Photo: Waterhouse captain Romario Campbell was unable to inspire his team to a win over Arnett Gardens on the Red Stripe Premier League on Sunday.
Arnett Gardens failed to gain significant ground on their closet rivals on Sunday, as a rejuvenated Waterhouse held them to a goalless stalemate in a hard-fought battle at the Drewsland Stadium.
UWI got the better of Jamalco FC but the other top six contender in action Portmore United was unable to win which gave Coach Jerome Waite's men a great opportunity to make big inroads in the points difference in the top six in the day's late game.
However, Arnett could only continue that trend in a surprisingly limp display against Waterhouse, whose improvement under manager Glendon Bailey was clear to see in this 0-0 draw.
A point wasn't enough for the 'Junglist' as they still sit six points off their closest rival in sixth position. The point for Waterhouse was their ninth from their last five games and has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and sit a point above the drop zone in position.
The West Kingston-based team will no doubt bemoan some poor shooting by their target men - just like they did when Waterhouse handed them one of their heaviest defeats of the season in the previous fixture.
Superb stops from goalkeeper Omarley Francis kept Arnett in the game when Waterhouse threatened, although Arnett came close to snatching a late winner as Lennox Russell's ferocious strike rattled the crossbar and came back into play.
'Firehouse' more than held their own throughout the the game and should have taken the lead in the 3rd minute as Mark Miller looking transformed under Bailey since his transfer from Harbour View, unleashed a thunderbolt that almost severed Francis' hand before he tipped the ball over the crossbar. The keeper came up trumps again after the resulting corner kick found an unmarked Javoni Simms at the back post, who hit through the ball with his cultured left foot but was denied again,by Francis.
Veteran Irvino English and Simms showed the visitors little respite at the back as Arnett struggled to fluster Waterhouse. Arnett's best chance of the first half came in the 40th minute when Dicoy Williams, who made a wonder run down the right flank. whipped in a teasing cross which found Newton Sterling with acres of space to nod home from close range, but he mistimed his header and the ball went harmlessly to the keeper Diego Haughton.
The second half mirrored the first with both teams exchanging possession at regular intervals. However, it was the home team who showed intent in the 50th minute from Miller's crackerjack from outside the box. The Arnett custodian pulled off yet another excellent acrobatic save to deny Miller for a second time. There was a sigh of relief when referee Gawane Scott decided against awarding Nicholy Finlayson a second booking for a challenge on Marvin Morgan, who was not having as much of an impact on the game as he would like.
Waterhouse's passing in the final third was proving ineffective aside from the odd flashes of Romario Campbell and Neiko 'Engine' Williams understanding.
The Waterhouse native scuffed wide from Campbell's lay off, before the roles reversed as Williams classy first-time flick put the crowd favorite midfielder through. Campbell got away a shot that went wide of the upright.
Jerome Waite, the wiley magician dipped into his bag of tricks and came up with Damari Deacon and Kemal 'Tull' Malcolm. The pair added pace and ingenuity in the attacking third but the defensive quartet of Kymani Campbell, Shaquille Dyer, Jeffery Henry and Nicholy Finlayson built a sturdy wall to nulify the Arnett Gardens attack.
However, in the 75th minute the quartet fell asleep and the Junglist pounced on them forcing Simms to put his body on the line to block a well driven half volley from point blank range from the towering Oniel Thompson. Three minutes later Russell danced his way passed two defenders and unleashed a peach of a shot that kissed the cross bar and came back into play. Both teams had enough chances and should have given the home supporters or the traveling ones something more to cheer about.
In the end they both had to settle for a point, when all three would have done both clubs a world of good.