File Photo: Kemar Beckford in action for Waterhouse
Kemar Beckford's 6th goal in his 8th game of the season gave Waterhouse a hard-fought win over "The Stars of The East" Harbour View, at the Drewsland Mini Stadium, in the last game of round 18 in the Red Stripe Premier League last Thursday.
The Stars of The East had the better of both halves, with Kemar Bennett, Andrew Allen and Richard Anderson all going close. Beckford powered in a header at the front post from a well weighted cross from substitute Mark Miller to ensure Waterhouse ended the calendar year on a winning note and a place in the top six.
Waterhouse FC continue to build on their amazing run of form since the return of Donovan Duckie who has lost only once since taking over in the latter part of the year. The pragmatic and hard hitting Donovan Duckie deserves all the credit for his team's win in a game where they created very few chances, merely because of the team set up to face a more creative Harbour View FC and the timely substitutions he made which influenced a positive result.
Harbour View was the first to get out the blocks and should have taken the lead in the 7th minute after Jaleel Chamberlain whipped in a teasing free kick which was nodded down by Andrew Allen to Richard Anderson who tapped over the bar from 6 yards. Five minutes later Harbour View's early dominance showed up again when Kemar Bennett's 40 yard thunderbolt scorched Diego Haughton's hand as he parried the ball to safety. Waterhouse's best chance at this stage came from the Venezuelan international Christian Herira who stole a loose ball, charged forward and fizzed one over the top right hand corner.
The away side had 14 shots on target to Waterhouse's 6 but struggled to really test the goalkeeper Haughton as their poor form in front of goal continued.
Meanwhile, the victory for Waterhouse was a first over Harbour View since 2016 and their fourth in their last 7 games.
Ricardo 'bibi' Gardener side had the better of the chances, and should have stuck their nose in front in the 24th minute with only a Diego Haughton save and a last ditch tackle from Nicholy Finlayson keeping them level at half-time. A stern team talk by coach Duckie at the break ruffled a few feathers as he encouraged them to reduce the turn overs and attack Harbour View down the flanks.
Harbour View picked up where they left off setting the cat among the pigeons. Captain Nicholas Beckett tuned his head to the starry night sky to curse his luck as his well taken free kicked brought out a sublime save from Haughton. The soggy outfield began to take a toll on the Waterhouse players legs as Allen sped past a few players in midfield before being brought down on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was taken by Christopher Harvey which found an unmarked Beckett at the end of it but he could not turn it home from close rage.
Substitute Juvayne Benjamin came close in quick succession for Waterhouse forcing a block by Ajeanie Talbott and a superb save from custodian Joel Johnson. With the injection of fresh legs from Miller, Benjamin and Neicko Williams the home team started believing they could come away with all three points. Waterhouse restarted quickly from a corner kick deep in the second half. Mark Miller whipped in a tricky cross from the right hand side which found Beckford as he muscled his way past a sea of blue jerseys to head home at the back post for a 1-0 win.
The home team managed the game from there on much to the delight of the home supporters. While it was like salt to the wounds of the visitors who are finding victories a scarce commodity. Waterhouse will travel to Humble Lion in their next encounter, while Harbour View will be hosting Boys Town.
Coach Donovan Duckie:
"The president had asked me to save relegation but it's much more than that when you employ a Donovan Duckie based on my track record. My methodology of coaching is one of first world, hence we are trying to lay a solid foundation in an effort to meet our short term objective of top 6 and long term top 1. We are looking at some new prospect in the January transfer window. It's no secret that the team is a little depleted not in terms of numbers but in terms of quality. So definitely we are looking at four or five players. But we want to keep it confidential until the deal is done".
Assisstan coach Fabian Taylor:
"We played well enough to win the game, we managed the game better than the Waterhouse team in terms of shots on target, chances created and possession. It's hard when you play away from home like this and go home empty handed. We have been struggling up front but with the transfer window coming up we are looking to bolster our team up front. I don't want to call any names because we are still looking for clinical players who can stick the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis".
Waterhouse are in the top six for the first time in two seasons following the result.