Elite back on top after blanking Bodden Town

Dwayne Wright scored twice and gives the thumbs up.

Elite SC rebounded from an upset loss to Sunset FC a week earlier to shutout Bodden Town FC at the Ed Bush Sports Complex on 27 November and retake the top spot in the Cayman Premier League after eight weeks into the 2016-17 campaign.

Put Elite and Bodden Town on the same pitch and you’re likely to witness fireworks of some kind. Early on, it was the physical play that signalled neither side wanted to surrender three points.

Bodden Town, who entered three points clear of their rivals atop the table, were without their customary captain and arguably the best goalkeeper in the islands. Ramon Sealy was absent for the first time this season, being away for a personal matter.

Elite sought to take advantage of his absence and pressure stand-in, Mario Berry, early on but could not get the penetration they needed. It was nearly a half hour into the encounter before Berry was called upon to make a save.

“I have to give credit to Bodden Town’s defence line because knowing that they didn’t have a solid goalkeeper, they tried to deny us the shots as much as possible,” said Elite forward Dwayne Wright in a past-match interview with CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

Miguel Simms scored the first goal.

Miguel Simms scored the first goal.

A few chances came within five minutes of Berry’s first save in the 29th. A free kick from Raul Rodriguez connected with the head of Christopher Reeves in the 30th, as he darted toward goal but it was not on target. In the 31st, Berry made a solid stop to deny Wright with a left-footed shot from the top of the box. Three minutes later, Elite’s Danner Taylor made a dive to his right for a spectacular save to make Bodden Town forward David Connolly wonder what else he needed to do to give his side the early lead.

Elite were almost certain they would take the advantage into the break when Wright sent a cross in front the Bodden Town goal but the ball grazed the head of a diving Rodriguez and tamely went out of bounds to ensure a scoreless first 45.

It took only four minutes into the second half for a goal. Miguel Simms found the back of the net in the 49th after Berry bobbled the ball and gifted Elite a goal they were desperate for. Six minutes later, the Bodden Town keeper stood no chance against a rocket of a shot from Wright’s boot.

Preserving the lead, Elite head coach Greg Ebanks urged his players to connect with short passes and not surrender chances to their opponents, who had not totally given up. Any flirtation with thoughts of a comeback were abandoned when Jermaine Wilson played a good ball to Wright, who scored for the second time to seal the 3-0 win.

“Regardless of the team we beat, it’s always a special feeling because that’s three points added for us but the Elite-Bodden Town clash is always an exciting one and we always have that extra drive to beat Bodden Town. The fact that I helped my team to beat Bodden Town, which is a team that I played for, is very good,” said Wright, who now has five goals on the season, second most in the league behind Academy’s Jonah Ebanks.

Yes, Jedd, Elite is No. 1 in the rankings.

Yes, Jedd, Elite is No. 1 in the points table.

Elite has been plagued by injuries to some of its regulars. Andres Ruiz, Wesley Robinson and Abijah Rivers have all been side-lined for a few weeks. But the tandem of Wright and Simms up front has been working. “We always know where each other is all the time. We work with each other. I work off his strength, he works off my strength. It’s a pretty good feeling playing with him,” said Wright of his new strike partner, who joined from George Town SC in the offseason.

Both teams are now on 16 points but Elite’s vastly superior goal difference has them ahead of Bodden Town, who have been without star midfielder Theron Wood for the past few weeks with a leg injury.

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  1. Pingback: Bodden Town, Elite to renew rivalry in Charity Shield – Cayman Sports Buzz

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