Caledonia AIA picked up its first trophy of the 2012-2013 season on Friday night by retaining the First Citizens Cup with a 2-1 win over Defence Force in the Final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. Teenage Guyanese winger Trayon Bobb, who eventually picked up the tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, was instrumental in the opening Caledonia item in the 22nd minute before netting what turned out the winner in the 49th minute.
Caledonia, which also won the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield, FA Trophy and Caribbean Club Championship last season, started the brighter of the two sides. Keyon Edwards managed a tame shot under goalkeeper Kevin Graham before it was cleared away by defender Glynn Franklyn in the fifth minute, and five minutes later Bobb forced the Defence Force goalie into action.
But 20 minutes into the match, low-power voltage caused a number of the stadium lights to go out forcing referee Neil Brizan to pause the match and consult both coaches over continuation. Eventually both teams were back out under the dim lighting. That’s when the real action started.
It wasn’t long into the resumption when Bobb cross from the left was directed in goal by the lanky Jamal Gay to hand the Jamaal Shabazz-coached outfit a 1-0 advantage. The Soldiers then levelled the scores 1-1 in the 28th minute with a superb run and strike by Richard Roy snatching his third item of the tournament and later picked up the Most Goals Award with three successful strikes.
Roy later struck an effort from distance just wide, when he was picked out by a Russell Jr pass some 26 yards out. Bobb had Caledonia back in front just four minutes into the second period receiving a pass inside the left of the area and firing past Graham for a 2-1 score.
Caledonia substitute Nathan Lewis had another one in the back of the net a minute and a half later, beating goalkeeper Graham through the legs after controlling a Walter Moore strike across the area. However, it was ruled offside. The Morvant-Laventille club missed a third item in the 57th minute, which was clearly wasted wide by an unmarked Edwards who headed wide of the post off Lewis’ right side cross.
Defence Force, winner of the First Citizens Cup in 2002 & 2009, had an opening to level the scores in the 64th minute when a long ball forward by Roy was controlled brilliantly by Carter between three defenders but when inside the area, the attacker fumbled. Carter had another opening in the 70th minute, this time hitting into goalkeeper Samuel after he was slipped in a pass by Jorsling to put him one on one with the Caledonia goalie.
Caledonia took full control of the match near the end which was labelled “shooting practice” some supporters. Lewis, Caledonia’s liveliest player of the second period, swung an effort wide of the far post in the 73rd minute and two minutes later Densil Theobald was denied by the gloves of Graham.
Moments later, Theobald stuck a low effort just wide. Late substitute Ataulla Guerra joined in on the fun against a depleted Defence Force, but it was Lewis who forced Graham into action in the 84th and 90th minutes before the final whistle.
Caledonia AIA 2 (Jamal Gay 22nd, Trayon Bobb 49th) v Defence Force 1 (Richard Roy 28th)