Independence football festival gets going at brisk pace
ARSENAL TOOK the lead in the Independence Football Festival which started at the National Stadium last night when they defeated Trinidad three goals to one. Half time score was 2-1.
The match started at a brisk pace to both halves but the Trinidadian team finding the slower game to their advantage kept the ball in the air and slowed the pace each time.
It was obvious from the first ball that the English first division team were superior in every department of the game. Their passing was fast and precise and their ball control authoritative.
Good goalkeeping by Trinidad's Lincoln Phillips and the failure of centre forward Joe Baker to capitalize on a through pass down the left wing prevented Arsenal from taking the lead in the first 10 minutes.
The Trinidad forwards were unable to come within the 20 yard-line until the final 15 minutes of the first half but they got two good shots to the goal from long shots which were capably handled by goalkeeper Fernell.
Arsenal got the first goal from a penalty awarded by referee Ken Chaplin when Arsenal's inside right Court was brought down in the area by Trinidadian captain Sedley Joseph.
Court took the spot kick and Phillips was completely beaten as he dived the wrong way. Arsenal was now in top gear and outside right Alan Skirton beat Phillips with a left footer which swerved sharply as it neared the goal and lodged in the left pigeon-hole.
Trinidad tried to get one past the Arsenal goal by using the long overhead pass but it was not until five minutes before the end of the first half that outside right Bobby Sookram opened Trinidad's account from a left side goalmouth melee.
The slimly-build Sookram shook goalkeeper Fernell just before the close with a blazing right footer on the run.
Arsenal cam out for the second half determined men. A long thrust down the left wing ended with Scottish centre forward Joe Barker, who was transferred from the Italian Club Torino for over for over £70,000 and who represented Enland five times, hitting a hard left footer past goalkeeper Phillips. The score was now 3-1.
The schoolboy outside right Sookram, who was the star of the first half almost gave Trinidad her second goal midway the half but his left footer hit under pressure from 20 yards skimmed the top bar.
Arsenal was in control for most of the half and except for the occasional breakthrough by Trinidad play centred in the losers goal area.
Highlight of the second half was the play of centre forward Barker who time after time ran past all through the Trinidadian defence, but was unable to put the ball into the goal for a second time.