Connection started off the 2011-2012 campaign on September 9 with a 2-1 Digicel Pro League Championship win over St Ann’s Rangers at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva and followed up with a 4-2 win over Caledonia AIA on September 16 in their first Group “B” Quarter-Final clash of the First Citizens Cup.
On Tuesday night, 19-year-old Shahdon Winchester netted his second goal in three games with an item in the 33rd minute, national Under-23 defender Mekeil Williams in the 36th, midfielder Hughton Hector notched his third item of the tournament in the 53rd and 19-year-old striker Jerrel Britto completed a goal a game in his first three outings for the Couva-based club in the 75th.
Stars debutant, former United States and England-based striker Stern John notched his team’s only item in the 80th.
“We came into the match at 0-0 and not thinking of the 4-2 victory we had against Caledonia (in the previous match),” said Winchester following the match. “We just put our minds into the game and executed what the coach wanted.
“Age is just a number. The team talk before was the same as you would give older players,” he cleared.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old defensive midfielder Jomal Williams explained, “it was a really difficult job for me at the start but as time go on I’m becoming more comfortable.
“Organising the team is a very difficult job for someone my age but I’m no longer a kid now and have to live up to the responsibilities and be a man, because I’m playing a man’s game. People are saying that we are a young team, and we want to come out and show them that even though we are young, we are very capable. Top players aren’t old men. Lionel Messi won World Player of the Year at age 22, 23 so youths are taking over,” highlighted the teenager.
Although enjoying a comfortable victory, Williams admitted that his side still needs to sharpen up on finishing all of its chances.
“It was a good result (in the end), coming off a victory,” he said. “Any coach would want a result like that. But we will go back to the training pitch and continue working on our finishing, to come back out and try to finish all our chances,” he ended.
Connection, starting with just three players Hector, goalkeeper Aquilius Sylvester and utility player Rennie Britto over the age of 23, rubbed salt to North East’s wound on Tuesday by replacing Hector with 16-year-old Matthew Woo Ling and 17-year-old Neil Benjamin both making their debuts with the first XI.