A first-half penalty by Javier Brown proved decisive for Vere United who registered their first win of the 2022 Jamaica Premier League (JPL) season, edging Molynes United 1-0 in a lacklustre encounter at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Tuesday.
Brown's 29th-minute conversion from the 12-yard spot saw the Clarendon-based team rebounding from an opening 1-2 loss to Dunbeholden.
The three points propelled Vere United to fifth position, while Molynes United are in 10th on a point from there 2-2 draw against Harbour View last week.
Donovan Duckie's Vere United were the first to settle in what was a mostly a scrappy affair where chances were far and few between, as both teams failed to really assert themselves.
In fact, it was the experience of Francois Swaby that proved instrumental in setting the tone for the solitary goal at a time when Vere United played well in patches.
Swaby made his presence felt in 13th minute when he breached Molynes United's defence but was crowded out of possession, after his initial shot was blocked by goalkeeper Roje Williams.
Another glorious chance fell Vere United's way in the 26th minute when Lamard Neil's weighted free kick was net on the volley by Kevin Graham, but his own teammate Kenroy Lumsthen got in the way of what seemed a certain goal.
However, their despair turned jubilation three minutes later when Brown converted to the right of Williams going the wrong way, after Swaby with nippy footwork, drew a foul from defender Jevaughn Brown in the danger area.
There was very little to write home about for the remainder of the game, as both teams failed to really produce anything meaningful on the resumption, Vere United, in particular, seemed contented going through the motions with the one-goal advantage.
Still, Rudolph Stennett, Vere's assistant coach, felt his team did well, but admitted that more work needs to be done.
“I want to say congrats to the team, I think they fought hard this game as oppose to the first game. The first game we were flat-footed but we learnt from that.
“We had some opportunities to score but we were rushing a little bit and, so we are going to have to work on that and then we will find the goals,” Stennett said in a post-game interview.
Molynes United's Head Coach Garnett Lawrence echoed similar sentiments.
“We took too long to believe. The first half was very dismal and we improved a little in the second half but we need to believe a little bit more. I also think we need to possess the ball a little bit better because we had some possession but we didn't do much with it in the final third, and so we are going to have to continue working on that,” Lawrence noted.
— Sherdon Cowan
Vere United — Kadeem Davis, Ricardo Campbell, Kevin Graham, Francois Swaby, Trevance Salmon, Lamard Neil(Tyrece Harrison 87th), Javier Brown, Kenroy Lumsthen, Ramone Plummer(Tavis Grant 51st), Anjay Gayle, Ricardo Messam
Subs not used: Alwin Strachan, Michael Panton, Courton Wright, Tyricke Harrison, Dunsting Cohen, Nicholas Robinson
Booked: Graham (45+2), Campbell (66th), Neil (81st), Grant (89th)
Molynes United — Roje Williams, Tyrique Wilson, Lonezo McKoy, Ackeem Stewart(Raheem Stone 86th), Dijon Grant, Jevaughn Brown(David Dias 73rd), Nicholas Nelson, Tyrick Sutherland, John-Christoff Pringle(Theon Palmer 67th), Trivante Stewart, Tyrese Wynter(Rashawn Livingston 67th)
Subs not used: Damion Thomas, Alwayne Danvers, Omari Morgan, Orane Ferguson, Oneil Small, Oldani Dunkley
Booked: Brown (47th)
Referee: Crystal Sobers (T&T)
Assistant referees: Stephanie Yee Sing, Jermaine Yee Sing
Fourth official: Steffon Dewar
Match commissary: Dudley Powell