T&T Pro League all-time leading scorer Devorn Jorsling and Dylon King were both on target to lead Defence Force past San Juan Jabloteh 2-0 in the featured match of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Tuesday night.
Jorsling opened the scoring in the 33rd minute and four minutes before the half-time whistle King doubled the advantage before some brilliant goalkeeping from Sheldon Clarke following the break preserved the score-line for the win to lift the ‘Teteron Men’ to ten points from five matches, level with Club Sando, which has played a match more.
Earlier at Couva in the night’s opening encounter, Club Sando ended a run of two straight defeats with a 5-4 triumph over cellar-placed defending champions North East Stars.
Club Sando, under the guidance of assistant coach and former T&T star forward Cornell Glen, led North East Stars 4-0 at one point of the match with a goal each from Kemuel Rivers, Shackiel Henry, Tyrone Charles and Keron Cornwall, and looked set for their biggest winning margin of the season.
But the second half, despite another item from Quinn Rodney, the Oranges capitulated, conceded four goals to make what seemed a straightforward victory, a tough one in the end against a team that scored just one goal from four league outings prior to kick off the season, and had suffered eight defeats from nine games in all competitions this season with one ending in a draw.
Rivers launched Club Sando in front on 33 minutes with a 30-yard free-kick beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jovan Sample before Henry cushioned the Oranges 2-0 seven minutes from the break after controlling a Cornwall cross off his chest in the area.
Charles later arrived off the bench to make it 3-0 ten minutes into the second half after combining with Cornwall inside the right of the North East Stars area as Club Sando looked in full control.
Cornwall added his name to the scoring sheet in the 69th minute when he fired home from inside the area for a 4-0 scoreline.
Jabari Brathwaite then pulled a goal back for North East after pouncing on a spill by goalkeeper Stefan Berkeley in the 71st minute.
But Brathwaite was then at fault at the other end when he allowed substitute Rodney to much space in the six-yard area three minutes later to restore Club Sando’s four-goal cushion, 5-1.
Brathwaite’s goal however provided belief for North East Stars, and coach Zoran Vranes’ men grew in confidence by every remaining minute with substitutes Allister Bernard (77th) and Sherwyn Williams (82nd), and Kyle Bartholomew (90th) finding the back of the net to set up an exciting finish for the few faithful supporters.
However, in the end, Club Sando did enough to hang out for the deserved win, in the absence of head coach Angus Eve who is currently in Tobago for a pre-season camp with Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) powerhouse, Naparima College, which he also coaches.
Morvant Caledonia will return to play on Saturday in one of two outstanding fixtures at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
The Eastern Stallions will tackle Rangers from 4 pm before Defence Force and Police lock horns in a battle of the armed forces from 6 pm.
Club Sando 5 (Kemuel Rivers 33rd, Shackiel Henry 38th, Tyrone Charles 55th, Keron Cornwall 69th, Quinn Rodney 74th) vs North East Stars 4 (Jabari Brathwaite 71st, Allister Bernard 77th, Sherwyn Williams 82nd, Kyle Bartholomew 91st)
Defence Force FC 2 (Devorn Jorsling 30th, Dylon King 41st) vs San Juan Jabloteh 0
Current T&T Pro League standings
1. W Connection*5*5*0*0*17*2*15
3. Defence Force*5*3*1*1*18*6*10
4. Club Sando*6*3*1*2*9*9*10
5. Central FC*5*2*1*2*7*11*7
7. St Ann’s Rangers*5*2*0*3*5*13*6
8. Pt Fortin Civic*5*0*2*3*3*7*2
9. North East Stars*5*0*1*4*5*10*1
10. Morvant Caledonia*3*0*1*2*6*9*1
Saturday September 1
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Morvant Caledonia United, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 4 pm
Defence Force FC vs Police FC, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 6pm.