On the team sheet he was Calvin Escobar, but he is also known as Calvin Jefford. It doesn’t matter what you call him, he certainly made a name for himself on Sunday night with a peach of a goal three minutes from time.
The game looked like it was going to fizzle out into a scoreless affair with few highlights in the second half, until Jefford unleashed a superb shot from the edge of the box that sailed into the net and justified Cayman’s extra commitment.
One onlooker quipped: ‘He’s got so many names because he’s a fugitive, wanted in six different countries!’ Well Jefford is certainly wanted in the Cayman side for the upcoming Digicel Cup.
There was good early pressure by Cayman on Sunday night at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex and it looked like they would score a hatful when Kingsley Wellington’s deftly flighted free kick hit the cross bar in the ninth minute.
Like the night before, the crowd was sparse, but they thoroughly enjoyed the quality football on display.
Jefford was upended soon after but Cayman’s loud appeals for a penalty were ignored by local referee Alfredo Whittaker.
Clarendon had shown some flashes of brilliance the previous night in beating a Cayman select 2-1 so it was no surprise that Ashton Bennett – one of their best players – burst through on the right and fired just wide.
Bennett almost scored from a free kick soon after as the Jamaicans found their rhythm near the break.
Clarendon dangerman Kevin Mighty got a good header in which was easily gathered by Jermaine Brown.
The second half started slowly and only came to life in the 60th minute when Mighty hit a terrific shot from 25 yards which Brown palmed spectacularly away.
Cayman were always threatening too but let their final passes and approach on goal let them down.
That carelessness won’t be good enough to get through to the finals of the Digicel Cup in Jamaica in November when they go to Guadeloupe for the second round next month.
At least Rene Carter and Jefford showed they have the ability to trouble the opposition. A move down the left between them had the Jamaicans twisting and turning in confusion.
The match was on the whole played in good spirit without drama, until Carson Fagan got into a shoving match with a Clarendon player.
Fagan was pushed first but ref Whittaker hadn’t seen that and his first impulse was to red card Fagan. After a long protest, he walked off, dejected.
A mass of substitutions followed as coach Carl Brown tried to find the scoring formula. It worked and with only a few minutes remaining, Jefford struck the wonder goal.
Calvin Rene Escobar Jefford was all smiles after. ‘I knew it was going in as soon as I hit it,’ he said. ‘Clarendon were a good team with nice touches. We came prepared and this Cayman side improved a lot from yesterday’s. I think tonight was the real team and we’re capable of taking it to the next level for the Cayman Islands.
‘We didn’t play that well in the Digicel Cup here but the most important thing is that we went to the next round.’
Coach Brown said: ‘It was very important that we started winning some games. This will have helped to build the confidence of the players.
‘We played well tonight but sometimes our discipline broke down, but it was nice to see them passing the ball around.
‘We are growing very slowly and I’m really happy from what I got.
‘I hope that Calvin stays fit. He’s one of the players that we’re depending on to get through the next round. So we just want for him to continue doing what he does best for the team which is getting goals.’
Brown is happy to have Tom Elliot back after five months out with a broken ankle. Elliot captained the side on Saturday and came off the bench in Sunday’s game which was skippered by Garth Anderson.
‘Tom is an inspiration for the team,’ Brown added. ‘He’s a leader and it’s good to have him back. I’m really just amazed by how fast the recovery period took. That is Tom.
‘The next couple of weeks we’ll be doing a lot more work, tactical preparation. We’ll try to get at least one more game in before we head off to Guadeloupe.’
CAYMAN: Jermaine Brown, Horace Nelson, Leighton Elliott, Rene Carter, Phillip Berry, Garth Anderson (capt), Carson Fagan, Chris Douglas, Gary Whittaker, Calvin Jefford, Kingsley Wellington. Subs: Mario Dinnall, Tom Elliot, Mario Watler, Benjamin Cupid, John Kelly, Jairo Sanchez, Eric Brown, Nikolai Hill, Junior Fisher, Richard Grant.
CLARENDON ALL STARS: Walda Ricketts, Ashton Bennett, Marlon Ellis, Phillip Fearon, Rickert Graham, Romaine Halstead, Rupert Lewin, Kevin Mighty, Davian Mitchell, Dion Sterling, Shane Thomas, Patrick Trowers. Subs: Leon Callaghan, Ethwal Coleman, Jamie Fothergill, Rohan Smith, Shane Thomas.