Empire recorded their first win with a 3-0 victory over Wotton tonight when the Coca Cola Premier League got underway at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey Turf.
The Mighty Blues, playing with the return of Omar Primus and Keymar Holligan were ready for the task at hand, despite the absence of Abiola Grant, Hashim Brewster and Jahamli Forde who are all away on national duty.
This is their first victory after falling 3-2 to both Klayton’s Kola Tonic Notre Dame and Silver Sands and drawing 0-0 with Deacons in the first three rounds of competition.
Argentine Luciano Cigno opened the scoring in the second minute, followed by Zinio Harris’ cover drive from close range after a defensive lapse by Wotton five minutes later.
With two goals on the cards, Empire took advantage of Wotton’s breakdown in the midfield after Timeko Layne had to be stretchered off the field.
With their number one goalkeeper Mario Albert back in the nets and the Cigno brothers more at ease with the play, Wotton had no response for the Bank Hall side.
Empire came close to increasing their score margin at least five more times before the break, but each time they failed to capitalize with the majority of shots going up and over the crossbars.
Wotton returned in the second half one man down after Darian King was handed his second yellow card and removed from play in the dressing room for receiving a second caution.
With Wotton’s deficit, Harris went on to score a brace for his side when he went one-on-one with a defender on the sideline and managed to poke the ball past Ishmael Bute.
However, he was denied a hat-trick at least three more times, one taken at point-blank range when Bute stopped every ball that Harris sent his way.
The Dames registered their second loss of the season when they fell 4-3 to Silver Sands in the nightcap game.
In their previous encounters, the Bayland, St Michael squad walked over Empire 3-2, drew 1-1 with Scotty’s Car Rentals St Andrew Lions and lost 0-2 to the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme.
However, tonight they were ready for the southerners and replied with a brace from Trevor “Taz” Mayers and a goal apiece from Zeco Edmee and Carl Joseph.
Mayers opened the scoring with a tap in from inside the box in the 17th minute. But Silver Sands’ Troy Johnsons replied four minutes later when he landed his corner kick straight inside the nets.
Edmee tried to put his team ahead but was denied by custodian Jamal Moore when he fired at close range. But his teammate Joseph pulled ahead in the 34th. Following play between Mayers and Edmee, Joseph collected the ball from Mayers and hit it straight past Moore.
Eleven minutes later, moments before the half time whistle was blown, Shakado Scott equalized for Silver Sands when he took advantage of a defensive error and a lapse on the keeper’s part.
Mayers put his team ahead again less than ten minutes into the second half. Two minutes prior he was denied a brace but came back with an assist from Joseph off a corner kick to pull ahead.
Edmee’s golden right foot sealed the deal for the Dames when Joseph was fouled inside the box. The former stepped up to the ball and converted the penalty beautifully to register his second goal of the season.
Five minutes later, Silver Sands found their consolation goal when Shad King crossed the ball to Jakobe Moore who was inside the box. Moore then hit the ball which went just out of Kellman’s outstretched hands.