Title favourites Harbour View surged to what might be an unassailable 10-point lead in the Red Stripe Premier League after edging Montego Bay United 2-1 at the Compound Sunday night.
Goals by Donovan Edwards and Richard Edwards in the third and 70th minutes, respectively, propelled Harbour View to their 14th win from 23 games and unto 48 points.
With 15 games remaining, the ‘Stars of the East’ are 10 clear of the chasing pack, led by defending champions Portmore United on 38 points. They could only muster a 1-1 draw with cellar team Savannah FC at the Ferdie Neita Park.
Caval Blake gave Savannah an eighth-minute lead before Sue-Lee McCalla earned a share of the points for Portmore United in the 29th minute, but they are now left with the mammoth task of overhauling the marauding Harbour View juggernaut.
Vin Blaine, Harbour View’s head coach, said his team came for the three home points and got it, and although they have extended their lead, he is not prepared to celebrate as yet.
“I don’t start count as yet, but it will be hard to beat us. We have no end-of-round final to look to so we have some objectives and we want to win the first three games,” noted Blaine.
For Montego Bay United, it was a disappointing result that saw them slip a spot to fifth, on 34 points, and are now 14 points adrift of the leaders with a lot of catching up to do.
Head coach Dr Dean Weatherly was disappointed with the result, knowing the title is slowly slipping away from their grasp.
“It was a very good game with two quality teams playing against each other and I am disappointed with not coming away with even a point, because Harbour View have extended their lead by some much,” said Weatherly.
“We have intentions of going for the championship and it makes it a little more difficult, but for the one or two mistakes, I am quite pleased with the standard of play,” he added.
The standard of play was good throughout and all three goals were quality strikes in a fairly even encounter.
Harbour View scored in the third minute after a precise through ball by Jermaine Hue released Andre Fagan and his cross was controlled by Donovan Edwards before firing wide of goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett.
But the visitors responded in style with arguably one of the goals of the season. The powerful-looking Dino Williams pounced on a ball just outside the box and unleashed a venomous shot that whistled past goalkeeper Michaud Barrett before he knew it in the 14th minute.
But Harbour View would not be denied and one of the shortest men on the field, Richard Edwards, popped up to score a rare header, and in fact a rare goal, in the 70th minute to seal a crucial win for the leaders.
Harbour View — Michaud Barrett, Xavean Virgo, Christopher Harvey, Montrose Phinn, Kemar Lawrence, Evan Taylor, John Ross Edwards (Joel Senior 66th), Richard Edwards, Jermaine Hue, Andre Fagan, Donovan Edwards (Brian Brown 73rd)
Subs not used: Ashek Taylor, Clifton Waugh, Nicholas Beckett, Kemeel Wolfe, Roland Dean
Booked: Evan Taylor (10th), Fagan (50th), Senior (89th)
Montego Bay United — Jacomeno Barrett, Orlando McBayne, John Barrett, Fabian McCarthy, Winston Wilkinson (Renaldo Rodney 75th), Jermaine Woozencroft (Leon Irving 78th), Lesly St Fleur, Kemiro James, Allan Ottey, Mauricio Gordon (Omar Gordon 85th), Dino Williams
Subs not used: Garen Downie, Aldaine Grant, Oraine Braham, Nicolie Barrett.
Booked: Woozencroft (26th), Mauricio Gordon (29th), Williams (45th), Ottey (86th)
Referee: Cardella Samuels
Assistant Referees: Lloyd Reader, Oyinco McTaggart
Fourth Official: Wilverglen Lamey
Match Commissary: Garfield McDonald