SAP sour Parham as Empire remain winless

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Former champions SAP strengthened their chances of a profitable finish in this year’s Premier Division football competition, stunning defending champs Parham FC 3-2, when they clashed in the feature match of a tripleheader on Sunday.
A Peter Byers penalty in the dying moments of added time secured the emotional victory for the SAP men at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG), pushing them onto 17 points and fifth in the 10-team standings.
Quite fittingly, it was Byers who opened the scoring when he hit the back of the net on minute 30. His goal was however nullified when Parham’s Nazron Hoyte scored in minute 31.
SAP was back in command just four minutes later when Emerson Henry struck in minute 36 but, for a second time in the match, Parham would draw level as striker Tevaughn Harriette scored easily from the penalty spot in minute 47.
It was, however, not meant to be Parham’s night, as with just seconds left on the clock, Byers was brought down inside the penalty area. The national striker made no mistakes from the spot, cleanly tucking the ball away.
Coach Andrew Jean said he was confident that the player would take the team across the line from the spot.
“We really thought we had a couple of close calls and some decisions that could have gone either way in terms of penalties so I felt justified in the last minute. Penalties is something we work on every week as part of our training regiment, so Peter is really good at penalties and four other guys who are really good at penalties also,” Jean said. Parham, despite the loss, continue to lead the competition by one point. They are on 20 points after 10 showings.
Meanwhile, Greenbay Hoppers leaped into the number four slot in the standings following a close 2-1 victory over neighbours and rivals Empire FC.
Hoppers started well to lead 2-0 at the interval with goals from Jarvon Stevens and Hadan Holligan in minutes 18 and 45 respectively as they move to 18 points and fourth in the standings.
Coach, Rolston Phoenix, welcomed the victory but cautioned players about becoming complacent after building a lead.
“During the second half the guys like they got complacent and they have been doing that for about three or four games now, where we have a lead and decide we are just going to sit back and just let the teams come at us. For most of the younger guys, we’d have to get into their heads and maybe when they are going on the field, give them a reminder of what they can and shouldn’t do,” the coach said.
Empire, who had their lone strike of the contest come from Shakkimba Williams, remain at the bottom of the standings with just two points from their 10 showings.
In the day’s opening contest, Tryum FC and Swetes FC played to a 1-1 draw as they seek to stay clear of the automatic twoteam relegation zone.
Tryum went ahead in minute 44th via a Mervyn Hazelwood conversion but former national player, Gason Gregory salvaged a point for Swetes with his 68th minute strike.
Both teams move to 10 points but Swetes are ahead on goal difference.

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