AFTER drawing almost half of their 38 league games last season, Vin Blaine, the new head coach of former Premier League champions Harbour View, was ecstatic with a season-opening victory at home on Sunday.
The 'Stars of the East' came from a goal down in the second half to snatch a 2-1 victory over Montego Bay United. Veteran midfielder Jermaine 'Maestro' Hue pulled his team level with a trademark free-kick two minutes after Omar Gordon had bombed in a right-footed volley in the 55th minute, only for substitute and debutant Eric Vernan to grab the winner in the 71st.
"I am very comfortable with the result, I couldn't ask for any more. We came from behind and scored two goals and that's good for us," remarked Blaine at game's end.
"I think we had a very good game, but unfortunately they scored against the run of play, but the good thing is that the players didn't panic. Jermaine Hue scored, I think, at the right time and that gave the players the confidence to put the ball down and start paying again," he added.
Losing coach Brazilian Neider Dos Santos thought his players underperformed, particularly in the first half.
"We didn't start at our best," he offered. "I didn't like the first half, but second half we improved a little bit, and it was an even match, we managed to score first and after that a silly foul and they took opportunity for that.
"It is a shame that we didn't play our game in terms of ball possession, but the next game is a mandatory three points for us," he said.
Following a goalless first half, Gordon put his team ahead when he drilled home a powerful volley from about 30 yards which sailed over the head of the backpedalling Ashek Taylor in goal.
But the Montego Bay supporters had barely concluded their celebrations when Hue produced a bit of magic from outside the right-hand side of the penalty box. The little player curled the ball at pace at Davain Watkins' near post, beating his flailing hands in the process to evoke delight from the home crowd.
Immediately upon his introduction, Vernan was presented with a glorious chance to put his new team ahead, but the former Portmore United player had his tame effort well saved by Watkins, who injured himself in the process.
But the speedy little player never had to wait too much longer to strike the target as another debutant substitute Roland Dean serve him on a platter with a centre pass in the 71st minute and this time he made no mistake tapping home left-footed.
Kemeel Wolfe then squandered a number of chances to increase the lead during a frantic spell, and they almost paid for the profligacy, as at the other end fortune favoured the home side when Christopher Harvey cleared off the line after Jaron Richards' miscued clearance headed for goal.
"In the last 10 minutes they came at us again but we kept behind the ball and even so we could have scored again but I can't really ask any more for a first game and we really executed well. That's how we train, we do so as a running team and as a passing team and I think the players did that today."
Harbour View — Ashek Taylor, Jaron Richards, Christopher Harvey, Montrose Phinn, Robert Williams, Evan Taylor, John-Ross Edwards, Jermaine Hue, Joel Senior (Eric Vernan 62nd), Keniel Wolfe (Kimorlee Brissett 88th), Jeremie Lynch (Roland Dean 69th).
Subs not used: M Barrett, G Whynter, L Hodges, R Morris, N Beckett, D Woodhouse, K Lawrence, R Muir, J Spence
Montego Bay United — Davain Watkins, Dwayne Ambusley, Fabian McCarty, Omar Gordon, Winston Wilkinson, Donovan Carey, Leslie St Fleur, Brian Brown (Allan Ottey 78th), Keniel Kirlew (Kemiro James 31st), Olando McBean (John Barrett 61st), Cordel Simpson
Booked: Ambusley (54th), Simpson (70th), James (79th)
Subs not used: J Fisher, M Parcell, N Stewart, S Campbell,
Referee: Kevin Morrison
Assistants: Ricardo Morgan, Malachi Brown
Fourth Official: Gwayne Scott
Match Commissary: Anthony Cook