The top six positions on the ten-team standings remained unchanged, as leaders CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh battled to a 1-1 draw against fourth-placed Defence Force at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo while second-placed Caledonia AIA edged third-placed Joe Public 1-0 in the second of back-to-back matches at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima. Fifth-placed W Connection bounced back from two straight defeats at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva to spank Superstar Rangers 2-0 at Couva while sixth-placed North East Stars rallied to a 1-1 draw versus United Petrotrin in the earlier match at Arima.
Kayode Legall recorded a hat-trick for Tobago United, scoring in the 62nd, 75th and 90th minutes, while Guyanese forward Collie Hercules added two, in the 40th and 87th, and Nyron Orr in the 13th. Strikers Adrian Nunez (50th) and Christopher Sam (66th) were on target for the lawmen.
After a drab opening 45 minutes at Mucurapo, Jabloteh produced the game’s first meaning chance in the 47th, as striker Peter Byers connected to a Trent Noel freekick, but the An-tiguan forward failed to make any impact with his header and defender David Alleyne cleared it for a corner.
National Under-23 players Attulah Guerra and Lester Peltier teamed up for a 54th minute effort, with Peltier drilling Guerra’s pass against the post. Two minutes later, Kevon Carter and Devon Jorsling played a one-two before Carter powered his left-footer overbar.
The Army-Coast Guard combination, who won their previous four matches, broke the deadlock in the 56th, as TT Under-23 midfielder Sean Narcis volleyed a left-sided centre from national player Christian Baptiste, via the post, past Jabloteh’s goalkeeper Cleon John.
Elton John, a 59th minute replacement for TT World Cup midfielder Aurtis Whitley (who seems to have lost all his form and focus), picked out Peltier and the striker placed his right-footed effort beyond goalie Kevin Graham, while the Defence Force players appealed, in vain, for offside.
The last ten minutes produced some pieces of drama, as Jorsling’s 20m thunderous left-footer was blocked by Cleon John, while right-back Devon Jamerson was denied an 84th minute goal due to offside.
And, in the 89th, Defence Force’s substitute Jerwyn Balthazar flew past his marker Cyd Gray on the right and crossed to Richard Roy, but the striker was denied the winner by Cleon John.
Guyanese striker Anthony Abrams netted the game-winning strike for Caledonia in the 52nd, collecting a through ball from Marvin Oliver and drilling his left-footer past the flat-footed goalie Alejandro Figueroa.
Joe Public had their moments to equalise, and their best opportunity occurred in the 71st minute.
Striker Nigel “Croc” Pierre teed up Gregory Richardson on the right flank and the Guyanese midfielder’s cross to Pierre was expertly saved by Richard Reynolds, while TT midfielder Kerry Baptiste’s close-ranged follow up shot crashed off the crossbar.
Dominican Republic’s teenaged striker Jonathan Frias put Connection in front after 13 minutes, rifling home from close range after receiving a headed pass from Clyde Leon.
And TT Under-23 forward Shane Calderon sealed the win in the 73rd, after Kevin Nelson’s shot rebounded off the post.
Midfielder Marlon Lewis’ left-footed corner put Petrotrin ahead in the 24th minute, after goalie Curtis Granger failed to collect the inswinging effort, before North East’s captain Glenton Wolfe replied with an 85th minute freekick, after Petrotrin’s goalie Tristan Charles was controversially adjudged to having handled a back-pass from a teammate, as the teams shared the points in Arima.