Former champion, W Connection slowed the march of Defence Force towards its first Digicel T&T Pro League title in 11 years when both teams battled to a 0-0 draw at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on a rainy Tuesday night. Going into the second round day two match, the "Teteron Boys" held a perfect record of ten wins from as many matches and led with 30 points, but in the "Savonetta Boys" they found a stiffer challenge than in their first round meeting which they won 2-1. With the point earned, Defence Force which failed to score for the first time in a league match this season improved to 31 points, nine ahead of defending champion, bmobile Joe Public which came from a goal down to beat ten-man San Juan Jabloteh 3-1 via a Kerry Baptiste hat-trick at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya. Before the kick-off, Jabloteh coach, Englishman Terry Fenwick was forced to make a roster change after striker Hector Sam withdrew from the team following the birth of his son prior to kickoff.
Six minutes into the contest, Jabloteh was dealt a further blow when captain and veteran midfielder Marvin Oliver was issued a straight red card by referee Shane De Silva for dissent. Despite being a man down, Jabloteh created the better of the chances and on the stroke of half-time went 1-0 ahead when makeshift striker Willis Plaza pounced on a defensive blunder by Makan Hislop to stab the ball home past goalkeeper Marvin Phillip. Five minutes into the second-half, last season's leading scorer in the league and Joe Public captain, Kerry Baptiste got his team level as he fired past goalkeeper Cleon John from on the edge of the 18-yard box. Ten minutes later Baptiste made it 2-1 when he collected a Hayden Tinto left-sided centre that somehow found its way through four Jabloteh players' before poking the ball past John.
The nippy Baptiste then added another with a clinical finish into the far corner for a 3-1 cushion. He also had time to squander a chance at a fourth goal from a Micah Lewis right sided cross.
In the end, it was a welcome return to form for Baptiste and victory for Joe Public which had suffered a 2-0 extra-time T&T Football Federation FA Trophy round-of-16 loss to Jabloteh on Friday night at the same venue. Earlier on at Macoya, Trevin Ceasar fired home a 90th minute item to give Ma Pau an unlikely 1-0 win over an unlucky St Ann's Rangers, who had only themselves to blame for not hitting the target. The win pushed Ma Pau to fourth spot with 17 points, one behind Caledonia AIA which needed an 89th minute winner from Kemron Purcell to get past FC South End 2-1 at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. Guyanese midfielder Shawn Beveney had given Caledonia the lead in the 37th minute but Oswin Williams drew South End level in the 70th minute before Purcell struck. In Tuesday's other match, national utility player Anthony Wolfe registered a second-half hat-trick as DirecTV North East Stars outgunned Police 6-3 after trailing 0-3 at the interval at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar. The next round of league matches take place on Tuesday.
Ma Pau 1 (Trevin Ceasar 90th) vs Rangers 0.
Joe Public 3 (Kerry Baptiste 50th, 65th, 87th) vs Jabloteh 1 (Willis Plaza 45th).
Caledonia 2 (Shawn Beveney 37th, Kemron Purcell 89th) vs South End 1 (Oswin Williams 70th).
D/Force 0 vs W Connection 0
N/East Stars 6 (Anthony Wolfe 53rd, 66th, 86th, Kendall Velox 56th, Akile Guevara 59th, Gary Glasgow 70th) vs Police 3 (Noel Williams 15th, 44th, Sayid Freitas 25th)
Teams P W D L F A Pts
D/Force 11 10 1 0 27 8 31
Joe Public 11 6 4 1 20 12 22
Caledonia 11 5 3 3 14 11 18
Ma Pau 11 4 5 2 14 9 17
W Connection 11 4 4 3 14 9 16
NE Stars 11 4 4 3 20 16 16
Jabloteh 11 3 4 4 12 10 13
Rangers 11 2 3 6 11 21 9
Police 11 1 2 8 14 33 5
South End 11 1 0 10 8 25 3
Caledonia vs Police, HC Stadium, Mucurapo, 6 pm.
Jabloteh vs Rangers, HC Stadium, Mucurapo, 8 pm.
Ma Pau vs South End, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 6 pm.
W Connection vs Joe Public, Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, 6 pm.
N/E Stars vs Defence Force, Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, 6 pm.