Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Whatever coach Andrew Price said to his players and, in particular, Renae Lloyd, transformed and propelled them to a 1-0 victory over Portmore United in the Red Stripe Premier League football match at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday night.
After an ordinary first half - in which they were penned in by Portmore United - Boys' Town looked like a team reborn in the second half as Lloyd, Marvin Morgan Jr and company took the action to Portmore United who, like Boys' Town, looked like a different team.
Boys' Town's dominance stepped up a notch after Michael Campbell's goal in the 64th minute. They passed the ball around with such fluency that even some of their supporters appeared befuddled.
"I had a talk with them. I let them know that it could not continue and that they had to lift their game," was all Price would say about what turned his team around.
He did concede that his knowledge of the Portmore United team informed their approach, especially in the first half.
"We expected that Portmore would have come at us because they had an outside chance of making it to the final, so basically, we absorbed a lot of pressure and we were prepared for that," explained Price.
Once his team weathered the storm, Price said he knew that they would have their time as "very few teams can match us in terms of fitness".
Portmore United's coach, Andre Waugh, whose team would have only advanced to the end-of-round final with a handsome win, was predictably disappointed.
"Most naturally, you always play to win, and not getting that result is disappointing.
"Having had such a good first half, we felt we would have had something out of it," explained Waugh, who took over the reins of the defending champions in the off season following the departure of Calvin Lewis.
His team, according to Waugh, gave a performance lacking in "passion, commitment and work ethic".
The fact that his team did not respond after Boys' Town's goal was particularly saddening for Waugh.
While Waugh recognised that his team did not display the characteristics required to win, he said Boys' Town played with a lot of self-belief and credited them for it.
Price, meanwhile, was very happy with his team's approach.
"We played a disciplined game and that is really heartening for us. This is a good platform to build on. The backend of our season is normally better for us," he said, as he indicated that he would use the short break to strengthen for the third round.
Round two Standings