Elite SC wins 3rd straight

Miguel Simms is congratulated by his teammates after his goal.

Elite SC won for the third consecutive week of play in the Cayman Premier League over Roma United in a top of the table clash Sunday night.

The West Bay-based club tried to get ahead early with Miguel Simms heading one toward goal in the first minute but was not of consequence as it went over the crossbar. Roma United squandered a few chances early but ensured Danner Taylor was kept active in the Elite goal, handling the ball more than he would have wanted in the early going.

Raul Rodriguez hit his lead-leaguing fourth goal of the season with a brilliant finish past Adwen Simpson in the 16th minute.

No need to point, Raul. You're the league's leading scorer.

No need to point, Raul. You’re the league’s leading scorer.

Roma United didn’t let the setback dampen their spirits and moved forward every time they touched the ball. A free kick by captain Gawayne Speed from about 25 yards out beat a diving Danner Taylor to his left to level the score. (see video below)

An appreciative crowd at Ed Bush Sports Complex urged both teams on and were rewarded when Simms put one in the back of the net just before the halftime whistle to give Elite SC a 2-1 lead at the break.

Andreas Ruiz, who wore the captain’s armband for Elite, stretched the lead in the 60th, when he disarmed a defender and kicked the ball low past the keeper. Taylor later ensured the 3-1 lead was intact when he tipped a free kick by Speed over the woodwork.

Roma United went down a player in the 90th minute when Steve Dunkley was given a red card due to a dangerous tackle on Julian Moxam, who a short while earlier rose off the substitutes bench.

With three minutes added, Roma sought to cut the lead but nothing came of their best chance when Dexter Sharpe Monroe failed to connect a cross to Jarome Lynch in front the net.

It ended 3-1, with Elite SC showing good form after back-to-back losses in the Charity Shield and on the opening weekend of the season.

It was a closer game than the scoreline reflected.

It was a closer game than the scoreline reflected.

“[We’re] feeling great. It’s a lot of hard work. We had a late start to the season in terms of our preparation and readiness, so we came out of the starting blocks slowly…but we seem to have gotten it together now,” said coach Rohan Lewis.

“Today, it was a tough game. Roma is a very good team. They’re playing some very good football and it was a physical game as well,” Lewis, who is in his first season alongside Greg Ebanks on the touchline. He pointed that several players were not playing in their strongest areas due to a shortage of personnel for the game. “It was a bit unbalanced in the first half but we worked it out in the changing room…and the second half was much better.”

So, Elite is showing good form ahead of the match against West Bay rivals and defending Cayman Premier League champions, Scholars International, at the same venue next Sunday at 7:00 p.m. However, Lewis said they would not allow the anticipation of that fixture overshadow their intentions for the long season ahead.

“Whenever Scholars and Elite meet it’s always a good game. We’re going to have to dig deep, take it to the training pitch and do it again next week. Of course, we are focused on the bigger picture, which is we have commitment to the CFU that we have early next year, so it’s a work in progress and we are building. It’s not the finished product yet but we are working on it,” he said.

Meantime, Roma heads back to the training pitch on the heels of consecutive defeats and will meet Latinos FC for a 4:45 p.m. kickoff at the Annex next Sunday.

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