Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Caledonia, Army stay out front


Goal threat: Caledonia AIA hattrick man Keyon Edwards, centre, looks to get the ball past Police goalie Emmanuel Nurse. Looking on at left, is Police defender Akiba Peters. Digicel Pro League leaders Caledonia AIA won the match 5-1. —Photo: Anisto Alves

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THE POLICE have recently spoken of improving their image and projecting a kinder, more human face. Maybe that is why the Police Football Club barely put in a tackle, as Caledonia AIA ran rings around them on Friday night on the way to a 5-1 Digicel Pro League win.

Not so in the case of Defence Force. Now joint Digicel Pro League leaders with AIA on 10 points from five matches, the Army was all business when beating Central FC 3-0 in the second match of Friday's double-header. Devorn Jorsling provided power, Kevon Carter pace and defender Rodell Elcock, a surprise offensive threat. Each also found the net.

In the other match, maybe the policemen were focusing on the newer gentle image that Commissioner Stephen Williams wants. There was hardly a foul, until very late in the match when Akiba Peters couldn't bear the indignity of Trevin Caesar breezing past so easily, and stopped his opponent by any means necessary. Earlier, Keyon Edwards netted a hattrick for AIA, but should easily have gotten at least five goals. Caledonia were in control, but not thrilling, while Police played as if reluctantly performing duty, until finding a brief spark when three goals down.

Local football these days is only for the true lovers of the sport, and believers for a better future. There are no big crowds, or the band-wagonists who come on the big occasions. But surely, the performers could have provided some entertainment, just for the faithful who took the effort to be at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Football, after all, is about entertainment.

Police were competitive early on, but indecisive going forward. Take Kareem Perry, a winger with some ability, but very little aggression. Perry got wide and into several good positions, but delivered neither a cross nor venomous shot at goal. Caledonia's Edwards preferred the more direct route, and seeing goalkeeper Emmanuel Nurse straying out of the Police goal, he scored the opening goal in the 20th minute from a powerful 35 metre shot which kissed an upright before going in.

Playmaker Densill Theobald made it 2-0 eight minutes later after overlapping onto Edwards' pass. Edwards also made it 3-0 in the 38th when he forced the ball in at the back post after strike partner Nathan Lewis had already chipped the Police goalkeeper. Defensively, Police looked inept. Simple one-two combinations were ripping them apart. It was all too easy.

Police coach Richard Hood was mad, and off the bench. But Police got a lifeline.

Adventurous right-back Jevon Morris sold referee Ghasi McDonald the idea that he was fouled by Aubrey David and won Police a 36th minute penalty, which their lethargic captain Todd Ryan missed.

Police briefly looked energised near the end of the first half when former US college striker Stephen Knox got an excellent goal, tucking a shot low to the far corner in the 44th. But AIA re-established dominance in the second session.

First Edwards got his hattrick in the 60th when taking a return pass from Lewis and shooting the ball off the body of keeper Nurse to make the score 4-1, and substitute Caesar slotted a low shot to the far post a minute from time.

Finally, it ended.