By Celeste Hull
Newtown FC gave new meaning to the cliché “against all odds” when they defeated St. Pauls FC while playing with 10 men for 35 minutes and 9 men for 15 minutes. In fact, it was in the 87th minutes that Shashi Isaac got the all-important-goal to give Newtown a come from behind 2-1 victory.
St.Pauls had the advantage in the early part of the game and from as early as the 8th minute Koyian Benajamin opened the scoring for St. Pauls. Newtown slowly wrestled the advantage away from St. Pauls to take greater possession of the ball. This resulted in the equalizer in the 35th minute. Olando Mitcham was the assist man when Ashton Davis ripped one past the St. Pauls custodian. Both teams went to the locker room with their scores tied.
Upon resumption, the game appeared more evenly balanced until St. Pauls took control again. They were able to do so due to the occurrence of Avalon Challenger being dismissed from the field of play for a reckless and dangerous tackle therefore reducing Newtown further to 10 men. St. Pauls tried their uttermost to take the lead but were finally unable to against the stubborn Newtown defense. With 15 minutes remaining Newtown was reduced further to 9 and it was at that time that they were able to score against all odds.
The Newtown head coach Anthony “Nets” Isaac was elated with his team’s victory. He congratulated his guys for emerging without their full 11 players for a significant period.
“I am very proud of the guys and I think that Olando Mitchum performed exceptionally well under the circumstances. Shashi’s defense throughout the game and his scoring of the winning goal was undoubtedly a major part of our win,” he told the press. “At the beginning, I thought the team looked tired but I advised them to just hold the ball as much as possible.”
St. Paul’s head coach, John “Tuffyo” Gumbs, attributed the failure of his team to their lack of possession, despite their being two men up, and their failure to spread the ball. “Newtown was able to cut out everything,” he commented. He indicated that an area of concern he would definitely seek to improve with his team is composure.
“They need to learn to keep their composure in a game. This is very important, but it’s hardly anything that can be taught by a coach.”
In the earlier game, Cayon had little competition against St. Peters when they trounced them 4-0. Three of the four goals were scored in the second half when St. Peters appeared to be more tired than Cayon. Kurvin Benjamin scored two in his first Premier game while Andrew Govia and Tye O’loughlin got a lone item each.
The league continues at the same venue on Saturday with Conaree coming up against Garden Hotspurs and again on Sunday with Newtown versus St. Peters and Village meeting Cayon in a double header.