Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Pt Fortin faces Caledonia test
Point Fortin Civic will be hoping to cut four-time Digicel T&T Pro League champion DirecTV W Connection lead at the top of the nine-team table to seven points, when it welcomes Caledonia AIA to the Mahaica Oval from 3.30 pm today. W Connection, with 33 points at the top, sits out this weekend matches as its fixture against defending champion Defence Force will be rescheduled. The soldiers, coming off a month-long self-imposed suspension from all sporting activities issued by the T&T Defence Force, will only return to action on Tuesday in a rescheduled round two match against Central FC from 6 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
League newcomer Pt Fortin is second on the table with 23 points from 14 matches followed by Police with 21 and Caledonia, a further point behind. And despite last night’s matches, the men from “Deep South” will still be in second spot by the time they kick-off against the Jamaal Shabazz-coached Caledonia.
Speaking ahead of today’s encounter former national and W Connection midfielder Reynold Carrington, the coach of Pt Fortin, said his team hopes to maintain the pressure on the leader. He said, “Our whole intention is to keep the pressure on and judging from our last game (2-0 against San Juan Jabloteh) we can say that we have improved a lot and we are starting to get better footing in this round than we did in round one. It’s also good to also see our new players have fitted well with the rest of the squad.” But he admitted, “Caledonia wouldn’t be an easy opponent. They defeated us in the first round and it’s a result we would want to turn around in our favour on Saturday (today).” The resurgent Pt Fortin is the league’s in-form club with four wins and two draws from its last six matches with its last defeat, ironically coming against Caledonia (2-1).
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. Th Morvant/Laventille club is also pushing for a top-two finish, and is undefeated in its last three matches, which makes the Mahaica Oval-clash an interesting one to witness. “I think it’s going to be a huge game for both teams and the league,” said Shabazz. “We certainly want to go all out (in this one) because despite not being in our best form, we are still picking up important points along the way. We hope that this game against Point will be the game that defines our real rhythm.” The Caledonia boss also knocked Point Fortin’s ‘seasonal spectators’ adding, “It seems Civic and their fans have a glass door, because they only come out when their team is winning.” Shabazz will be without the services of American midfielder Ralph Lundy, who scored twice in his team’s last outing a 3-0 win St Ann’s Rangers after he picked up an ankle injury in training, and striker Jamal Gay, who only returned to training this week after suffering a broken nose during his team’s 1-0 win over Jabloteh on January 31.