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 By Paul Murphy

Leroy Lita opens Thailand goal account as Sisaket beat Sukhothai in T1

Leroy Lita of Sisaket
Ex-Swansea City forward Leroy Lita has finally found the back of the net for Sisaket in 2017.

Former Premier League striker Leroy Lita opened his scoring account for struggling Sisaket as they won for the first time this season, beating Sukhothai in the Thai League (T1).

The ex-Swansea City forward rounded off a 3-1 victory with a late header, having seen an earlier strike wrongly ruled out for offside.

AFC Champions League (ACL) heroes Muang Thong United eased past the challenge of Chonburi, while Bangkok United needed a last-minute penalty to halt the Ubon UMT United juggernaut.

Here are five things we saw on T1 Matchday Four:

1. Relief for Lita as Sisaket bounce back

It had been a wretched start to the season for Sisaket as three straight defeats cost head coach Dusit Chalermsan his job. The 6-0 reverse at Bangkok Glass on Matchday Three did the real damage as the Koupreys looked set for a season of struggle.

But things turned around on Saturday as Lita's side finally got off the mark in T1.

"We needed that," the former England U21 star told ESPN FC. "I think we played really badly in the 6-0 defeat [to Bangkok Glass]. It's a new team and a lot of the players haven't played much at this level in Thailand and it's new to me so it takes time, but hopefully we can push on now."

Lita admitted that it was important for him, as a former top-flight English striker, to get his first goal.

"Nobody puts me under more pressure than myself," said Lita. "I'm here to score goals and, like I said, it's new to me. It takes time to adapt, but I will adapt and score goals."

The loss of Dusit after three games seemed extreme and Lita acknowledged that the Sisaket players shared responsibility.

"Managers come and go -- this is football everywhere in the world," said Lita. "He's a good man and wanted us to do well but we let him down."

2. No hangover for ruthless Muang Thong

Muang Thong United had no problems recovering from the famous ACL victory over Kashima Antlers in midweek.

The euphoria surrounding the club's first ACL win may have made a return to the domestic league seem like a slight comedown. But there was no evidence of a loss of focus as the champions dispatched the challenge of Chonburi with the minimum of fuss.

Teerasil Dangda, who missed the game against the Japanese champions through injury, opened the scoring after 14 minutes, before Adisak Kraisorn and Theerathon Bunmathan added further strikes in the second half.

Teerasil Dangda takes penalty for Thailand
Thailand international striker Teerasil Dangda returned to the Muang Thong side after missing last week's ACL game.

While Muang Thong moved two points clear at the top of the table with their fourth straight win, the Sharks are down in 17th.

3. Hat trick hero Boskovic halts Ubon's winning run

In a thrilling encounter in Ubon Ratchatani, Ubon UMT United saw their winning start to the season come to an end as they drew 3-3 with Bangkok United. But it took an injury-time penalty from Dragan Boskovic to deny them after Mariano Berriex appeared to have won the game with an 85th-minute strike.

Boskovic had given the Bangkok Angels a 19th-minute lead with another penalty, before German midfielder Bajram Nebihi turned the game on its head with a double strike before half-time. Boskovic then levelled matters before the dramatic finale.

Ubon are now in a three-way tie for second place -- three points above Mano Polking's men.

Ratchaburi MF Alharbi El Jadeyaoui
Alharbi El Jadeyaoui felt that luck and refereeing decisions went against Ratchaburi away to Bangkok Glass.

4. Ratchaburi rue missed chances

Ratchaburi were left to regret not making the most of their opportunities as they fell to a 3-2 defeat at Bangkok Glass.

Nattawut Sombatyotha gave the visitors an early lead before Jakkapan Pornsai equalised and Ariel Rodriguez edged the hosts in front. A deflected strike from Tassanapong Muaddarak made it 3-1 to the Glass Rabbits, before Takafumi Askahoshi's thunderbolt pulled the Dragons back into the game before the hour mark.

Ratchaburi piled on the pressure, but couldn't find a way through and lost Nopphon Pol-Udon to a harsh red card with five minutes remaining.

French-Moroccan playmaker Alharbi El Jadeyaoui was denied by the woodwork, and some fine saves by Narit Taweekul in the Bangkok Glass goal.

"I think we had a very good second half," El Jadeyaoui told ESPN FC. "We had a lot of chances, but the ball just wouldn't go in. Personally, I had two or three opportunities, but it wasn't to be."

Regarding the controversial red card for Nopphon, El Jadeyaoui said, "Before I came here, people warned me about the standard of refereeing. Sometimes, it's difficult to understand their decisions. They can be very strict and tonight, I thought he was very strict. I don't even know if Nopphon deserved a yellow."

Matt Smith of Bangkok Glass
Bangkok Glass skipper Matt Smith admitted that his side lost focus in the second half against Ratchaburi.

Bangkok Glass captain Matt Smith was pleased with the resolve of his side as they withstood the second-half onslaught.

"We weren't too happy with our second-half performance," Smith told ESPN FC. "It's probably the worst period of football that we've played this season so far.

"However, there are times in football when you're not going to have the fluency in the game. You have to fight and tonight we dug in and had to work hard to get the three points in the end. Perhaps that showed a different side to us."

5. Superkid Supachok hits Buriram hat trick

Sightings of Buriram's most precocious young talent have been sporadic since a thrilling first-half performance in last year's ACL match at home to Shandong Luneng caused people to sit up and take notice. The Thunder Castle have slowly been integrating Supachok Sarachat into the first team, and the 18 year old has impressed plenty of people since his debut at the end of 2015.

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A post shared by CHECK Supachok Sarachat��⚡️ (@supachokss_) on

Saturday's hat trick against Thai Honda marked an exciting new phase in his development and it formed the basis of a 5-1 victory for Buriram.

Supachok made his first start of the season and he really took his opportunity. His first goal owed much to the awareness of Diogo Luis Santo, whose smart back-heel teed up the chance, taken with aplomb.

It was Supachok's second, however, that really stood out. His skill and close control as he slipped past a defender on the edge of the box were wonderful and his dinked finish over the goalkeeper was sheer class. The third was the icing on the cake and again demonstrated the midfielder's composure beyond his years.

Buriram and Thailand fans will hope that this exceptional young player will become as good as he threatens to be.

Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK

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