Digicel Pro League leaders Defence Force (32 points) scored a 10th victory in 13 matches by dumping defending champions W Connection (19 points) a notch down to fourth spot with a slender 2-1 victory on Friday night at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Meanwhile, striker Cornell Glen kept pressing for a recall to the Trinidad and Tobago national team, scoring a first half hat-trick as North East Stars beat T&TEC 3-1 in the earlier match to move third on 20 points.
Looking on at Glen's work were joint T&T national coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz, while former national captain David Nakhid also hung out with his friend Shabazz.
Glen exploited a disorganised T&TEC defence, netting from close up in the second minute to give Stars a 1-0 lead, and aided by a deflection off defender Cebastian Bailey, he put a dipping shot past keeper Darryl Francis in the 28th to make the score 2-0. T&TEC Playmaker Nathaniel Garcia narrowed the advantage in the 30th with a long-range free kick which beat Stars goalkeeper Cleon John after bouncing down off the underside of the crossbar. But Glen exploited acres of space and curled the ball over the T&TEC custodian from long-range in the 41st for his third goal.
Meanwhile, champions W Connection were having the better of the first half action against Defence Force until they were twice caught within a three-minute period, leaving Defence Force with a 2-0 lead at the break.
Winger Kevon Carter put them ahead in the 40th minute with a close-up finish from Jerwyn Baltazar's pass across the six-yard box. And in the 43rd, Devorn Jorsling clinically curled a free-kick past keeper Colombian Alejandro Figueroa, following a deliberate push by W Connection central defender Daneil Cyrus.
W Connection were even more attacking at the start of the second half, dropping to a flat back three and having three up front. Joevin Jones had a very good match and eventually pulled a goal back in the 65th with a close-up left footed volley from a pass from Suriname's Stefano Rijssell.
Now under pressure, Defence Force had a rare chance of getting a third goal just two minutes later when midfielder Curtis Gonzales found himself hitting a powerful shot a paint coat wide from inside the penalty area. Scoring a goal then could have killed off W Connection and Gonzales knew it, as he repeatedly slapped his hand on the field in frustration. But the Army held on.
DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE RESULTS:
North East Stars 3 (Cornell Glen 2nd, 28th & 41st) T&TEC 1(Nathaniel Garcia 30th)
Defence Force 2 (Kevon Carter 40th, Devorn Jorsling 43rd) W Connection 1 (Joevin Jones (65')