Defending champions Harbour View made a positive start to their season and in doing so did what they could not have done all of last season – defeat Humble Lion.
The much-improved attacker, John-Ross Edwards, had the lone strike in the 82nd minute, firing an angled free-kick over the head of goalkeeper Shawn Sawyers, who was caught off his line.
While Harbour View would have been happy with the three points and the positive start to their season, they would not have been particularly pleased with the level of play.
For long periods, the home team offered little excitement, even though they looked more dangerous, especially after having difficulty coping with the physicality and the fitness of Humble Lion.
“I am happy for the win, but I was not particularly happy with the way we did it. We could have done much better with the rotation of the football in midfield.
“In terms of the preparation we knew that Humble Lion would have played a physical game so we needed to move the ball around. It is easier to shoot a sitting duck than a flying bird, yet we were sitting more and allowing them to come at us,” was winning coach Donovan Hayles’ honest assessment of the game.
Humble Lion’s Christopher Bender found reason to praise his team for their character and spirit.
“It was a good game in terms of character and spirit and I think that we shone through (in those areas).
“They scored a fortuitous goal and that is part of the game. We have an excellent goalkeeper. Those things do happen in football but we lost no marks in defeat today,” said Bender.
The major highlight of the first half was the ejection of Humble Lion’s Kirk Duckworth, in time added, following his second booking for a foul on Rafeik Thomas.
The second half was an improvement on the first, even though Harbour View made no obvious adjustments and failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage.
The home team struggled in midfield while forward Kavin Bryan was kept in check by the alert Ricardo Campbell, who had an outstanding game. But while Humble Lion looked good in defense, up front they lacked a goalscoring threat as Narado Brown and Roberto Fletcher did not look the part. Substitute Omar Walters fared little better and fired wide of the gaping goal in the 70th minute from a melee.
As the game wound down Harbour View looked more threatening with Edwards; captain Richard Edwards and Dicoy Williams looking their best players.
John-Ross Edwards, Marcelino Blackburn and Richard Edwards tested Sawyers with long-ranged drives, while the lanky Kimroy Davis had a similar drive for Humble Lion.
With the game looking as if it would end goalless, John-Ross Edwards produced an act of brilliance and perhaps luck to beat Sawyers, who made an uncharacteristic error by being caught off his line.
He blasted an angled right-footer from about 38-yards from the left of the field into the top right-hand corner of the goal over the head of the back pedalling Sawyers.
While John-Ross Edwards soaked up the adulation, Sawyers understandably looked as if he could sink in the ground.
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- Harbour View 1 Humble Lion 0
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- Waterhouse 2 Sporting 0
- Portmore 1 Reno 0