Harbour View extend lead with win over Portmore
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Defender Christopher Harvey succeeded where others - presumably more equipped - failed, when he headed home a game-winning goal for Harbour View in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) top-of-the-table clash against Portmore United at the Harbour View Mini Stadium on Sunday night.
Showing all the poise and class of a top-quality striker, the six-footer timed his jump perfectly, hung in the air and arrowed his header into the upper right hand corner of the net to send his teammates and supporters in delight and to sink the hearts of the Portmore crowd.
From a Harbour View perspective, Harvey's 90th-minute strike could not have come at a better time as it gave Portmore United very little time to respond in a tightly contested game.
Just seconds before, the Harbour View bench appeared resigned to settling for a draw with their nearest rivals and maintaining their six-point lead at the top of the table. Harvey's strike, however, sent them jumping in delight.
"I have to give credit to Portmore United, they really played well and got their chances, but I think our goalkeeper came up big," a graceful Harbour View coach Vin Blaine reflected at the end of the game.
"As I had said before, it would have been a good game and it was. Of the two teams, though, I think we had the better chances and should have scored, but fortunately for us a defender stepped up and showed how it is done," Blaine added.
The "them" Blaine spoke about would have been his attacking players, who missed a number of chances. The talented Jermie Lynch was the main offender who missed a number of chances, the easiest in the 55th minute. With no more than eight yards separating him from the goal, Lynch had the chance to poke the ball home, but fooled around before stabbing wide.
Three minutes later, Lynch, displaying the artistry of which a ballerina would have been proud, controlled beautifully before shooting high with the goal at his mercy.
Jermaine Hue also had a wonderful free kick from distance, struck the underside of the crossbar in the 76th minute, and a header from a follow-up corner was headed off target by substitute Romaine Lewis, but the next-best miss belonged to another substitute, Kemeel Wolfe. Receiving a cross almost identical to Harvey's, midfielder Wolfe, with a chance to become the game hero, steered his header wide.
Portmore United, playing with youthful exuberance and industry, promised much but could not deliver the finishing that their play deserved. A number of chances were to fall their way as well and perhaps their best effort was Alanzo Adlam's 51st minute 22-yard drive which struck the right upright.
"This is very disappointing. We played well for most of the game. The game, however, is not won by who plays well, but who scores (more) and we did not score," Portmore United's coach André Waugh expressed.
"This is a hard loss to take, based on the nature (top of the table clash) and the timing of the goal. Closing the gap on Harbour View would really have been the ideal result for us, but that gap is still not insurmountable," he added, with his eye still on the big prize.
The win pushed Harbour View to 37 points, while Portmore United remained on 28 points, narrowly hanging on to second place ahead of last night's Monday night clash between Arnett Gardens on 28 points, but with an inferior goal difference and Waterhouse, 27, both capable of unseating them.