DONOVAN Duckie returned as head coach of Waterhouse for their last two games in the first round of the Red Stripe Premier League, but his side plummeted to consecutive defeats after losing 0-1 against Cavalier at Drewsland on Sunday.
Claudious Blackburn scored in the 46th minute, the slimly-built player striking seconds from kick-off in the second half while Waterhouse were still trying to sort themselves out at the back.
Waterhouse lost by a similar margin against champions Portmore United in a Monday night game at Ferdie Neita Sport Complex last week.
They drew their opening game against High Gate at Drax Hall, then beat Boys' Town, 3-1, in their second match at home under assistant coach Marcel Gayle.
With the return of Duckie, the same inexplicable selections that dogged the Drewsland team last season resurfaced with the same indecisive play patterns and the attendant negative results. Cavalier, who sported a number of former Waterhouse players, were winning for the second time and, like Waterhouse, have lost twice from four matches.
"I am happy. I feel very good with the victory," coach David Laylor beamed afterwards.
"This is the way Cavalier is expected to play. This is a demonstration of what to expect, but there are still some hitches in our play while we are trying to get the players to gel," he added.
Duckie reflected afterwards: "It is early season and there must be some concern because by our standard this (two straight defeats) is unacceptable, taking into consideration my standard and the team's goal.
"We have lost two games and this is not something that we wanted, but we will just have to continue working much harder for better results."
Ironically, Waterhouse played much better in the second half than they did in the first that was dominated by the visitors. And there was good reason for their dominance.
With a number of key first-team players missing, it was very difficult to understand why Troy Reid, one of the team's major signings this season, was left to scrub the bench while Adrian King was in the starting line-up.
This is taking into account that chief player-maker Vincent Earl, along with Damarley Samuels and Andre Clennon, were all out through injury.
With the midfield barren of creating goalscoring opportunities, strikers Jermaine Anderson, King and Gary McIntosh were hung out to dry as the Cavalier defence of Michael Stone, Geovaunie Samuda and Gervan Brown kept them at bay.
It was not until good sense prevailed from the bench that Reid was introduced. The super energetic midfielder replaced King seven minutes into the second half and immediately, Waterhouse began to look as though they were on familiar territory.
But it all came too late. Cavalier were resilient as they defended stoutly and duly came away with full points to move into the upper half of the standings on six points, while the former two-time champions slipped farther down the pecking order.
Waterhouse — Richard McCallum, Victor Thompson, Rohan Amos, Romaine Barnes, Jahmeel Thompson, Hugh Howell, Nicholy Finlayson, Hughan Gray (Peter Keyes 62nd), Adrian King (Troy Reid 52nd), Jermaine Anderson, Gary McIntosh (Javannie Mitchell 62nd)
Subs not used: K Cousin, D Oliver, M Ricketts, G Gayle
Booked: McIntosh 24th
Cavalier — David Mitchell, Michael Stone, Geovaunie Samuda, Williams Richard (Kevin Lamey 85th), Gervan Brown, Mitchly Waul (Chevone Marsh 90+), Jeffrey Henry, Dwayne Williams (Chad Bennett 61st), Claudious Blackburn, Kirk Fletcher, Andre Forbes
Subs not used: F Nethersole, O Longbridge, E Scarlett, R Thompson, T Williams
Booked: Brown and Henry 28th, Stone 67th
Referee: Courtney Campbell
Assistants: Lloyd Edwards, Omar Mills
Fourth Official: Hugh Rankin
Match Commissary: Anthony Cooke