Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Vere roll on in play-offs

Published:Tuesday | June 4, 2019 | 12:30 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Renoir Elliott (left) of Vere FC battles with Downs FC’s Romario Witter during their JFF All-Island Confederation Play-Offs encounter at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon, on Sunday.
Renoir Elliott (left) of Vere FC battles with Downs FC’s Romario Witter during their JFF All-Island Confederation Play-Offs encounter at the Wembley Centre of Excellence in Hayes, Clarendon, on Sunday.

Vere FC, out of Clarendon, continued their impressive run in the Jamaica Football Federation All-Island Confederation Play-Offs after a 4-1-win over Downs FC of Manchester on Sunday at the Wembley Centre of Excellence ground in Hayes, Clarendon.

The win has taken the Michael Bennett-coached team to 19 games unbeaten in the season and keeps them atop the Premier League Play-Off-table with 10 points.

It all got rolling for Vere as early as the 10th minute when Christopher Randall latched on to a left-sided floating delivery from Alton Lewis to head past goalkeeper Jermaine Holmes to the delight of the sizeable Clarendon crowd.

Three minutes later, Vere’s consistency bore fruit for a second time as Swayne Thomas turned on the jets to run past his defender and slot past a hapless Holmes to make it 2-0.

Downs found a little bit of rhythm towards the latter part of the half as they came close through a corner kick, which ricocheted towards the goal but was cleared off the line by Vere defender Kirk Mullings.

The half-time talk by Downs FC coach Kemar Ricketts seemed to have inspired his team as they came out with more purpose and duly got a goal for their efforts.

Ajay Chin latched on to a through ball and outpaced his defender to fire past Romaine Sampson in the Vere goal to make it 2-1.

TWO-GOAL MARGIN

But that goal seemed to have incensed the Clarendon-based team, who reasserted themselves and restored their two-goal margin in minute 53.

Veteran captain Shawn Coleman whipped in a delightful ball from a right-sided free kick, only to find the head of Michael Morland, who made it 3-1.

The home team then put away any chance of a comeback for Downs FC as an errant clearance allowed Swayne Thomas straight through on goal; however, his shot was first saved by Holmes only for substitute Garrington Baker to tap in to make it 4-1.

Winning coach Bennett praised his team’s effort. “This team is full of fight. We played in two halves, we got some early goals, and then we allowed Downs back in the game, but like true champions, they picked themselves up and got two more goals, and I am pleased to see that,” he said.

It was the first goal that Vere FC has conceded in eight games, and coach Bennett is feeling even more confident now that his team can make it all the way to the Premier League.

“It’s been 20 years since I have been in the Premier League. The last time, I took Whitehorses to Premier League back in the ‘95-’96 season, I think this is my time again, albeit with a different team, and we are ready.”