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Goal feast in Digicel League

Ezra Stuart

Goal feast in Digicel League

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FOURTEEN GOALS, a second straight hat-trick by Armando Lashley, a red card for Norman Forde for simulating an injury during Youth Milan’s fourth straight victory.
These were some of the highlights of an action-packed Digicel Premier League triple-header at the National Stadium on Sunday night.
Kenroy Skinner scored again as Youth Milan’s registered a hard-fought 3-2 win over Pride of Gall Hill to maintain their early lead at the top of the table with a maximum 12 points in a heated feature match that new FIFA referee Adrian Skeete had a torrid time controlling.
Another champagne moment came when 2009 Footballer Of The Year Henderson Richards marked his long-awaited return from injury to the Premiership with a fantastic back flick to score Mackeson Brittons Hill’s second goal in their tough 2-0 victory over ICE Wales.
Before that, Paradise had provided the appetizer by dishing out a 5-2 whipping to Sportingbet Pinelands 5-2 in the opening game.
Lashley followed up his triple strike against Ellerton last Thursday with another treble in the 42nd, 57th and 77th minutes after coach/player Kent Hall gave Paradise a 26th minute lead.
Shakir Sargeant (90+1) sealed the outcome with an injury-time goal, while Lionel Paul (32nd) had equalized for Pinelands at 1-1 before Lashley opened the floodgates. Peter Stoute got a consolation goal in the 70th minute against his former club.
But in a compelling and contentious contest between Youth Milan and Gall Hill, penalties were awarded to either side by Skeete.
In the 12th minute, Forde found Skinner, who was brought down by Oscar Nero. Forde firmly lashed the resulting penalty high to goalkeeper Omari Eastmond’s left.
Gall Hill equalized in the 39th minute, when Jamal Chandler, after he was fouled by Romelle Burgess, clipped the spot kick to the right of Milan’s goalkeeper Adrian Chase.
Then on the stroke of half-time, Curtis “Messi” Odle made a scintillating solo run through the Milan defence after collecting the ball at the halfway line.
He had Chandler on his left and Justin “Tuffy” Belgrave on his right, but realizing that the former was straying off-side he opted not to pass. Instead, he hit a superb curling shot from 20 yards into Chase’s right corner.
The match started to get physical and Belgrave was red-carded in the 59th minute for serious foul play when he lashed out at Milan’s midfielder Dwayne “Boots” Griffith, who had escaped with a double foot tackle and what appeared to be an elbow.
But the Gall Hill players and spectators weren’t amused when referee Skeete failed to give both Forde and Burgess second yellow cards for respective fouls.
The introduction of Ramon Greaves for Brian Corbin, who had started upfront, paid off for Milan as Greaves had a boot  in the last two goals.
First, he drilled a low ball into the Gall Hill box and a lurking Skinner was on hand to push a left-foot shot through a wall of players out of Eastmond’s reach to make it 2-2 in the 63rd minute.
Seven minutes later, Forde was ejected when he went into a tackle with Rico “Sas” Baptiste, who immediately confronted Skeete as Forde was rolling around on the ground. Skeete showed the red card to Forde, ruling that he was faking the injury even as medics lifted him off the field on a stretcher.
Milan’s winning goal came in the 85th minute when Greaves again lobbed a high cross from the right. Skinner ran onto it and made a deft back heel pass right into the path of the advancing Ramuel Miller who buried the ball into Eastmond’s far corner with his least favoured right foot.
In the preceding match, substitute Walton Burrowes made the difference for Brittons Hill after a goalless first half when he raced in between defenders to skilfully slot home a left-side cross from Zakdigah Samuels in the 63rd minute.
Wales were also reduced to ten men when sweeper Julian Mottley was sent off. And on the stroke of full time, Burrowes’ cross from the right byline was brilliantly side-flicked by the oncoming Richards with his heel.
The two other Premiership games slated for Friendship and Bridgefield were not played because of a clash with cricket matches.