'Hungry' Lion devour MBU
TUCKER, St James — Humble Lion improved their chances of avoiding relegation from the Red Stripe Premier League after upsetting leaders Montego Bay United 2-0 at WespoW Park in their third-round game yesterday.
Humble Lion went into the game in ninth place, but the win, their third away from home, should help them move away from the drop zone and safely into mid-table.
With recently appointed Technical Director Craig Butler pulling the strings and calling the shots from the sideline, Roberto Fletcher and Omando McCloud exploited gaps in the Montego Bay United defence with first-half goals, as the home team lost for the first time in five games, and were conceding a goal for the first time in three games.
With neither Harbour View nor Waterhouse, their closest challengers, playing yesterday, Montego Bay United will stay in the lead at least for the time being. But coach Hugh Solomon said the loss was due to "poor defending and poor decision making".
Solomon said the team did not play up to the standard they had over the past month that took them to the top of the table.
"We just did not show up today, the team looked lethargic, even though we had a better second half."
Linval 'Palla' Wilson told the Jamaica Observer that the win was a big one for them. "We really needed this one, and we sat down the players and had a good talk with them and told them how important this win would be for the team."
Humble Lion made the best of their few chances and then defended stoutly in the second half in a game that threatened, at times, to get out of hand.
The visitors, who had only earned four points from their last five matches, went ahead in the 22nd minute when Fletcher was left unmarked in the box to slot home a pass from the right side past goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett.
McCloud was then presented with several chances at goal as he beat the disorganised Montego Bay United defence, but was wasteful, kicking wide on several occasions.
Minutes after, Montego Bay United's Omar Gordon headed just wide of the Humble Lion goal, the visitors double their lead with a goal almost identical to the first.
McCloud was left alone inside the box and he obliged by beating Barrett with a well-placed shot to the left corner of the goal.
Montego Bay United got another chance late in the first half, but Dino Williams hit the base of the left upright.
The second half produced a number of scoring chances for both teams, but despite coming close on several occasions, neither was able to add to the score line.
Montego Bay United threw caution to the wind making all three changes in the 54th minute and, despite pushing Humble Lion back into their own half for most of the second period, failed to get on the scoresheet.
Gordon's header was saved off the line by a defender after goalkeeper Damion Crooks was stranded at the other end of the goal, while the custodian made a brilliant save in 65th minute to deny Fabian McCarthy.
Substitute Odaine Brown should have scored a third for Humble Lion in time added when he caught the Montego Bay United team on the counter-attack, but allowed the experienced goalkeeper to advance off his line and save the low shot with his feet.
Teams: Montego Bay United — Jacomeno Barrett, John Barrett, Winston Wilkinson, Orlando McBayne (Allan Ottey 54th), Keniel Kirlew, Fabian McCarthy, Renaldo Rodney (Jermaine Woozencroft 53rd), Donovan Carey (Leon Irving 54th), Omar Gordon, Dino Williams, Lesly St Fleur.
Subs not used: Cordel Simpson, Duvaun Smith, Dwayne Ambersley, Kemiro James
Booked: John Barrett (74th)
Humble Lion — Damion Crooks, Ajuran Brown, Hue Howell, Fabian Pascoe, Ricardo Campbell, Wolry Wolfe, Ranaldo Christian, Jermaine Christian, Jeffrey Henry (Kimroy Davis 76th), Omando McCloud (Narada Brown 83rd), Roberto Fletcher (Odaine Brown-90th)
Subs not used: Damian Barrett, Garth Heron, Alex Bennett, Omar Walters
Booked: Wolf (74th)
Referee: Courtney Campbell
Assistant Referees: Oyinco McTaggart, Kemesha James
Fourth Official: Veralton Nembhard
Match Commissary: Tracey Reid