Portmore United cruise to win
Portmore United stayed four points off leaders Harbour View in the overall standing and one point behind front-runners Arnett Gardens and MoBay United in the second round table after beating Highgate 2-0 in the RSPL on Sunday.
Adoah Nickle (52nd) and Ricardo Morris' controversial goal eight minutes from time gave the Andre Waugh-coached team a valuable three points, and assistant coach Jeffrey Hewitt said getting the win was most important.
"The aim was to get the win and not to focus on the end-of-round final... we played a disciplined game and got the desired result," he said.
With one round of games to go in this round, the result put the St Catherine club on 37 points, four adrift of overall leaders Harbour View.
In the second round table, they are caught in a four-way tie on 17 points with Harbour View, Waterhouse and Cavalier, who could return to the summit if they won their game in hand against Humble Lion scheduled for last night.
Arnett and MoBay United lead the second round standing with 18 points.
At Ferdie Neita Park, the home team controlled the proceedings from the opening whistle, although the visitors worked hard to keep them in check. But they eventually broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second half when Alanzo Adlam, one of their brightest players on the evening, raced through on a ball from midfield and hit a low shot which goalkeeper Maurice Evans could only parry into the path of the advancing Nickle, who made no mistake from three yards.
The home team continued to have the better of the visitors, who only had the occasional foray forward, but Portmore continued to threaten and pressed their opponents. However, when they got the insurance goal eight minutes from time, it was under a cloud of controversy.
The goal came when Portmore raided the Highgate goal and looked certain to score, but during a mad scramble, Evans made two brilliant stops, as three Portmore players tried desperately to put the ball into the goal.
And although the ball was eventually cleared, referee Kevin Thomas adjudged that Morris's touch had taken the ball over the line before it was hacked away.
Highgate's coach Michael Smith was visibly upset about that decision, but reasoned that they were not properly organised, even though they started six new players.
"If you are not organised against a top-quality team like Portmore you are going to get outplayed.
"We injected six new players, but the performance was average...but we can build on what we have and move forward," he said.
Teams: Portmore United — Kemar Foster, Adrian Reid, Ryan Wellington, Rosario Harriott, Damian Binns, Damion Williams, Ewan Grandison (Andrew Vanzie 68th), Trevol Smith (Paul Wilson 62nd), Ricardo Morris, Adoah Nickle (Kevin Deer 80th), Alanzo Adlam
Booked: Harriott (45th), Nickle (68th), Vanzie (90th)
Subs not used: C Walters, J Jackson, K Manning.
Highgate — Maurive Evans, Richards Allison (Dwayne Edwards 62nd), Eric Allison, Charles Williams, Andre Dyce, Severo Murphy, Dwayne Holmes (Gawayne Speed 74th), Devontae Francis (Dwayne Goupalsingh 66th), Shamir Stewart, Jahmika Hutchinson, Kwesi Campbell
Booked: Dyce (17th), E Allison (26th), Murphy (73rd)
Subs not used: T Crossdale, R Hamilton, F Watson, N Sewell
Referee: Kevin Thomas
Assistant Referees: Garnett Page, Omar Mills
Fourth Official: Karl Tyrell
Match Commissary: Horace Lewis