By Neto Baptiste
All Saints United FC is fast becoming one of the teams to watch in this year’s Premier Division football competition after racking up their second victory in four showings to stay within the top four of the competition hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA).
In their latest triumph, All Saints enjoyed a 2-0 victory over defending champions, Liberta Blackhawks, when they met in the opening match of a triple-header at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG).
The All Saints men had goals on either side of the half with Ajarne Thomas giving them the lead on minute 11, while Bernardo Milford wrapped up the three points with an 85th-minute conversion.
The victory moves All Saints to seven points and fourth in the standings, while the defeat was more bad news for the defending champs as they languish at second from bottom on the 10-team standings with just two points from their four matches.
Coach of the All Saints team, Schyan Jeffers, praised his players for staying the course and carrying out what he thought was the perfect game plan against the defending champs.
“I respect the fact that they are the defending champions, but when we started [the match] we started with one point each and I know that if we work hard, and if we stick to our game plan, we definitely could win the game because at the start of the game, anybody can win. For the past week we worked on wing play during the whole week and our two wingers ended up winning the game for us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Greenbay Hoppers rebounded from a 4-2 loss to Pigotts Bullets last week, beating neighbours Five Islands, 2-1 in Sunday’s feature contest.
Rodney Lawrence and Yoandir Puga were on target for Hoppers as each scored in minutes 33 and 43 while Samuel Spencer scored the lone goal for Five Islands in minute 85.
The victory pushes the former champions to seven points and third in the standings while Five Islands occupies the second slot, also with seven points. They however boast a plus-four goal difference, three more than Greenbay Hoppers.
General Secretary of the Hoppers outfit, Troy Gibson, although happy for the win, said that they needed to be sharper in front of goal.
“We’ve been a bit lackadaisical in the final third, one on one in terms of close quarters in terms of scoring, and I know the coach has actually been talking to me during the week about that, and that we need to be more clinical in front of the nets. The competition is only going to get harder going forward especially with teams improving every week so it’s a bit of a concern,” he said.
In the other contest on Sunday, Bullets got past Swetes 1-0. Jorge Villalon was the lone goal-scorer in the match, striking in minute 45 to put Bullets on six points from four showings and sixth on the 10-team standings.
Assistant coach of the winning team, Kenford Samuel, said his team also needs to improve in front of goal.
“Honestly, when we get into that final third of the park we need to execute what we’ve learnt in the game and finish as much as possible, putting teams away as quickly as possible with all those chances we have been getting each and every game,” he said.
The Premier Division will break this weekend for a planned show at the venue.