Senior national men’s captain Rashad Jules provided the lone goal as Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme defeated Crane and Equipment Ellerton Club 1-0 to consolidate themselves top of zone two standings of the Barbados Football Association’s Premier League.
The former three-time defending champions BDFSP and Empire Club continue to jostle for the top spot in zone two as both teams are tied on 35 points. However, the Asquith Howell-coached BDFSP team have a far superior goal difference of 31 in comparison to Empire’s 17.
Having returned from leading Barbados to a second-place finish in the Windward Islands Football Association Tournament contested in St. Vincent and the Grenadines last week, Jules was in top form last night at the Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf.
In the 61st minute, Jules, a gifted left-attacking midfielder with immense speed, grabbed hold of a delightful pass from namesake and fellow national teammate Rashad Smith at the centre of the 18-yard box.
Having eluded Ellerton’s backline, Jules, now tied on 13 goals in the race for the golden boot with Paradise striker Armando ‘Suga’ Lashley, finished with a strike that kept very low past custodian Jamar Brewster.
Known for going right down to the wire whenever they compete on the football field, Ellerton and BDFSP played a 3-3 thriller in the opening round of 2018 to 2019 premier league season.
However, Ellerton in the fourth position on 24 points in zone two behind third-place Paradise on 30 points played well and created goal-scoring opportunities but just were unable to get any attempts past national number one custodian Kishmar Primus.
The Ellerton, St. George-based side had to contend without the services of top sweeper Damien Walcott who received a one-game suspension having been red-carded in the previous match.
BDFSP was also missing senior national attackers Akeem Hill and Omani Leacock, but clearly, the soldiers had enough artillery to clinch the all-important victory as Jules, Smith, national midfielder Raheim Sargeant, T’Shane Lorde and newcomer Antonio Arthur [on the right flank] did a great job in the final third.
In the second clash of the evening, also a zone two contest, Paradise, currently five points behind front runners BDFSP and Empire, registered a convincing 3-0 victory against Scotty’s Car Rental St. Andrew Lions. National striker Armando Lashley scored two first-half goals while Tyrell Bancroft added another in the second half. The one-sided affair was dominated by Paradise with Lashley’s goals coming in the 18th and 31st minute and Bancroft’s coming deep in the second half in the 80th minute
Paradise were at full strength with national trio Lashley, Jomo Harris and Akeel Applewhaite named most outstanding midfielder for Barbados in the WIFA competition, all penetrating St. Andrew’s defence.
In the opening fixture yesterday, defending champions Weymouth Wales thrashed Porey Spring 7-0 to ensure they remained at the head of zone one standings on 26 points.
The match was dominated from start to finish by Wales compliments a brace each from the former national player and man-of-the-match Rashida Williams in the 67th and 85th minutes.
Striker Rivere Williams also added his name to the scoresheet with two goals while Hadan Holligan [27th minute] and Kemar Headley [45th minute] scored one each from the two-time defending champions.