DIGICEL Pro League leaders, Directv W Connection were consistent rather than spectacular when grinding out a 2-0 victory over the bottom team St Ann’s Rangers, through a pair of Shahdon Winchester goals on Saturday at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
With victory, W Connection (37 points) re-established an eight-point lead which had been cut to just five by chasing Point Fortin Civic FC (29 points) prior to kick-off.
Before kickoff, a minute’s silence was observed in honour of fallen Defence Force winger Kevon Carter who was buried on Friday, after suffering a heart attack a week earlier.
From the first whistle, the Savonetta Boys showed serious attacking intent against a mainly under-21 Rangers. Bottom of the League, and containing several teenagers in their squad, Rangers are often difficult to beat, despite an overall losing record. So much so, that passionate W Connection president David John Williams was at the edge of his seat and contesting every decision from the stands, even with his team two goals clear.
Winchester missed two early chances to give the league leaders an early lead. And when Rangers striker Nigel Yaw Darko slid a low shot into the W Connection goal early on, there might have been a moment of concern in the W Connection camp. However, Central Zone referee David Ramkelewan called Darko offside and disallowed the goal. W Connection took their opponents even more seriously and turned up the pressure, but were foiled throughout the match by a series of good saves from Akel Clarke, Rangers’ Guyanese keeper.
However, Clarke was not at his best and contributed heavily to W Connection’s opening goal through an errant kick-out, which was intercepted by midfielder Hasim Arcia in centre-field. Arcia played a straight pass into the penalty area where Winchester got around the keeper and scored in the 19th minute. Up by a 1-0 margin, W Connection went for another goal moments later, and only an acrobatic defensive clearance from Rangers central defender Isiah McIntyre prevented Winchester’s shot from crossing the goalline.
Rangers also had good moments, and W Connection’s St Kitts & Nevis keeper Julani Archibald was in fine form when stopping a series of three shots in succession in the 38th minute from Rangers under-20 players Kyle La Borde and Keron Cornwall, and Kennedy Isle, who had a good match in the Rangers midfield.
Winchester had a couple other missed opportunities before the match ended, and Jerrel Britto had a hot shot turned wide by Clarke early in the second half, before Winchester got the insurance goal in the 57th minute when beating Clarke with a low shot from an angle. It never got easier for the 2011-2012 Pro League champions, W Connection, despite having the better of the late stages.
W Connection 2 (Shahdon Winchester 19th & 57th), St Ann's Rangers 0
Point Fortin Civic 3 ( Marcus Joseph 21st, André Toussaint 38th, Karim Balthazar 90th+), Police 0
North East Stars 3 (Trevin Caesar 7th & 71st, Kennedy Hinkson 87th), Caledonia AIA 2 (Densil Theobold 32nd & 85th)
TEAMS P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Direct TV W Connection 16 11 4 1 32 9 23 37
Point Fortin Civic FC 16 9 2 5 26 16 10 29
Central FC 16 6 8 2 28 15 13 26
North East Stars 16 7 5 4 17 12 5 26
Caledonia AIA 16 5 6 5 24 19 5 21
Police FC 15 6 3 6 19 23 -4 21
Defence Force 11 5 2 4 19 17 2 17
San Juan Jabloteh 16 3 2 11 19 37 -18 11
St. Ann's Rangers 16 1 0 15 11 47 -36 3