ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The imobile and OBSERVER Media Group Premier Division football competition resumed on Saturday at Antigua Recreation Grounds following a three-week break for World Cup qualifiers and fans were not left disappointed as two of the league’s top contenders were left bewildered by what many would consider surprise defeats.
First to go down were championship hopefuls, Special Security Services All Saints United, who were defeated by the devilish Sugar Ridge Sap FC, 4-3, in the first of a double-header.
United were, however, left without a goalkeeper for most of the contest after Trinidadian Glenroy Samuel was red-carded in the third minute for deliberately obstructing a player who had a clear chance at goal.
The custodian was replaced by national defender Roy “Ratty” Gregory for the remainder of the contest.
Sap took a one-nil advantage from the resulting penalty kick when striker Rackley “Leech” Thomas slotted the ball past Gregory from the spot.
Sap added two more before the half when midfielders Kerry Aaron and Odell Murray both netted in minute 45 to give the Bolans men a 3-0 advantage at the half.
United staged a comeback in the second half, however, and managed to draw level at 3-3 with a double strike coming from Lamar Hodges who scored in minutes 56 and 67, while national striker Randolph “Etty” Burton had his strike in minute 77.
It was not meant to be United’s day, though, as Steven Roberts sealed Sap’s victory in the 80th minute.
The winners move onto eight points from four matches, while United remain on 10 points after five matches.
Also red-carded in the contest were Murray and Lawson Limerick of Sap who were both driven off in minute 75.
In the night’s feature contest, Bassa had the better of Cool & Smooth Empire by a 2-1 margin. Striker Roger Hurst did the damage for Bassa, scoring in the first minute and then again in the 44th.
Midfielder Albert “Tungy” Barthley scored the only goal for Empire in the eighth minute.
The victory lifts Bassa to seven points from four matches, while Empire remain on three points after five matches.
The competition continues Wednesday when Empire plays Sea View Farm at 4:45 pm, and Bassa tackle Parham at 6:45 pm.