Chandler in 5-goal spree for Empire
Empire’s Jabarry “Papi” Chandler staked his claim to the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League Golden Boot with a sterling five-goal haul in a 5-2 victory over Home Improvement Compton on Saturday at the Wildey Turf.
Earlier, Rendezvous failed to appear on time for their opening fixture against relegation-threatened Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame and forfeited the game.
Their second forfeit of this campaign will certainly see them docked another six points and further sanctions and it all but confirmed their relegation.
University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds racked up another massive win, this time thrashing relegation favourites Abrahams United Silver Sands 8-0 with a beaver-trick for midfielder Jomo Harris.
Dames were gifted three points and thereby put pressure on the shoulders of Empire’s players to deliver the maximum result against Compton in order to avoid the relegation play-offs and with the Bayland boys momentarily rising above them in the standings, Empire took the initiative in their nightcap encounter with Compton, getting their go-ahead goal after just seven minutes.
Kishmar Wade equalised four minutes later but Chandler restored the lead from close range ten minutes from the end of the first half.
An unfortunate handball by Empire presented a penalty for Compton and again, Wade stepped up for his team to draw them level once more. Substitute Abiola Grant, a junior national player, made his Premier League debut and got his maiden assist when Chandler converted his left wing cross in the 77th minute. Grant and Chandler combined via the same route to take the score to 4-2 ten minutes later.
Empire’s star man’s solo effort in second half stoppage time elevated them back to fourth as the battle against the relegation play-offs continues.
In what was to be Saturday’s middle fixture, UWI opened the proceedings against Silver Sands with the Blackbirds unable to improve upon or worsen their second placing in Zone 2 and with Silver Sands also doomed to be in Division 1 next season.
Harris broke the deadlock in the sixth minute and added two more before half time in the 15th and 36th minutes. Mario Harte extended his advantage at the top of the goal standings with his only strike in the 25th minute.
Tito Beckles’ goal in first half stoppage time provided the Blackbirds with a resounding five-goal lead as the players headed back to the dressing rooms.
Harris easily dribbled past goalkeeper Jamal Moore to seal his fourth in the 64th minute before Shamari Mark, who has found his goal scoring boots in the latter half of the season, added his two contributions in the 74th and 86th minutes.
With the end of the regular season imminent, Dames, Empire and Compton still have much to fight for to safeguard their top-flight status amid the arrivals of Barbados Soccer Academy, winners of Zone 1 in Division 2 and St Andrew Lions, winners of Zone 2. Meanwhile, Youth Milan and Wotton will engage in a two-leg play-off to determine the third promoted team. (NM)