Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Graham hopes Sharpe will fill Reno void in Red Stripe Premier League

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2016 | 1:00 AMPaul Clarke
Reno Technical Director Wendell Downswell (right) and head coach Michael Graham hold talks during a recent Red Stripe Premier League football match at the Frome Sports Complex.

WESTERN BUREAU:

WITH the prospect of re-signing homegrown striker Craig Foster waning, Roshane Sharpe chose a fine time to remind the Reno coaching staff and faithful of his abilities when he scored an 80th-minute equaliser to save FC Reno another heartbreaking loss to Boys' Town on Sunday.

Lennox Cargill had given the travelling Boys' Town a 17th-minute lead, but with the clock running down, Sharpe scored his fourth goal this season to force a crucial result, as Reno were facing a third loss in five matches.

"This is still very much a work in progress," admitted Graham. "Yes, we recognise that we need to fix some things. It's not that the team is not playing according to how we want them. Against Boys' Town, we played very well, but again failed to score the necessary goals to win the match."

He added: "I think we are going to get there shortly, because if we don't have a ready-made centre forward, we have to make one, and that is why a player such as Roshane Sharpe is very important. I was happy to see him finally score again yesterday (Sunday)."

SEASONALSTRUGGLE

Reno's struggles appear to be seasonal, and yet again, the lack of inspiration, particularly up front, has returned to hurt them. It appears it will not get any better - at least in the short term - as it doesn't appear they will secure the signature of Foster, the league's top scorer last season.

Foster left the club in the off-season for the United Soccer League's Harrisburg City Islanders, and after a promising start to their season, in which he netted five goals in three matches - including a hat-trick - the centre forward was sidelined with a leg injury.

A return to his boyhood club was seen as a light at the end of the tunnel for the management of FC Reno, who are mired in ninth place in the League table with 24 points, five more than the respective 11th- and 12th-placed Tivoli Gardens and Rivoli United, both of which currently occupy the relegation places.

"We heard from a good source that Craig Foster may not, after all, rejoin the club as he is due to leave the country shortly," Graham said.

"We were hoping to pin him down in a new deal, but I cannot say what has really happened, except that that may not be happening as we had planned."