Settlers get first Pelican victory
BARBADOS STEEL Works Top Bay Settlers are the first franchise to taste victory in the LIME Pelican Football Challenge.
Playing before a sell-out crowd of around 6 500 with all five stands filled, Top Bay Settlers registered the first victory of the tournament, defeating Direct TV Red Snappers 1-0 through a 60th minute goal by national player Ramuel Miller.
In the feature match, Phoenix UFO Toyota Fire House and Nu Look 360 Connection played to an exciting 1-1 draw, the third such scoreline in the four matches played so far.
The 360 Connection opened the scoring in the 40th minute through Dwayne Stanford, but another former Barbados footballer Paul “Soup” Lovell got the equalizer for Fire House in the 66th minute.
Renaldo Waithe intercepted an ill-advised pass from defender Llewellyn Broomes and played it to Stanford who controlled the ball on the left side of the six-yard box and then switched to his right boot, to beat goalkeeper Jason Boxhill, from an acute angle.
But Fire House, who had superior possession throughout the match, equalized when a cross by Norman Forde was headed across the goal mouth for Lovell lurking inside the six-yard box to squeeze in high into the nets.
The Fire House continued to attack in an exciting last 15 minutes of play but a threaded pass from Forde to Ricky Barnes, who was involved in an unnecessary fracas with 360 Connection sweeper Jomo Brathwaite for most of the match, was flagged for offside.
Barnes had earlier unbelievably shot wide when Forde went down the left and played a lovely ball over the 360 Connection defence which eluded Brathwaite.
The player of the game was clearly 360 Connection goalkeeper and captain Kerry Holder, who was kept busy throughout the contest.
He had to put his body on the line to grab a ball from the legs of substitute Sherwin Daisley.
But 360 Connection, to their credit, finished the match strongly and had at least three chances in the dying moments. After referee Adrian Skeete waved play on, Stanford darted towards goal but was blocked by Jason Boxhill and he hit a left-foot volley wide after substitute Armando Lashley wisely hooked the ball into his path.
At the other end, Lovell dribbled through the 360 Connection defence but his shot was blocked by Holder with his legs.
Just before the end, Stanford got a final chance to grab the winner, but his shot was deflected for a corner.
In the first game, Top Bay Settlers’ defender Stuart Hall struck the crossbar and striker Arantes Lawrence was unlucky when a goal-bound header was diverted by a bad bounce in a goalless first half.
Miller came up with the winning goal 15 minutes into the second half, surprisingly beating Red Snappers’ goalkeeper Richard Corbin at near post with a speculative shot from the left side.
Two oldstagers, Albert Mapp of Red Snappers and Gregory Goodridge, employed in a wide midfield role for the Settlers, both had good games.
Striker Ricardo Carter was denied a goal when he slipped past Settlers’ goalkeeper Bernard Howell as Paul Straughn cleared the ball off the line for a corner, while another former Barbados player, Llewellyn Riley came close on a few occasions, but Straughn, who teamed up well with rugged Mark Cox and Hall in defence, made some timely interceptions.
Mapp was also denied by the crossbar with a powerful 35-yard left-foot shot.