Football: Barclays league division one-St Francis win at last


The win though was not enough to lift the Baie Lazare-based club off the foot of the table as they share the same number of points with ninth-placed LightStars who have a better goal difference.

However, St Roch will rue themselves for not winning this match as they started off brilliantly and should have taken the lead in the first minute from Dan Pharce’s pass to Gerick Vidot but his control let him down with only goalkeeper Ian Ah-Kong to beat.

In the fifth minute, St Roch were again gifted with a good scoring opportunity as Pharce pounced on Malagasy Malamo Ducaud’s mistake but he failed to hit the target.

To add insult to injury, St Francis were to score with their first real chance in the eighth minute against the run of play as Andrea Libanotis played a through ball to Malagasy Branly Zizi who sprung St Roch’s offside trap. Branly Zizi rounded goalkeeper Julio Toulon and a defender and waited for Toulon to glide past him for a second time before slotting the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0.

St Roch continued to push forward after this setback and two minutes later Pharce picked out Malvin Pierre with a crossfield pass and the latter’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Ian Ah-Kong as far as St Roch’s Malagasy captain Nestor Benahovy who blazed his shot over the crossbar.

In the 14th minute, St Roch threatened to level matters as captain Benahovy lofted a corner to Denis Belle whose header was cleared on the goal-line by goalkeeper Ah-Kong.  The loose ball fell to the same Denis Belle but his shot was hooked away by Mathias Confiance.

St Roch’s pressure though was duly rewarded in the 17th minute. Denis Belle met Benahovy’s curling free-kick with a header which flew into the net for a 1-1 score.

St Roch though suffered a setback in the 21st minute as defender Keddy Porice had to be replaced due to a head injury and Archille Henriette came on.

The match then transcended into a drab as St Roch once again had to reshuffle their pack in the 40th minute, pulling off the injured Malvin Pierre to bring on Danyl Antat.

St Roch made a third substitution at the start of the second half as striker Roy Julie came on for defender Daven Belle.

Julie almost gave St Roch the lead in the 57th minute after captain Benahovy’s shot deflected into his path.  The former St Louis Suns striker looked suspiciously offside and as St Francis waited for the flag by assistant referee Gilbert Lusta which never came up, he attempted a shot at goal but his effort was blocked by goalkeeper Ah-Kong.

St Francis also had their chances such as in the 67th minute from Adrian Constance’s free-kick which was half-cleared to Malagasy Hery in the penalty box but he volleyed wide.

Four minutes later, Branly Zizi latched onto a through ball but he shot over the crossbar when he should have hit the target.
In the 75th minute, Pharce collected a long ball to set up Julie who was clean through but he shot weakly at goalkeeper Ah-Kong.

A minute later, St Roch were reduced to 10 men when substitute Archille Henriette was shown a straight red card by referee Nelson Emile for a reckless tackle on Stephen Leon.  This expulsion was not appreciated by St Roch trainer Brian Ravinia who made his feelings known and was also ordered off the bench by the official.

St Francis made their numerical advantage pay off in the 82nd minute as Stephane Esparon floated a corner in the penalty area where Branly Zizi headed into the net to complete his brace and make it 2-1.

Surprisingly, St Francis fell back in defence to preserve their lead and almost conceded in the 85th minute as Julie pounced on a long ball over the defence but he shot in the side-netting.

Two minutes in added time, Julie had another gilt-edge opportunity as he was picked out by Leeroy Gomme but St Francis goalkeeper Ah-Kong did well to race off his line to deflect his shot into corner.

St Francis’ two-goal hero Branly Zizi dropped into defence in the dying minutes as he tried to preserve this team’s advantage as they recorded a rare win.

R. J-L.