BVI national football team warm up with 3-2 win against St Maarten

By BVI Football Association

BVI football squad in St Maarten. Photo: BVIFA

The BVI national football team are in Dutch St. Maarten in preparation for a tournament to be played in St. Barthelemy (St Barths) against the host team St. Barths, and French St. Martin.

Jamie Wilson, James Drury and Phil Nelson who are also expected to be in the starting line-up for the international fixture, made their debut in a warm up match against St Maarten.

St Maarten started out impressively on their home turf, dominating much of the early play which lead to a few early chances at goal, but once the BVI got settled in they looked like a much better squad and forced an own goal after a lovely cross in from Troy Ceasar and which gave the BVI a 1-0 lead.

BVI continued to press and looked dangerous as they put together several half chances with some excellent combination plays in the latter part of the first half.

Just 10 minutes later and in the 35th minute the BVI extended their lead through Jordan Johnson who was brilliant with his clinically executed goal which came from a neat passing move on his left. Despite St. Maarten being able to capitalize from an error made in the midfield, the BVI were still able to end the half leading by 2-1.

After the interval BVI again started tentatively and this time St. Maarten capitalized and made it 2-2. The BVI coach Dan Neville along with manager John Reilly wasted no time calling a quick substitution and introduced Kevin Fisher, Bailey Rowe and Liam Blok which immediately put the BVI back in control of the game.

After 65 minutes of play, Bailey Rowe made it 3-2 with a wonderfully crafted goal, which saw him picking up possession after a neat interchange with Charles Medway and Jamie Wilson who has been the hot foot in the local league in Tortola. Rowe calmly lifted the ball over the head of the St. Maarten centre back before clinically slotting the ball past the on rushing goal keeper.

Wilson and Fisher had a few near chances late in the second half but neither was able to convert. St. Maarten also made a late press but the BVI defence proved to be up to the task as the BVI held on for their first victory against the hosts since 2011.

What made the victory for the BVI even more impressive was the fact that there were 7 teenagers chosen in the squad which included 16 year olds Tyler Forbes, Charles Medway and Bailey Rowe; 17 year olds Carson Price, Liam Block and Tosh Gallimore and 18 year old Leo Forte. A confident BVI squad will now more on to St. Barths.