Dunbeholden's 'Pleasant' surprise
Dunbeholden FC demonstrated resilience when they had a come-from-behind 2-1 win against the highly fancied Mount Pleasant Football Academy in the Magnum/Charley's JB/Jamaica Football Federation promotion play-off series opening round at the Dunbeholden Sports Complex in St Catherine yesterday.
Mount Pleasant came out on the front foot and took the lead when striker Kesslan Hall fired past Dunbeholden's goalkeeper, Geovanni Smith, in the 20th minute. However, the home side fought back with two goals inside two minutes. Kevin Reid found the equaliser in the 26th minute, and the outstanding Jerome Wedderburn got the winning goal in the 28th minute.
South Central Confederation champions, Dunbeholden started slowly but picked up momentum. Mount Pleasant, who won the Eastern Confederation, were shabby in defence and paid the price.
The margin of victory could have been wider had it not been for faulty shooting, especially from Lorenzo Dubidad. Dunbeholden was the better-organised team and deserved to win the game.
Coach of Dunbeholden Michael 'Richie' Cohen described the victory as "overwhelming".
"It is an overwhelming feeling to win our first game in the play-off series. We represented well. The team started slowly and went behind but found the equaliser and winner," Cohen told The Gleaner immediately after the game.
The coach said they came into the game as underdogs and praised his players for what he described as a gutsy performance.
"We are orphans as the other teams have mothers and fathers," Cohen said, alluding to the other three teams' financial support. "We will take it one game at a time because everyone competing in the play-off are champions, so we respect the other teams."
"Our next game is away, so the focus is now on that one. We missed some chances, especially in the second half, but I am pleased, 100 per cent, with the fighting spirit of the team today," Cohen shared.
Mount Pleasant's head coach, Paul 'Tegat' Davis, said it was a hard loss due to mistakes at the back.
"It was a tough loss. Nobody wants to lose their opening game, but it was on the road, so we will go back home and get ready for the next game," Davis, a former national senior team striker, said.
"We gave up two silly goals quickly after taking the lead and never recovered from that. We could not find any momentum, and it became difficult. We kept on making errors, and it cost us the whole game. We will just have to work on that for the next game," he added.