Dominant Arnett Gardens held at bay by UWI

Arnett Gardens FC 0 UWI FC 0

BY AUDLEY BOYD
Observer writer

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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For most of the encounter, Arnett Gardens Football Club could not hit a shot on target. But on the couple dangerous-looking occasions when they did, The University of the West Indies (UWI) Football Club goalie and Captain Amal Knight was equal to the task and pulled off spectacular saves to ensure a goalless finish in their Red Stripe Premier League Monday Night football match.

Hosts Arnett Gardens hit the crossbar with a free kick taken by full back Shamar Pryce from near 40 yards. That was the only occasion on which anything hit goalwards had beaten the UWI custodian, who was outstanding on the night. Twice in the second half he flew to keep the ball from going into his goal — the first time on substitute full back Odane Samuels' wickedly struck shot after he had been fed a pass from a free kick; and later going left and high again to keep out a free kick from talented midfielder Vishinul Harris.

“A bit disappointed, but all in all I have to give thanks we didn't lose the game. The first home game we lost, the second home game we've gotten a point, so it's a plus going forward,” said Alex Thomas, coach of Arnett Gardens.

With regard to their finishing, Thomas bemoaned: “That's been plaguing us over the past three games; creating numerous chances and just not getting the ball in the back of the net. But we have to just keep working and using players and finding the right combinations, week in, week out.”

Midfielder and Vice-Captain Rickardo Oldham, Harris, and the very busy Paul Wilson combined with their front-running trio to give the “Junglists” the upper hand for much of the game.

Strange enough, it was during the first 45 minutes that the red and black-clad Arnett Gardens dominated and had a lot more chances, as they created at will against a UWI team that was totally out of sorts. Amid 'awws' of disappointment, the home crowd let out its biggest roar when Damani “Hustler” Deacon rose from the bench and began warming up. They were hopeful he could score, as he had netted the winning goal in their previous match, a 1-0 win at Tivoli Gardens.

That great hope soon waned when Deacon got into a promising position, but hit wide with teammates unmarked before a gaping goal.

One true saying of the game is “the ball is round”, which depicts its glorious uncertainties. That almost played out when late UWI substitute Trivante Stewart almost stole all three points with the final kick of the match, when he turned at the top of the box and lashed over the bar.

UWI, beyond character, practically played the entire match without creating a clear goalscoring opportunity, as their young team was simply no match for Arnett Gardens.

“It's a fair result given the way they dominated the first half. We got much more control in the second half, so I think it was okay,” said Andrew Peart, coach of the UWI team.

“We didn't create as many scoring chances as we would have liked. They had some close ones — one hit the crossbar, Amal Knight had two brilliant saves,” he added.

Besides Knight, UWI FC owe much to the skilful duo of midfielder Fabian McCarthy, who instituted some degree of order and control on their play, and Zhelano Barnes, who drove their attacking play. However, their transitions were not all inclusive and consistently lacked the numbers to trouble Arnett's back four, despite the enterprise of Shuwayne Barrett.

“We need to do much better in the transitions, and then in the final third we never made the right choices...kind of rushed a lot of the opportunities, even with the wrong selection of passes,” Peart assessed.

“It was a good test of character because the momentum they had at the start of the game was very impressive and we managed to keep them out. So, overall, it was a good point earned, rather than two points dropped.”

Each remain in mid-table on four points apiece, more than a match adrift of front-running duo Waterhouse and Molynes United, who at the end of the third round lead the standings with a perfect nine points.

TEAMS: ARNETT GARDENS — Damion Hyatt, Deno Schaffe, Jamar Martin, Michael Webb (Odane Samuels 46th), Shamar Pryce, Rickardo Oldham, Paul Wilson, Vishinul Harris, Lennox Russell (Damari Deacon 68th), Javoni Simms (Kimani Arbouine 46th), Patrick Brown

Subs not used: Tajay Griffiths, Renaldo Cephas, Jahwahni Hinds, Lamar Nelson

Booked: Schaffe (44th), Samuels (75th)

UWI FC — Amal Knight, Michael Heaven, Damano Solomon, Andre Humphrey, Rushawn Plummer, Shemar Hunter, Fabian McCarthy, Jabari Hylton (Javoy Belnavis 61st), Zhelano Barnes, Shuwayne Barrett (Rohan Beadle 81st), Thorn Simpson (Trivante Stewart 65th)

Subs not used: Leonardo Friginette, Pagiel Brown, Giovani Reid, Tyriyoo Henry

Booked: Hunter (45th+1), McCarthy (79th)

Referee: Daneon Parchment

Assistant referees: Nicholas Anderson, Ojay Duhaney

Fourth official: Andre Farquharson

Match commissioner: Martin Lyn


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