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Vincy Heat wilts under Spice flavour


New Coach, new system of play, recalled players, were all in the mix, but Vincy Heat is still to earn a win in their build up to the World Cup Qualifiers in June.{{more}}

After three friendly internationals, which dated back to January 13, in Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is yet come out victorious.

Their second defeat came last Sunday night at the Victoria Park, when they were beaten 2-1 by neighbours Grenada.

It was a baptism of fire for new Technical Director/ Head Coach Stewart John Hall, as he suffered a defeat at the helm, after taking up the post one week before.

Playing one of the many variations of the 4-3-3 system, the local players were at their wits end trying to cope with the new format. Chasing shadows they were, and having to contend with a strong wind, an unsympathetic crowd and a fast moving Grenada unit they were up against it.

It was not long before Vincy Heat wilted under the pressure, as a Shane Rennie shot ricocheted off a Vincentian defender Chester Morgan to beat goal keeper Winslow Mc Dowall in the 13th minute.

Mc Dowall and the Vincentian team one minute earlier got a scare, but Cassin Langaine put the ball over the bar, after being allowed acres of space in the penalty area.

A barrage of attacks followed. Mc Dowall was beaten by a long shot from the Grenadian’s midfield marshall Ricky Charles, but was saved as the ball cannoned on to the cross bar.

More was to come as Keithson Bain’s shot had to be deflected over the bar by an acrobatic Mc Dowall.

The Vincentians best opportunity came when veteran striker Alwyn Guy’s over head kick sailed inches above the cross bar in the 24th minute and gave a glimmer of hope to the many who had gathered at the Victoria Park.

But the Vincentian attacks were far from precise and sustained. However, they battled to hold on to trail 0-1 at the end of the first half.

Few changes in personnel at the stroke of the second half, brought on the impressive Emerald George. He injected some life in the Vincentians’ play with some incisive runs down the left flank.

Against the run of play in the 49th minute, Guy capitalized on some sloppy defending by the Grenadians to send a low shot to the near post, to level the score at 1-1.

This jubilation was short lived, as two minutes later, Langaine sent a rasping low shot from about 25 meters that inexplicably beat substitute custodian Dwayne Peters, to give the Grenadians the lead once again.

By this time the Vincentians were out of steam and the fitter, more purposeful Grenadians strode around the park with ease.

Except for a brief moment during the latter part of the match that the Vincentians showed grit and attacking flair to their fans. But by then, the victory for the Spice Boys was sealed and signed.

Hall, in his assessment of his first sighting of his charges, was one of guarded caution, but said he was disappointed with the result.

He said if he had his way he won’t have had a match seven days within taking up the job.

“We are still experimenting”, Hall stated.

He thought that the wind played a major role in the first half, but thought that the Vincentians settled well in the second period of play.

“ I would love to have a look at about sixty players, then finalise it to twenty, then devise a system to suit them”, Hall advanced.

Defending his unfamiliar choice of 4-3-3 formation, Hall philosophically stated, “systems don’t make players; players make systems”.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ next planned friendly is away against Guadeloupe, February 29, with a trip to Haiti soon after.(RT)