Imobile, Observer Group of Companies Premier Division
Defending premier division champions, Asot’s Arcade Parham earned a point against Champion Footwear Hoppers in a gritty 3-3 tie at the ARG on Wednesday.
Playing in the feature match of a double header encounter Parham played the entire second half with ten men after defender Akeem “Leppie” Thomas was sent off one minute before halftime.
Referee Curtis Charles sent Thomas to the dressing room to cool off following some violent conduct on the pitch.
At that point Hoppers was leading 2-1 and in control of the game.
Earlier, Lime Old Road tightened its grip at the top of the standings with a 2-1 win over Hospitality Services Sea View Farm.
Old Road will go into the second round of the season with at least a three-point lead no matter what happens in the other two matches on Friday.
Special Security Services All Saints United trails Old Road by six points in second place with a game in hand.
Parham completed its first round of matches on Wednesday and moved to 14 points, tied with United.
The defending champions were looking for their fourth consecutive win against the most consistent team in the nation in Hoppers.
The men from Green Bay however seemed poised to spoil Parham’s mood notwithstanding the champion’s current form.
Omega Jeffrey gave Hoppers the lead early, 17 minutes after kickoff but Parham demonstrated why they are the champions on Wednesday.
Eleven Minutes after Hoppers struck, Parham hit back, some fancy ball work by Eugene Kirwan who was in Hoppers uniform less than a month ago.
Kirwan found Gary Harriett at the end of a pass inside the Hoppers six and Harriett did the rest hitting past keeper Omarie Joseph.
Two minutes before intermission, Tamarley “Ziggy” Thomas showed why he is one of the most talked about players in the nation.
Thomas put Hoppers in the lead again, this time with a free kick around a ‘paper’ wall set up by a disorganized Parham defense.
Then disaster, it seems struck as Parham was restricted to ten men with the expulsion of Akeem Thomas.
Shorthanded though, Parham never lost hope and most likely the players prayed.
Well, their prayers were answered 12 minutes after the break when the referee gave a controversial penalty to the champions.
Peter Reds appeared to have flopped on a ‘touch’ foul by the Hoppers keeper inside the penalty area and Charles pointed to the spot.
Skepple made no mistake on the penalty.
At 2-2, Coach Winston “Debu” Williams opted for offence instead of defense and substituted for an attacker.
Well they say that the best defense is good offence and that worked for Williams despite the fact that it all seemed to back fire moments after the sub.
It was Ziggy again who found the back of the net past Keita Decastro 11 minutes from time to give Hoppers what appeared to be the game winner.
But again as it is said, ‘it’s not over till the fat lady sings’ and there was no singing before Skepple would find the equalizer in the dying stages on some brilliant passing by the Parham strikers.
Hoppers completed the first round on 11 points with just two wins in nine matches.
In the Old road victory, the league leaders scored two goals in nine minutes before Farm got a consolation goal on the stroke of half time.
Donavan Perth and Gayson “Bubbler” Gregory score in the 30th and the 39th minutes respectively.
Kenroy “Chicken” Telemaque scored for Sea View Farm.
The first round will conclude on Friday with a double header at the ARG.
Bullets take on Bassa in the first game while All Saints United and Farm will play in the feature game.