Jamaica Gleaner / A virtuoso performance from Portmore United’s diminutive attacker, Maalique Foster, saw them to a comfortable 4-0 win over relegation battlers Boys’ Town FC at the Barbican Complex yesterday.
Foster scored one, assisted two, and made the other as Portmore (on 34 points) regained top spot in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) on goal difference over Arnett Gardens FC, who drew 1-1 with Sandals South Coast FC at Frome. Boys’ Town remain at the bottom on seven points.
Portmore and Foster were unstoppable. After dominating the first half, Portmore broke Boys’ Town’s resistance, when Foster played through Venton Evan, who slammed past Mikhail Harrison five minutes to the break.
The tricky attacker then assisted Portmore’s second when he left his marker and crossed for Javon East to score his ninth goal of the campaign. East is tied with UWI FC’s Ryan Miller and Arnett’s Fabian Reid on nine goals.
Portmore continued to have the better of their opponents, and 10 minutes from time, Foster added his name to the scoresheet, beating Harrison with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box.
The 21-year-old then copped a fine performance when he played in East behind the Boys’ Town defence, but with only Harrison to beat, East opted to pass to Rondee Smith, who scored from close range.
“I felt overwhelmed,” Foster said. “But I worked for it in training, so I knew it would come,” Foster told The Gleaner .
Although the former Jamaica College star has not gained the recognition for his impressive performances over the last two seasons, he insists he has a bigger focus.
“I am not focusing on that (getting recognition locally). I am just focusing on working hard and leaving (Jamaica) and playing abroad. So I am taking my time getting there. It’s just one step at a time,” he said.
With three goals and five assists this season, ‘Messi’, as he is commonly called by fans, promises to continue making important contributions to the team.
“I feel good about my performance. I have been working hard, so I knew it would pay off … . Sometimes I am on and off, but I am pleased overall,” he said.
Coach Shavar Thomas said Foster has been exceptional over the last few games, and he hopes that he continues in the same vein throughout the season.
“We know what Maalique brings, and he does what he does very well. He is one player who can decide a game at any point, and he creates goals. For the last few games, he has been doing that, and we are happy with his performance. He has a long way to go (to reach the top), but we know his talent and his quality at Portmore. All he needs is to come every day and work hard and be professional,” Thomas said.