PLEASANTVILLE soared into the top five of the standings with a 2-0 win over St Mary's at the latter's school ground in St Clair, when round four matches in the 2019 Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division were held, yesterday.
Pleasantville, sitting in tenth place in the 15-team table before yesterday, climbed to fifth place behind a strong first half performance led by striker Alemo Sampson.
Sampson got the first clearcut chance on goal in the tenth minute, but his low shot went just wide of the goalpost. Pleasantville played with energy in the opening stages creating a number of chances on goal, keeping St Mary's goalkeeper Jordan Bedaisee busy. Bedaisee was aided by his defenders as a corner kick by Pleasantville was cleared off the line.
Pleasantville put constant pressure on the St Mary's defenders. In the 15th minute, Sampson stole the ball from the St Mary's defence, but Pleasantville failed to capitalise. Minutes later, Emanuel Mohammed failed to convert a header after some solid play on the right side, before Sampson gave Pleasantville a deserved lead in the 27th minute when he ran onto a cross from the right side and slotted home.
In the 31st minute, St Mary's got their first decent chance on goal but an effort from outside the box from Tyrique Huggins went over the crossbar.
Mark Hernandez made it 2-0 for Pleasantville in the 35th minute. A pass from half-line was floated into the box and after St Mary's failed to clear the ball Hernandez pounced and he slotted home past the advancing Bedaisee. Pleasantville held their 2-0 lead until half-time.
Both teams lacked attacking creativity in the early stages of the second half as the home supporters tried their best to encourage their players. By the midway point of the second half, St Mary's were showing more fight and won a number of corner kicks but could not find the back of the net. Pleasantville were a bit lacklustre in the second half, but their defence still forced St Mary's to attempt a lot of long passes that were easily dealt with.
St Mary's created some chances in the closing stages, but it was Pleasantville who held on for the 2-0 win. St Mary's are at the bottom of the standings with four losses from as many matches.
Next door at Queen's Royal College (QRC), the home team fell 2-1 to fellow North Zone team St Anthony's. Nathaniel James gave QRC the lead in the 19th minute when he converted a close range effort after a low cross. St Anthony's equalised in the 34th minute when Donovan Claxton scored an own goal when he attempted to clear the ball. The St Anthony's "Tigers" took the lead when a shot was deflected into the goal by Ian Cowie in the 40th minute. The goals dried up in the second half as both teams failed to score. St Anthony's are now in third place and QRC are sixth.
At the Trinity College East Ground in Trincity, defending champions Naparima got past Malick 2-1 to maintain their lead at the top of the table. Second placed Presentation San Fernando stayed one point behind Naparima with a 4-0 victory over St Benedict's at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
Trinity Moka 2 vs Speyside 2
St Augustine 2 vs Carapichaima East 2
San Juan North 1 vs Trinity East 1
East Mucurapo - Bye
Presentation San F'do*4*3*1*0*14*2*9
San Juan North*3*0*2*1*2*4*1