St Thomas’ visit to friendship didn’t prove to be very friendly for St Michael North East.
Shaquille Stewart netted four goals, inclusive of a first half hat-trick, to help St Thomas to a comfortable 4-2 victory over the home side, St Michael North East, when the David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils Football Classic continued on Wednesday night.
In the evening’s first game, St Lucy were also in winner’s row, edging St Philip North 1-0 in a scrappy contest.
But the night belonged to Stewart, who almost single-handedly put the match beyond his opponents in the first half with a clinical performance.
In the space of 13 minutes, the striker turned what was shaping up to be an intriguing contest into a lopsided affair.
His first goal came against the run of play in the 30th minute, as the home side pressed forward in numbers.
After collecting the ball deep in his opponent’s half, Stewart stormed down the right side of the penalty area and unleashed a fierce shot which flew past the outstretched hands of St Michael North East’s young goalkeeper Andre Clarke and into the bars.
Four minutes later it was 2-0, as Stewart stepped up to drive his free kick from just outside the box past a diving Clarke, who really should have done better.
Anthony Forde thought he had pulled one back for his side when he hammered a fumble from St Thomas’ custodian Barry Lowe into the back of the net. However, the linesman had already raised his flag for offside.
Things went from bad to worse for St Michael North East in the 43rd minute, when Stewart found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home from close range for a 3-0 half-time lead.
Stewart completed his demolition five minutes into the second half, thanks to an error by Clarke, who allowed the striker’s tame shot to roll under his hands and into the net.
The home side eventually gave their fans something to shout about, thanks to goals by Andre Gill and Forde in the 70th and 83rd minutes, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat.
The lone disappointment of the night for the visitors was Shane Vaughn being stretchered off the field and into an ambulance after a collision on the field.
Earlier in a dull match, in which both teams struggled to create goal-scoring opportunities, Jermaine Boyce’s 59th minute strike was all St Lucy needed to get past St Philip North.