August Town top relegation dogfight
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
It was a relegation dogfight at the UWI Bowl yesterday afternoon, as home team August Town carved out an untidy, but hard-fought 1-0 victory over fellow drop candidates Sporting Central Academy, as the hunt for Digicel Premier League survival continued in earnest.
With a mere one point and one place separating both teams before the start of the fixture - August Town sitting 10th on 31 points, one more than Sporting Central Academy - both outfits looked nervous as they crossed blades during the opening minutes while largely cancelling out each other.
As the game matured, it begged for a spark as both sets of players struggled to create any real openings in what was becoming a midfield hustle, with both teams looking short of ideas and enterprise in the attacking third.
However, almost out of nowhere, August Town's Nicholas Smith provided a moment of real inspiration on 35 minutes with a torrid left-foot drive from the top of the 18-yard box, that almost tore a hole in the net behind Sporting Central goalkeeper André Blake, to hand his team the lead.
Sporting Central responded almost immediately and should have levelled the score, but midfielder Jamoley Powell missed a clear opportunity in front of goal after some good work from Romaine Barnes who produced a tasty cross from a motoring run down the right flank.
The visitors raised the tempo in the second half and took control of the game, but August Town reverted to a defensive approach and protected their slim advantage.
August Town's coach, Dwight Morgan, said: "I think we played well in the first half. We dominated the game and got a goal, but we kind of gave them too much space in the second half and we weren't keeping the ball," said Morgan. "This is a good win overall ... we did well enough to win the game."
Sporting Central's Vassel Reynolds, said: "We are running out of time; it's a concern but we have to keep fighting. The good thing about it is that just a few points separate the last five or six teams so with some luck, one victory can get us back in the right direction."