Photo: Rohan Daley of Jamalco FC breaks the tackle of Davion Garrison of the UWI FC during their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the UWI Bowl on Sunday. Jamalco scored a narrow 1-0 win courtesy of a 4th minute penalty strike from Kenroy Thomas. The win moved them up to 8th spot in the tables.
Jamalco FC continued their steady climb away from the relegation zone of the Red Stripe Premier League with a narrow 1-0 win over the UWI FC on Sunday at the UWI Bowl. A 4th minute penalty, scored by Kenroy Thomas was enough to earn the Clarendon based team their second win in three games and their 7th point of the second round.
After going into free fall midway the first round, premier league newcomers Jamalco endured seven straight losses to plummet from the top of the standings into the relegation zone, but the win on Sunday sees them move up to 17 points and a comfortable 8th place.
Jamalco started the game on the front foot and the game was barely two minutes old when Trevol Smith had UWI custodian Amal Knight scrambling towards his near post to effect a save form a whipped free kick, that was heading for the top corner.
Two minutes later Knight was taking the ball out of the back of the net after Thomas had neatly tucked away the penalty awarded for a handball in the area.
The visitors kept running at the home team and could have extended their lead but for faulty shooting from their forwards. UWI lacked their usual punch up front and rarely threatened Levor Williams in the Jamalco goal.
Both teams were later reduced to 10 men when Deno Schaffe of UWI and Tashaine Campbell of Jamalco both saw red in the 32nd minute for violent conduct.
Jamalco seemed content with protecting their lead in the second half but had to withstand a late push from the UWI who went in search of an equalizer.
Kemar Flemmings shot just over the top from a corner kick, before captain Rochane Smith saw his effort from just outside the box smothered by Williams midway the second half.
But the visitors were able to withstand the late surge to come away with three precious points.
"We have been giving up some soft goals...we have been working on not conceding any goals..once we can score we try to protect what we have. The guys went out there today and did exactly what we asked them to do...and it worked out well today, said a pleased Rayon Johnson
"Some players faltered early in the season but they have stepped up and they are now holding their own. We have to keep working hard and keep coming away with points," Johnson said as he explained the change in fortunes of his club
"When you are playing a team like Jamalco you have to work hard for 90 minutes. Unfortunatley we weren't profilic in front of goal...it was just one of those days where we didn't get anything out of the game." Marcel Gayle said.
Meanwhile, problems persist for former champions Waterhouse FC as they fell to their second loss under new coach Glendon Bailey when they went down 0-1, to the red hot Tivoli Gardens at Drewsland.
The hosts got off to a lively start and came close to taking the lead, first through captain Romario Campbell whose near post free kick was clawed away by Davin Watkins and then Rodave Murray who was sent clean through by his strike partner Andre McFarlane, but Watkins was quick off his line to thwart the danger for his team.
Waterhouse continued to dominate the game and created a few more half chances without anything to show for it.
The visitors made them pay three minutes before the break. Miquel Ricketts shaped to shoot and Keno Simpson took the bait and turned his back. Ricketts slipped pass the defender, drove into the box and then let fly an exquisite curling shot that nestled into the far corner of the net.
Ajuma Johnson had the chance to double the Tivoli lead on the stroke of half time, but he telegraphed where he would place his shot when one-on-one with Diego Haughton, who dived to his right to save the left footed effort.
Four minutes after the restart Murray brought out a sprawling save from Watkins with a dipping free kick from 23 yards.
Waterhouse thought they were level in the 59th minute but the lively Murray saw his goal chalked off for a foul on Watkins.
Ricketts almost had a second goal in the game but his shot whistled just wide of the near post before he limped off the field with cramps in the 71st minute.
Waterhouse had a glorious chance to grab a share of the points just before the final whistle after Watkins pushed a deflected Murray shot into the path of Nathaniel Leslie but the wing back blasted his shot into the side netting.
The win for Tivoli moved them up to second place on 29 points, two behind leaders Montego Bay United. Waterhouse remain in 11th spot on 11 points, the same as 12th place Boys Town FC who picked up a point from their 0-0 draw with Portmore United who slipped to 5th on 25 points.
"It was really a spirited display from both teams. The energy was extremely high. I haven’t seen two premier league teams for the longest while get at each other for a total of 95 minutes," said Omar Edwards coach of Tivoli Gardens.
"My team has defended stoutly and we have managed to get the all-important goal. The end result speaks for itself. Our keeper Watkins has made several saves that kept us in the game but I believe that it was really, really a good game from both teams.
"Five wins in a row is a plus for Tivoli Gardens. We are highly motivated and playing like this we can go all the way, but we are taking it one step at a time," Edwards concluded.
Five wins on the trot sees Tivoli rise to their highest position in the league in some time while the UWI have slipped a spot to third with a rare home loss.