Colour me red! Boys' Town snatch RSPL incentive title
Harbour View FC..... 0 Boys' Town FC........ 2 Own goal (28th), Parkes (77th)
BOYS' Town's technical director Andrew Price smiled all the way to the bank after his team turned back Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) leaders Harbour View, 2-0, in Monday night's closely-contested first End-of-Round Final at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
Boys' Town grabbed the lead through an own-goal by Harbour View defender Rondell Morris in the 28th minute, and the Collie Smith Drive unit boosted the advantage in the 77th when national Under-23 attacker Romeo Parkes blasted home from 18 yards.
After the Red Brigade walked away with the $250,000 winners' bounty, a satisfied-looking Price light-heartedly remarked that the money is a welcome boost for his cash-strapped outfit.
"We're happy to win the prize money and that's really important because it's money that the club needs," he said with a smile.
Price praised his team's marshalling of national playmaker Jermaine Hue and the industry of striker Rafiek Thomas and Parkes.
"It wasn't the prettiest game we have played, but in flashes we played well. We defended well, we defended stoutly and when we had opportunities to counter, Rafiek and Romeo Parkes created havoc in the Harbour View defence.
"My midfield players paid some attention to Jermaine Hue. Most of Harbour View's attack comes through Hue and once he's under pressure they don't really have many outlets and I think that's where we won the game...," Price said.
Meanwhile, counterpart Vin Blaine asserted that Harbour View played better than the 0-2 scoreline would suggest.
"We were in the game all along and we got better looks on goal than them. We just never put those chances away, so I'd say it just wasn't our night.
"The first goal was definitely a defensive mistake. The second goal was a bit of a defensive lapse, but it was a well-taken goal by Romeo Parkes. I can't take that away from him. Still, we had the chance to score three, four goals and the ball just didn't bounce right for us," Blaine told the Jamaica Observer.
Thomas, the competition's top marksman, got the first clear chance within the opening 15 minutes, but nodded wide after being left unmarked in the box.
He, however, created the opportunity for the opening goal mere minutes later when he won possession and crossed low into the box for Harbour View defender Rondell Morris to squeeze an errant clearance into his own net.
Despite conceding the own goal, the 'Stars of the East' were never perturbed and created chances in the first half. In the 40th, forward Jermie Lynch was allowed an open header at the other end, but he mistimed his effort high and wide.
His strike partner Damion Harwood had a prime chance to level the scores a minute before the break, but his close-range shot crashed onto the upright after Boys' Town goalkeeper Kirk Porter failed to clear.
Nine minutes into second half, Christopher Harvey also went close for Blaine's team, but his header from Hue's corner went the wrong side of the upright.
With Harbour View still pressing for the equaliser, Parkes made the game safe for Boys' Town with a rasping, low right-footed drive 13 minutes before the end.
Thomas was again the provider as he hounded and dispossessed Eric Vernan and teed a perfectly-weighted pass for Parkes to bang past custodian Devon Haughton.
Harbour View — Devon Haughton, Eric Vernan, Christopher Harvey, Rondell Morris, Daveion Woodhouse, Nicholas Beckett, John Ross Edwards, Joel Senior, Jermaine Hue, Jermie Lynch (Roland Dean 61st), Damion Harwood (Romaine Lewis 69th)
Subs not used: A Taylor, C Waugh, R Williams, R Campbell, K Wolfe
Booked: Lynch (18th)
Boys' Town — Kirk Porter, Hugh Evans, Wayne Ellis, Carlos Wright, Xavian Virgo, Daemon Benjamin, Marvin Stewart, Marvin Morgan, Michael Campbell (Garfield Gillespie 29th), Rafiek Thomas (Khalil Johnson 90+1), Romeo Parkes
Subs not used: R Campbell, N McMorris, R Scarlett, O Thompson, S Edwards
Booked: Thomas (42nd), Virgo (57th), Ellis (67th), Parkes (90+4)
Referee: Cardella Samuels
Assistants: Stacy-Ann Greyson and Lloyd Reader
Fourth official: Kevin Morrison
Match Commissary: Anthony Cooke