Fresh off the back of an extended break over Songkran, and buoyed in the knowledge Rawi Lohtong, owner of Siam Sports Group, had guaranteed financial surety for the club, the Southern Sea Kirin entered the match in 10th place, two points behind the 9th placed
‘Warriors’ of Suphanburi.
In a scrappy and at times frustrating match played in slippery conditions, the local boys could just manage a point – their fourth draw of the season after just six rounds.
New Brazilian recruit Alonso da Silva again looked competent with the gloves for Phuket – though at times a touch too confident, stepping up to take a free kick just outside the Suphanburi box in the opening minutes, only to be turned back by his confused teammates.
Phuket midfielder Niran Phanthong was causing some problems down the left wing early on, though wasn’t finding support up front as several opportunities went wasted. Indeed, as the first half approached the midway point, there had been few real goalscoring opportunities to speak of.
It was Suphanburi who looked the dominant side in attack though, consistently finding holes in the Phuket midfield only to run into a determined defence, led by the stalwart Nene Bi.
But when Phuket midfielder Porawat Siriwattanakorn was brought down after finding space off an Alonso throw, Phuket were awarded a free kick within range.
After a quick pass, Suwit Najumrern found himself with a clear shot on goal, but could only find the hands of Suphanburi keeper Prasit Nuamsala.
However the move sparked life into the Phuket attack, and Watcharapong Chan-ngam found himself with another chance less than a minute later, only to be undone by a scrambling Suphan defence.
The two sides traded blows for the rest of the half, and while it was Suphan who had the upper hand in attack and the majority of possession, the scoreboard still read 0-0 as the players disappeared down the tunnel.
Whatever the coaches said during the break worked though, as both teams reemerged looking to play a more physical brand of football.
Suphanburi midfielder Yutthana Jongnork saw yellow early for a heavy tackle, a favour returned by Phuket shortly after.
And while Phuket were finding more attacking opportunities than in the first half, they again seemed to have some communications issues up front. Coupled with a determined Suphanburi defence, they simply weren’t threatening the opposition goal.
The Warriors, meanwhile, were having no such problems. After a scrappy passage of play inside the Phuket box, Suphan forward Pipat Thonkanya jumped on the loose ball and found the back of the net after 65 minutes.
But the celebrations were premature – instead of chalking up a goal, he was instead given a yellow card for a heavy challenge on the ball, and the score remained 0-0.
PAs four minutes of injury time was announced, Phuket forward Poramat Krongborisut made a strong break down the right wing, though went for goal from an acute angle despite having clear options on the inside. His shot lacked power, and was easily stopped by the Suphanburi keeper.
Both teams had a few more opportunities, but in the end there was nothing to separate them following what was a fairly lacklustre display from both sides. Final score 0-0.
In their next game, Phuket travel to Sri Racha on Sunday (April 29), before taking on Saraburi at home on May 5.