Harbour View halt Portmore's progress

Harbour View FC 2 Harvey (70th), Allen (86th) Portmore United FC 1 Foster (40th)

By Hurbun Williams
Observer writer

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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Harbour View FC, hovering on the threshold of relegation, unhinged Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) leaders Portmore United from their five-match unbeaten streak with a 2-1, come-from-behind win in a late kick-off game at the Harbour View Mini Stadium on Sunday.

The defeat temporarily checked the RSPL leaders advance to remain on 44 points at the top of the standing, while the win improved Harbour View's points tally to 21 to help get them out of the relegation battleground. Harbour View are in ninth place on the standing at present, tied with 10th-placed Humble Lion, who also have 21 points.

Maalique Foster put Portmore ahead in the 40th minute, but Harbour View skipper Christopher Harvey cancelled the advantage in minute 70 with a headed goal before Andrew Allen sealed the points for Harbour View with an 86th goal from the penalty spot.

Portmore Unite, with their early shotgun start, had the “Stars of the East” off their legs from the first minute. However, the hosts' defenders held off the marauding visitors from scoring with timely interceptions aided by one fantastic save from goalkeeper Joel Johnson. Notwithstanding, five minutes to the half-time break Portmore struck.

Foster, waspy as ever, broke the deadlock after the Harbour View defence cracked and was caught out. He ran through unmolested to push the ball into the empty net after a feeble attempt by goalkeeper Johnson failed to thwart his advance from on top of the penalty box.

Harbour View emerged from the half-time break and immediately adopted a more dynamic approach to their game and with the introduction of Marcelino Blackburn in place of Peter-Lee Vassell some 13 minutes after the resumption, the game turned on its head.

Blackburn's first touch gave Portmore an early scare as his shot went perilously close to scoring as a deflection seemed to take the ball for a corner kick. Nothing much came of the corner but from there in Harbour View looked like the team of old. They took a more relenting approach by keeping the pressure on their opponents while kicking westward, and it was not long after that this approach bore fruit.

Harbour View found the equaliser after skipper Harvey climbed above the Portmore defence to squeeze home a tame header.

Sixteen minutes later just when Portmore were contemplating to shut up shop to probably squeeze another draw, they conceded the penalty that cost them the game.

Foster, who returned to Jamaica some three days prior following “a very pleasing” trial run at the Caribbean Combine in Florida alongside three other Jamaicans, said it was a great feeling to return home and score. “It was not a surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and scored three goals with an assist, so I knew when I come back I would do well.”

Harbour View's veteran captain Harvey said his team was ready and raring for the battle against the league leaders.

“No, not worried. Preparation for this game was tremendous. We were really pumped up for this game. We were playing the team at the top of the table and the position that we are in we had to win this game. So we were really pumped up.”

The defender was also happy to have helped in the goal-scoring department. “I felt great. I always feel great to score and when I saw that ball enter the net I felt so good. Not for myself but for the whole team and not just players, everybody.”

Teams: Harbour View FC — Jeol Johnson, Christopher Harvey, Ryan Wellington, Javian Brown, Dario Stewart, Kareem Manning, Evan Taylor, Andrew Allen, Peter-Lee Vassell (Marcelino Blackburn 59th), Richard Anderson (Kevaughn Frater 86th), Michael Lutas (Fabian Grant 90th)

Subs not used: Christian Kluvis, Nicholas Beckett, Jabari Howell, Hugh Evans

Booked: Allen (17th)

Portmore United FC — Shaven Sean-Paul, Damano Solomon, Ewan Grandison, Chavany Willis (Kemar Philpotts 72nd), Ricardo Morris, Maalique Foster, Sue-Lae McCalla (Rosario Harriott 68th), Osani Ricketts, Javon East, Roberto Johnson, Saneekie Burton (Rondee Smith 72nd)

Subs not used: Kemar Foster, Lamar Walker, Henrico Ricketts, Shawayne Nelson

Booked: Morris (48th), Solomon (86th)

Referee: Oshane Nation

Assistant Referees: Lloyd Edwards, Oyinco McTaggart

Fourth Official: Tyrone Robinson

Match Commissioner: Delroy Josephs

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