Former Premier Division champions Parham FC remained in control of the Football Association’s top flight over the weekend when, on Sunday, they edged another former champion, Empire FC, by a 3-2 margin at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG).
It was the feature contest of a scheduled triple-header and it did not disappoint the modest crowd in attendance.
Former national player, Ranja Christian opened the scoring in the eighth minute for Parham before Kadeem Lewis scored his first of two conversions to pull Empire level at 1-1.
Lewis went from hero to villain within 16 minutes after he inadvertently put the ball into his own net to give Parham a 2-1 advantage going into the half.
The player was on the scorecard for a third straight time in minute 55, but on this occasion he made sure it was his opponent’s net as Empire drew level for a second time in the contest.
However, Parham was not to be denied three points as Denny Henry sealed what was their seventh victory in nine matches to push Parham onto 22 points at the end of the first round.
Coach of the Parham team, Rolston Williams, welcomed the upcoming one-week break, hoping it will afford his players some much needed recuperating time.
“We are having some problems as it pertains to injuries and we haven’t been able to field the same team consistently and that is plaguing us at this point in time. I think that the break will help us more than anything else,” he said.
Empire remain on 11 points after nine showings and sixth in the standings.
Meanwhile, in another exciting contest, Grenades came from two goals down to beat Tryum FC 3-2 also on Sunday.
Danio Myers (17th minute) and Theo Browne (47th minute), had given Tryum a 2-0 advantage but strikes from Rakeem Henry (minutes 65 and 82) and Kyle Edwards (minute 68) handed Grenades their fifth victory in nine showings to move into the number three position with 18 points.
Head coach of the Grenades team, Derrick Edwards, said key changes in the latter stage of the contest worked in their favour.
“We would have loved it to be a little higher because when we would have assessed the first round we are of the opinion that we should have been a little higher based on a few points that we dropped, but we have to be thankful for what we have in this point in time,” the coach said.
“The mood in the camp is high and there are certain things we definitely need to be working on and especially in these games where we come up against the lower tier teams where we are not performing with the urgency and intensity that I am really hoping the team will be performing.”
In Sunday’s opening clash, Old Road made light work of Liberta Blackhawks, handing the newcomers their eighth loss in nine showings in the form of a 3-1 beating.
Rashad Jules netted in minutes 32 and 79 as he recorded a double while national striker Stefan Smith scored once for Old Road as they move to 15 points and fourth in the standings.
Old Road’s coachVincent Samuel said he was hoping for a much higher first round finish but said confidence is still high looking towards the second round.
“I made a couple of changes in the second half that really pull us through. The changes were strategic because I took a midfielder out and put in a striker and I got two goals from him. I changed the player on the left side and I got one goal from the same guy that I changed, so I think the subs made a big difference also,” he said.
Blackhawks, who had their lone strike from Akeem Weekes in the 65th minute, remain at the bottom of the table with three points.