Portmore's good fortune is Dunbeholden's nightmare

Friday, December 07, 2018

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Despite being unbeaten in six games on the back of five straight wins in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), Portmore United Head Coach Shavar Thomas believes his team still has some tidying up to do if they are to maintain their current vein of form.

Thomas, who earlier in the season heavily advocated for some level of consistency from the defending champions, is gradually pleased that they are somewhat delivering on his request.

Their latest accomplishment came last Sunday when they eked out a 1-0 win over neighbours Dunbeholden FC in another fairly entertaining St Catherine derby at Royal Lakes Complex.

Javon East found the all-important strike in the 84th minute, that ensured Portmore United extended their unbeaten run and, by extension, their lead atop the standings.

They now sit on 30 points, six ahead of second-placed Waterhouse FC on 24, with Cavalier FC and Arnett Gardens, both on 23 points, being their closest pursuers. Mount Pleasant FA on 22 and Tivoli Gardens on 20 are also within touching distance as they complete the current top six.

With the win being Portmore United's second against their promoted neighbours following a 3-2 scoreline in their first-round meeting, Thomas again lauded what was another spirited showing by his team.

This after they absorbed some amount of pressure from Dunbeholden for most of the contest before finding the winner against the run of play close to the end.

“It is important that we continue to add points to our tally... we knew it's a derby and it [would] be another close one because these two teams know each other very well in terms of personnel, so guys are going to come out and compete to the very end. As you could see, we had to tuck in and be firm for the last five or 10 minutes,” Thomas told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview.

“So it was good that we found the winner. I am pleased that the guys are now executing in terms of trying to be consistent, but we still have more work to do as we look ahead. This was our fifth win on the trot and we are enjoying it,” the former national captain added.

But while Portmore United are currently sitting pretty at the summit, the same cannot be said for Dunbeholden, who are rooted at the foot of the 12-team standing on nine points.

However, with Harbour View FC and Reno FC both on 12 points just ahead of them, Assistant Coach Rigel Smith believes there is still hope for his team to leave the red zone.

“I am very disappointed with where we are at; we are at the bottom of the table, which is where we wouldn't want to be from the start, but that is our current situation and so we just have to put in the work if we want to move from there,” Smith noted.

“With that said, it wasn't really a bad performance... we really wanted to win this game and we started off positively [and] we came here with a plan and we executed for the most parts, but made simple mistakes at times playing against the champions.

“That has been something that has been rocking the team throughout the season: getting close but not getting across the line. But we have to get it together and try to get the job done,” he added.

— Sherdon Cowan

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