Sunday, March 10 was the day he offered a rare smile.
That's exactly one week since Sporting Central Academy clobbered Cavalier SC 4-0 in a third-round Red Stripe Premier League fixture at the Edward Seaga Complex in West Kingston.
It's 2:53 in the afternoon. In about 37 minutes, Brancourt — a nicely manicured football pitch (by Jamaican standards) in south west Clarendon — will come alive as Sporting Central host Waterhouse FC.
A lot is riding on this game. Both teams, taking orders from relatively new coaching staff, see it as a potential three-pointer for different reasons. Neither camp is harbouring thoughts of winning the 12-team championship despite having some 10 games left in the season: the common consensus is that Harbour View are champions-elect, though Portmore United, who are 12 points back, might have something to say about that.
Waterhouse have their eyes set on the runner-up spot, while Sporting hope to be safe from relegation by the time the fourth round begins. A place in the top six is, therefore, their main aim and three points today are crucial to that goal.
There is yet another reason why this fixture has attracted so much importance. Sporting are yet to win a home game under coach Lenny Hyde. They lost all three games here since their 1-1 tie with Arnett Gardens. But, today, there is guarded optimism in Clarendon Park, a community located on the outskirts of Toll Gate.
Fans, and indeed everyone associated with Clarendon football, are hoping last week's 4-0 win was not a one-off result. "Bwoy, me just hope dem can bring the same vibes like up a Cavalier," Ryan, a long-time fan, had said in a chance conversation earlier in the week.
Hyde, too, is hoping for the same thing. "We just have to work hard and try to get some more victories like this, so that we can please the spectators," he told the media following the Cavalier triumph.
The last two months have been hard for him. Two wins and a draw from eight games is not what a revered former national player and coach of repute (three titles at three different clubs) would be expecting his Brancourt stint to be at this stage. Fans and club officials are disappointed. Hyde, too, is dissatisfied, even if he will not admit it publicly.
However, the smile on his face as he greets Waterhouse counterparts Anthony Patrick and Junior Francis in post-match formalities surely suggests that he is in a much happier place at the moment, even if his team could only manage a 0-0 scoreline.
He knows the performance wasn't four-starred and didn't yield the three points he wanted, but would also know there are encouraging signs going forward.
For one, it ends a run of three consecutive home defeats, and except for the last quarter of the game when Waterhouse streamed forward with great urgency, Sporting pretty much resembled the team that is known for their possession style of football.
There are also positive signs from goalkeeper Kevin Graham, who has now kept two successive clean sheets since conceding a hat-trick on a losing debut against Portmore United, and schoolboy Corey Hylton, who did his burgeoning reputation no wrong with another creditable performance.
Graham was, however, their best player on the day — clawing away a smartly taken Jermaine Anderson shot when a goal looked certain. Solid routine saves either side of that stop would have done his confidence well.
Reverting to a back-four, rather than the back-three that proved suicidal in earlier games, seems to suit the team better. Young defender Andre Morrison looked more assured throughout the contest and streamed forward with confidence, knowing that there is ample cover in case he loses the ball and suddenly finds himself out of position.
His teasing shots from dead ball situations provided a vivid reminder that the free-kick he scored on debut against Tivoli Gardens in January was no fluke. "Deh Deh, your free-kick," Hyde shouted to him on one occasion, highlighting his confidence in the youngster's ability — a talent that the fans also sensed as they voiced their approval.
The one player who is seemingly yet to settle in his new environment is Peter Brown, who came over from Humble Lion with Hyde. His tendency to slow down the play when the team is going forward is not going down well with the fans.
The loud cheer, from the otherwise lukewarm spectators, that greeted his 64th-minute substitution is undisputed evidence. The moderate feedback from the fans as they left the venue is also evidence that the four points, four goals and two clean sheets, attained from their last two games represent a step in the right direction.
Sporting are now eight points clear of the relegation zone. However, no one, including Hyde, would be deluded enough to think that the table has turned after two games. But with cellar team Savannah SC due to visit Brancourt on Sunday, Hyde and company will be licking their chops.