Harbour View FC kept their play-off chances alive with a narrow but effective 1-0 win over University of the West Indies FC to hold on to their top six position in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) standings at Harbour View Compound, in a late kick-off on Sunday.
Before either team could bat an eyelid, Deshane Beckford nipped through immediately following the kick-off while the UWI defence was still asleep, to beat goalkeeper and put the former four-time champions Harbour View FC ahead with only 30 seconds on the clock.
The victory put Harbour View at the foot of the top six threshold of RSPL points standings to have a chance to reach the knockout stage of the competition.
With another three games remaining, none of the teams below the top two can afford defeat, being so close in their scores with a point or two separating from three to 10. From this point in Portmore United seem safe to win the $1,000,000 prize in topping the league before the KO stages with an unattainable 62 points.
Arnett Gardens look safe to remain in the top half on 48 points, while Tivoli Gardens on 46, Waterhouse on 44, Cavalier with 43, Harbour View with 42, Montego Bay United on 41, Humble Lion on 39, UWI with 39 and Reno with 39 have to avoid defeat and win to receive consideration for a spot among the top six places.
Harbour View winning Assistant Coach Fabian Taylor was pleased with his team’s victory based on results elsewhere, but lamented the fact that, “We did not play our best game tonight. We, nonetheless, came out victors, which is good for a change. All season we have been playing some really good games, but were not getting the results to match our efforts.
“Even today was not a pleasing display; the fighting spirit among the players was in evidence which should serve us well for our upcoming matches. We have another three games ahead of us and to achieve our objective we must redouble our efforts to win them by treating them as Cup finals starting with FC Reno, which is our next game away in Westmoreland,” said Taylor.
Despite sitting at number nine on the RSPL standing on 39 points, UWI Head Coach Marcel Gayle was still hopeful of making it into the top six position. “It is all there for the taking. We have the ammunition to get the job done, all that is needed it is for us to take each game at a time and see where this effort takes us. Football is sometimes ungrateful, but if we show the urgency that we are capable of demonstrating then I think we have the capacity to get back into the top six by perseverance.”
Harbour View FC — Christian Kluvi, Nicholas Beckett, Christopher Harvey, Ryan Wellington, Javain Brown, Casseam Priestley, Evan Taylor, Kemar Bennett, Deshane Beckford (Daniel Green 70th), Peter-Lee Vassell (Andrew Allen 82nd) Rafiek Thomas (Michael Lutus 82nd)
Subs not used: Tajay Griffiths, Ajannie Talbott, Marcelino Blackburn, Fabian Grant
Booked: Brown (53rd)
UWI FC — Nicholas King, Taniel McKenzie (Rochane Smith 90th), Deno Shaffe, Fabian McCarthy, Patrick Brown, Andrew Bernal (Dwayne Smith 66th), Ryan Miller, Kemar Flemmings, Anthony Greenland (Davian Garrison 79th), Zhelano Barnes, Jamie Robinson
Subs not used: Jabari Wallace, Abayomi D’Aguilar, Kemoy Thompson, Stephen Bennett
Booked: Brown (15th), McCarthy (90th+2), Flemmings (90th+5)
Referee: Odette Hamilton
Assistant Referees: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing, Rolanzo Bennett
Fourth Official: Nerrisa Goldsmith
Match Commissioner: Andrew Payne
Source: The Jamaica Observer