Striker Richard Roy made the best of a rare start ahead of Devorn Jorsling by netting a pair of goals as reigning Digicel T&T Pro League champion Defence Force devoured cellar positioned St Ann's Rangers 5-1 in a rescheduled contest at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya on Thursday night. The win for the Ross Russell-coached “Teteron Boys” saw it jump over Police FC and Caledonia AIA—both with 21 points—into fifth position with 23 points from 14 matches. Six points ahead of Defence Force are Central FC, Point Fortin Civic and North East Stars—all with 29 points—while leaders W Connection are well ahead with 37 points.
At the top of the table ahead of last night's double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva was four-time champions, DirecTV W Connection with 37 points from 16 matches followed by the trio of Central FC, its opponent last night, Pt Fortin Civic FC and North East Stars from 17, 16 and 17 matches respectively. The burly Roy opened the account on the half-hour mark by capitalising on a defensive lapse by Rangers, and firing low past a stranded goalkeeper Terrence Lewis for a 1-0 score. And three minutes before the break winger Kerry Joseph doubled the Soldiers' advantage, 2-0, with a simple knock-in at the back post.
Rangers, who registered 3-2 shock win over Defence Force last October in Round One, conceded a third by the 62nd minute when Roy completed his double. The robust forward was set free into the area by a Dave Long pass, and executed a cool finish past Lewis for a 3-0 score. Midfielder Josimar Belgrave, scorer of the opening item in a 2-0 win over Caledonia on Tuesday, joined in on the fun, when he pounced on a spill by Lewis to hit into an open net for a 4-0 lead. But when Defence Force goalie Kevin Graham's cut-off on a strike by Quincy Ballah, only played the ball into the path of Rangers' substitute Josh Toussaint five minutes from time, the 16-year-old attacking player directed the ball into the back of the net for a consolation item, and reduced the deficit 1-4.
However Rangers, now with 16 defeats, one win and no draws, conceded their 52nd league goal of the season on the 90th minute. Substitutes Jorsling and Balondemu Julius, who replaced Roy and Belgrave in the 69th minute, combined for the fifth Defence Force item and completed the 5-1 win. It was from Jorsling's short cross from the left that Julius fired past a helpless Lewis.
Today, Rangers which has only one win from 17 matches will return to action from 4 pm at the Larry Gomes Stadium against Police FC in Round Three Match Day Two, while Defence Force, with three games in hand, are expected to meet Point Fortin Civic on Sunday at Couva from 6 pm.
Defence Force 5 (Richard Roy 30th, 62nd, Kerry Joseph 42nd, Josimar Belgrave 68th, Balondemu Julius 90th) vs St Ann's Rangers 1 (Josh Toussaint 86th).
St Ann's Rangers vs Police, Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, 4 pm
Pt Fortin Civic vs Defence Force, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 6 pm