Sports

Peart hails UWI fighting spirit as play-off dream remains alive

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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UWI FC gained a very valuable point on Monday when they held hosts Waterhouse FC 0-0 at the Drewsland Mini-Stadium in the Red Stripe Premier League.

The Mona-based team now occupies the sixth and final play-off spot and are being relentlesly pursued by Tivoli Gardens, who had a crucial win over the champions Portmore United on Sunday

The point gained at Drewsland by UWI extended the gap to four points with three rounds of games to go, starting today.

One of the major factors that allowed the UWI to prepare well for Waterhouse was the recent visibility of the Drewsland outfit, the UWI head coach Andrew Peart pointed out.

“We had a lot of opportunities to see Waterhouse, they played pretty much every Monday night and we saw that you have to dominate the middle of the field.

“They have four in the middle and they rely on the wing backs to give the width. We had to make sure we matched them in the middle of the field and try to create superiorities there,” he explained.

Peart believes the draw was a fair result as both teams hit the woodwork in the second half.

“In the end it was a fair result, but I thought we defended very well. In the last 20 minutes or so in the game we saw where Waterhouse had four forwards on the field, Waterhouse had a top midfielder, Waterhouse had two wing backs that were playing like wingers, so they were really going hard for that three points and the team did well,” he reasoned.

The UWI came under tremendous pressure in the last quarter of the game and their coach hailed the defensive solidity shown during that period.

“I think we struggled to keep possession of the ball when we tried to bypass the number of Waterhouse players in our half. We couldn't hold the ball up and join quickly, so that's something we have to work on because there will be more games like this, more games where we have to dig in and really fight. The fighting spirit was tremendous,” noted Peart.

The significance of the point gained was recognised by the first year RSPL head coach, who believes it will also have a positive psychological impact.

“It's very good (to get a point) and also you want to continue the feel of gaining some points at the end of games, whether you win or whether you draw and coming to a place like Waterhouse who are pretty much galloping away, it was a very good point to win.

“Coming here you knew it was always going to be a tough game so getting a point in the end, we are very grateful and I must commend the boys,” he said.

UWI will host a desperate Montego Bay United, threatened with relegation, at the Mona Bowl, while Tivoli Gardens travel to Effortville to take on an uncertain Humble Lion team that has dramatically slipped down the tables since the departure of Glendon Bailey, to now become embroiled in the relegation battled themselves.

All gamestoday begin at 3:30 pm.


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