Bubbly MoBay, H’View to meet in first-round final
TUCKER, St James — August Town earned a valuable point after a late goal gave them a 1-1 draw against high-riding Montego Bay United at Wespow Park as the first round of the Red Stripe Premier League ended on Sunday afternoon, snapping a four-game losing skid.
The draw formalises Montego Bay's place in the end-of-round final with 21 points, where they will go on to meet defending league champions Harbour View, who went into yesterday's late game against Tivoli Gardens with an unassailable 20 points.
Lennox Creary's sizzling free kick, from just on the edge of the box, went over the wall and flew past goal-keeper Jacomeno Barrett in the 91st minute for August Town's late equaliser.
Lesley St Fleur had given the home team the lead after just 11 minutes when he headed home, but he missed several other chances and, according to coach Donovan Duckey, the team "paid dearly".
Promoted August Town inched up to 11 points from their 11 games.
Both teams welcomed the point, and the much-travelled Bradley Stewart, who joined the August Town team on Tuesday, told the Jamaica Observer that "a point on the road is golden, especially when we are up against one of the top teams".
Stewart said further he expected "a difficult game, but I think the players acquitted themselves very well today". He explainined that he was not surprised when Montego Bay took the lead".
Duckey, who made six changes to his regular starting line-up, said while his team failed to get the win, "we achieved a lot of objectives".
"The main one (objective) was to test the strength of our bench and I was pleased with how they performed, they distinguished themselves," said the Monetego Bay coach.
"This is the Premier League, and we needed to see what we had, and we created several chances and should have scored three or four goals today, but such is football," Duckey added.
Despite resting a number of top players, Montego Bay got into their rhythm early and pushed the August Town team back into their own defensive area with St Fleur and Kemiro James leading the attack.
A good move down the left flank led to the game's first goal after at least four Montego Bay United players touched the ball, then James crossing it dangerously into the area for St Fleur to finish off the play with a merciless header past goalkeeper Kevin Graham.
August Town had their first shot at goal in the 84th minute, a tame one from Kevin Wilson that Barrett dealt with easily.
A needless foul on the edge of the box in time added, however, led to a free kick that Creary hammered out of the reach of the goalkeeper high into the far right corner of the goal to give August Town their precious point.
MONTEGO BAY UNITED — Jacomeno Barrett, Fabian McCarthy, Winston Wilkinson, Ladale Richie, Cordel Simpson, Graeme Green (Allan Ottey-54th), Orlando McBayne, Mauracio Gordon (Dino William-68th), Kenio James (Jermaine Woozencroft-86th), Evan Taylor, Lesly St Fleur.
Subs not used: R Jones, K Kirlew, D Anbusley, J Barrett
Booked: Simpson (43rd), Gordon (65th), Barrett (85th)
AUGUST TOWN — Kevin Graham, Rupert Murray, Jeffrey Grant, Gerald Neil (Gue Daley-58th), Shamar Brown, Ricardo Harriott, Davion Alves (Chauncey Delahaye-52nd), Jerome Wedderburn (Rohan Williams-76th), Nicholas Smith, Kevin Wilson, Lennox Creary.
Subs not used: D Haughton, L Russell, M Bennett, K Whyte
Booked: Graham (94th)
Referee: Gawayne Scott
Assistants: Garnett page, Terrence McKenzie
Fourth Official: Veralton Nembhard
Match Commissary: Tracey Reid