Reno relieved to escape relegation
It all looked good when Girvon Brown tapped home from close range to give UWI FC a 60th minute lead against FC Reno in yesterday's Red Stripe Premier League match at the Frome Sports Complex.
Although the university team went on to win 2-1, they failed in their objective to land a semi-final spot.
The result was equally bittersweet for UWI and FC Reno, the latter, in particular, because of their struggle to avoid relegation, which neither Rivoli United nor Cavalier SC were able to accomplish.
It was palpable relief for Michael Graham, the Reno coach, after news filtered through that Cavalier had lost 0-1 to Tivoli Gardens FC.
"I can't tell you how relieved we are to know we are still in the league. We started as planned in this game, but lost our way after not taking advantage of that missed penalty opportunity," said Graham.
"It was a good enough game for us to win, but we just never got that second goal we wanted so badly. I am still grateful because next season will see us in the league," added Graham.
Reno should have opened the scoring when the usually reliable Rondel Morris had his penalty kicked easily saved by national invitee Amal Knight for UWI in the 40th minute.
He would regret missing from the spot as Brown was on hand for a simple tap-in at the 60th minute.
Reno were again awarded a penalty, but this time the responsibility fell to Afiba Chambers and he found the equaliser in the 62nd minute.
Just as Reno were looking at scoring another to take the game away from UWI, the visitors pounced. Anthony Greenland found space at the top of the Reno penalty area and he struck a beautiful curling shot that left the Reno goalkeeper beaten in the 75th minute.
Marcus Gayle, UWI's head coach, was disappointed as 49 points was only good enough for fifth, while Reno's 34 points was as lucky as it gets, keeping them in tenth place.
"Although disappointed at not making the semis, I think it was a terrific, wonderful first season in the league for us. Now we can build on this and become a major force in years to come," stated Gayle.