By Rawle Welch
Alpha United behind a double from Shavane Seaforth registered an impressive 4-2 win over Linden’s Milerock as play in this year’s NaMilCo Knockout Football Festival continued on Friday, at the Tucville ground.
Seaforth goals came in the 6th and 84th minutes of play and his effort was supported by a single each from Shawn Bishop (45th) and Jermaine McBean (63rd). For the visitors, Oswald Benjamin netted in the 8th minute, while Alpha’s Solomon Austin provided their second goal after committing a defensive error on the stroke of full time.
Earlier, hosts Fruta Conquerors survived a hard fought battle against Seawall United, before prevailing 4-3 on penalty kicks after regulation time ended 1-1 and overtime failed to separate the two teams.
Travis Hackett (17th) scored for Fruta Conquerors, while Ike Garraway (48th) responded for Seawall United.
In the feature clash, Alpha United arguably the best team locally looked impressive in the opening exchanges with Seaforth Bishop, Dwight Peters and Leon Grumble showing early signs of technical superiority.
Their exhibition of structural football was emphasised very early and they wasted no time in letting that technical advantage pay dividends as Peters and Seaforth combined with a beautiful sequence of interplay that resulted in their first goal.
Seaforth first laid a pass to the right flank which Peters collected and after dribbling two defenders delivered an exquisite pass along the turf to Seaforth, who nonchalantly tucked it into the back of the nets.
However, Milerock replied two minutes after when an attentive Benjamin saw Alpha’s goalkeeper Ronson Williams off his line and executed a wonderful lob that sailed over his head and landed in the goal.
The two teams looked potent in attack, while solid defending was the hallmark as well and even though chances were created by both sides, none managed to penetrate the two goalkeepers.
However, on the stroke of halftime, Alpha got the go ahead goal when a cross from the left side saw some poor defending and a lurking Bishop expertly nudged it into the back of the goal with his right foot outstretched.
On the resumption, Milerock searched for the equaliser and mounted some threatening raids, but national captain Howard Lowe, capably supported by Kelvin McKenzie and Austin were able to cancel out the chances.
Play was interrupted for a few minutes when Philbert Moffat was yellow carded by referee Mark Younge for an infringement and his caution evoked a verbal assault from Williams on the official, who immediately issued a red card to the keeper thereby leaving Alpha with 10 players on the pitch.
Milerock was unable to capitalise on the numerical advantage and instead went further behind after McBean’s goal.
Alpha was able to increase their lead further when Seaforth in unbelievable fashion hit a brazen shot from about 40 metres out that squired through the legs of the goalkeeper and limped over the line.
Milerock though pushed men forward and the strategy paid off as the relentless pressure forced Austin in his quest to clear a cross from the left flank only succeeded in smashing the ball into his own net.
The Conquerors and Seawall United matchup was a close affair that went to penalty kicks after 105 minutes including extra time failed to produce a winner, sending the game into overtime.
Conquerors, a team still in the rebuilding phase were immediately placed on the back foot after their most experienced player on the pitch Gerald Gritten missed the first penalty.
Shortly after he missed Seawall United, Garraway, who had earlier netted the equaliser in normal time failed to convert his as well and it left the gifted teenager Pernell Schultz with the huge responsibility to get the win for his team and he sure did, hitting a well placed shot past the outstretched hands of the goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, NaMilCo gave away two hampers of their products to lucky patrons and those that won were Adella Benjamin of Silvertown, Linden and Dennis Osario of Tucville.
On hand to make the presentation to the two winners was Laboratory Assistant Debra Gonsalves.
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