Sports

MBU scramble share of points in western derby

Montego Bay United 1 Amponsah (90th+2) FC Reno 1 Foster (50th)

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Wednesday, December 13, 2017



CATHERINE HALL, St James — A goal in time added from central defender Nicholas Amponsah, his second in his first season in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), rescued a point for Montego Bay United as they rallied for a 1-1 draw against FC Reno in their western derby played at Montego Bay Sports Complex on Monday night.

In rainy, windy and generally miserable conditions, FC Reno took the lead though marksman Craig Foster early in the second half, and looked set to join Tivoli Gardens in fourth position on the points table before having two points cruelly snatched from them.

FC Reno stayed in fifth place on 21 points, while Montego Bay United swapped places with Waterhouse, moving into eighth place, both on 16 points and having identical goals for and against their record of 11 for and 17 against.

Montego Bay United ended the game with 10 players after striker Dino Williams was controversially sent off by referee Cardella Samuels in the 85th minute.

The striker, who was making his first appearance for MBU after limping off in the 12th minute of their 2-1 come-from-behind win over Tivoli Gardens three rounds prior, appeared to be aggressively fending off a high tackle from FC Reno's Renorio Downswell, who tumbled head first to the ground. Samuels then whipped out the red card, to the surprise of the MBU players.

MBU's Head Coach Rod Underwood, who was on the bench for the first time in about two weeks, described the draw as a “good point, it was a good point to get”.

Underwood told the Jamaica Observer that his team improved after a dull first half. “It was bad the way we played in the first half, but good point the way we fought back in the second half.”

Despite not being on the bench as MBU were battered 5-1 by Portmore United in the previous round, their worst-ever loss in the RSPL, Underwood said it was a good way to start their preparation to face defending champions Arnett Gardens in Kingston on Thursday.

FC Reno's Michael Graham was despondent after the draw, seeing two points snatched away in time added. “This is what has been happening to this team all season. We always create and score chances and then let in silly goals at times,” he lamented. “This is one of our main problems; this is what has been plaguing the team all season.”

Graham summed up the game saying: “We started sluggish and were playing too straight, but came into our own in the second half. We tried to make passes out of the midfield and caught the MBU team sleeping and got a goal, and also created several chances and failed to finish and MBU got their one chance and converted; we need to make better use of our chances.”

Williams could have given MBU the lead in the 27th minute when he returned to the field behind the FC Reno defence, after being treated for an injury. He collected a throw-in and despite having only goalkeeper Dennis Taylor to beat at the near left post, sent the ball just wide into the side netting.

Ten minutes later Donovan Carey fired just high after a cross from Lesly St Fleur from the left side just went over Williams' head but fell nicely for the midfielder, who controlled the ball but was off target.

FC Reno's Shamar Bernard forced a good save from MBU's goalkeeper David Swaby when he got by two defenders, but his hard shot was blocked at the near post for a corner.

A mistake by Omar Johnson could have gifted MBU a goal in the 42nd minute when he tried to block a cross from Williams, but the ball just missed his own goal by inches as it went for a corner.

FC Reno took the lead five minutes into the second half when the fleet-footed Foster caught the MBU defence on their heels, powered past them, and beat Swaby at his near left post as the ball flew into the far corner of the goal.

The Westmoreland team should have doubled the score in the 80th minute and killed off the game but for a desperate piece of defending by MBU's Winston Wilkinson.

Foster was sent through down the middle of the MBU defence and got by the advancing goalkeeper Swaby, but failed to get off a shot before the recovering Wilkinson came all the way back to block his second effort for a corner before colliding in the post and injuring himself.

FC Reno had yet another chance in the 90th minute as Foster missed yet another opportunity when a cross from substitute Kavar Walker just beat his outstretched boot at the far right post.

They were made to pay for their misses two minutes into time added when the Ghanaian Amponsah was left unmarked at the far post and headed home a cross from a corner to snatch a well-needed point for his team.

Teams: Montego Bay United — David Swaby, Dwayne Ambusley, Winston Wilkinson, Nicholas Stewart, Nicholas Amponsah, Lesly St Fleur, Keniel Kirlew (Jermaine Woozencroft 66th), Donovan Carey, Johann Weatherly, Jefroy Leslie (Raeem Pringle 59th), Dino Williams

Subs not used: Jacomeno Barrett, Anthony Drummond, Odaine Nish, Anthony Marks, Javoy McLeod

Booked: Williams (85th ejected)

FC Reno — Dennis Taylor, Craig Foster, Jashane Foster, Omar Johnson, Michael McLeod (Kavar Walker 63rd), Renorio Downswell, Romone Plummer (Andrew Isaacs 83rd), Dwayne Foster, Shamar Bernard, Fancy-Hue Stewart, Tashane Campbell

Subs not used: Akeem Brown, Alfernee Stewart, Chevar Menzie, Hanle Burrell, Miguel Brown, Delon Brown

Booked: Walker (90th+1)

Referee: Cardella Samuels

Assistant referees: Princess Brown, Kemar Bailey

Fourth official: Doyen Tummings

Match commissary: Bruce Gaynor

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