The two teams at the top of the point standings Lime Old Road and Special Security All Saints United were in action on Wednesday.
Both needed to win to at least keep the momentum until the two clashed later in the season.
Well, Old Road did what it had to do and defeated La Bussola Willikies 1-0.
United on the other hand met a ‘hot’ keeper in Omarie “Spence” Joseph of Champion Footwear Hoppers and lost 1-0.
So, Old Road limped to 29 points from 13 games leaving United six points adrift, following Spence’s heroics.
After Old Road beat Willikies via the Orlando Mitchum conversion in the sixth, there was always going to be pressure on United to win as well.
United handled the pressure easily.
What was exceptionally challenging was trying to get past the Hoppers goalie whose position was a topic of conversation by many of the Hoppers’ faithful supporters.
Last week Hoppers drew 1-1 with Willikies and Spence was blamed for the goal given up to Willikies.
In addition, the Hoppers keeper has had some terrible times in goal giving up 19 goals in 11 games coming into Wednesday’s encounter.
So much so that the team’s most vocal supporter “Pat White” stated boldly that if Spence kept goal on Wednesday he would not watch the game.
That though was more ‘cough than cold’ and needless to say Pat White watched the game and was pleased.
By half time following a tirade of abusive language, Pat White had to admit that Spence had his “A” game and a win was imminent.
United came out in search of maximum points as well.
They ran at Hoppers from get go but was unable to penetrate Hoppers’ defence with George “Sowa” Dublin and Luke Blakely anchoring the back line.
And when they did get through, Spence stood like the rock of Gibraltar and unmoved denying shot after shot making brilliant saves after brilliant saves.
It was not all defence for Hoppers who also pushed at the United defence with Tamarley “Ziggy” Thomas and Rolston “Lexi” Phoenix in the lead.
In the 27th minute Phoenix would make the lone goal and the game winner hitting past keeper Glenroy Samuel, who had a respectable day in goal as well.
The goal though was just too good.
Phoenix got on the end of a ball that was being hit around during a melee in the United six yards box, which he dispatched into the back of the net.
Samuel was stranded at that point and at the mercy of Phoenix.
The burly midfielder showed none and with Icy veins buried Samuel and United.
United pushed for the equalizer by was unable to elude Spence who was simply phenomenal.
Their chances of getting the breakthrough worsened in the 62nd minute.
Lawson “Boy Blue” Robinson, the team’s chief mechanic in the engine room was sent off for violent conduct and that incident affected the team’s offensive threat.
United did not quit.
Captain Quentin Griffith picked up the slack in the middle and virtually put his team on his shoulders in search of the equalizer but Spence and Hoppers were just too good.
So while Old Road enjoyed the victory in the first game it was nothing short of sorrow for United men who came up against a Hoppers team hungry for points.
Hoppers were third from the bottom of the ten-team standings, tied on 12 points coming into the match.
The three points took Hoppers to 15 points and fourth on the Standings.
Ahead of Hoppers are Old Road in the lead on 29 followed by United six points behind and Defending Champions Asot’s Arcade Parham in third place on 17 points with a game in hand.
Willikies dropped to seventh place, tied with Sugar Ridge Sap both on 14 points.
Sap though has a game in hand and is a spot ahead of Willikies in sixth place due to a superior goal-difference.