What a difference a week makes.
Last Sunday TS Strikers left Kensington Oval after a great showing against Red Snappers. Yesterday they would have been hoping to continue that good form against 360 Connections, but their plans went completely awry.
An efficient 360 Connection got the better of TS Strikers 2-1 as action continued in the Lime Pelican Football Challenge with a number of teams in close proximity to each other at the top of each zone.
Shawn King drew first blood in the 39th minute with a 30-yard bomb after 360 Connection had dominated play both down the middle and along the flanks. King had worked well upfront with Dwayne Schillaci Stanford and had kept the Strikers’ defence quite busy for long stretches of the early exchanges.
TS Strikers tried for the equaliser and a few forays into 360 Connection’s area started promisingly, but often fell down at the last hurdle.
Jamal Chandler threatened constantly but went into the half-time with nothing to show for his industry.
The flow of the game following the half-time resumption was even with King coming close once again. But it would be Chandler who, in the 73rd minute, finally got his side back into the game with his second Sunday goal, having also scored the previous week against Red Snappers.It was enthralling stuff with both teams obviously intent on going for an important win, given the cluster at the top of the table.
What followed in the 81st minute will be talked about for quite a while. Stanford, whose two-year ban from top-flight domestic and regional football, does not seem to have diminished his skills, collected a pass on his chest, and in one fluid movement volleyed a shot into the back of the startled TS Strikers goalkeeper’s net. It was a terrific goal that brought 360 Connection supporters to their feet.
TS Strikers, to their credit, increased their attacking efforts in search of an equaliser but were not able to breach 360 Connection’s defence and deny them their important three points.
Similar to TS Strikers, Top Bay Settlers had had an outstanding day the previous Sunday when they stunned top-of-the-table Akademiks. But last night they could not maintain that momentum going down 2-0 to Bajan Elite, compliments of goals from Chai Lloyd in the 30th minute and Devaughn Elliott in the 78th minute.
Kent Hall worked hard in the mid-field but most of his team’s offensive efforts were deflated by that last touch that often led to them losing the ball to a close-marking Bajan Elite side.
National player Ricardio Morris, who had scored last week, had his moments but the Elite team obviously did their homework and entered the game with a definite plan to shut down any runs he attempted from just behind the defensive mid-field position.
Akademiks and Bajan Pride played out a 0-0 draw that would have had to be a bitter disappointment for the Akademiks, especially coming off last week’s defeat to Top Bay Settlers.
The result represented a good night for a Bajan Pride team that has been dwelling on the bottom half on zone A and could have done with the share of the spoils.
On Thursday Red Snappers and Galaxy clash, while Firehouse will seek to continue from last week’s demolition of Galaxy when they tangle with All Stars.