Thu | Oct 17, 2019

Dunbeholden leave Portmore dumbfounded

Published:Monday | September 16, 2019 | 12:18 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Dunbeholden FC’s Dean-Andre Thomas (centre) controls the ball ahead of advancing Portmore United players Emilio Rousseau (left), Damion Williams (second left), and Andre Lewis during their Red Stripe Premier League match at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in Spanish Town, St Catherine, yesterday.
Dunbeholden FC’s Dean-Andre Thomas (centre) controls the ball ahead of advancing Portmore United players Emilio Rousseau (left), Damion Williams (second left), and Andre Lewis during their Red Stripe Premier League match at the Spanish Town Prison Oval in Spanish Town, St Catherine, yesterday.

The saying goes that “it’s not how you start but how you finish.” However, that is no comfort to Portmore United at the moment as they are still waiting for their first win of the Red Stripe Premier League season.

The defending champions are still stuck in neutral after being clipped 1-0 by Dunbeholden in the St Catherine derby at the Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday.

Dean-Andre Thomas scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time, leaving Ricardo Gardner’s side at the foot of the table with no points and plenty of questions to answer.

The game had more fouls suffered by both teams than actual chances in a game that will be known for its physicality and its many confrontations involving referee Okeito Nicholson. Portmore and Dunbeholden combined for only three shots on target as the play itself was haphazard, with multiple stoppages for fouls and time-wasting on the part of Dunbeholden as the match reached its final stages.

Gardner said that each attacking opportunity nullified made it more difficult to find an equaliser.

“I think we created enough chances to get that equaliser,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t put our chances away, and in games like these when you are behind and don’t put your chances away, it’s very difficult to get back in when the game [is] slipping away from you.”

Portmore managed to register six shots, with only two of those on target. Dunbeholden’s only shot on goal was the penalty they conceded as time expired in the first half.

Thomas was charging on the right when Portmore’s Osani Ricketts rushed to get back in defence and fouled him inside the penalty area. Thomas calmly dispatched his kick for the lead.

Dunbeholden assistant coach Andrew Fraser was elated at finally getting off the mark after two straight defeats.

“It’s good to get results from every game,” he said. “Every point counts because it’s like a final. Each game is like a final. It’s a good feeling.”

The champions’ best opportunities came late in the second half when Emilio Rousseau’s free kick required a last-ditch clearance from Dunbeholden defender Shevan James as goalkeeper Giovanni Smith was left helpless between the posts.

In the dying seconds of seven minutes of added time, United’s third corner of the game produced the golden opportunity for a late leveller for the champions, but Cory Burke’s free header hit the crossbar, summing up the team’s performance and their current winless predicament.