Barbados’ Under-15 football team continued their impressive form at home, as they eased to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Grenada last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
The home side was looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats last week at the feet of Dominica and St. Lucia in their fifth international friendly in preparation for the Under-15 CONCACAF Tournament scheduled to kick off next month in Miami, Florida.
With that in mind, the young Tridents got down to business from the get go. However, they initially started off a bit shaky with their passes in the middle, allowing their opponents to have a couple attempts at goal that went awry.
Coached by former Clayton Kola Tonic’s Notre Dame captain and now first-team coach Renaldo Gilkes, the young Tridents were able to change the rhythm of the game and the home support knew that it was only a matter of time before the Bajans led. With exactly eight minutes on the referee’s watch, the opening goal of the match came.
The home side found themselves in possession and moved the ball perfectly across the artificial turf, a number of good touches in the middle of the park by Abiola Grant set up Kyle Lewis to have a beautiful crack from just outside the 18-yard box which flew past the visiting keeper before he knew it to make the score 1-0 in favour of Barbados.
After conceding the game’s first goal, the Grenadians made a couple of substitutions in an effort to get back on level terms before the half- time break. It just shifted the momentum in their direction late into the first 35 minutes but the Barbadian back four led by Combermerian Andre Applewhaite and Lemar Catlyn stood solid as a rock, keeping the score the same at half-time.
The second half started as a carbon copy of the first with one thing changing and that would be the visitors upping the tempo of their game in search of that much-needed equaliser.
Like the first half, the Barbadians allowed Grenada to enjoy a decent amount of the ball early on, satisfied with hitting their opponents on the counterattack with captain Rashon “Speedy” Gittens and substitute Jamol Williams looking dangerous on both flanks going forward.
The game was in the balance up until the 45th minute where the second goal was made in Queen’s Street, Speightstown.
Excellent movement from the home team granted Alexandra School midfielder Jaylen Gilkes the opportunity to scoop a wonderfully timed through-ball up to his fellow schoolmate Abiola Grant who lobbed the ball over the head of Grenada’s custodian Joe-Max Wildman and into the back of the net to give Barbados the 2-0 cushion over the visitors.
As the game drew near its end Gilkes replaced Gittens with super sub Axel Funk, and he almost came to the party in the dying moments of the game when a poorly defended ball fell to his feet, and he dropped his shoulder and hammered a left-footed shot towards goal which took everything out of the Grenada keeper at full stretch to make the save.