Sun | Feb 16, 2020

Fitzgerald praises weakened Molynes squad

Published:Monday | January 27, 2020 | 12:31 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Molynes United’s Nicholas Nelson (left) goes up for a header with UWI’s Sheldon McKoy in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the UWI Mona Bowl yesterday.
Molynes United’s Nicholas Nelson (left) goes up for a header with UWI’s Sheldon McKoy in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the UWI Mona Bowl yesterday.

Moylnes United head coach Calvert Fitzgerald praised his rotated team after their 1-1 draw against UWI FC in their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game at the UWI Mona Bowl yesterday.

Tyrick Stephenson got the opener for the visiting Molynes in the 26th minute before Thorn Simpson equalised for UWI in the 68th minute in a match that had all the intensity of a relegation six-pointer.

Molynes’ recent problems with their poor form was compounded heading into yesterday’s game, with 11 players leaving the club in the transfer window and four of their starting players unavailable due to injury. Fitzgerald credited the players that stepped into starting roles to maintain their seven-point advantage ahead of the relegation places.

“We have lost 11 players in the transfer window and four of our normal starters due to injuries,” Fitzgerald said after the game. “The reserves have really stepped up to the plate, so I am proud of them.”

UWI head coach Andrew Peart said that the point did little to improve their chances of avoiding the drop, with nine games left to play.

“We needed three points,” Peart said. “Coming away with a draw doesn’t really help us because winning today would have decreased the margin that we are behind our opponents today.”

EARLY SAVE

It was the visitors who started the game positively as Shane Watson forced UWI goalkeeper Brandon King into an early save in the eighth minute. Not long after that, King was called on to make another save as the UWI were being put under pressure.

That pressure paid off as the visitors took the lead in the 26th as from their second corner of the game, Sutherland headed home to compound the frustration of the relegation-threatened UWI.

The Pelicans got more aggressive after conceding. Thorn Simpson managed to get on the end of a low cross, but his effort could not find the target.

UWI continued threatening in the second half and had turned the tide in their favour, with Molynes struggling to create any quality chances to increase their lead.

UWI’s persistence paid off in the 68th minute when after two previous shots by Javoy Belnavis were saved by Molynes goalkeeper Kluvi Christian, Simpson managed to tap home from close range from a corner after Molynes failed to clear their lines.

UWI would have one more chance to get a win five minutes from the end when substitute Shuwayne Barrett’s cross was latched on to by the onrushing Venton Evans, but he could not direct a shot on goal.

The result maintains Molynes United position in the table in 10th place with 25 points while UWI are still on 11th with 18 points.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com