United back on winning track

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Coming off the back of their disappointing midweek home loss to Navy FC last week, Pattaya United were in need of an improved showing for their visit to Samut Songkhram on Saturday to face a side who were keen on extending an unbeaten seven match home record.

The hosts dominated possession for long periods of the first half but it was United who made the crucial breakthrough in the 31st minute when Hiroyui Yamamoto latched onto a curling free kick from Rangsarit Sutthisa to head the ball past Songkhram keeper Pinto and give the Dolphins just the boost they needed.

Pattaya United’s Ludovick Takam shields the ball from an SCG defender during the Thai Premier League match in Samut Songkhram, Saturday, April 9. (Photo/Ariyawat Nuamsawat) Pattaya United’s Ludovick Takam shields the ball from an SCG defender during the Thai Premier League match in Samut Songkhram, Saturday, April 9. (Photo/Ariyawat Nuamsawat)

Prior to taking the lead, United keeper Narit had been forced into making a number of vital saves, notably from Wisarut Phannasri and Thana Sriphandorn, that kept his team in the game and both he and the defence were called on again before the end of the half to prevent Songkhram from gaining an equalizer as the home team threw everything into attack.

The second half was a much more scrappy affair with niggling fouls committed by both teams and clear cut scoring chances being few and far between.  It was only a matter of time before the referee lost patience with the players and it was United’s Somchai Singmanee who was to receive the wrath of the official when he was show a red card for a second bookable offence in the 74th minute for a foul on Choklarb Nilsaeng.

With a quarter of an hour of the match still to go United were left to perform an all out defensive operation to protect their lead and despite a few minor scares they were able to hold on for a valuable three points which sees them leapfrog their opponents into seventh place in the league standings.

United’s next Premier League match is a local derby against Sri Racha Suzuki FC on Saturday, April 16 in Chonburi.  Kick of is scheduled for 6 p.m.

United’s next opponents Sri Racha were on the wrong end of a 2-1 derby defeat to close neighbours Chonburi FC last Saturday and it means the Marlins are still looking for their first win of the season.

Vladimir Rubic gave Chonburi a second half lead at the Suzuki Stadium in the 55th minute only for Sri Racha’s Douglas Cobo to equalize 4 minutes later.  Chonburi continued to press and were rewarded with a 76th minute winner from Suree Sukha.  The victory keeps Chonburi in touch with early league pacesetters Buriram PEA who recorded a 1-0 win against Thai Port FC.

Thai Premier League Standings (April 10)
Team P W D L F A Pts.
Buriram PEA 8 6 2 0 12 2 20
Chonburi FC 8 5 2 1 18 9 17
BEC Tero Sasana 8 5 1 2 13 6 16
Army United 8 4 3 1 12 6 15
Police United 8 4 3 1 9 6 15
Muang Thong United 8 4 2 2 11 8 14
Pattaya United 8 3 3 2 8 6 12
SCG Samut Songkhram 8 2 5 1 8 7 11
Osotspa M-150 8 2 4 2 12 9 10
Si Sa Ket FC 8 2 3 3 9 10 9
Bangkok Glass FC 8 2 3 3 7 8 9
Chiang Rai United 8 2 2 4 8 11 8
Thai Port FC 8 2 2 4 6 9 8
Khon Kaen FC 8 2 2 4 6 11 8
TTM FC Phichit 8 2 1 5 8 12 7
TOT SC 8 2 1 5 3 14 7
Navy FC 8 1 2 5 4 14 5
Sri Racha FC 8 0 3 5 5 11 3
Results (April 9 & 10):  Army United 1, BEC Tero Sasana 0; Navy FC 0, Muang Thong United 3; SCG Samut Songkhram 0, Pattaya United 1; Sri Racha FC 1, Chonburi FC 2; TTM FC Phichit 0, Bangkok Glass FC 1; Si Sa Ket FC 2, Khon Kaen FC 0; Chiang Rai United 1, Police United 2; TOT SC 0, Osotspa M-150 0; Buriram PEA 1, Thai Port FC 0.