HARBOUR View's Head Coach Ludlow Bernard is optimistic his team can remain consistent to claw their way back up the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) points table after they snapped a five-match winless slump with a 1-0 triumph over Montego Bay United on Sunday.
Defender Ajeanie Talbott got the all-important strike in the 21st minute for the reigning champions who provisionally moved up to fourth position on 19 points.
Bernard's assertion that followed the victory is understandable as the "Stars of the East" had started the season on a high – going unbeaten in seven games at one point – before losing their way.
They suffered back-to-back defeats to Portmore United and Waterhouse, respectively, and were later held to a goalless stalemate by lowly Molynes United on last.
"As it stands right now Harbour View is reverting to being a very conservative team and we want to be very difficult to beat right now because we have to make amends for some of the damage that has already been done and eventually claw our way back up the charts," Bernard said during a post-game interview at Jamaica College's Ashenheim Stadium.
Being conservative means Harbour View is aiming to return to a more resolute defensive approach which saw them to their first title in many moons last season.
However, they looked nothing of the sort at the top of Sunday's encounter as they pressed Montego Bay United in the early exchanges and created a few openings which could have brought about the go-ahead goal.
A well-weighted 11th-minute corner kick from Timar Lewis was expertly headed down by Kemar Mullings, only to be cleared off the line by a wall of Montego Bay United players. The follow-up effort by Nicholas Hamilton was also blocked by defender Kevin Graham who literally placed his body in the line of fire.
Montego Bay United threatened three minutes later but Johann Weatherly, who got in behind defenders, dragged a right-footer wide of the right upright.
Harbour View later found the lead when Talbott's shot from the top of the 18-yard box took a deflection and caught Montego Bay United's custodian Davonnie Burton wrong-footed to the point where even a despairing dive left him with no chance at a save.
Much like they did at the start, Harbour View came out more purposeful on the resumption and fired their first warning shot five minutes in, but Burton did well to parry Oshane Staple's effort.
And at the hour mark Hamilton's well-taken free kick from an angle came back off the crossbar.
At the other end, Montego Bay United's best chance came in the 64th when a loose ball fell kindly for the usually clinical Allan Ottey, but the finish on this occasion lacked quality.
Montego Bay United ended with 10 players when Graham, who was earlier booked in the 75th minute, picked up another yellow card in time added.
"I'm particularly pleased about how our substitutes came on and managed the game because I believe we were losing the midfield and also in the attacking third," Bernard assessed.
His counterpart Donovan Duckie took heart from his team's performance.
"It was a good performance. Sometimes you play well and lose games, and sometimes you don't play well and win. Today we were on the losing end but there are a lot of positives that we can take from the game," Duckie noted.
Harbour View 1, Montego Bay 0
Tivoli Gardens 2, Molynes 1
Humble Lions 1, Portmore 0
Cavalier 0, Waterhouse 1
Chapelton vs Mount Pleasant (did not