Bradford's late strike give Waterhouse early advantageSunday, September 26, 2021
Shaquille Bradford scored his sixth goal of the shortened Digicel-powered Jamaica Premier League (JPL) season to hand Waterhouse Football Club a 1-0 win over Mount Pleasant Football Academy in their first-leg, semi-final contest at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence yesterday.
Bradford, who fired in the all-important goal in the 80th minute, ensured that Waterhouse extended their unbeaten run across six matches and, more importantly, hold the advantage heading into Wednesday's second-leg encounter at the same venue.
It was always expected to be a close and tactical battle between the Drewsland team and their St Ann-situated opponents, who they defeated 2-0 in their earlier meeting in regular season play.
Both teams started lively, but it was Mount Pleasant who held the early ascendancy as they exploited what seemed the weaker left side of Waterhouse's defence in their build-up to get a few warning shots off.
The first sign of intent came in the third minute from young Devonte Campbell, whose stinging, right-footed effort ended up in the wrong side of the net.
Another good-looking shot came in the 11th minute from the boot of Gary Mills, who found space in the 18-yard box to control and turn, but the final effort was charged down by a recovering defender.
Two minutes later, Mount Pleasant's leading scorer Jourdain Fletcher connected well with Kesslon Hall in a dazzling one-two combination. However, Fletcher's powerful left-footed strike from an angle went straight at Zemioy Nash in goal for Waterhouse.
Waterhouse, for their part, enjoyed a brief period in the attacking third where the likes of Rafeik Thomas, Bradford and Andre Fletcher looked promising, but they found Mount Pleasant's defenders in a defiant mood.
In fact, their best chance of the half fell to Fletcher in the 27th minute courtesy of a mishap by defender Kevin Layne, but goalkeeper Shaven Paul left his line well to deny Waterhouse's leading striker.
Mount Pleasant almost broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute when Hall turned two defenders and released a left-footed drive, but was hanging his head as the ball kissed the crossbar on its way out.
With the score remaining unchanged at the break, the expectation was that both teams would up the ante on the resumption, and so it was, as chances fell at either end of the park inside 10 minutes.
Mount Pleasant picked up where they left off in the first half and went straight to work with midfielder Kevaughn Isaacs forcing a 48th-minute save from Nash with a strike from just outside the 18-yard box.
Isaacs was at it again four minutes later, releasing a long pass from the middle of the park to Fletcher who fired in a pass across the face of goal, but Hall, arriving at the far post, couldn't get the crucial touch.
Waterhouse replied two minutes later through Damion Binns, who played in a pass to Andre Fletcher, but his shot, which was deflected off a defender, was kept out by Paul.
In the 74th minute, the menacing Isaacs played a lovely ball through for Hall to latch on to, but the latter's right-footed drive was blocked by Nash at his near post. That virtually summed up Mount Pleasant's day at the office, as they were left ruing what could have been, had they been more clinical in the final third.
This as Bradford made them pay for their profligacy when he collected a pass from Kymani Campbell and made no mistake with a left-footed drive along the turf that went through Paul's legs and in.
With that goal, Bradford joined Harbour View's Oquassa Chong at the top of the leaderboard on six goals.
Waterhouse continued the probe to add to their tally, but Denardo Thomas' shot from a distance was parried by Paul, in time added.
Teams: Mount Pleasant FA – Shaven Paul, Ladale Richie, Alwayne Harvey, Kevin Layne, Devonte Campbell (Kemar Beckford 84th), Kevaughn Isaacs, Gary Mills (Leonard Rankine 62nd), Liston James (Osani Ricketts 68th), Jourdain Fletcher, Kesslon Hall, Sue-Lae McCalla
Subs not used: David Swaby, Prince Christie, Tajay Anderson, Ricardo Gaynor, Sherman Goulbourne, Prince Christie
Booked: McCalla (86th)
Waterhouse FC — Zemioy Nash, Kymani Campbell, Damion Binns, Elvis Wilson, Nicholy Finlayson, Andre Fletcher, Ramone Howell, Rohan Beadle, Shaquille Bradford (Shevon Stewart 83rd), Denardo Thomas, Rafeik Thomas (Roshane Sharpe 70th)
Subs not used: Altiman Gordon, Akeem Chambers, David Edwards, Andre Leslie, Jahvan James, Duvaughn Dunkley, Shawn Dewar
Referee: Veralton Nembhard
Assistant referees: Rolonzo Bennett, Ricton Archer
Fourth official: Andre Farquharson
Match Commissary: Elaine Walker-Brown