Rivoli United hold Waterhouse 1-1
RELEGATION-bound Rivoli United fought off a fierce early spell of dynamic attacking football from Waterhouse FC to earn a 1-1 draw in a crucial Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game at Drewsland on Monday night.
Kenroy Howell gave the home team an eighth-minute lead, but captain fantastic Devon Hodges pulled his team level in minute 68.
Waterhouse, fresh from qualifying for the CONCACAF Club Championship phase and a 3-0 drubbing of bottom-placed team August Town on last, displayed riveting football early on and were duly rewarded when Howell struck.
The early goal immediately raised the expectation of another carnage against Rivoli, who like August Town, are the cellar dwellers, being second from the bottom at that time on 31 points.
But the third-placed team in the RSPL standing only flattered to deceive as no less than three easy chances were missed with skipper Damarley Samuels, who made the goalscoring pass to Howell, 11 minutes later, unbelievably missing by going wide of the mark at the far post.
Waterhouse began to press for corrective measures to the first half discontent, upon the resumption, but striker Juvaune Benjamin, who was on target in his two previous games, was wasteful with another clear goalscoring opportunity.
He was not alone in that respect but he was better placed to double the score and instead of going between the uprights found the side netting with a fierce shot.
Hodges, who was kept in check for the entire first half, got his first real look in at goal early in the second half, but with Richard McCallum beaten, his right-footed shot missed its mark at the near post.
It was the first real sign that the game was heading in Rivoli's direction and 60 minutes after Waterhouse had scored, Hodges got between the Waterhouse defenders in a goalmouth tangle and equalised to throw a lifeline to Rivoli to move up to 32 points.
They now join former struggling champions Portmore United and Boys' Town, who are separated only by goal difference in the relegation zone, while Waterhouse passed up a grand chance of returning to the top of the pack with a victory.
They remain in third position on 47 points, with Harbour View in second, and Montego Bay United at the top of the standings on 48.
Teams: Waterhouse FC — Richard McCallum, Nicholi Finlayson, Omar Walcott, Oshane Roberts, Romario Campbell (Steve Broderick 85th), Ramone Howell, Hughan Gray (Vincent Earle 73rd), Damarley Samuels, Weston Forrest, Juvaune Benjamin (Marvin Morgan 66th), Kenroy Howell
Subs not used: K Cousins, R Amos, K Brissett, K Brown
Booked: R Howell (76th), Samuels (77th)
Rivoli United — Marlon Henry, Jermaine Henry, Fabian Gordon, Barrington Price, Keith Wright, Raymond Williamson, Kemar Bennett (Davion Garrison 46th), Kenny Lee (Barrington Planter 90th), Jeremy Nelson, Devon Hodges, Cory Burke
Subs not used: G Brown, K Campbell, D Reid, M Harrison, J Vassell
Booked: Lee (74th), Gordon (80th)
Referee: Valdin Legister
Assistant Referees: Stacy-Ann Greyson, Princess Brown
Fourth Official: Courtney Campbell
Match Commissary: Anthony Cooke