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Arlington, St George's in lead for NPL spots
published: Thursday | May 27, 2004

By Daraine Luton, Freelance Writer

SOUTH CENTRAL Confederation champions Arlington Football Club and St. George's of Portland are the early front-runners for the two National Premier League (NPL) spots up for grabs in next season's Wray and Nephew NPL.

After two sets of games, the South Central Confederation champions and St. Georges are locked on four points, this following respective home victories yesterday.

Arlington confronted and beat former two-time champions Wadadah 4-0 at Prison Oval in St. Catherine. Santos tasted a 1-2 defeat at the hands of St. George's at Lynch Park, Portland.

Damion Harwood and Rodger Williams scored for St. George's while Kevon Harris was the man on target for Santos.

WADADAH OUTCLASSED

At Prison Oval, Arlington's youthful team outclassed the more mature Wadadah side.

However, it was not until the 27th minute that the partisan crowd celebrated the first goal. Then, Zico Herrera drove the ball home from close range after Wadadah's goalie Triston Bernard had parried Kemar Munroe's shot into his path.

Although Wadadah trailed by only one goal at half time, there was little to suggest they could get back in the game. Few threatening passes came out of their midfield and their strikers, Markino Gillings and Neville Brown, appeared ineffective.

Brown, like some of his other team members, seemed less than fully fit, while captain Durrant Brown was not effective playing the sweeper's role.

Arlington seemed much more purposeful on the ball.

With Roger Aspener sparking in midfield, Arlington threatened the goal several times. In the second half they got their reward.

SOLO DRIBBLE

Derrington Duffus opened Arlington's second half account by converting a solo dribble 70 minutes into the game. Duffus collected a pass inside the area and weaved his way past three defenders before shooting to the left of the hapless goalie making it 2-0.

Dwayne Gowe then scored twice in eleven minutes, to drive the pride out of the Wadadah side. His first goal caused some controversy. Gowe stole around the Wadadah's defence that did not react to him, anticipating referee Peter Prendergaste's whistle which never came.

The second goal was a more clinical strike, a left-footed effort that Gowe rocketed into Bernard's goal.

An elated Oneil Thomas, coach of Arlington, said yesterday's result was a welcome one.

"Our aim right now is to go through to the Premier League," said Thomas. "I hope to go unbeaten."

Wadadah said the defeat does not end their bid to return to the Premier League. Coach Delroy Dellisser said, "We are down but not out."

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