Check out the ABFA Premier League Round up done byguest writer: Alphaeus Tonge
Grenades Blasts Bassa Back to the Drawing Board.
In what appears to be a GO-green match Jennings Grenades FC turned up in their neon-green kits to outshine Bassa FC in their forest green kit.
Although Bassa was impressive in their build-up and looked to be the better of the two teams Grenades had all the required fire power and ammunition on the day.
It was a quiet but intense opening as both teams were looking good in the first 15 minutes, feeling out each other, finding their rhythm and finally testing the goal keepers (GK). Both teams displayed great athleticism, quality of controls, dribbles and passes.
Grenades were reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute when #13 Lester Shaw picked up a straight red for a dangerous tackle. The game was played very fast and physical. Grenades’ #17 Rafael Flores, tried to slow down the game to his liking with his composed style of play – not very successful but at least they found success between the uprights in the 43rd minute when the #8 Rakeem Henry scored from a delivery which was quartered back by the right winger. The shot then ping-ponged on the inside of the right post and then to the left side netting, 1-0.
In the 68th minute a penalty was awarded to Jennings Grenade but Bassa’s Goal Keeper and Captain guessed correctly, dived low to his left and safely held on to the attempt.
Grenades continued to excite the fans with a number of close encounters and in the 82 minute were up 2-0 through the efforts of Oalex Anderson.
In the 87th minute, another attack by Grenades saw Anderson again was the finisher; catching the GK off his line and making him pay from 20 yards out, 3-0.
Bassa however, managed to pulled one back in the 90th when Grenades defence got too confident and pulled their own trigger pin, gifting Jamie Thomas with the consolation goal.
Bassa will take on SAP on October 18th while Grenades will come up against Urlings.
SAP Leads the Standings after Trouncing Ranger 4-1
After the third week of football SAP maintains their 100% record with three consecutive wins which puts them on 9 points at the top of the table. Their latest encounter resulted in a 4-1 victory at the hands of newly promoted Ottos Rangers. Here’s a look at the highlights.
A free kick in the third minute of play by SAP, almost looked threatening. Both teams consolidating their passed but breaking down in the opposition’s attacking-third. SAP however, kept on the pressure till they were rewarded in the 20th minute when Peter Byers made an incisive run into space to collect a pass from their Latino import #10 Francisco Abreu.
Byers’ initially attempt was blocked by the Rangers goal keeper (GK) who pushed the ball forward but it ricocheted off Byers’ body and bounced slowly across the goal line, 1-0.
Rangers #20 Kelly Roberts played exceptionally well making several attacking runs down the left flank. His consistent evasive dribbling skills definitely puts him in a class above the rest.
Throughout the match Abreu continued to show his overall value to the team including why he wears the #10 shirt. SAP, defending a corner, cleared the ball upfield, Abreu, bringing the ball under control orchestrated one of the best counter attacking moves of the day. Looking forward to his left he found Byers and directed the ball to him. The Rangers defence began closing in on Byers only to leave #6 Rockley Thomas open on the other side. Byers made the pass to Thomas who ended up 1v1 with the GK. Thomas made it 2-0 with 11 minutes to go before the half. At the other end Junior “Eto” Benjamin failed to open for his team when he was denied by the wood work.
SAP’s GK Miguel Baez, another international player, got his first real test of the match when, Rangers #16 William Lewis Jr. tested him from 21 yards out and had him making a routine diving catch to his right.
Imron Ponteen also found himself on the score board for SAP; he made it 3-0 in the 71st minute. Then in the 81st minute SAP won a free kick on the left corner of the 18 yard box. Surprisingly the Rangers GK requested a 4-man wall, twice as much as other teams use at that particular location. Okeem “Soda” Challenger lined up to take the kick and as the shot was taken Peter Byers ran across the GK, impairing his vision and the ball bounced once and into the back of the net, 4-0.
Rangers however, did manage to get a consolation goal in the 86th minute through Kareem Martin, 4-1.
Daryl Michael Head Coach of Ottos Ranger said despite losing, his team played the better ball in terms of the build-up. “We created the chances but failed to convert them.” When asked why Kelly Roberts was MIA in the 2nd half, he indicated that “Roberts made some good overlapping runs in the 1st half but we realized SAP was too good on the counter-attack and we needed the defence to prevent them from coming through.”
SAP will face Bassa on October 18th while Rangers will come up against Fort Road on October 19th.
Hopper Blitz Fort Road 2-1
Anxious moments in the first half as both teams penetrated each others attacking third, but it wasn’t until the 45th minute when Troy Dubblin converted a penalty to put Fort Road ahead, 1-0. The infringement came about when the Fort Road’s #21 Roger Hurst was brought down by Hoppers’ goal keeper (GK) Omarie Joseph, preventing him from a clear cut opportunity.
In his attempt to stop the quickly approaching Hurst, Joseph lunged forward using his hands to gobble up the ball from his opponent’s feet, but made enough contact to have the attacker tumbling dangerously in the box.
Coming out of the half time locker room discussion, Hoppers wasted no time in equalizing through Kareem Wilson in the 47th minute, 1-1.
The game intensified and became more physical after that goal. Hoppers fans roared in disbelief when officials turned down an appeal for penalty when Kareem Wilson appeared to have been brought down in the box.
As the battle went on, Akeem “Little Sam” Grant capitalized on an unfortunately bad back-pass by Fort Road and found Eugene Kirwan out on the left side of the field. Kirwan, being prevented from advancing down the wing, cut across to his right, glimpsed the GK covering his near post and fired an outstanding shot from 20 yards out that went high, almost clearing the field but eventually curved and dipped and landed in the far left corner where the GK had left exposed, 2-1.
The goal was beautifully carved and had everyone in the stadium applauding, not to mention the entire Andy Roberts Stand who went up in a joyous up-roar. Hoppers held on to the lead until the final whistle to secure their first win of the competition.
At 4th place in the standings Hoppers will face Five Islands FC in their next contest as Fort Road takes on Rangers.
Phillip steals the show as Old Road beats Five Islands 1-0.
Playing the feature match of the evening, Old Road went ahead in the 28 minute through #9 Erskim Williams. They kept on creating chances including Williams’ attempted diving header which was saved by the Five Islands goal keeper (GK) Trevor Joseph.
At the other end Five Islands missed out on an equalizing opportunity and although the game lacked quality that we saw in the other matches, Jamie Phillip the #23 from Old Road lifted the entire stadium when he came on in the second half.
The chubby midfielder sent a statement that size doesn’t matter. Once you’ve got the skills you can play the game. Phillip played with more zest and finesse than all the players combined giving the crowd something to cheer about every time he touched the ball.
Old Road now move on to 4 points and will do battle with Parham FC on October 19th and Five Islands will take on Hoppers. C
Parham welcomes Urlings with 8 of the best.
Last Friday’s Premier League encounter between the experienced Parham FC and newly promoted Urlings FC ended in catastrophe for the rookies as they recorded an 8-1 defeat – the worst for the season so far. It seemed as if Parham was either carrying some sort of ill-feelings towards Urlings or that was just their way of saying – “welcome to the Antigua Premier League”.
Parham started their game in full attacking mode from the get-go, exciting the fans with shots dead on target as early as the 7th and 14th minute of play. Looking very composed in their overall build-up, Parham’s squad utilized the empty spaces, collecting and confidently distributing to each other as if it was second nature. Left-back, center-back, right-back, midfield, everybody had a touch.
The way they played the ball around Urlings was so intoxicating – maybe even a bit too sweet as their goal keeper (GK) in the 16th minute, was brought into play and making a mess of it with his poor first touch. This allowed Urlings to get a long awaited touch and a good touch it was as it rolled right into the back of Parham’s empty net, 1-0.
Despite the unfortunate setback, Parham composed themselves and recovered well with an equalizer in the 28th minute from their #24, Mitch, 1-1.
Before the fans could even finish celebrating the equalizer, Parham was back in Urlings’ net again, 2-1. This time it was the combination of Tevaughn “Peter Reds”
Harriette and Gayson “Bubbler” Gregory. Harriet himself was in a good shooting position but unselfishly found Gregory in a better one.
Parham could have made it 3 in the 30th as Harriet broke free and this time opted for the shot. However, the GK was equally up to the challenge.
Parham kept on the pressure with a number of attacking runs especially down the flanks and in the 32nd minute the score was 3-1. Urlings, who was completely out of it was more relieved to hear the half time whistle.
At the resumption of play, Urlings replacement GK did well to parry a shot over the bar for a corner. However, Akeem “Leppy” Thomas, leapt higher than his markers and converted Parham’s fourth of the match, 4-1.
The 5th goal came in the 60th minute as the Urlings defence could not contain Parham’s frontline attack. Gregory, in search of his hat-trick, would not be denied and in the 74th minute he released a powerful shot from 15 yards out, evading the GK on the lower left side of the goal, 6-1.
Randolph “Etty” Burton brought the score to 7-1 when he added his second of the match with 10 minutes to go. And again in the 90th minute the #24 Mitch, converted Parham’s 8th goal of the day with a brilliant tiki-taka team display, patiently on the edge of the box.
At the end a brace each from Mitch and Burton, a hat-trick from Gregory an one from Thomas over-shadowed Urlings’ earlier conversion.
When asked about his team’s playing style being similar to Barcalona’s 4-3-3 tiki-taka system, head coach Rolston “Debu” Williams indicated that he is not trying to play like Barcalona, he’s playing his own style. “I play a 4-2-3-1 system and ask my players to be positive and comfortable and make good decisions”
Parham are now 2nd in the table on seven points and will take on Lime Old Road in their next fixture. Catch all the updates and highlights right here on Antiguafootball.com