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W Connection keeps winning while Civic rebounds
W Connection took command of Abercrombie Group in the 2018 First Citizens Cup on Saturday evening with six points after recording a 2-0 win on Match Day Two over North East Stars, a side the Savonetta Boys had humiliated 7-1 a fortnight ago in the season-opening Charity Shield.
Kennedy Hinkson fired the eight-time champions and current holders in front in the first half with his first W Connection goal on his domestic debut. Team-mate Marcus ‘Lobo’ Joseph struck his sixth goal in three games in all competitions so far this season with a sublime chip seven minutes from the end to complete the 2-0 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
However, it was an improved result after needing to come from behind for a 3-2 win over Point Fortin Civic who had led with two early goals two Friday’s ago on Match Day One.
Civic, in the second game of the night's double-header rebounded with a 2-1 win over Morvant Caledonia United to go level on three points with Police FC which sat out on a bye and will resume play against W Connection in a top-of-the-table clash on Friday.
Judah Garcia, 18, scored only his second top-flight goal for Civic in the second half and 20-year-old playmaker Justin Sadoo capped off arguably his best performance to date for the Point Fortin outfit with his first professional goal to cushion coach Reynold Carrington’s side before substitute Kareem Joseph pulled back a goal for Morvant Caledonia from the spot in injury time.
Jabari Mitchell had the bulk of Civic’s chances—at least five of them in the first half—before turning provider in the 66th minute when he controlled Sadoo’s lofted pass in the area, skipped a couple challenges and rolled a feed across the box for Garcia (J) to drive home Civic’s go-ahead goal past new Morvant Caledonia goalkeeper Terrence Lewis.
Sadoo then unleashed a cracker from just inside the box which clipped the underside of the bar before finding the back of Lewis’ net in the 75th minute to cushion Civic 2-0 after weaving past two defenders.
Morvant Caledonia, a side coached by returning head coach Jerry More and technical director Jamaal Shabazz and on their first competitive outing of the year, found their consolation item deep in injury time when Joseph beat goalkeeper Miles Goodman from the spot after referee Rodphin Harris ruled a handball against Civic.
Earlier on the day, Hinkson, who joined W Connection from Jabloteh at the beginning of the year and featured for the Savonetta Boys in the 2018 Caribbean Club Championship, blasted coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s men in front on 25 minutes after goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel had made a superb double-save. Samuel had first kept out a laser from Marcus Joseph and reacted elastically on the rebound effort from Hinkson, who finally punished the hapless North East Stars goalie on his second bite from close range.
But North East Stars, a virtually new side from the team that won last season’s Pro League championship, proved that they are an improving bunch despite opening humiliations when they faced Connection (1-7 in the Charity Shield) and Police FC (1-5 in their opening First Citizens Cup match).
Head coach Zoran Vranes handed top-flight debuts to Raheim Jawahir, Rakim Cabie and 17-year-old former San Juan Jabloteh youth prodigy Rivaldo Coryat who produced a solid performance in the role of holding midfielder with his accuracy in passing and movement off the ball.
Cabie, meanwhile, had kept North East Stars clean on 15 minutes when he made a stop on the line to deny an acrobatic attempt on goal by Connection’s Adan Noel, who, like Hinkson, had started in place of injured attackers Dimitrie Apai and Daniel Diaz.
However, the connection did found the second item in the 83rd minute through Joseph who lifted the ball over an advancing Samuel to hit the back of the North East Stars’ net after a Kadeem Corbin pass broke the backline.
Samuel, though, was determined to deny Connection a third and two minutes later produced a diving save to blank Corbin.
Competition will continue this afternoon with an Immortelle Group double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium with Defence Force FC taking on MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers from 6:30 pm and Club Sando against San Juan Jabloteh from 8:30 pm.
W Connection 2 (Kennedy Hinkson 25’, Marcus Joseph 83’) v North East Stars 0, at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Morvant Caledonia United 1 (Kareem Joseph 90’+3 pen.) v Point Fortin Civic 2 (Judah Garcia 66’, Justin Sadoo 75’), 6 pm at Ato Boldon Stadium.
Today's Match Day Two fixtures
Defence Force FC v MIC-IT St. Ann’s Rangers, 6:30pmat Ato Boldon Stadium;
Club Sando v San Juan Jabloteh, 8:30pm at Ato Boldon Stadium.
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