'Pleasant' surprise

Mount Pleasant off with a bang, clip Portmore 2-1

Monday, September 17, 2018

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It could not have been more dramatic.

The highly touted and big-money spending debutants Mount Pleasant Academy and defending Red Stripe Premier League champions Portmore United went down to the very last kick for a decision. Literally.

Veteran striker Devon Hodges gave the visitors Mount Pleasant Academy the lead in the sixth minute at Spanish Town Prison Oval, but defender Rosario Harriott replied and brought parity five minutes later.

Portmore United's substitute Cleon Pryce was presented with a gift at the death, but he squandered the chance; and his former Portmore United teammate Suelae McCalla popped up with a firm header from a Ladale Richie pass to snatch victory in the 90th+3 minutes.

As Portmore prepared to restart the game, Referee Oshane Nation signalled the end of the contest, much to the jubilation of the many Mount Pleasant Academy supporters who journeyed from St Ann.

McCalla was overjoyed with his late intervention.

“It's a great feeling, not only the goal, but to get the three points at the end of the day,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

McCalla's coach, Donovan Duckie was far more sedate in his comments, as he knew his side had dodged a bullet and the results could have been the other way round.

“We knew that they have about five games from the last time we saw them against Waterhouse, so we knew they must have been very sharp. This is our first competitive game. We've played seven games in pre-competition phase, but you can never find the true analysis in practice games.

“Today we realised that their transition bothered us from defence to offence. I thought had they been a little bit more decisive with the passes in the final third they could have caused more problems for us,” said Duckie.

Mount Pleasant Academy, the Eastern Confed champions who gained promotion during the four-team Premier League play-offs, will next host last season's beaten finalists Waterhouse FC next Sunday at the newly refurbished Drax Hall.

For losing coach Shavar Thomas, the final result was a bitter pill to swallow.

“We wanted to start out on the front foot [for] the first game of the season, and we wanted to make it positive. We went into the game and Mount Pleasant were a spirited bunch. We went down early, but we recovered and got back one and then we just needed to finish our chances,” he said.

Teams:

Portmore United — Kemar Foster, Damano Solomon, Rosario Harriott, Roberto Johnson, Chavanny Willis, Venton Evans, Donnegy Fer (Jerrel Wijks 23rd), Ricardo Morris, Nacquain Brown, Saneekie Burton Cleon Pryce 15th), Rondee Smith (Roshane Sharpe 67th)

Booked: Harriott (21st), Pryce (78th)

Subs not used: Paul Shaven, Romaine Brakenridge, Osani Ricketts, Damian Brunswick

Mount Pleasant Academy — Kadeem Davis, Ricardo Campbell, Ladale Richie, Liston James, Suelae McCalla, Gregory Lewis, Kevaughn Isaacs, Ronaldo Rodney (Ricardo Dennis 72nd), Cardel Benbow, Kemar Beckford (Alphanso Brown 85th), Devon Hodges (Kesslon Hall 62nd)

Booked: Campbell (43rd)

Subs not used: Joseph Vargas, Latroy Laing, Horace Sharpe, Kevin Graham

Referee: Oshane Nation

Assistant referees: Stephanie Dale Yee Sing, Jassett Kerr

Fourth official: Nerissa Goldson

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