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Marcus Joseph completes hat-trick

By Ian Prescott ian.prescott@trinidadexpress.com

Yes, Marcus Joseph knows a trick or two.
The former T&T youth World Cup midfielder scored his second consecutive hat-trick to lead Point Fortin Civic FC to a 3-0 victory over the bottom team St Ann’s Rangers, in the Digicel Pro League on Tuesday night at Marvin Lee Stadium (MLS), Macoya. Joseph also put in three on Saturday when “Civic Centre” whipped Police 5-0 at Mahaica Oval.
Joseph’s spectacular opening goal got Civic off to a fast start against Rangers. But the points were only assured when he netted two more goals in the second half, including a 74th minute penalty.
Following a six-match winless run, newcomers and early Pro League leaders Civic have recovered and picked up seven points in their last three matches to lie a respectable third on the standings with a total of 16 points.
Leaders W Connection remain unbeaten and well clear on 29 points after outclassing San Juan Jabloteh 4-1, for a ninth victory in 11 matches. Connection striker Shahdon Winchester got his first two goals since returning from a year in Finland, first putting a half volley past Jabloteh goalkeeper Kevin Dodds in the 12th minute for the opening goal, then getting his team’s third with a low shot in the area in the second half. Meanwhile, both Police and Caledonia AIA dropped points in a 1-1 draw at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Limp Rangers defending and a spectacular opening goal from Joseph gave Point a quick start at the MLS. A member of T&T’s 2007 and 2009 FIFA World Cup teams, Joseph was allowed far too much space and the opportunity to aim his sweet, left foot powerfully at the near post, from just inside the penalty area.
Rangers keeper Terrence Lewis could do little as the ball came powerfully and swerved wickedly, before ending high in the net in just the sixth minute. Joseph put a low shot past Lewis inside the penalty area for his second in the 55th , and he also converted a penalty with just over quarter-hour left, after Redhead was fouled in the penalty area.
Civic might have killed off the tie in the first session, but failed to match Joseph’s early efficiency. The goalscorer himself wasted a couple, including putting wide from six metres out near halftime with the Rangers goalkeeper alone in front of him. Moments earlier, Joseph packed real power in marginally putting a long-range shot wide and also finding the side-netting with another shot from close-up as well.
Civic wide-midfielder Akeem Redhead almost copied Joseph’s opening goal with another spectacular curling shot in the 41st minute, but the Rangers goalkeeper made the adjustment and acrobatically touched the ball wide. Also failing to find the net was striker Sylvester Teesdale who volleyed the ball wide from the centre of the penalty area in the 14th minute, and on the half hour Bevon Bass picked his spot, but guided the ball off the foot of the upright from atop the penalty area.

UPCOMING DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE MATCHES:
(Tomorrow)
6 (p.m.) - Police FC vs San Juan Jabloteh, Hasely Crawford Stadium
8 (p.m.) - North East Stars v W Connection, Hasely Crawford Stadium

(Saturday)
3.30 (p.m.) - Point Fortin Civic FC vs Central FC, Mahaica Oval

DIGICEL PRO LEAGUE RESULTS:
(Tuesday)
Point Fortin Civic FC 3 (Marcus Joseph (6, 55 & 74-penalty) St. Ann’s Rangers 0
W Connection 4 (Shahdon Winchester 12 & 54, Joel Leslie Russell 51, Joevin Jones 90+3) San Juan Jabloteh 1 ( Jevon Morris 59)
Police 1 (Jameel Perry ) Caledonia AIA 1 (Densil Theobald)

PRO LEAGUE STANDINGS

Teams P W D L F A GD PTS
W Connection 11 9 2 0 25 5 20 29
North East Stars 10 5 2 3 11 6 5 17
Point Fortin Civic FC 11 5 1 5 17 14 3 16
Caledonia AIA 11 3 5 3 17 14 3 14
Police FC 11 4 2 5 16 19 -3 14
Central FC 9 3 4 2 13 11 2 13
Defence Force 8 4 1 3 15 14 1 13
San Juan Jabloteh 10 3 1 6 17 25 -8 10
St. Ann’s Rangers 11 1 0 10 11 34 -23 3
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