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Austin powers Rangers to first points
Rondell Austin celebrated his first top-flight goal, a match-winning strike as Terminix St Ann’s Rangers recorded their first 2018 T&T Pro League win, a 1-0 victory over Point Fortin Civic at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar in Arima on Wednesday night.
The win which saw Rangers bounce back from a 10-0 loss to Defence Force lifted the Dave ‘Hog Head’ Quamina-coached team into the sixth spot on the ten-team standing with three points from four matches, nine points off the top held by W Connection.
Austin’s powerful right-footer in the 69th minute at the back post beats Point Fortin Civic goalkeeper Miles Goodman after 19-year-old substitute Miquel Williams’ left side cross was allowed across the six-yard-area.
Austin, who operates on the right wing, was later replaced injured but stood the hero of a rookie Rangers side that this week secured the services of the veteran poacher and all-time T&T Pro League second top scorer Kerry Baptiste, behind Defence Force forward Devorn Jorsling.
Baptiste, who won titles with San Juan Jabloteh, Joe Public, North East Stars and Central FC, represented the ‘Couva Sharks’ as recent as last Saturday in a 6-1 loss against W Connection before making the switch to Rangers, a side loaded with players 23 and under.
Baptiste, 36, who had a header foiled by Goodman 11 minutes from time, provided an excellent opening for Austin after 15 minutes but the winger flopped the opportunity.
However, Austin, redeemed himself midway through the second half to lift Rangers (3 points) four spots off the bottom into sixth on the ladder – one spot ahead of Civic (2 points) who are without a win after four games with their last two ending in loses.
Point Fortin Civic forward Nion Lammy wasted a chance which had a goal written all over it in the 34th minute before he was replaced at the restart by Akinola Gregory in a double change by coach Reynold Carrington who introduced veteran midfielder Hughtun Hector in place of Shaquille Dublin.
Gregory added life to the Civic attack but after twice troubling the side netting and forcing 17-year-old goalkeeper Josiah Perez into a 54th-minute save it wasn’t enough a fourth straight winless match in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s double-header carded at the Hasely Crawford Stadium – Morvant Caledonia v North East Stars and Defence Force v Police FC – was postponed due to safety concerns in the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake.
Competition in the League resumes tonight San Juan Jabloteh against Club Sando and Defence Force taking on leaders W Connection from 6 pm and 8 pm respectively in a doubleheader at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
St. Ann’s Rangers 1 (Rondell Austin 69’) vs Point Fortin Civic 0
1. W Connection*4*4*0*0*15*1*12
3. Defence Force*3*2*1*0*15*4*7
4. Club Sando*4*2*1*1*4*4*7
5. Central FC*4*1*1*2*4*10*4
6. St Ann’s Rangers*3*1*0*2*1*13*3
7. Pt Fortin Civic*4*0*2*2*2*4*2
8. Morvant Caledonia Utd*2*0*1*1*5*6*1
9. North East Stars*3*0*1*2*1*4*1
10. Police FC*3*0*0*3*2*8*0
Pt Fortin Civic vs Police FC, Mahaica Oval, Pt Fortin, 6 pm
North East Stars vs St Ann’s Rangers, Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar, 4 pm.
Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia United, Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, 4 pm.
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