PHUKET: FC Phuket came up short against Big Bang Chulalongkorn United (BBCU), losing 2-1 on Sunday as the team tried to capitalize on their cup defeat of the joint Division One leaders.
Downpours of rain before and during play, made for a greasy surface and slippery playing conditions for the teams. With five players out of action due to injuries, Phuket had a battle on their hands to secure an elusive first away league victory.
Phuket spent the first 10 minutes of the match on the defensive, but eventually they began to counter after soaking up more of the home side's attacks.
Having weathered BBCU's first half storm, it was Phuket who took the lead in the 46th minute. Niran Funtong sent a perfectly weighted cross to Poramut Krongborisut, who finished with a clinical strike into the back of BBCU's net.
Solid support from the home crowd inspired BBCU, and they took the game away from Phuket over a 10 minute period. Chainarong Tatong scored the equalizer in the 63rd minute and Wattanasup Charoensri sealed Phuket's fate with a 71st minute strike.
A win for BBCU put them in with a chance of claiming outright first place in the Division One standings, but taking over the top spot relied on Buriram losing to Songkhla FC.
That match, also played on Sunday, ended in a 1-1 draw, leaving Buriram and BBCU level on points. However, Buriram's better goal difference of +32 as opposed to BBCU's of +18 means they retain their place at the the top of the table.
Phuket stood a chance at jumping two spots up to 7th, but the weekend's defeat keeps them in 9th place.
For a detailed match report, pick up a copy of this week's Phuket Gazette