Goal drought for top teams

Goals were hard to come by last night as the 2015 Digicel-sponsored Barbados Football Association’s Premier League continued at the National Stadium.

The most exciting clash of the season between the two top teams Weymouth Wales and Rendezvous was an action-packed spectacle. But for all their sterling efforts the referee’s final whistle saw the two sides locked at 0-0 and forced to share the spoils.

Mackeson Brittons Hill defeated Silver Sands 2-0 thanks to striker Dwayne Stanford’s brace in the first match of the triple-header while Gall Hill and Direct TV Paradise also played to a 0-0 draw in the second game of the night.

Dwayne Stanford (right) scored two goals for Brittons Hill.
Dwayne Stanford (right) scored two goals for Brittons Hill.

Though there was a reasonable crowd in place for the first two games, it was very noticeable that football fans once again only really began to file into the stadium in their numbers around 8 p.m. to see the top of the table clash between former Premier League champions Wales who are still leading the standings with 14 points and Rendezvous on 11. The crowd attendance pattern is something which the BFA might have to look at with respect to time scheduling in the future.

Wales did well to apply early pressure on Rendezvous who came out this time dressed in their blue and white uniform, a contrast to the yellow and red they wore at the start of the season. Rendezvous got immediately into the game and took control, stringing together a number of deft passes. Wales with Tristan Parris and fellow national players Kemar Headley, Jomo Harewood up front along with Hadan Holligan in the midfield, had Rendezvous in a spot of bother in the 19th minute of play. Carl Joseph was given a red card by FIFA international referee Gillian Martindale for serious foul play on Holligan.

That decision created a buzz around the stands from Rendezvous fans as Joseph made his way off the field and into the locker room. It made the game more interesting with Rendezvous at a numerical disadvantage with ten players but the Christ Church team handled the situation well.

Late in the second half Rendezvous had the opportunity to take the lead when Miron Samuel was taken down by Wales’ goalkeeper, Bentley Springer. Samuel stepped up to take the penalty himself and then the unbelievable happened when he placed the ball to the left, wide of the goal bar and missed out on a golden opportunity for his team in final minutes of play.

Rendezvous' striker Shandel Samuel did not score but was busy defending throughout the game. Here he heads the ball away into safety.
Rendezvous’ striker Shandel Samuel did not score but was busy defending throughout the game. Here he heads the ball away into safety.

Wales breathed a sigh of relief and responded through Headley who found his way into the box, took a shot at goal but thanks to excellent defending from Wayne Sobers who made quite a number of timely interceptions on the night, Headley was denied.

In the final minute Wales made one last attempt when the ball was played over to Holligan on the right side but instead of placing the ball flat and hard towards the goal he sent his shot sailing over the goal bars.

In the opening game Brittons Hill got off to a flying start in the 14th minute of their clash against Silver Sands thanks to Stanford who then came back in the second half and scored another. In the 68th minute the ball was passed from the right flank to Stanford who moved from the left quickly into the goal area, beat the off-side trap, and tapped the ball into the back of the nets quite comfortably.

A red card was also shared in the second game between Paradise and Gall Hill when Jabarry Chandler who had an earlier yellow card in the game was given another in the 63rd minute for a reckless tackle. Gall Hill who played with perhaps their best team of the tournament so far did well to hold on for the draw and moved into ninth place in the standings ahead of Silver Sands after capturing their first point of the season.

(Photographs by Morissa Lindsay)

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