Former champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) have taken sole leadership of the 2017 Digicel-sponsored Barbados Football Association’s Premier League standings.
Heading into Sunday night’s contest at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf, the soldiers were jointly tied at the top of the table on 19 points with Neighbourhood Care Pharmacy Weymouth Wales and after convincingly thrashing Rendezvous 5-0, the BDFSP are now clear leaders with 22 points having played eight games with seven wins and one draw.
The last time these two teams met BDFSP came out on top and Sunday was no different as national midfielder Rashad Jules led the way with two of the five goals to his name.
Jules with a swift run up the left flank, then made his way inside the 18-yard box where he executed one of his left-footed specials that saw the ball curl past the helpless custodian Kerry Holder 11 minutes into the game. A minute later and BDFSP began to celebrate again when midfielder Raheim Sargeant scored to give the men in green a 2-0 advantage.
Rendezvous’ defensive team led by Roy Richards and Jomo Brathwaite were clearly napping on the job and the BDFSP with their quick dribbles and swift passing exposed the opposition’s backline on numerous occasions.
Just when they could not afford another goal, Rendezvous scored an own goal in the 43rd minute when the BDFSP attackers were once again on the hunt and instead of averting danger, Roy Richards kicked the ball to the right of goalkeeper Holder who went in the opposite direction to make it 3-0 with just minutes before half time.
Similar to their opponents, Rendezvous possessed the ability to execute accurate passes and that they did at the beginning of the second half with finishing touches attempted by striker Shandel Samuel. But he was unable to get past BDFSP captain and top defender Ricardo Morris.
Samuel’s second bite at the cherry was also unsuccessful after he was superbly denied by BDFSP goalkeeper Kishmar Primus who unfortunately got injured and was forced to stop playing in the 70th minute. Dario Weir then suited up and came on in place of Primus.
Referee Jamar Springer was busy taking cards out of his top pocket as BDFSP earned themselves the only penalty of the match. But before the shot was taken by Shaquille Boyce who eventually scored in the 65th minute, for some reason the game was held up and then it was noticeable that Samuel had received his second yellow card of the night and was making his way off the field, leaving Rendezvous down to ten men at a stage when they could not afford it.
That penalty made the score 4-0 as BDFSP cemented their dominance. Then to add icing on the cake, Jules came up with another beauty in the latter stages of the game when he found an opening, progressed inside the 18-yard box where he out-paced two defenders and then chipped a shot over the head of goalkeeper Holder in the 89th minute for a great finish.
In the other match played at 6p.m., Shakille Belle netted two match-winning goals for Crane and Equipment Ellerton who defeated Paradise Football Club 2-1.
Paradise’s demise was of their own creation after falling to score four clear chances during the first half. Striker Chai Lloyd making his debut for Paradise was among the culprits after failing to put away the first of those opportunities.
Belle’s first goal came in the 55th minute after being brought down inside the danger zone by a strong cover challenge from Mario Williams and referee Mark Moses wasted no time signalling to the penalty spot. The young striker struck goal number two off a through ball in the 72nd minute.
That was the second league win for newly promoted Ellerton who have played a total of seven games with three draws and two losses.
After many failed attempts, Paradise finally put one away in the 89th minute through Ackeel Applewhaite.
As its stands, BDFSP lead with 22 points, Wales are in second on 19, Rendezvous remain in third position on 14, followed by Paradise and Notre Dame both on 11 points each. Ellerton are in sixth on nine, defending champions University of the West Indies Blackbirds continue to struggle in seventh place on a mere six points and Belfield are one point behind on five. Meanwhile Waterford Compton have three points and Brittons Hill are on two points for ninth and tenth position respectively.