Boys’ Town 3 Campbell (45th), Parkes (58th), Johnson (90th+5) Highgate United 1 Barrett (61st)
BOYS’ Town kept pace with the leading pack, hammering Highgate United 3-1 in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at Collie Smith Drive yesterday.
Captain Michael Campbell led from the front with a goal on the stroke of half-time, and Romero Parkes increased the lead in the 58th minute. However, Carlos Barrett threw the visitors a lifeline in the 61st minute, only for substitute Khalil Johnson to apply the coup de grace in the last minute of the five added by referee Kevin Morrison.
The result pushed the ‘Red Brigade’ to 18 points and atop the standing up to press time, while St Mary’s Highgate United remained firmly rooted at the bottom of the 12-team standing with just five points.
The visitors were gifted a glorious opportunity to open the scoring on the quarter-hour mark when Carlos Wright, midway his own penalty area, tried to control a diagonal pass on his chest, only for the wily Roen Nelson to slip in and slam the ball wastefully high over the goal frame.
At the other end Rafiek Thomas replied immediately, heading straight into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Ralston Robinson, as the teams settled into two distinctive patterns of play — the hosts trying to play through midfield, while the visitors proved more direct with long balls from the back.
The hosts gradually gained the upperhand and the burly Parkes went close on two occasions. Firstly, he just failed to get enough purchase on a header from close in, but later when he did connect, he blasted a firm drive straight into the midriff of Robinson.
But just when it appeared that the teams would enter the break on level terms, Campbell came up trumps. Despite midfielder Marvin Morgan lying on the pitch hurt, the game continued for nearly a minute with some amount of uncertainty until Daemon Benjamin floated a pass into the danger area for Campbell to place a precise header well out of the reach of Robinson.
Then with nearly an hour gone the visitors dug themselves into a deeper hole when Parkes benefited from a defensive line in total disarray. Goalkeeper Robinson had done brilliantly to block Thomas’s point blank effort, but not one, but two defenders made a hash of the clearance and the ball ricocheted to the surprised Parkes who had the simple task to tapping home, much to the chagrin of Robinson.
Barrett gave his team a lifeline with a beautifully taken drive three minutes later, but as the visitors pushed forward in search of an equaliser, they were caught out late on a counter attack where Parkes did well to unbalance the defensive line before relaying a pass to Johnson to slot home.