Barbican ambush Reno in Premier League play-offs
...Axum, Jamalco in 2-2 thriller
BARBICAN FC got their first win of the Jamaica Football Federation All-Island Confederation Play-offs with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Reno FC at the Barbican Complex yesterday.
Former National Under-20 standout Craig Foster opened the scoring for Reno in the 30th minute, before an energetic second-half showing from Barbican saw them rallying through goals from Shaquille Lewis and Jermaine Parris in minutes 67 and 84.
Barbican, who lost their first outing of the play-offs at Jamalco 0-1, have three points from two games. Reno, the former national champions, also have three points after blanking visitors Axum 4-0 in their previous match.
Yesterday, Denton Shedden, the coach of Barbican, said some players had first-half "jitters" because it was their "first time at this level".
His counterpart at Reno, Wendell Downswell, told the Jamaica Observer that his players "could have been more disciplined" while they had the lead early in the second half.
In cool, overcast conditions on a hard, uneven playing surface, Barbican had the better of possession, but failed to seriously bother the Reno defence in the first half.
The Westmoreland-based Reno, while not having much of the ball, held a key weapon in Foster and the striker hurt the hosts on the half-hour mark.
He controlled a long ball between two defenders and slotted past the advancing goalkeeper Nicholas Campbell. Barbican continued to be the more proactive of the teams in the second half and were close to equalising when Shennar Parkinson whistled a shot wide from a promising position just inside the 18-yard box.
Soon after they got the equaliser when a good team build-up left Jermaine Parris to fire a firm, low shot at goal. Reno's 'keeper Dennis Taylor got down well to his left to save, but the lurking Shaquille Lewis was on hand to knock in from the rebound.
Barbican continued to pour forward and they got the winner six minutes before the end when Parris scored from an unlikely position.
The wide attacker, who tormented Reno's left back Junior Neil all afternoon, skipped ahead of the defender before fizzing in a cross which eluded the out-of-position Taylor and looped into the goal.
Despite a late attempt by Reno to pull level, Barbican held firm for the vital 2-1 win.
In the next round of games on Sunday, Reno entertain Jamalco at Frome, while Barbican will be at home to Axum.
In Annotto Bay, hosts Axum and Jamalco played to 2-2 draw at Gray's Inn Sports Complex.
Michael Hinds (30th minute) and Oshane Dynkley (93rd penalty) scored for the St Mary outfit, while Derrick Planter (39th) and Peter Brown (56th penalty) got the goals for the Clarendon contingent.
The top-two teams at the end of this home-and-away round-robin competition qualify for next season's top flight club league, the Red Stripe Premier League.