Chainat was already guaranteed a promotion to the Thai Premier League next season, but they still sent their best side to host the ninth placed Southern Sea Kirin, vowing revenge after their last encounter saw FC Phuket walk away with a 4-1 victory.
FC Phuket were without coach Somphong Wattana, who recently resigned amid the club’s financial turmoil, leaving injured skipper Suphat Ontthong to take over coaching duties for the match.
Chainat FC went on the attack early, with Puwadol Suwannachart’s attempt at goal flying just inches over the crossbar after just one minute of play.
The Kirin couldn’t hold out for long though, and conceded a goal on 18 minutes when Chainat midfielder Narongchai Wachirabal received a short pass and sent the ball deep towards Phuket’s far post, where striker Suradech Saothaisong’s strong leap saw him head the ball into the back of the net to put the home side up 1-0.
The Kirin kept pushing for an equaliser, but couldn’t crack the solid Chainat defence.
Things got worse for Phuket at the 38 minute mark, when Chainat’s man of the match Narongchai won a free kick outside the away team’s penalty area and curved the ball straight in.
The teams went in at half time with the score reading: Chainat 2 - FC Phuket 0.
Phuket immediately rallied in the second half, and almost scored their first goal of the game just a few minutes after the break, when Tameezee Hayeeyusoh had a golden opportunity to score.
But, as they did all night, Chainat’s sterling defence cleared the shot comfortably.
Phuket missed another great chance when Poramut Krongborisut won the ball on the left of the Chainat area,
but saw his shot hit the goalpost and rebound back into the field of play.
While the away team were left ruing their luck, the home side stretched their lead even further when Michael Burn passed to teammate Puwadol Suwannachart, breaching the Phuket defence and putting Chainat FC ahead by three.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, the game began to turn ugly. Chainat player Pitak Noykwa was the first to receive a red card for a violent tackle, but instead of cooling the situation down, Chainat seemed more fired up and had a second man sent off when Narongchai Wachirabal threw an elbow at Phuket’s Poramut Krongborisut.
With a two man advantage, FC Phuket desperately tried to score a consolation goal, but were unable to break down a defiant Chainat side.
Phuket fans watching the televised game at Noksanarm Café opposite Surakul Stadium praised temporary coach Suphat Ontthong for his tactics, noting that many of Phuket’s best players were unavailable through injury or contract termination.
“If they play like this, we are happy despite the result,” one fan said.
“Suphat did very well today. Our ground game was good and proven to be working. Too bad we didn’t have our full team. I do hope Suphat will get to work with team like this next year.”
Although at times during the season they raised hopes of promotion to the Premier League, FC Phuket ended the Division 1 season in ninth place, with 11 wins, 12 draws and 11 losses.
They surprised many by making it through to the Toyota League Cup quarter-final, brushing aside Thanyaburi AR United, BBCU FC and Sri Racha FC before having their campaign halted by Phattalung FC.
They were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round (round of 16) after losing to TOT FC.