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T&T vs British Virgin Islands (19-Dec-2004).
Mon Dec 20, 2004 07:05

T&T advances with 2-0 win.
By: Gregory Trujillo - T&T Guardian Reports.

T&T senior footballers moved a step closer to the Digicel Caribbean Cup finals with a 2-0 win over British Virgin Islands (BVI) yesterday, on a sloppy Marvin Lee Stadium ground in Macoya, Tunapuna.
The “Soca Warriors” thus won the two-match leg 6-0 on aggregate, and will meet the winner of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada in a home-and-away tie on January 9 and 16.
In front of a buoyant crowd estimated at 2,000, Nigel Pierre got the opening goal for the homesters in the 21st minute and substitute Angus Eve got the second in the 61st minute.
After 30 minutes into the match, ground conditions became deplorable — players were unable to keep their footing, control was difficult as the ball often stuck in the mud.
Shots to goal were therefore very few and players had to wash off mud on the sidelines at regular intervals.
T&T adapted better to the conditions and came away a deserving winner, as the visitors found it difficult to penetrate the local defence.
To add to their woes, BVI lost the services of lanky captain Avondale Williams in the 19th minute because of an injured right knee.
Williams was hurt in a tackle with Pierre in the 14th minute. But after receiving treatment and returning to action he hobbled around before being forced to retire.
Pierre opened the scoring with a glancing header that flew into the far post following a right side cross by Cyd Gray.
In the 42nd minute, T&T missed an opportunity to go further ahead, but Denzil Theobald placed his shot wide after being served a perfect pass by Scott Sealy from the left flank.
Three minutes into the second-half, defender Keyeno Thomas came up for a right side corner. The ball managed to reach him low down on the far post, but from five metres out he sliced the ball wide with his left foot. Kerwyn Jemmott also missed a golden opportunity to score five minutes later.
After his initial header was blocked by goalkeeper Jermaine Riley, his second attempt was banged against the crossbar a couple feet away from the goal.
Scott Sealy, who struggled to get his game together on the difficult surface, was replaced by Eve in the 59th minute.
Two minutes after coming on Angus Eve made his first touch count.
After being picked out by work-horse Leslie Fitzpatrick, the veteran player volleyed past Riley before the ball could hit the muddy carpet.
T&T made one other substitution — Conrad Smith coming on for Kerwyn Jemmott in the 67th minute.
Meantime, A host of top footballers will be on show today, when a College’s All Star XI takes on T&T Foreign Based in a friendly match at Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground, from 4 pm.
Four overseas based players currently on the T&T senior team will use the week off from national training to join their colleagues on the Foreign Based XI.
The quartet is China-based Gary Glasgow, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Cornell Glen and Scott Sealy.
Among the other players on the Foreign Based XI are Darren Lewis, Marlon Rojas, Steve Sealy, Kevin Norman, Stephen Cruickshank, Zane O’Brien, Kwame Wiltshire and Kevin Jeffrey.
The Foreign Based squad will also be meeting the T&T Under-20 team on Thursday, at the Ato Boldon Stadium or the Larry Gomes Stadium.

Jan-Michael Williams; Derek King (capt), Keyeno Thomas, Anton Pierre, Marlon Rojas, Cyd Gray (Silvio Spann 76th); Denzil Theobald, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Kerwyn Jemmott (Conrad Smith 67th); Scott Sealy (Angus Eve 59th), Nigel Pierre.

Jermaine Riley; Quaver Roach (Dwayne Ross 80th), Maxford Pipe, Mervyn Danty, Ranalie Cain; Avondale Williams (capt) (Raul Ettienne 24th), Lionel Grimes, Rohan Lennon, Michael Haynes; Chesley Miller (Chevon Russell 61st), Venton James.
Up-Close With Patriot.

First off, let me say that the game was played on the WORST field in T&T. It was more suitable for mud-wrestling than International Football!!! That said, while field conditions would limit the overall standard of play, SOME things were just unforgiveable! Nonetheless there WERE positives coming out of the game, and I was grateful for the opportunity to link up with Touches, Andre Samuel and Cowen once again. Nice lime!

T&T's Starting Line-Up:-

------------Jan Micheal Williams----------
-----Keyeno Thomas----Derek King------
Cyd Gray----Anton Pierre---Marlon Rojas

T&T started off pretty fast and immediately took the game to BVI. For most of the first half we dominated the game, but failed to take many shots on goal. The few shots that WERE taken, were waaay off target. One significant deficiency was the COMPLETE absence of accurate crosses!! the two wide players, Gray and Rojas delivered some of the worst (attempted) crosses I've seen at THIS level of the game. However, despite the awful outfield, the T&T team played some attrative football IN PATCHES. Some things I noticed, Jemmott was guilty of over-dribbling (in thick mud remember!) but was sending some excellent through balls, of course ole "slow poke" Nigel Pierre (sorry Touches, but I'm calling it as I see it) was unable to capitalize, and Sealy was having one of his poorer games, electing to pass when he should have shot. EVENTUALLY T&T went ahead through Nigel Pierre, with a well taken header from a corner by Fitzpatrick ("Tiger") I believe! "Tiger" it was unanimously agreed to by the Soca Warriors present was easily the man of the match. Fotzpatrick did EVERY thing BUT score! His physical presence, fitness and tenacious tackling would have guaranteed him a place in the squad for Feburary 9th. We went in at 1-0 half-time.

The second half followed a familiar pattern to the first, with PLENTY domination/possession by T&T, but few shots being taken. An ineffective Sealy was eventually subbed for Angus Eve, who within 5-7 mins on the pitch scored with a shot from just inside the box off a feed from Tiger, 2-0 T&T. Another sub, Conrad Smith came on for Jemmott and he too looked lively, trying shots from EVERYwhere. We felt he was DETERMINED to score :} The BVI keeper seemed inspired though and pulled off some decent saves. With just over 10 mins to go, Spann came on for Cyd Gray, but really made little impact on the game. In fairness to him he was hardly on long enough and BVI's keeper was doing his best to keep the scoreline respectable.. he succeeded! The game ended with little to talk about other than some sweet individual displays. Fitzpatrick side dribbled a BVI player, A BVI drfender made a spectacular over head kick, and then the low points, some mis-kicks and selfish play by T&T in particular. Believe or not, BVI could even have scored a late consolation item, but the player over-ran the ball with Jan Michael Williams and the defence beaten!

I'd say T&T's OVERALL standard inproved dramatically, with the players showing evidence of increased fitness (Even Nigel Pierre sees to have lost a pound or two :} However MOST of THESE guys will NOT make the cut for Feb 9th. We need strikers who are willing to pile shots and not pass IN THE AREA, and we MUST get 2 wide players WHO CAN CROSS THE BALL accurately. I must reluctantly say the BEST crosses ALL night, BOTH came from Angus Eve! As either Cowen or Andre pointed out though...Eve can't seem to step up against superior opposition or be consistent in his play... I agree whole-heartedly!!! But credit must be given where it's due.

Questions I'd like to know the answer to:-

1. Why was Glen in the stands ?
2. How come Dwarika is IN the country but NOT training with the team ?
3. Why wasn't Spann introduced earlier ?

Player Ratings:-

5.5 - Jan Michael Williams:
Was NOT tested much, but looked shaky, dropped a few balls and came out like a madman on one occasion but did enough to put the BVI player off.

6 - Derek King:
Not a bad player, but not exceptional either! Cannot start ahead of any foreign-based defenders except perhaps hard working Lawrence, and his lack of pace and height would STILL see me prefferring the "Grasshopper" Lawrence.

6 - Keyano Thomas:
Ditto as King, with the one diffence being his tendency to give away fouls/make rash tackles. Fortunately BVI did NOT require him to display much of either short-coming.

5.5 - Cyd Gray:
Poor crossing, little foward play, but like Thomas, didn't need to display his "wild-side"

6.5 - Marlon Rojas:
Lousy crossing as well, but made some intelligent forward runs, tackled sensibly.

6 - Anton Pierre:
Lack of pace was exploited, but he is an EXCELLENT reader of the game, and one of our better tacklers too.

8.5 - Leslie Fitzpatrick:
MAN OF THE MATCH, ran hard for 90 mins, took responsibilty for most corners, played a part in both goals, tackled hard and ran the length and breath of the pitch.

7 - Kerwyn Jemmott:
Excellent distribution, good movement, guilty of over-dribbling, and ran out of gas in the 2nd half...otherwise, fine display.

5.5 - Denzil Theobald:
Disappointing game, took some terrible shots, gave away the ball under no pressure, BUT he did worked hard and tackled as well. Can only get better with time, but not yet ready for the first team.

5.5 - Scott Sealy:
VERY disappointing! Probably the worst I've seen him play for T&T. Was "gun shy" and while ground conditions WERE bad, he failed to impress today. But should retain 1st team place, I predict the field had a lot to do with the play of many players today.

6 - Nigel Pierre:
Excellent B-team player, but is simply TOO slow for International football. While he has great control and nice touches, he cannot be playing upfront if T&T plans on launching counter-attacks and so on.

8 - Angus Eve:
Seems to relish scoring off the bench...maybe Bertille will see the light now and deploy him from there!

7.5 - Conrad Smith:
Made a difference with his entrance, was guilty of being selfish on occasion, but took more shots than Sealy and N.Pierre combined!

Silvio Spann:
Saw too little to give a rating, but should have came on earlier as we need to give our other midfield players some exposure.

On a final note, Lincoln Philips HAS started to take a more active role in the team, starting by working one on one with ALL national Goal-keepers at EVERY level!.

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