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Central looks to end draw streak
Central FC will be keen to end a run of six straight drawn results and get its top-two finish bid back on track in the Digicel T&T Pro League when it faces second from bottom, San Juan Jabloteh in the feature match of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 8 pm.
Four-time league champions, DirecTV W Connection currently sits at the top of the nine-team table with 33 points from 14 matches and a cosy ten points clear of Pt Fortin Civic while Police is third with 21 followed by Caledonia AIA (20), North East Stars (19), Central FC (17) and defending champions Defence Force with 13 points but from only eight matches.
But with W Connection and Police idle this weekend and Pt Fortin not in action until tomorrow at home to Caledonia, coach Terry Fenwick and his Central “Sharks” who were denied a win over the table leaders late on after being ahead 2-0 until the 87th will be eager for full points to gain some ground.
However, Fenwick, a former England World Cup defender and long-time coach of Jabloteh knows the task will not be as easy one as his team has not won since a 3-2 triumph over cellar-placed St Ann’s Rangers, back on the penultimate day of round one matches.
Since then, the Couva-based “Sharks” who have drawn eight of 13 matches overall in the league have had to settle for a share of the points against Jabloteh (1-1); Caledonia (1-1); Pt Fortin (0-0), Police (0-0), North East (1-1) and the another draw, 2-2 with W Connection on Tuesday last at the Couva venue.
What should be the worry for Fenwick is that his club added no fewer than five January transfer window signings in the likes of T&T internationals Ataullah Guerra and Willis Plaza, ex-T&T international Yohance Marshall, Defence Force utility player Samuel Delice and former T&T Youth World Cup players Sean de Silva and Leston Paul.
They joined an already talented camp featuring veteran Marvin Oliver, Rundell Winchester, Dwight Quintero, Jason Marcano, Johan Peltier, Jan-Michael Williams, Jamal Jack, Elton John and Akeem Benjamin.
But somehow, they have failed to improve on the team’s win column, a statistic it will hope to end against a plucky Jabloteh, which managed to hold Stars to a draw as well on Tuesday—0-0 at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
However, boosted by a new sponsorship deal with six corporate companies, inclusive of National Lotteries Control Board which was signed on Tuesday, the Keith Jeffreys youthful Jabloteh squad led by the league’s all-time leading goalscorer in Kerry Baptiste will be hoping to give their new financial partners and its own technical team something to cheer about, by ending its own five-match winless run, having earned a 1-1 draw in round one.
Two hours earlier at Couva, Angus Eve and his Stars, winless in three matches will be also desperate for a win which would take them up to third after a disappointing result with Jabloteh.
When both teams met in the first round, Stars got a 1-0 win, and has continued to struggle in front of goal, scoring only four in their last six encounters.
On the other hand, Rangers have also endured the same problems in front of goal, as was evident when striker Michael Yaw-Darko missed a late penalty in a 1-0 loss to Police on Tuesday.
Tomorrow, a resurgent Pt Fortin Civic, the league’s inform club with four wins and two draws from its last six matches entertains Caledonia AIA, which ironically was the last team to take maximum points away from it, via 2-1 win.
Since then, Caledonia’s form has been inconsistent with wins draws against Central FC and Police, both 1-1 a loss to Stars, 0-2 and wins over Jabloteh (1-0) and Rangers (3-0) in their last two matches.
Schedule & standings
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva:
St Ann’s Rangers vs North East Stars, 6 pm
Jabloteh vs Central FC, 8 pm
Pt Fortin Civic vs Caledonia AIA, Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin, 3.30pm
Teams P W D L F A Pts
W Connection 14 10 3 1 30 9 33
Pt Fortin 14 7 2 5 21 15 23
Police 14 6 3 5 19 20 21
Caledonia 13 5 5 3 21 14 20
North East Stars 13 5 4 4 12 9 19
Central FC 13 3 8 2 16 14 17
Defence Force 8 4 1 3 15 14 13
Jabloteh 14 3 2 9 18 30 11
Rangers 13 1 0 12 11 38 3