Blackbirds claw way to victory
The University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds soared high above Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame to earn a stunning 2-1 comeback win as the action continued in the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League on Tuesday night at the Wildey AstroTurf.
Goals from Shamari Mark and Corey “Santa” Barrow ensured the three points for a stuttering UWI side to keep them momentarily in second in Zone 2 in a high tempo out-of-zone clash which saw Notre Dame finish the game with nine men.
In the evening’s earlier encounter, Empire Club walked away with a creditable 1-1 draw from their rescheduled meeting with Zone 1 leaders Neighbourhood Care Pharmacy Weymouth Wales.
It was the first occasion on which Wales were unable to get all three points, due to valiant defensive work by Empire, denying the free-scoring champions the chances to create chaos.
Jabarry “Papi” Chandler got his first goal of the season for Empire in the 11th minute, capitalising on an error in Wales’ defence to end any hopes of a clean sheet for goalkeeper Omari Eastmond.
Much changed from Sunday’s win over the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme. Wales lacked their famed sharp and incisive play and, with Kemar Holligan having the game of his life at the heart of the Empire defence, the Bank Hall boys kept their Carrington Village counterparts at bay until the 77th minute.
Hadan Holligan’s impressive imitation of Holland’s Robin van Persie’s Flying Dutchman goal against Spain at the 2014 World Cup drew Wales level but they could not find a second goal to continue their perfect record.
Empire’s herculean effort set the stage for the night cap encounter between UWI Blackbirds and Notre Dame.
UWI captain Mario Harte came closest in the first half, slamming his shot into the post from very close range after Axcel George’s long distance drive crashed against the crossbar.
The diligent duel saw its first goal in the 69th minute. Substitute Aaron Leacock’s free kick was won in the air by Sheran Hoyte and Azarel Croney arrived to score with aplomb. Less than ten minutes after grabbing the lead, it would all start to unravel for Notre Dame.
Akeem Broomes was sent off in the 75th minute for his second bookable offence and Dames lost another player six minutes later when Keiron Cox was sent off for deliberately handling a goal-bound attempt by Harte. The subsequent spot kick was buried by midfielder Mark and at this point a depleted Notre Dame could hope for a draw at best.
UWI did not make their numerical advantage count at first, but delayed their moment until the second minute of stoppage time. Barrow reacted first after a set play to score the eventual winner with almost the last kick of the game for just their second victory of the season.