SPL: Roaring Leopard 3-1 Thunderbolt; Star striker bags hattrick for Leopards
Roaring Leopard FC in need of a win desperately after losing the first match beat Thunderbolt North United in the second round of Sikkim Premier League at Palzor stadium, Gangtok on February 15, 2023.
After an even first 10 minutes, Roaring Leopard FC took control of the game, constantly threatening the opposition on the attack. The threat paid off when a defender of Thunderbolt North United handled the ball in the 18-yard box conceding a penalty in the 22nd minute. Roaring Leopard’s striker Mark Harrison put away the spot kick calmly giving his team the lead. After conceding, Thunderbolt looked for a quick response but sadly to their best efforts, the closest they came to scoring was hitting the crossbar. Capitalizing on the opposition’s missed chance, Roaring Leopard added to their lead with Mark Harrison at the double. Shortly after, Samson Keni of Roaring Leopard hit the crossbar after a well worked set piece, and furthermore added to his misery by making a reckless tackle which saw him recieve his second yellow card of the match, bringing his team down to ten men.
That being the last significant moment of the initial 45 minutes, the second half commenced with more pressure from Roaring Leopard, who seemed like the dismissal of one of their players did not affect their game. Against the run of play, Thunderbolt halved the deficit by a goal with Essel Isaac Kwame finishing off a brilliant counter attack. Thunderbolt’s joy was short lived as, like the saying in football goes, ” Youre most vulnerable to concede after you have just scored”, was justified when Harrison was at it again, just 46 seconds after conceding restored Roaring Leopard’s two goal cushion and sealed the first ever hattrick in the Sikkim Premier League.
Thunderbolt did not look like giving up, pushing to get back in the game, hitting the crossbar again on a couple of occasions and some brilliant pieces of defending by Roaring Leopards denied any chances of Thunderbolt having any chances of atleast salvaging a draw for the team.
The match ended 3-1 in favour of Roaring Leopard FC, with Thunderbolt still having to wait for their first victory of the season. The man of the match was awarded to Mark Harrison Jr of Roaring Leopard FC while the emerging player of the match was also awarded to Abijet Subba of Roaring Leopard as well.
Report by Avinav Pradhan