Speid grateful after edgy Cavalier win
Last season’s beaten finalists Cavalier FC ended the first round of the Wray & Nephew Premier League with their fifth-straight win as they beat Humble Lion FC 2-1 at Stadium East on Wednesday.
Cavalier only needed six minutes to open their account as Gadail Irving’s thunderous strike on the edge of the 18-yard box flew by Humble Lion goalkeeper Shamal Briscoe.
Only 12 minutes later, they doubled their advantage when Dwayne Atkinson’s low cross found Shaneil Thomas who had an easy tap-in just inside the six-yard area for his fifth goal of the season.
The former champions seemed to be cruising but shot themselves in the foot in the 36th minute as Irving turned the ball into his own net to give Humble Lion a lifeline heading into the second half.
Three minutes after the break, Cleo Clarke almost found an equaliser but his long-range effort flew just wide of the mark.
Roshane Sharpe was also unlucky in minute 63 when his curling effort at the edge of the 18-yard box went wide.
However, clear-cut chances were limited in the final 30 minutes of the game as Cavalier held on for the win.
Despite taking home the three points, Cavalier Head Coach Rudolph Speid wasn’t overly impressed with his team’s performance.
“Initially when we started, I thought it was going to be a nice, comfortable game but after we conceded the own goal against the run of play, our confidence went a little. Also, fatigue started to take a toll because we’ve had a heavy load of fixtures, playing three times a week for the last three months. We’re just grateful to get the win. Humble Lion adjusted and stuck to the task but the three points were important,” said Speid.
It was Humble Lion’s sixth defeat from their last seven outings but new Head Coach Vassell Reynolds took some positives from the match.
“The frustration is we’re taking some time to get that cohesion going. We’re in the process where we’re phasing in and phasing out. Today, we fielded four under-19 players so the lack of cohesion would have affected the way we communicate and build the chemistry. But we just have to continue to work.
“We expect some of these results and I think, especially the second half, we saw some good signs and it’s encouraging to go back to the training ground and do some more work,” Reynolds said.
The win moves Cavalier to 27 points, the same as second-place Portmore United and one point behind leaders and defending champions Mount Pleasant Academy. Humble Lion remain in 10th on 14 points.