By Neto Baptiste
Five-time Premier Division champions, Parham FC signalled their intention to fight to the final whistle in their bid to remain in the top flight when they stunned championship hopefuls Greenbay Hoppers, 2-1, in the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) competition on Sunday.
Playing in the opening match of a triple-header, Parham was led by national striker Tevaughn Harriette who had a double conversion to hand Parham their third win in 16 matches a way out of the cellar position with 16 points.
Harriette put Parham ahead in the 31st minute before a long throw from Hoppers captain, Tomarley Thomas, came off the head of Parham defender Ricardo Dennis and flew into the back of his own net to draw the Greenbay team level.
Just as it seemed the match was headed for a draw, Harriette ran onto a low cross from a Nazaire McBurnette cross just on the edge of the six yards box before slipping a close range effort past the Hoppers custodian in minute 78 to seal victory for Parham.
Coach of the Parham team, Rowan Isaac said the player, who had struggled with injury at the start of the season, is starting to blossom at the right time.
“Well, coming off of a serious injury we didn’t want to, and because of the [players] we had at the start of the season, we found it was more fitting to play him in that role so he would get his rhythm up to par. As time progressed and we started getting the type of personnel we wanted in certain positions, then we pushed him up and he is taking on his leadership role more seriously,” he said.
Parham are now one point ahead of bottom placed Five Islands with 15 points, and two behind eight-placed Liberta Blackhawks on 18.
Isaac said his players have not given up hopes of remaining in the top flight.
“The guys are doing the math and after every game, whether or not we draw, the guys are saying we are still not out of it and we still can do it. We are a little bit mentally stronger in terms of our approach to the game and we are not making the silly mental mistakes we were making at the start of the season,” the coach said.
Hoppers remain second in the standings with 29 points, two behind leaders Grenades who have 31.
Parham will face Old Road in their next fixture slated for 5 pm on Saturday before facing Pigotts Bullets in their final fixture on March 22.
In Sunday’s feature contest, defending champions Blackhawks and Bullets played to a 1-1 draw. Miguel Hernandez put Blackhawks ahead in the first minute before Bullets equalised in minute 58. Bullets are now fourth in the standings with 23 points. In the other match on Sunday, Swetes and Ottos Rangers played to a 2-2 draw. Shakkimba Williams and Ahzinho Solomon were on target for Swetes, while Terry Roberts and Damien Francis replied for Rangers. Swetes are fifth with 22 points while Rangers lay third with 24 points.