Portmore edge MBU to reclaim top spot in RSPL

By Sherdon Cowan
Observer staff reporter

Monday, November 12, 2018

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Portmore United condemned Montego Bay United to a second-consecutive loss as they returned to winning ways with a 1-0 scoreline in a scrappy Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) contest at Spanish Town Prison Oval, yesterday.

Captain Ricardo Morris (42nd) found the all-important strike that handed Portmore United all three points and provisionally placed them back atop the standings on 18 points.

They are one point ahead of Mount Pleasant Academy, who were scheduled to face Arnett Gardens in yesterday's late contest, and two ahead of Tivoli Gardens, who will be in action against Waterhouse today at 8:45 pm.

Montego Bay United have now gone five games without a win and remain in 10th position on 10 points.

Meanwhile, FC Reno and Harbour View played out a goalless stalemate in the day's other early contest.

At Prison Oval both teams failed to really command the game, and it was not until the latter stages that Portmore United gradually came to life and just missed the opener in the 38th minute when Rondee Smith's acrobatic effort caught the outstretched right leg of goalkeeper Aian Miller, who was wrong-sided.

They eventually found the go-ahead goal when Morris made space for a stinging left-footer from a distance which lodged in the top left-hand corner of the net.

The score remained unchanged for the remainder of the game as the resumption offered very little to write home about. Like it was in the first half, it was not until the closing stages of the game that Portmore United again started to show some real attacking intent.

They thought they had extended their lead in the 88th minute when a cross from substitute Nacquain Brown was seemingly chested into the goal by Smith, but Referee Kevin Morrison, who was close to the play, saw otherwise and whistled for a handball.

Winning coach Shavar Thomas is optimistic that the result will be the start of another winning streak by his team, which has been slightly inconsistent of late.

“Most definitely, [we] hope this will be the start of something new, but the most important thing is that we got all three points here. This was our fifth game at home and we didn't win any previously and we also managed to keep a clean sheet — which is also important. So an ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” Thomas told the Jamaica Observer.

“Now we are trying to find the right chemistry and the right combination of players so that at the back end of the season we can put in more consistent performances,” he added.

His counterpart, Vassell Reynolds pointed out that his team's poor run of form is a slight cause for concern.

“We are concerned about the amount of goals we have been conceding. I think that coming off a heavy loss against UWI team, today's (yesterday's) performance was not a bad one. We gave as much as we got, but unfortunately, we gave up a goal just before the break. But I am satisfied with the performance in certain areas; we just have to maintain our concentration right throughout and stop conceding those goals,” Reynolds told journalists.

Teams: Portmore United — Kemar Foster, Damano Solomon, Chevany Willis (Damian Williams 90th), Roshane Sharpe (Javon East 56th), Roberto Johnson, Rosario Harriott, Venton Evans, Ricardo Morris, Rondee Smith, Ryan Wellington, Courtney Allen (Nacquain Brown 81st)

Subs not used: Benjamin Williams, Osani Ricketts, Cleon Pryce, Saneekie Burton

Booked: Solomon (26th), Wellington (80th), Smith (87th)

Montego Bay United — Aian Miller, Keneil Kirlew (Ricardo Wilson 46th), Jermaine Woozencroft, Allan Ottey (Vahsean McBean 76th), John Barrett, Anthony Drummond, Nicholas Amponsah, Shemar Robinson, Orlando McBayne, Nevaun Turner, Odane Nish (Jourdain Fletcher 62nd)

Subs not used: Howard Dent, Renaldo Wellington, Omar Brown, Wade Daley

Booked: none

Referee: Kevin Morrison

Assistant referees: Kemar Bailey, Joshua Jackson

Fourth official: Andrew Hayden

Match commissary: Ainsley Sharpe

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