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T&T vs Bermuda (25-May-2005).
Thu May 26, 2005 14:56

Birchall, Edwards sparkle in Warriors win.
By: Nigel Simon.

English-born midfielder Christopher Birchall and Carlos Edward both had outstanding performances as T&T warmed up for its June 4 Concacaf World Cup Qualifier against Panama with a 4-0 shut-out of Bermuda at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Wednesday night.
In a match which was completely dominated by the Leo Beenhakker-coached line-up, Birchall, Edwards and to a lesser extent, Kenwyne Jones, Aurtis Whitley and defensive duo Dennis Lawrence and Anton Pierre all staked claims for a spot on Beenhakker’s 18-man roster for the qualifier against the Panamanians.
However, the same cannot be said of Coventry City striker, Stern John, who apart from his 65th minute goal, had a nightmarish performance in front of the Bermudans goal.
John’s dilemma began as early as the 13th minute when he failed to connect with a pin-point low right sided cross by Edwards six yards out from goal, after the latter had worked a clever one-two with Birchall down the right flank.
One minute later, the improving Leslie Fitzpatrick collected a short corner from Birchall, and with acres of space in front of him, he unleashed a powerful volley at goal which Bermuda’s goalkeeper Nigel Burgess went full stretch to his left to pluck out of the air.
Edwards again picked out John with a right sided centre after robbing a defender of the ball, in the 24th minute but with ‘keeper Burgess and the goal at his mercy, John somehow managed to clip the ball over the bar.
Six minutes later, John blasted over bar from a Jones feed inside the 18-yard box.
With all the chances falling to John, the question was whether T&T would break the deadlock before the half, which they eventually got through an own goal.
The go-ahead item came in the 33rd minute when defender Kentoine Jennings turned the ball into his own net past Burgess, when he attempted to cut out another centre, which was intended for John.
At the other end of the field, T&T goalkeeper and team captain Clayton Ince was almost a spectator for the night and was mostly called into action by his own defenders.
Two minutes into the second-half, Jones scored his first goal for the T&T senior team and the second of the match, when he ran onto a through ball from Edwards, ten yards into the Bermuda half, held off a weak challenge from defender Stevie Astwood and slotted the ball past Burgess on his near post.
John came close to ending his drought in the 50th minute, but his goalward chip was cleared off the line.
Despite his own poor form, the Coventry striker had a hand in his team’s third goal as he headed down a right sided corner from Birchall to the feet of Dennis Lawrence, which left the lanky defender with the easy task of dragging the ball over the line.
After squandering an open chance in the 58th minute when he just had to pick his spot with keeper Burgess stranded, John ended his drought with a 65th minute item.
He ran onto a through ball from Birchall and chipped the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal past the advancing Burgess to the delight of the 3,000 spectators on hand.
Edwards, John, Birchall and second-half substitutes Brent Rahim and Gary Glasgow all had chances to add to their team’s tally, but failed to beat substitute goalkeeper Daniel Johnson.
Both teams will meet again Friday at 6 pm in the first match of double-header at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. In the feature match from 8.15 pm defending champions of the T&T Professional Football League Pro Bowl, Vibe CT 105 W Connection will put its title on the line against CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh.

T&T: Clayton Ince (capt); Anton Pierre, Dennis Lawrence, David Atiba Charles, Marlon Rojas (Glenton Wolfe 46th); Leslie Fitzpatrick (Densill Theobald 46th), Carlos Edwards, Christopher Birchall, Aurtis Whitley (Brent Rahim 80th); Kenwyne Jones (Gary Glasgow 62nd), Stern John.

Subs not used: Brent Sancho, Ian Cox, Duarance Williams.

Bermuda: Nigel Burgess (Daniel Johnson 77th); Kentoine Jennings (capt), Maurice Lowe, Kofi Dill, Domico Coddington; Jelani Scott (Seion Darrell 80th), Jahnai Raynor (Logan Alexander 58th), Khris Frick (Rohann Simons 46th), Stevie Astwood; Damon Ming, Aljame Zuill (Cecoy Robinson 65th).

Subs not used: Cecoy Robinson, Rohaan Simons, Kyle Lightbourne.
Patriot's Report.

While I applaud T&T's victory tonight... ah mean when LAST did we give ANY team 5 unanswered goals eh? The thing is we mad HARD work of an obviously WEAK and under-prepared Bermuda team!!!

Starting Line-Up:-

Atiba---A. Pierre--Lawrence-----Rojas

First 1/2 began and T&T had much better of the exchanges although I found we were using the long ball a bit more frequently than in the previous game against the Peru team. Nonetheless we soon carved out opportunities for a goal. Stern contrived to throw away no fewer than FOUR clear cut chances, including one that was reminiscent of the "Alibey miss of the century" where he kicked overbar from 2-3 yards out (I AM NOT EXAGGERATING!!!). He also got caught off-side pretty often. He shot STRAIGHT at the keeper when put through 1 on 1 and blazed a shot over-bar from 15 yards out!!! Tiger had a decent shot on goal which was saved and Jones had a few headersnarrowly miss. MOST of our attacks came up the left side and I noticed Tiger was sending many crosses in from the flank. However Rojas was having yet ANOTHER bad game.The list of errors this guy makes is endless, some of the worst would be :-

- Holds onto the ball too long
- Takes waaaaaaaay too long to make simple passes
- Slow in tracking back
- Slow in over-lapping

Well after seeing us waste chance after chance and leading 1-0 at the half, Beenie-man decided to make changes at the 1/2 Off went the two left sided players, with Theobald coming in for Tiger and Wolfe from NE Stars coming on for Rojas. Well it soon paid dividends, as we were 2-0 in a short space of time and continuing to dominate. Jones' goal was a REAL beauty as he rounded 2 defenders and slotted calmly past the keeper. Stern FINALLY broke his drought in the 2nd 1/2 with another goal and Dennis lawrence poked in from a goal mouth scramble after the Bermuda keeper failed to hold onto a corner kick in his box. 4-0 T&T

Other subs were :- Glasgow for Jones ; Rahim for Whitley.

Player Ratings:

Ince - ?? A spectator for 99.9% of the game was rarely ever tested. Still as captain for the night and continuing to talk to the defenders and bark out orders an 8 for leadership :}

A Charles- 7 - Another solid game, made one or 2 errors with the errant pass here and there but was consistent defensively IN against Panama.

A Pierre 6.5 - Decent game but i doubt he will survive the next cut as Andrews, Cox and Sancho are all in line to play in the 2nd game on Friday. STILL plays too much long ball, but read the game well and kept things tight

Rojas 5 - MUST be replaced... either Avery John, Sancho or even Cox would be better options! This guy just NOT ready. He TRIES hard, but is just TOO slow mentally and physically, (see above comments)...

Dennis Lawrence 7 - He has certainly improved as far as I am concerned. He had quite a good game vs Costa Rica and he has been quite steady in the past few games. It will be a difficult choice for Leo to make a final decision in the defense with the likes of Cox, Andrews, Sancho and Pierre jostling for those two central positions.

Birchall 7 - Made some nice runs out to the flank, interchanging with carlos and played a part in at least 2 of the goals with some good passing and movement. Ran hard, needs more composure when shooting. Made a few errant passes but definitely IN against Panama.

Whitley 6.5 - Decent game, played more defensively but was there to support the attack. Shooting was off, 2 overbar and 1 wide from what i recall. Personally I believe Theobald or Spann would play this position better.

Edwards 7.5 - A real terror on the right-flank but has a tendency to overdo it with the dribbling! the parlor tricks won't come off against Mexico and the US. Still nice to see him running at defenders, this could win us free-kicks in dangerous positions. Just has to know when to turn it off IN on the 4th June.

Tiger 7 - Sent in several useful crosses, worked hard in ball-winning/tackling but TOO slow for left-wing Surprised he was replaced at the 1/2 Doubtful to be in but can definitely make the bench if not.

Jones 8 - Worked his socks off, ran hard, dropped back and ran at defenders, shot from outside, had some great headers. Still not sure he wouldn't be better for us as an attacking mid but DEFINITELY IN.

Stern 5 - Scored 1 threw away 6 and got caught off-side no fewer than 10 times (MAY be more). Dropped back to bring the ball forward but seems to have lost the clinical finishing, Had me asking where Hector Sam and Scott Sealy ??

Glasgow 6 - Still seems not to be MATCH fit and not 100% but made some enterprising runs, threw away a sitter in a 1 on 1, but was unlucky to have a shot rocket off the cross-bar and into the keepers arms MIGHT make the bench for the Panama game.

Theobald 6 - My BWOY, but I feel he was played out of position on the left flank and it showed as he kept coming inside several times, when in possession NOT one of his better games, but played the role asked of him to the best of his ability.

Glenton Wolfe 5.5 - Better going forward than Rojas BUT typical Trini likes to hold on and ATTEMPT to dribble too much Has some speed too, and COULD potentially be the better option in the LONG run at left-back, but NOT in time for the 4th June game.

Rahim 7 - Liked what little I saw of him (came on with 10 mins left) and showed some deft touches, passing. Attempted some OVER-ambitious moves that did NOT come off but I feel can YET fulfill SOME of the potential he showed years ago.

Overall my feeling is that beenie man is still weighing his options since he is yet to see some players in a match situation. The return of Yorke, Spann (HOPEFULLY), Glen and a recall for Scott Sealy would do us well because we ARE creating chances, but unless Stern does a COMPLETE 180 degree turn within the next 2 weeks, right now he wouldn't even make the bench!!! the trouble is, LIKE Rojas, WHO WE GO PUT INSTEAD??? Leo has his work cut out for him, but lets see what happens on Friday..Based on what I've seen so far, I remain Optimistic of VICTORY on the 4th June.

P.S. T&T vs Bermuda pt2 at 6:00pm Jabloteh vs Connection 8:15 pm Mannie Ramjohn friday 27th Patriot will be there.

P.P.S. Saw Marvin Andrews at 1/2 time he WILL be playing on Friday. Said the knee is holding up ok and is looking forward to getting back into the team.

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