Dolphins held by Sukhothai in Thai Premier League

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Pattaya United’s Tatong (right) battles for the ball with Sukhothai FC’s Srilakorn during their Thai Premier League match at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, Nov. 11. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)
Pattaya United’s Tatong (right) battles for the ball with Sukhothai FC’s Srilakorn during their Thai Premier League match at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, Nov. 11. (Photo courtesy Pattaya United FC)

Pattaya United took on fourth from bottom club Sukhothai FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya on Saturday, Nov. 11, with the Dolphins looking to close the gap in the Premier League standings to nearest rivals Chonburi FC.

United got away to the perfect start at the weekend as they took the lead after only 9 minutes of the game: Dolphins midfielder Surachet Ngamtip picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and unleashed a powerful low drive that took a slight deflection as it flew past Sukhothai goalkeeper Eiam-Mak and into the corner of the visitors’ goal.

Brazilian star Wellington had chances to double United’s lead in the opening half, first being denied by an alert Eiam-Mak and then seeing his long range shot just clear the Sukhothai crossbar.

The visitors came out with more attacking intent in the second period and United found themselves camped in their own half for long periods, however they had a golden chance to put the game out of reach when the ball was played across to Picah U-Tra for what seemed like a simple tap-in goal for the hosts, but somehow the Pattaya winger got his feet tangled up and proceeded to knock the ball over the bar when it seemed easier to score.

No sooner had United fans got over this disappointment when Tatong missed a similar easy chance to double the lead as he steered an accurate cross from Miprathang the wrong side of the post.

United’s profligacy in front of goal came back to bite them with 15 minutes remaining when Rodrigo Quintanilha, Sukhothai’s Brazilian striker, poked the ball past Yos in the Pattaya goal to level the score at 1-1.

Pattaya laid siege to the visitors’ goal for the final 10 minutes of the game but they were unable to pierce the stout Sukhothai rearguard.

Pattaya United remain in eighth place in the standings on 48 points, five points adrift of Chonburi in seventh spot.  United’s next Premier League game is a home fixture against BEC Tero Sasana on Saturday, November 18. Kick-off at the Nongprue Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.