Khon Kaen FC meanwhile, who were sitting one place below the Southern Sea Kirin on the Division 1 ladder, were without several of their stars.
However, it was the ‘T-Rex’ of Khon Kaen who had their first opportunity on goal when Ahmadu Tidshani saw an opening and fired from distance, drawing a good save by FC Phuket’s in-form Brazilian goalkeeper Alonso da Silva.
Five minutes later it was more of the same, as Tidshani stole the ball, only for the Phuket defence to swarm in and clear the danger just in time.
The T-Rex took advantage of their home support, and through the first half of the game they continued to assault The Kirin defence, who were stretched absorbing the pressure.
In the end, it couldn’t hold. On 31 minutes, the home side took a deserved lead when Saksit Yuencheevit pounced on a rebound off the goalpost, and fired a half-volley into the back of the net.
FC Phuket coach Miloš Joksi? decided to change tactics in the hope of finding an equaliser, pulling off midfielder Dewadej Oonthong and sending on forward Poramut Krongborisut.
The change paid dividends immediately, and one minute later it was 1-1 as a counter-attacking move down the left flank saw Poramat Krongborisut sail past the T-Rex defence and fire in the equaliser.
But a minute before the half-time whistle, FC Phuket almost surrendered the lead again when Arwoot Nuchet passed the ball back to goalkeeper da Silva, but due to miscommunication the ball almost went in for an own-goal.
In the second half the home side lifted their intensity, but still had trouble getting past the capable hands of the Brazilian.
As the frustration mounted, the game began to see ever more violent tackles, and with only 10 minutes remaining, one of Khon Kaen’s defenders was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for a tackle on Phuket’s Korean midfielder Kim Won Sup.
With a one man advantage, Phuket applied the blow torch to the home side, but not long after, Suphat Ontthong also received his second yellow, and with both teams down to 10 men, the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
In the post-match press conference, Khon Kaen FC Head coach said: “I was quite disappointed, but I must say we played well. But we had many opportunities to convert that one point into three, so we have a lot to work on still.”
Miloš Joksi? said: “We are happy with the one point. We played this game with at least six of our key players carrying injuries, and the boys did well during the first 60 minutes.”