Burke brace leads Portmore to fourth-straight RSPL winTuesday, December 24, 2019
BY DWAYBE RICHARDS
A Cory Burke brace and a scintillating strike from Siegle Knight led defending champions Portmore United to a 3-1 win over cellar- dwellers Vere United in the Red Stripe Premier League on Sunday.
Javier Brown got the consolation goal for the newly promoted Vere. It was sweet revenge for the champions who had been beaten 2-0 by Vere in the first round of the competition.
Clearly not in the mood to give anything away for a second time to Vere, Portmore United started the game on the front foot and stayed there for the first half.
Burke proved to be a handful for the Vere backline and was involved in two clashes with the Vere custodian Shavar Wilson early on.
The champions created a few half chances that they probably could have done better with, especially the one that fell to Osani Ricketts; but the big defender headed wide of the target at the back post after a flick on from a corner kick.
Siegel Knight will not soon forget his strike that opened the scoring in the game. With Vere struggling to clear their lines from a corner kick, Rondee Smith passed the ball back to his teammate and the one-time effort from the left foot of Knight, 25 yards from goal, swerved wickedly into the top right corner of the net in the 34th minute.
Ten minutes later Burke was rewarded for his industry, firing home from twelve yards to give his team a 2-0 lead at the half-time break.
Vere, who had been mere spectators in the first half, came out with more purpose in the second and were duly rewarded when Brown scored in the 62nd minute, sweeping home a right- sided cross ahead of the onrushing Benjamin Williams in the Portmore goal.
But Portmore United were not about to let the game slip and Burke made sure of that when he scored his second and the team's third in the 73rd minute.
The big striker took responsibility for a free kick on the edge of the area, firing home a low shot to the right of Wilson who probably should have done better at keeping the ball out.
With the two-goal lead restored, Portmore did enough to see out the remainder of the game but will be sweating on the fitness of playmaker Lamar Walker, who hurt his shoulder late in the game.
Ricardo Gardener was pleased with the overall effort of his team that has led to their resurgence in the league.
“The players have been working hard to try and turn things around, and it's gradually showing in games. Now we are coming out here and winning games and that is very important. It was very good to get four on the bounce — that is something we haven't achieved all season.”
For Vere, who have found themselves mired in the relegation zone almost all season, it will be Christmas in the cellar but with no wine to celebrate.
“Today's game was a really poor performance from our guys. We just need to go back to the drawing board and try and improve,” said a bemused Andrew Isaacs after the loss.
“We really need a goalscorer in this team, because we have been creating a lot of chances but we have been missing them,” he admitted.
Teams: Portmore United — Benjamin Williams, Osani Ricketts, Rosario Harriott, Roberto Johnson, Emilo Rousseau (Romaine Bowers 57th), Cleon Pryce, Tevin Shaw Damion Williams 77th), Siegle Knight, Lamar Walker, Rondee Smith (Shai Smith 77th), Cory Burke
Subs not used: Kemar Foster, Sheldon McKoy, Ryan Wellington, Romaine Brackenridge
Booked: Osani Ricketts (37th), Cleon Pryce (90+1)
Vere United — Shavar Wilson, Kenroy Lumsden, Andre Gayle (Kirk Mullings 81st), Ray Campbell, Alton Lewis, Jason Johnson (Devroy Grey 52nd), Latson Reid, Javier Brown, Xahne Reid, Garrington Baker (Zain Hylton 71st), Romaine Plummer
Subs not used: Mark Elson, Kenroy Stoddart, Christopher Randall, Romaine Simpson
Booked: Ray Campbell (90+1 )
Referee: Odette Hamilton
Assistant referees: Princess Brown, Melvin Reid
Fourth official: Dernor Davy
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