A beauty in the dying seconds of the game from defender Rashad Smith saw a nine-man Barbados Defence Force Sports Programmeparting ways as equals with Crane and Equipment Ellerton as the Barbados Premier League continued last night at the Wildey Turf. Playing in the latter of two rescheduled games, Smith's goal crushed the dreams of Ellerton as they came dangerously close to a major upset win in the tournament.
The soldiers remained true to form as the leaders in Zone 2 and drew first blood with a goal from last man and captain Shane Codrington in the 29th minute. Shortly after, they would lose their first man as Shakeel Browne was handed a straight red card for denyinga clear goal-scoring opportunity. Going into the break with the lead, the Sports Programme still looked comfortable as Ellerton, who are now ranked third with 17 points, missed out on several chances to draw level.
In the second half, Ellerton upped the ante and created more chances with them all being thwarted. The game reached a fever pitch as Ellerton saw two back-to-back set pieces just outside the 18 both go a-begging. The soldiers saw their ranks docked again as Codrington was booked for also denying an opportunity.
The breakthrough came in the 72nd minute when Shaquan Clarke put away a penalty to the right of BDFSP custodian Kishmar Primus. Luck would be on their side again as they were awarded another penalty six minutes after. This time, their leading goal-scorer Shaine Hermas stepped to the spot and beat Primus in the exact same manner to see Ellerton take the lead over the many-time champions.
With a renewed vigourand fire in their eyes, Ellerton threw everything at the soldiers but continued to miss each and every chance to extend their lead. It was not until the 90thminute in the final play that Smith stepped out on a limb and took a shot from just shy of the half line. The ball soared and sailed and on its descent, Ellerton keeper John Ross Benn was off his line but not fast enough to get back and keep the ball from bouncing into the nets.
The earlier game on the night saw Jabarry Chandler picking up his second beaver-trick this season as he led Empire Club to a 4-2 win over Abrahams United Silver Sands. Chandler began his feat in the 6thminute, but his efforts were equaled in the 20th when Derrine Gale-Forde pulled Silver Sands up.
At the top of the second half, Donte McClean put Silver Sands in control with his goal in the 47th. However, after that, it turned into the 'Chandler show'. He had goals in the 61st, 73rd and put away a penalty in the 94th to seal the deal.
The action continues tomorrow with another double-header at the Wildey Turf as Clayton's Kola tonic Notre Dame take on Paradise FC at 7:00 PM and Brittons Hill FC face Weymouth Wales at 9:00 PM.