Dawkins steals late winner for August Town
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
There is a new coach on the bench, but the problems continue for former champions Portmore United, who are now serious relegation candidates after losing 1-0 to fellow strugglers August Town, in Digicel Premier League action at the UWI Bowl yesterday.
New signee, Fabian Dawkins, stuck his toe out in second-half injury time to steal the victory for the St Andrew-based team with virtually the last kick of the game, in the process consigning new Portmore boss, Neville 'Bertis' Bell, to a rough introduction to the big league.
Victory catapulted August Town four places up the 12-team standings to seventh at 25, two more than Portmore.
The goal was in truth the only bright spot in a dull encounter as both teams ran with no real purpose and enterprise for large portions of the game.
Maybe it was the heavy breeze at the venue, or probably the extended break that both teams enjoyed since the end of the second round that caused the game's lack of excitement, as both teams struggled to find openings during the early exchanges.
The first half laboured on with Portmore striker Roen Nelson's 34th-minute attempt, which forced a basic save from August Town's goalkeeper Devon Haughton, the only bit of action worth mentioning.
The second half was not much better, as both teams continued to find it hard to create real opportunities.
However, August Town's Aphas Bernard got a glorious opportunity to put his team in the lead after 50 minutes, but he somehow managed to send his side-footed volley from just about six yards over the crossbar, with the goal at his mercy.
Rohan McDonald wasted another good chance for the home team, failing to make the most of a spill by goalkeeper Garice McPherson in the 70th minute.
Winning coach Paul Young, who took his players to church earlier in the morning, was happy for the win, but expressed concern about their response in the first half.
"In the first half, we were a little bit lethargic, we didn't win the first balls. We worked hard, but the breeze was a factor in the game," said Young. "We played and we got a good chance towards the end, so I'm grateful. The players made me proud, and made the community proud, so we can only give thanks and move on from here."
Bell, who has achieved tremendous success at the schoolboy level with St George's College, was disappointed with the loss but managed to find some positives from his team's performance.
"It's a tough way to lose with 30 seconds to go in the game. I don't think we played that badly, but it wasn't a great game of football. But that's the nature of the game. We have to just come again," said Bell. "We are in a position where we need three points in every game, so losing this one will not help the situation, but we have some way to go."
In another game, Rivoli United held second end-of-round finalists Waterhouse to a 0-0 draw at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.