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Brittons Hill edge closer

Renaldo Gilkes

Brittons Hill edge closer

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PINELANDS?moved away from the drop zone and Mackeson Brittons Hill registered another shutout as both teams recorded victories in the latest round of matches in the Digicel Premier League at the National Stadium on Thursday night.
Pinelands came from a goal down to defeat fellow strugglers Pharmaceutical Plus Cosmos 2-1, and in the second game Brittons Hill jumped three points closer to challenging for the lead by defeating another title challenger, Weymouth Wales 2-0.
In-form forward Arantes Lawrence scored two goals to lead a Pinelands comeback after going a goal down in the first half.
Pinelands played a high defensive line that allowed Cosmos to break a number of times and have a couple of clear-cut opportunities on goal.
After a number of misses, Cosmos finally converted one of these opportunities; a quick combination play in midfield released Donovan Lavine one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and the former national midfielder placed his effort high into the left-hand corner to give his team the lead in the 38th minute.
The introduction of Pinelands’ David Newton provided a spark in their attack as the skilful left-sided player was full of confidence and a bag of tricks. It was his involvement that resulted in Pinelands’ first goal.
Newton stepped past a defender and unleashed a well struck left-foot drive that was saved by Richard Corbin, but Lawrence, with his poacher’s instinct, reacted quickly to convert the rebound in the 65th minute.
Lawrence got the game winner with a brave effort in the 70th minute. A free kick from the left was curled in by skipper Randy Burrowes, and Lawrence, with a crowd of players and an onrushing goalkeeper to contend with, headed the ball into the net after Corbin only managed to get a faint touch.
In the feature match, Brittons Hill got the second half of their title quest off to a successful start with a diligent display against a depleted Wales squad, who were missing at least four of their original starters in Dwayne Stanford and the injured trio of Jabar Greene, Jamar Walters and Shawn Clarke.
Both teams found it hard to retain possession and crack the other, therefore it was no surprise when the deadlock was broken through a set piece.  
A corner from the right ricocheted around the penalty area until it fell to Omar Archer, who slammed home his left-foot shot from under six yards out, giving Brittons Hill the lead in the 39th minute.
Brittons Hill got their second goal in the 83rd minute in spectacular fashion. A couple of strikes on goal were blocked but one sat up quite nicely for Mustafa Haqq, who unleashed a 25-yard “rocket” with his right foot that gave Wales’ goalkeeper Bentley Springer no chance as he watched the ball sail into the left corner.