‘Tappa’ pleased with three points as champs Mt Pleasant make winning start
DRAX HALL, St Ann — Despite saying his team did not manage the game as well as they should have, Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore said defending champions Mt Pleasant are happy with their season-opening 1-0 win over Portmore United in the second game of a double-header at Drax Hall on Sunday as the Jamaica Premier League got underway.
Gawain Austin, who made the switch from Portmore United in the offseason, scored the only goal of the game in the 25th minute to start Mt Pleasant’s title defence in style.
In the first game of the double, newly promoted Lime Hall Academy and former winners Montego Bay United played out a 0-0 draw in a game wherein both teams had good scoring chances.
Whitmore, who led Mt Pleasant FC to their first national title last season, said after the game he was “very pleased but I think most of the game we did not manage it very well — even when we were leading the game”.
He acknowledged that they had struggled in the past against Portmore, saying: “They are a team we struggled with last season — two games and two draws — but it is good to get one over them this afternoon. I’m very pleased with the three points.”
Phillip Williams, the Portmore United coach, praised his young team despite the loss and said the outlook for the remainder of the season is bright.
“I mean, it was a decent performance from us. We had about eight players coming up from the Under- 20 team who we basically threw them off into the deep end today, and in terms of how they equipped themselves it’s all safe for us going forward from here,” he opined.
Mt Pleasant got the breakthrough when a player headed down a free kick from Demario Philips to Austin who found himself with some space, beating goalkeeper Tyrone Williams from close range.
In the first game both teams were wasteful and admitted they have to improve as the season progresses if they are to be competitive.
David Price, head coach at Lime Hall Academy, told the Jamaica Observer he was happy with their defensive play but rues dropping two points.
“Yes, we always want to start with three points but we are grateful for the clean sheet… we could have gotten all three [points] in the dying minutes of the game but it wasn’t to be today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Montego Bay United coach, the Brazilian Neider Dos Santos, said getting a point is better than none at all.
“We came here to try and get three points [but] the match was tough, [although] in the beginning it was very balanced. [In the] second half, from the 20th minute, I think we were superior over them, I think,” he said.