Paradise forward Armando ‘Suga’ Lashley’s hat-trick dumped Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) from the top of the Digicel Barbados Football Association Premier League standings Sunday night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
This was now round two of the premiership and former champions BDFSP were stunned 3-0 compliments of an impressive performance from the Dover men. This upset victory allowed Neighbourhood Care Weymouth Wales to take sole leadership of the league standings with 26 points after playing ten matches, with eight wins and two draws.
This was the first game BDFSP lost for the season and before their respective games last evening, both Wales and BDFSP were tied on a total of 23 points. What separated the two top teams was a goal difference of 23 for Wales and 21 for the soldiers.
Paradise’s serendipity began in the 32nd minute when Shai Lloyd unmarked to the right of the 18-yard box was about to score past BDFSP custodian Dario Weir who left his mark in an effort to dispossess Lloyd, but in the process failed to hold the ball and there was Lashley to bury the rebound.
The other two goals by Lashley were scored through penalties. The first penalty occurred in the 41st minute when he targeted BDFSP central defender Kemar Chase who was just coming off of injury and was unable to handle the pressure which made referee Adrian Skeete blew his whistle and pointed to the spot.
That allowed Paradise a comfortable 2-0 advantage heading into half-time. A couple of minutes into the second half and Paradise were rewarded another penalty kick in the 65th minute after Lashley was brought down by another silly tackle from Chase who earned his second yellow card of the night to place BDFSP at a numerical disadvantage and give Lashley what was his eighth goal for the season.
Exciting national attacking midfielder Rashad Jules who scored two goals last week for Barbados against Martinique created a goal-scoring opportunity for his team when he crossed inside the box to Shaquille Boyce who made contact and sent it over the goal bars.
The soldiers had eight national players on the field but that did not make a difference because they were clearly out of sorts and failed to bring those fast attacking plays against a strong Paradise defence led by Zico Phillips, Andre Bourne and Stefan Bourne playing his first league game in place of an injured Barry Skeete.
The top five teams of the premiership were all in action and in the final showdown of the night, Arantees Lawrence gave Wales an early lead in the fourth minute playing against defending champions University of the West Indies, Blackbirds. Lawrence avoided two UWI defenders and buried the ball past goalkeeper Bentley Springer who clearly was not pleased with his defence.
The score would remain that way until half time. What was also noticeable, national striker Mario Harte did not start for UWI. Harte however came on in the second half following another goal by Hadan Holligan in the 50th minute when he booted a strike under the UWI keeper.
Dario Harewood cut the deficit by one in the 61st minute for UWI Blackbirds who were unable to find that all important equalizer.
In the other game, Rendezvous defeated Ellerton Football Club 5-0 in what was clearly a one-sided affair. Rendezvous remains in third position with 20 points, Paradise have moved up one place into fourth place on 17 ahead of Ellerton in fifth on 15. Clayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame are sitting in the point standings on 12, behind them in seventh place are UWI on a nine, Belfield Soccer Club have a tally of eight, while the ninth and tenth position holders are Brittons Hill and Waterford Compton.