Senior national striker Armando ‘Suga’ Lashley in the dying stages of regular time secured a 2-2 equaliser for Premiere Classe Paradise against defending champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) when the Barbados Football Association Premier League continued last night.
The victory catapulted Paradise to the top of the table with seven points.
Played at the BFA AstroTurf in Wildey, BDFSP got off to a wonderful start when Paradise defender Zico Phillips scored an own goal in the ninth minute. Three minutes later, national attacking midfielder Rashad Jules produced a beauty for the men in green to double their lead.
Paradise midfielder Jomo Harris benefited from an assist from former national captain Mario Harte and scored a one time side-footed shot into the right far post in the 31st minute to make the score 2-1.
And just when it looked as if time was running out, Paradise, which produced a much better showing in the second half accounted for the equaliser in the 86th-minute compliments a top-class free-kick by captain Lashley.
During the first half, BDFSP’s attackers were quick on the ball while showing lots of strength at the back. They regularly muscled the ball away from Paradise’s back four led by national defender Phillips, Dwight Pope, Akeene Browne and Ramon Manning.
It was like taking candy from a baby as Jules in particular on the left-wing, often stripped Browne at right-back of possession. Jules along with Omani Leacock, who was eventually red-carded in the 73rd minute, caused lots of trouble for Paradise.
Resuming the second half down by a goal, Paradise’s coach Kenville Layne made a few key substitutions.
Trinidadian Gernet Diaz came on in the 46th minute for Manning who had been stationed at left-back. Striker Jabarry ‘Papi’ Chandler then replaced Rommell Burgess and midfielder Akeem Applewhaite came on for Shakiel Henry in the 61st and 70th minutes respectively to help strengthen Paradise’s attack.
BDFSP lost their rhythm in the second half and senior national player Raheim Sargeant missed three golden opportunities to score.
BDFSP coach Asquith Howell badly needed to make a change upfront and he did so, replacing Nicholas Best with Rasheed Williams in the 65th minute.
Not only was BDFSP at a numerical disadvantage after Leacock was sent off, but things got worse for the soldiers when assistant coach Hazzard Weekes received a yellow card for his outburst on the bench.
As the match neared completion, BDFSP’s custodian Kishmar Primus denied Chandler with less than seven minutes of regular time remaining.
But former BDFSP captain Mario Harte was brought down just outside the 18-yard box by BDFSP skipper and sweeper Shane Codrington and Lashley stepped up to place a well-curled shot away from Primus’s gloves.
In the second encounter of the night, former champions Weymouth Wales were held to a goalless draw by Brittons Hill.
Meanwhile, the newest members to gain Premier League promotion Wotton, defeated Deacons 2-1 thanks to goals by Rayjohn Hawksworth in the 67th and Khalil Gill’s match-winner in the 89th after former Barbados player Rivierre Williams had equalized in the 51st minute for Deacons.