Finding the right rhythm appears to be a problem for Pattaya NNK United. Losing (0-3) to First Division Lampang FC in a Toyota League Cup game midweek, the Dolphins then faced fellow promoted side Sukhothai FC at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya in a Premier league fixture last weekend.
On a wet field, the Dolphins started the more assertive team but Sukhothai increased in confidence and the visitors took the lead in the 35th minute via Pornpreecha, whose sweet shot across goal beat the United keeper’s despairing dive.
United bounced back almost immediately as Soony Saad’s firm corner was headed in by Woranat but Sukhothai were not to be denied and regained the lead just two minutes later through Sakdarin after a well-placed cross, going into the break with a 2-1 advantage.
The home team’s cause was dealt a cruel blow just 6 minutes into the second half as the Dolphins conceded an own goal from a Sukhothai corner, leaving them with a mountain to climb to get back into the match.
Roared on by the partisan home support, United fought valiantly and were rewarded with a goal from Jae Ho to reduced the deficit to just one and keep the excitement high. Sukhothai’s Yutapoom made several spectacular and reflexive saves to deny the Dolphins an equalizer and in one of the visitors’ few real second half counter attacks, Baggio skipped past a United defender and goalkeeper Pattiwat to shoot into the open net and all but seal the points in the 72nd minute.
Pattaya tried to regroup and had several attempts at goal but it was to be ‘one of those days’ and they slipped to a disappointing 4-2 defeat.
United coach Kim would not have much time to whip the boys back to winning ways. The Dolphins were due to face perennial winners Muang Thong United at home on Wednesday, July 13 and have a tough match away at Buriram United this coming Sunday.