Naparima College clawed back from a goal down to grab an important 3-2 victory over St Mary’s College in round two of the Secondary Schools Football League premier division at CIC Grounds in Port of Spain on Saturday.
Both teams entered the contest on a high after earning convincing 10-0 (Naps) and 8-0 (St Mary’s) wins in their opening matches on Wednesday.
Despite Naps dominating the opening minutes of the match, CIC’s Ryan Radellant opened the scoring in the 38th minute as he cut in from the left past two defenders and rifled home a right-footed shot past Naparima custodian Tyrece Romain.
The visitors struck back four minutes later courtesy Jeron Pascall, who was given room by the St Mary’s backline to fire a composed shot, left of goalie Jabali Doyle, to level at 1-1.
Naparima’s 15-year-old Akil Vesprey then showed some neat footwork down the left side to evade two defenders then slot the ball past Doyle to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage heading into halftime. At the break, Naps’ forward Kanye Francis, who scored a hat-trick in the opener, was substituted on as the south team sought to increase their lead.
He threatened early on and soon combined with a neat Jabari Forbes assist to fire home in the 58th minute (3-1). Naps could have gone further ahead in the 79th minute after Francis was fouled in the penalty box. However, an over-confident Francis tried to be cheeky with a chipped shot and the ball floated straight into arms of Doyle, who remained motionless at the kick. Five minutes later, St Mary’s skipper Kyle Phillip capitalised on a loose ball from a corner and pounced to score past Romain, and reduce the deficit to one.
However, Naps held on till the end and bagged a precious three points to stay unbeaten after two matches.
After the game, man-of-the-match Pascall was pleased with the result.
“Hard work... I just wanted to level off the game to give us a good chance in the second half, and that’s what I did. We expect big things from Naparima. We have to continue our winning form going forward and we’ll be good.”
In other matches on Saturday, San Juan North continued their early dominance by thrashing Pleasantville 5-0. Scoring for them were Jaheem Danclair, Lindell Sween, Nathan Quashie, Joshua Lewis (penalty), with an own goal courtesy Pleasantville.
All other matches ended with 1-0 results. East Mucurapo edged defending premier champions St Benedict’s, Chaguanas North bettered Bishop’s High, Fatima squeezed past Speyside Secondary, QRC topped St Anthony’s and Presentation College San Fernando noticed their first win over Malick Secondary.