360 all the way
NuLook 360 Connection continued their goal rush, beating Red Tridents 3-1 in the LIME Pelican Football Challenge on Sunday at the National Stadium.
In other Group B matches, Scotty’s Tech 4 Less Combined Stars and Emmerson Boyce Fifth Avenue Fashions Bajan Elite were also victorious over De Pier Sportstown Galaxy and Phoenix Toyota UFO Firehouse, respectively.
With an attacking mindset, 360 Connection scored thrice in the space of 35 minutes against a disorganized Red Tridents. Kyle Gibson opened the scoring in the 5th minute from close range after Zidkigah Samuel went by his marker on the right side and played a well weighted cross to him.
In the 29th minute, Red Tridents not only found themselves another goal down but a player as well. Centre back Keon Harding was adjudged to have fouled Dwayne Stanford in the penalty area while denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Stanford stepped up to convert.
Samuel scored 360’s third in the 39th minute in spectacular fashion. He danced past one defender down the left, then weaved in between two before unleashing a thunderous strike from 25 yards, completely baffling custodian Kerry Holder.
Tridents got a late consolation in the 78th minute from the left boot of Keon Atkins. His initial free kick was blocked by the wall but the ball fell nicely for him to blast his effort past the motionless Albert Brathwaite.
Combined Stars handed De Pier Sportstown Galaxy their second consecutive defeat, with a 3-1 win, while Bajan Elite defeated crowd favourites Phoenix Toyota UFO Firehouse 2-0, courtesy of goals by Romario Harewood and Kemar Headley.
The Stars took the lead in the 19th minute through Damian Husbands but the lads from the north replied in the 28th minute, through a strike from Maradona Lavine.
However, a double strike from Tristan “Fishy” Parris, in the 36th and 80th minute ensured victory for the Stars.
Bajan Elite played with confidence, aggression and passion to overcome the more seasoned Firehouse team, who never really displayed the quality which their team sheet showed.
The game started very aggressively, especially in the midfield where former national captain Norman Forde and current captain Jeffrey Williams tussled for midfield dominance. Under-20 player Jomo Harris anchored well in front of Bajan Elite’s back four and nullified many of Firehouse’s potential attacks.
Harewood started to find some pockets in the middle of the field to link up with forwards Headley and Reviere Williams, which caused some issues for the Firehouse defence.
An unmarked Headley should have opened the scoring for Bajan Elite. A cross from the right by Raymond Hope fell in his path but he swung at the ball and missed completely.
Bajan Pride eventually grabbed the lead in the 32nd minute. Harewood received a pass inside the area, on the right and slammed his shot past the right arm of Greg Jones and into the far corner.
Headley could have doubled the lead just before the break when he dispossessed and out-muscled John “Nobby” Parris, but his shooting left much to be desired.
Firehouse made some adjustments with system and personnel, introducing forward Ricky Barnes for midfielder Kemar Bartlett. Barnes was a livewire up front but centre back and skipper Barry Skeete stood firm at the back.
Bajan Elite secured victory in the 63rd minute due to some careless play by Firehouse. A goal kick was played out loosely in the middle of the field and no one from Firehouse reacted quickly enough to prevent Reviere Williams from collecting and making the pass through to Headley. After wasting his previous opportunities, he made no mistake this time, slotting home into the left corner.