Waterhouse miss a trick in UWI stalemate

Observer writer

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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WATERHOUSE FC missed a huge opportunity to significantly close the gap on Red Stripe Premier League leaders Portmore United when they were held goalless at home by the UWI FC on Monday Night.

With the champions falling to Tivoli Gardens on Sunday, the opportunity was there for the Drewsland-based team to make big inroads ahead of their marquee matchup on Thursday — but the single point gained means that Waterhouse are now on 55 points, four off the top, with three matches to go to end the regular season.

Waterhouse started the game unexpectedly flat and were not allowed to play their usual fluent football by a UWI team determined not to lose.

The first goalkeeper called into action on the night was Diego Haughton, after UWI striker Ryan Miller fired in a low effort at this near post. The Waterhouse custodian was in a good position to make the save.

A combination of Thomas and Thomas almost brought a goal for the hosts, but Denardo Thomas failed to get onto the end of the ball rolled across the face of goal by his striker partner Rafiek Thomas.

Rafiek Thomas found himself in front of goal soon after, played in by Andre Leslie, but could find no way past Amal Knight at his near post.

Mark Miller, who has been a main outlet for Waterhouse down the right flank in recent weeks, delivered a pinpoint cross to Denardo Thomas, who got under the ball and headed over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.

Andre Bernal had a real chance for UWI just before the half-time break when he got goal side of Shawn Lawes, but his effort to lob Haughton fell inches wide of the far post.

Waterhouse began the second half with more energy and purpose and seemed a lot more likely to get on the score card, but again it was UWI who had the real chance to take the lead and again it was Bernal.

The visitors had a quick counter-attack down the right following a Waterhouse corner kick, and the lanky striker was at the back post to head the ball against the crossbar and spare the blushes of the host. It was the closest the UWI would come on the night.

Andre Leslie fired into the side netting from an acute angle before Tremaine Stewart lingered on the ball when in a two-on-one situation, and had his “pocket picked” by an alert Deno Schaffe.

With stoppage time almost expired Stewart was presented with a perfect opportunity to win it for Waterhouse. He had a free kick in what would be considered his range and he almost obliged, but was left dismayed as his shot crashed against the crossbar and rebounded into play.

Waterhouse will travel to the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Thursday for what is probably their last real chance of being able to seriously cut the gap between themselves and Portmore United. A win for the champions will virtually seal the $1-million bounty for winning the regular season, while a win for Waterhouse will extend the title race for at least one more match day.

Teams: Waterhouse

FC — Diego Haughton, Mark Miller, Tremaine Stewart, Shawn Lawes, Denardo Thomas (Andre McFarlane 77th), Nicholy Finlayson, Andre Leslie, Ricardo Thomas, Damion Thomas, Rafiek Thomas (Girvon Brown 37th), Andre Fletcher (Kenroy Howell 65th)

Subs not used: Akeem Chambers, Carlos Wright, Oshane Roberts, Keammar Daley

Booked: Leslie (75th)

UWI FC — Amal Knight, Deno Schaffe, Kareem Manning, Kemar Flemmings, Tejaurn Williams, Rochane Smith (Jerondy Henry 71st), Ryan Miller, Akeem Thenstead (Javoy Belnavis 90th), Patrick Brown, Andrea Bernal (Courtney Allen 83rd), Michael Heaven

Subs not used: Nickolas King, Stephen Barnett, Kemoy Atkinson, Dawyne Smith, Taniel McKenzie

Booked: None

Referee: Odette Hamilton

Assistant referees: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing, Jossett Kerr

Fourth official: Neressa Goldson

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