The Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme marched on to a second win and the top of the table in Zone 3 when the Williams Equipment Preseason Cup continued on Thursday night. With the action moving over to Bridgefield, the soldiers got past Home Improvement Hardware Compton by a single goal when the two clashed in the evening's first game.
Shane Codrington put the Sports Programme in control early on in the exchange as he put away a free kick with his right foot in the 16th minute. Compton played with heart against the many-time champions and a lovely floating shot from Marlon Headley rolled into the nets at far post past a diving Kishmar Primus. That 26th-minute goal saw Compton drawing level and that is the way the score would stay for the remainder of the half.
The soldiers showed their resilience by playing a man short as Akeem Hill was given his walking papers after picking up a second yellow card in the 40th minute.
It was not until late in the clash that a call for a hand-ball against Compton's Oneal Toussaint inside the box saw the penalty being awarded to the soldiers. Omani Leacock stepped up to the spot and made no mistakes with the shot to tip the scales in the 84th and secure the 2-1 win.
That scoreline seemed to be the theme of the night as Empire finally got on the cards with their first win. Bouncing back from a 1-0 loss to Compton in their first game, the Bank Hall team came from behind to edge out Clayton's Kola Tonic Notre Dame.
The Dames went into the break ahead by one after Armandé Griffith ran past two defenders and lobbed the ball over an advancing Travis Marshall. With Marshall beaten off his mark and the ball already on the way to the nets, the defenders attempted to set it off its course but failed to foil the shot in the 39th minute.
Empire got themselves together and Mario Philip had a similar goal at the same end in the 71st to tie things up. The game-winner came in the 88th when Philip took another shot but the ball came off Shane Mottley to result in an own goal and give Empire the go-ahead.
When the tournament continues on Sunday at Dover, top tier debutantes Porey Spring will be looking to finish their Zone 2 campaign flawlessly as they go up against Crane and Equipment Ellerton in the first game at 6:00 PM. The nightcap game goes to home team Paradise and the struggling double-crown champions from 2017 Weymouth Wales.