Photo: Davion Garrison (obscured) completes the easiest of finishes as he side foots the ball home for the UWI against Waterhouse in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter on Sunday. The UWI won the game 1-0 courtesy of the 17th minute strike.Waterhouse defender Oshane Roberts looks on.
The University of the West Indies FC (UWI FC) retuned to the top of the Red Stripe Premier League for a few hours on Sunday after they clipped former champions Waterhouse FC 1-0 at the UWI Bowl courtesy of a 17th minute strike from Davion Garrison.
The UWI continued to pile on the pressure on the beleaguered Waterhouse team who slipped back into the relegation zone on 11 points, after registering their third loss in four games.
The home team got off to a bright start, using the channels well to run at their opponents and threatened early when the lively Garrison whipped in a cross from the right side, that was just out of the reach of Anthony Greenland.
Not long after however, the UWI went ahead after a shot from Dawyne Smith from the left side of the box, was parried by George Brown into the path of the lurking Garrison, who had the easiest of finishes, side footing home from almost on the goal line.
The offensive game of Waterhouse sputtered to life midway the half when captain Romario “Rom Rom” Campbell fired a shot at the near post from an acute angle, but the alert Amal Knight was equal to the task.
Shortly after that Campbell sprung Rodave Murray on a quick counter attack but expert defending from Taniel McKenzie thwarted the efforts of Waterhouse’s leading goal scorer.
The last chance of the half fell to the UWI when Smith fired a snap shot just over the crossbar after Waterhouse failed to clear their lines properly, following a corner kick.
Waterhouse began the second half on the front foot, Murray firing a quick shot at the near post of Knight, but his tame effort posed little difficulty for the UWI shot stopper.
UWI answered a minute later when their captain Rochane Smith got a shot on target that Brown just managed to block with his feet.
Jermaine “Tuffy” Anderson who had barely managed to get a touch in the first half saw his goal bound effort cleared from almost on the goal line by McKenzie who was having a very good game at centre back.
The home crowd was brought to their feet by Dawyne Smith who twice flicked the ball over the head of Carlos Wright before evading the sliding challenge of Akino Bailey who crashed into the fence as the midfielder headed towards goal. Smith then picked out Garrison just inside the box but the striker dragged his effort just wide of the far post, as he spurned a chance to double the lead and his personal tally.
Desperate to get something out of the game, Waterhouse started pressing the hosts and McKenzie did well to clear the danger from a whipped cross by Oshane Roberts before Deno Schaffe was brave to put his body on the line when Irvino English attempted an acrobatic volley on the edge of the area.
English had another opportunity soon after but his tame header at the back post was saved by Knight who showed good hands and great awareness all day.
However, it was UWI substitute Andrae Bernal who had a chance to put the game to bed but spurned two great chances to do so.
First he was put clean through on goal but his tame effort went straight to Brown who made an easy save. He was then presented with an even more glorious opportunity when played in dead centre of goal, just inside the area by Garrison on a counter attack. With the whole goal to aim at and Brown at his mercy, the former Reggae Boy incredulously shot directly at the grateful keeper who saved well.
The final whistle signalled another three points for UWI as they continue their impressive start to the season and maybe the death knell for Waterhouse coach Marvin Tate who has garnered just 11 points from his 13 games in charge and a single point from his last four games.
“The result is very good and it was a solid team performance…when we were leading 1-0 we decided to sit back and play for the counterattacks,” said UWI assistant coach Andrew Peart.
“Dawyne Smith controlled the flow of the game in midfield for us, stopped the ball, slowed down the game and ensured that we could progress the ball forward, not just from a direct pass from back to the centre forward but through the midfield. We had a very good performance from the team in general today,” Peart concluded.
“I think the guys played fairly well. As is the case for the last six games, we conceded a very early goal and it is very hard for us to get back in the game when we give up these early goals. At the time when the goal came I think we actually had the better of play.
“But when these goals score, players actually drop their shoulders. We have been having our issues as it relates to actually motivating the guys. We have been ploughing ourselves into a hole. I have been trying my best to keep things together but the results are just not there so I will see where I go from here,” said a deflated Tate.
The mood of the Waterhouse coach suggested a parting of the ways with the club is imminent, which would represent the second coaching change in the RSPL this season. Linval Dixon was the first coaching change at former champions Portmore United with Lenworth Hyde coming in as his replacement a few weeks ago.
The UWI slipped back to second place on 26 points after Montego Bay United returned to the summit on 28 points with a 3-1 win over Harbour View in the late kick-off.