Phuket Sports: Islanders entertain with hard fought draw

PHUKET: The Islanders moved up one place into eleventh in the 18-team Thai Yamaha One league thanks to a 1-1 home draw last night with southern rivals Pattalung FC.

Both sides, facing the threat of falling into the relegation zone, were hungry for points in the tense, high-stakes match that saw a new record for attendance this season set at Phuket FC’s Surakul Stadium with 4,118 watching the match.

The Islanders went on the attack early on with a well-coordinated frontline, consisting of Thawin Butsombat, Watcharakorn Klaithin, Watcharapong Jun-ngam and Roland Vargas, exposing Pattalung’s defensive weaknesses in the opening moments.

The Swiftlet’s keeper, Walut Makemusik, was in his element however, and coordinated well with his defenders, Nigerian Goodluck Cliff and Pattalung Captain, Anuwat Jun-don.

Phuket’s defensive and midfield game was equally as effective throughout the first half with commendable teamwork among Nonthapan Jiensathawong, Nenebi Slyestre, Wanmai Setthanan, and Niran Panthong limiting the visitor’s attacking options.

The score was 0-0 at halftime.

Similar to the two side’s meeting back in May, it was Pattalung who opened the scoring, just after the restart of the second half.

Nigerian forward Elvis Wik John outran Phuket’s defense, and timed his shot just right, beating the Phuket keeper coming out to narrow the angle.

Phuket FC’c equaliser came on 64 minutes from a free kick taken outside the box by Watcharakorn “Bird” Klaithin.

Bird’s shot appeared to have received some help from a Pattalung defender, but nonetheless he was credited his fifth of the season making him the leading scorer for the Islanders.

From that point on, the possession and set play opportunities were evenly weighted, though Phuket almost found a winner from another free kick late in the game.

Team captain, Nonthapan, who prior to kickoff had been awarded by the Thai Premier League the Player of the Month award for August, looked to put one of his deadly, signature strikes into the back of the net, but the shot drift just wide of right-hand post.

For highlights and goals click here.

With the final score 1-1, both sides moved up one place in the table, inching away from the five team relegation zone.

Pattalung’s next match will be at home next Saturday against league leaders, Ratchaburi.

Meanwhile Phuket FC will hit the road, next up against 10th place Gulf Saraburi FC this Sunday, an away fixture to be played at Saraburi’s PPAO (OrBorJor) Stadium.

In the two side’s first meeting this season, the Saraburi “Warlords” prevailed 0-1 in Phuket.

Last season Saraburi egded Phuket with a win and a draw. The Islanders will look to grab at least a point to continue their march to safety.

Kickoff is set for 6pm.

Other Division 1 results from the weekend are as follows:
PTT Rayong 2 – 1 Khon Kaen
Rajpracha 0 – 1 Bangkok FC
Chanthaburi 1 – 2 Gulf Saraburi
JW Rangsit 1 – 1 Korat
Royal Navy 1 – 2 Sri Racha FC
Ratchaburi 3 – 1 Airforce United
Krabi 0 – 1 Suphanburi
Songkhla 0 – 3 Bangkok United

Phuket News

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