sands pulled ahead just after the second half restarted in the 47th minute. Once again, the Empire back line was left exposed and the diminutive Donte McClean raced past them all with blistering speed and placed his shot beyond the fingertips of custodian Travis Marshall.
Just on the hour mark it was Silver Sands’ turn at poor defending. With several players left unmarked in the penalty area, Shanoi Evans’ free kick was easily met by Chandler at the back post.
Evans’ scooped cross 15 minutes later found Daniel Calvi again unmarked at the back post, and the Brazilian put it on a plate for Chandler to complete his hat-trick.
At this point the game was effectively over but the final nail in the coffin came in stoppage time. Referee Gillian Martindale awarded Empire a penalty and, true to form, Chandler assumed responsibility and confidently planted his kick in the top right corner of the net.
BDFSP came up against Ellerton, who had to rely on third-choice goalkeeper Johnross Benn, in a game of two red cards, two penalties and both teams sharing two goals apiece.
Shane Codrington opened the scoring from Rashad Jules’ driven free kick after half an hour.
The Ellerton players protested for offside but no flag was forthcoming. Ten minutes later, defender Shakeel Browne was sent off for a professional foul in a speedy Ellerton build-up.
Ellerton’s numbers allowed them to pressure the BDFSP defence high up the pitch and Romario Drakes nicked the ball from the toe of last defender captain Codrington. Out of clear desperation, the BDF captain tugged at Drakes’ shirt, fouling him in the process.
The referee brandished the red card and the BDFSP now had a serious battle to confront.
Ellerton equalised when winger Shaine Hermas won a penalty on 72 minutes, which substitute Shaquan Clarke scored after a stuttering run-up. Ellerton continued to build on the numbers game and were awarded a second spot kick when defender Rashad Smith was adjudged to have committed a foul in the box.
Hermas gave Ellerton the lead in the 78th minute. A flurry of missed chances for the St George lads came back to haunt them right as the clock struck 90 minutes. (NM)