Cayman Athletic outclasses Roma at the Annex

Cayman Athletic celebrates Kyle Santamaria celebrates with Martin Webb (right) after Webb's goal put CASC ahead.

Cayman Athletic halted their five-game losing skid as they put five goals past Roma United at the Annex on Sunday, 20 November.

From the get-go it was clear there was something different about the Cayman Athletic side, playing disciplined tactical football to dominate the possession early. However, it was an errant tackle from Adwen Simpson, which drew a yellow card, that presented Athletic their first good chance in the 8th minute.

As he has done all season, captain Stephen Tatum stepped up to take the free kick from about 25 yards out. He coolly stepped up to the ball outside the top left of the box and curled it past the outstretched hands of a diving Chase Smith to give Athletic the early advantage. (see video below)

Although, Cayman Athletic dominated the possession, Roma pressed hard for an equalizer. That opened up the counter attack, which Martin Webb jumped on. Collecting the ball deep in his own territory, the Athletic midfielder pushed up field, eluding defenders and drilled it into the back of the net to double the lead.

Kyle Santamaria celebrates his goal.

Kyle Santamaria celebrates his goal.

Dexter Sharpe had a chance to pull Roma within a goal in the 32nd but hit the post from near range. Two minutes later, young Kareem Foster’s pass found Kyle Santamaria in the box who finished clinically before boisterous celebration as he ran past the Roma bench.

Smith denied Athletic a fourth when he tipped a shot from a set play over the crossbar in the 38th. Sharpe, who had been the linchpin of the Roma attack, was rewarded when he collected the ball at the top of the box and put it past Robert Levy between the Academy pipes in the 40th minute.

In an entertaining affair, the game went to the break with Cayman Athletic holding a 3-1 lead.

Roma started the second frame the more energized of the two units, with Christopher Pitterson signaling intent with a rocket of a shot that was too high to cause Levy any immediate worry. The Cayman Athletic netminder was called upon to make a save on the next possession to preserve the lead.

Foster, the 16 year-old in his first top flight season, got a moment he’ll savour for a long time with less than 20 minutes to go in his third Cayman Premier League game.

After terrorizing defenders in the youth leagues, he got a chance with the big boys when he flew down the left side on a brilliant run in the 73rd minute and sent his left-footed strike past the keeper to open his account. The Athletic bench came to their feet as they cheered on the teenager who went airborne with a somersault to punctuate the celebrations. (see video below)

Kareem foster celebrates

Kareem Foster runs to the stands after scoring for the second time.

Before spectators had a chance to settle down, Foster added his second on a breakaway to stretch the lead to 5-1, ripping off his jersey in the euphoria of the moment before running into the arms of his mother, Valerie, who was watching from the stands.

Enjoying their best game of the season, spirits in the Cayman Athletic camp were high. The stylish Matthew Suberan put defenders to shame with his skillful footwork that pumped up the Annex crowd even more. No further goals would come, even as Roma picked up the intensity in the final 15 minutes.

The final score line: Cayman Athletic 5, Roma United 1. It turns out, as understands, Technical Director Ernie ‘Gillie’ Seymour read the squad the riot act during the two weeks since their last game, telling players if they didn’t give the required effort, they would not suit up. Roma United will certainly be left with some soul searching, after winning their first two outings of the campaign, they’ve now lost four of their last five, with a draw in the midst of the slide.

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