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Penalty gives BDF 1-1 draw

Ezra Stuart

Penalty gives BDF 1-1 draw

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ClaytonsS Kola Tonic Notre Dame paid the penalty for a blunder by experienced defender Leon Todd and shared the spoils with leaders Barbados Defence Force (BDF) in their top-of-the-table Digicel Premier League on Sunday night.
Playing before the season’s biggest crowd at the Wildey AstroTurf, the BDF maintained their unbeaten run and a three-point cushion on the Dames in a thrilling 1-1 draw.
In the preceding match, Mackeson Brittons Hill, benefiting from Hendy Richards’ strike in the 29th minute and a 44th-minute own goal, held on for a hard-fought 2-1 victory against the never-say-die Cosmos, whose goal came via a penalty by Kareem Frederick in the 78th minute.
With BDF making a surprise substitution after just 12 minutes replacing Jason Lovell with Tramane Cobham, the Dames would feel they squandered a grand chance to inflict the first defeat on the BDF side this season.
Zico Edmee gave the Dames a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute with a neat finish after Kadeem “Buju” Atkins went down the left flank, turned past Ricardio Morris and played the ball across the BDF’s goalmouth.
The Dames enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the first half. Atkins had a chance a make it 2-0 after weaving his way through the BDF’s defence, but in switching the ball to his weaker right foot, failed to get the necessary power to his shot.
BDF almost equalized just before half-time as Cobham forced Dames’ goalkeeper Kareem Farrell to push away a shot for a corner, while Jamal Chandler couldn’t get his boot to a ball that Rashad Jules cut across the goalmouth.  
On resumption, Dames’ veteran John “Nobby” Parris twice denied Romario Harewood from scoring when he cleared a header on the goal line after a cross by BDF’s captain Mario Harte and then blocked Harewood’s rebound shot.  
Substitute Kyle Gibson, confronted by the advancing Farrell, also miskicked his attempt on the right side of the penalty area after running on to a brilliant ball from Dwayne O’Garro.
The Dames finally wilted under the pressure in the 77th minute when Todd, in trying to avert danger from a high cross into the Dames’ 18-yard box, handled the ball and referee Trevor “Muslim” Taylor awarded a penalty.
Harte firmly hit the spot kick past the diving Farrell, who got his hands to the ball, but couldn’t hold on to secure the equalizer.
The Dames had a last chance to win the match but DeCarlo Jemmott failed to control a pinpoint cross from the right side by John Hawkesworth that was floated over the BDF’s defence.
In the opening game, Cosmos made a gallant effort in the last 25 minutes to avoid defeat, after trailing 2-0 at half-time.
Brittons Hill took the lead when Paul Straughn nodded on a free kick from Riviere Williams for Richards to slot home at the back post.
They went up 2-0 rather fortuitously when central defence Dario Alleyne poked a harmless looking ball that was pushed into the six-yard box by Arantees Lawrence, past his own goalkeeper Richard Corbin.
But it wasn’t until six-footer Steve King and David “Popeye” Forde went on that Cosmos really started to pressure the Brittons Hill defence, manned by Jermaine Caesar and Rohan Hall.
Forde earned a penalty when he was brought down by substitute Edwin Brereton, who was asked to play a defensive role after Kevin Padmore had to be substituted.
Frederick easily converted, sending young Brittons Hill goalkeeper Rashad Ince the wrong way.?But neither Maradona Lavine, nor his sibling Donovan, were able to get the equalizer for Cosmos.