Portmore edged, UWI regain RSPL lead
PORTMORE UNITED’S stay at the top of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) was even more short-lived than that of previous leaders Humble Lion, who spent one week at the top.
The St Catherine team’s lead lasted just four days after they went down 1-0 to Maverley-Hughenden in their opening game of the second round at the Prison Oval yesterday, with the University of West Indies (UWI) regaining control of the standings after coming out on the better end of a goal fest against Boys’Town.
The result saw the Lenworth Hyde-coached team slumping to fourth in the standings with 21 points, with UWI’s (23) 3-2 win over the Red Brigade at Barbican Complex ensuring another change at the top.
At the Prison Oval, Nicholos Scott netted the game’s only goal five minutes after the interval to give promoted Maverley-Hughenden their second win of the campaign, and coach Lijyasu Simms, who has seen his team draw seven of 12 games, said the win was a result of proper planning after analysing their first-round performance.
“We sat down and looked where we went wrong in the first round and put things in place for the second round and it bore fruit today and we want it to bear fruit as we go along because the aim is to move from strength to strength,” he said.
Portmore dominated the first half hour of play, but never created any real chances, while Maverley-Hughenden came to life in the last 15 minutes and came close to scoring from set pieces twice following faulty ball handling from goalkeeper Shaven-Sean Paul.
But it was Portmore who came closest when Kareem Manning crashed a free kick against the post in the 36th minute, and in the 42nd, Suelae McCalla lifted Cleon Pryce’s cross over the bar from four yards.
However, five minutes after the break, Maverley-Hughenden surprised the hosts when Scott was the only one to react to a wayward shot, which he redirected in the back of the net from the back post.
Malique Foster should have equalised, but placed his effort straight at goalkeeper Damian Campbell.
In the final minutes, Portmore thought they had an equaliser when Shawayne Nelson latched on to a loose ball on top of the box, but his goal-bound rocket cannoned off the post and out.
“We were flat compared to the second half, but we created some chances, but we lost our focus and we weren’t on top of our game and it cost us today,” Portmore’s assistant coach Linval Dixon said.
“It is not the best way to start the second round, but we have time to correct some mistakes we made today and we will get it right, but today wasn’t the case and we paid dearly,” added.
Humble Lion’s Gregory Hines (right) and his teammate Dwayne Holmes attempt to get the ball away from Waterhouse’s Jermaine Anderson (centre) in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Drewsland Stadium yesterday. The game ended 1-1.