Late drama puts Harbour View back atop DPL
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Harbour View regained the lead, while Village United claimed a spot among the elite six, as the third round of matches in the Digicel Premier League ended yesterday.
The Stars of the East rallied in dramatic fashion to beat Arnett Gardens 2-1 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, while Trelawny's Village took sixth after playing out a 1-1 draw with St George's Sports Club, at Lynch Park, Buff Bay.
Arnett (36 points) dropped to 10th in the standings, while Harbour View now move to 64 points, three more than second-place Tivoli Gardens (61 points). The elite top six is rounded off by Waterhouse (50), Boys' Town (45), St George's (44) and Village United (41).
Arnett Gardens, buoyed by their seven games unbeaten run, got off to a sprightly start and were rewarded in the 33rd minute when they made full use of their only corner of the game, as Newton Sterling got his head to Kevin Wilson cross to put his team in front going into the break.
When the fourth official indicated four minutes of added time, Arnett appeared well on their way to taking their first point of the season off Harbour View as they led 1-0. But Dicoy Williams had other ideas as he ventured out of his defensive position to get his head to a lovely cross by John Ross Edwards, to equalise in the first minute of stoppage time.
This sent the Harbour bench erupting with delight and started a mini exodus by the Junglists.
But Harbour View were not finished yet, and found a winner in the last minute of added time. Edwards worked his magic down the left flank with a dribble before supplying a cross to Jahmali Spence, who kept his composure to hammer home from six yards out.
This was the first senior outing for Spence, who had been out injured for seven months and came on at the 78th minute.
Harbour View coach, Donovan Hayles, is not placing too much emphasis on having regained the lead.
"The lead is not here or there, to me it is the games that are remaining that we need to take care of," said Hayles. "Arnett is a good team but what I have noticed this year is that they don't know how to win, they just don't know how to shut out a game and I told my players this at half-time ... and it was proven today, they couldn't shut out a game so that worked in our favour."
Arnett not giving up
Arnett Gardens coach, Wayne Fairclough, said his team cannot give up.
"I thought we had it in the bag as we were playing good up to the 90th minute and we gave away one (goal) in the 92nd and one in the 94th minute, and that was what led to our demise," said Fairclough. "We are not giving up, we really need to come and try and do good, knowing that we are in the relegation zone."
Village United played to a 1-1 draw with St George's at Lynch Park to hold on to sixth position in the standings, which automatically guarantees them a place in the country's top league next season.
Jermaine Taylor put St George's in the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Troy Smith's 11th goal of the season earned the Village a share of the points.
Rivoli United, who entered the round as the only team which could have overtaken Village, suffered an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Sporting Central Academy on the back of goals from Andre Allen (31st), JeVaughn Watson (61st), François Swaby (73rd) and LeVaughn Williams (83rd).
The league's leading goal-scorer, Rivoli's Devon Hodges, was sent off in the 63rd minute.
Defending champions Tivoli Gardens were clipped 1-0 by Portmore United at Ferdie Neita Park courtesy of a strike from Carlington Smith in the 31st minute. The win saw Portmore (38 points) being the biggest movers as they climbed three places up to seventh.
In the battle between third- and fourth-place teams, Waterhouse came out 3-1 winners over Boys' Town to secure only their second win of the round. Waterhouse's goals were scored by Kenardo Forbes (3rd, 41st) and Nicholi Finlayson (15th), while Boys' Town's consolation was an own goal. Damion Benjamin saw red for Boys' Town in the 66th minute.
Digicel Premier League standings after yesterday's matches, the last in the third round.
(Tabulated under Teams, P-Play, W-Win, D-Draw, L-Lose, GF-Goals For, GA-Goals Against, Pts-Points)
TeamsPWDLGFGAGDPTSH View33197744242064Tivoli331712452223063W'house33148113433150Boys' Town331112102726145St George's33101492626044Village33914102935-641Portmore33911132027-738H Lion 33813122733-637Rivoli33813123139-837Arnett33812133037-736Sporting33714122629-335August Twn3398162540-1535