Defending premier league kings Weymouth Wales were held to a 1-1 draw when they came up against Empire last night at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
On paper Wales were expected to win but Empire stunned them with an early goal thanks to Jabarry ‘Papi’ Chandler with the opening goal in the 11th minute. The former national player and leading marksman for the Bank Hall side took hold of a well-executed goal kick from his goalkeeper Travis Marshall in the final third, controlled beautifully and then buried it for the 1-0 advantage.
Empire played well offensively and threatened to hand Wales their first defeat of the season, but Wales known for an attacking style of play and with Holligan and Harewood probing Empire’s defence, the equalizer was inevitable.
Coming off a hard-fought 1-0 win this past Sunday night against former three-time champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme, the men from Carrington Village earned themselves a left-side corner kick taken by Harewood. It was a superb ball inside the area that found Holligan for the final touch and the ball flew past Empire keeper Marshall in the 77th minute.
Wales have yet to drop a game this season having played sixth matches including yesterday’s game with five wins and a draw for a total of 16 points at the top of zone one standings. That draw has now placed Empire in fifth position on seven points.
Clayton’s Kola Notre Dame remain in second place on 12 points but would be kicking themselves having not been able to pull off the win against University of the West Indies Blackbirds in the nightcap game to pick up those three valuable match points. Paradise are in third with a tally of 10 points and Brittons Hill United trail on nine points in fourth.
It was a goalless stalemate for most of the game but Azarel Croney found the back of the nets in the 69th minute to give Notre Dame the 1-0 lead. However, two minutes later the Blackbirds team responded with a goal from Shamari Mark in the 71st minute. And just when the game seemed headed for a draw Notre Dame let their guard down and allowed Corey Barrow to score on the stroke of regular time in the 90th minute for the 2-1 win.