André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
The past has a way of coming back to haunt, and this was certainly true for Waterhouse, who suffered their second Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) loss on the trot, following a 0-1 defeat to promoted Cavalier in their Waterhouse Stadium backyard on Sunday.
Cavalier, sporting five players who once represented 'Firehouse', including former club idol Kevin Lamey, who spent 15 years at the Drewsland club, impressed for large parts of the game, to add Waterhouse to the Portmore United scalp they took earlier in the young season.
Lamey, Cavalier captain Michael Stone, Girvan Brown, Kirk Fletcher and midfielder Jeffery Henry, who pulled all the strings for the visitors and also engineered the play of the game, were all making returns to their old stomping ground.
All had impressive games and their contribution to Sunday night's win was not lost on Cavalier head coach, David Laylor.
"These players are good players who play with a lot of heart and them coming back here to play against their former club was always going to be important. They all played really well and helped us to a big win," Laylor told The Gleaner.
"We belong in this league, we have been playing good football and that is important to us. We wish to maintain it," Laylor added. "This is another confidence booster."
Early warning bells
The visitors made their intentions known after only a few seconds and despite Richard McCallum's save being a regulation one, the sweeping midfield move that ended with busybody Cavalier striker Claudious Blackburn running across his marker before winding up a tame right-footer all along the ground set off early warning bells.
Waterhouse responded with a chance of their own in the 10th minute, but Gary McIntosh dragged his shot wide after latching on to a short-changed back pass from Cavalier's Henry.
That was just about as much as the hosts could conjure in the first half as Cavalier controlled the tempo of the game, hogging possession and frustrating Waterhouse, looking like they were the home team.
Truth be told, despite their possessional dominance, Cavalier were also quite ineffective and unimaginative in the final third and no one was complaining when referee Courtney Campbell signalled the half-time interval.
No sooner had Campbell blown for the start of the second period had Cavalier's midfield puppeteer, Henry, weighted a pass that the world's best would have been proud of.
Picking up possession in the centre circle, Henry, who clearly had a point to prove, measured the Waterhouse defence with an inch-perfect pass that fell into the stride of Blackburn, who took one touch before calmly placing the ball beyond the onrushing McCallum to score into the far bottom corner.
From pass to finish, the goal was a thing of beauty.
Henry's message though to the Waterhouse directors - including club president Ricky Chin - after the final whistle was less lovely.
"A mi run dis!" he shouted in their direction, before speaking to The Gleaner, much calmer this time around.
"I got a rough time over here and didn't get a chance to play, so that why I behaved that way," Henry explained.
Waterhouse seemed to come out of their shell after conceding and had a few half chances, which were each time thwarted by a determined Cavalier defence marshalled by Stone.
Later, an old 'King' of Waterhouse almost condemned them to a heavier defeat.
An 85th-minute substitute, Lamey, who was given a warm reception by the Waterhouse supporters, who crowned him 'King' over the years, almost made them reconsider their affection with what seemed a legitimate goal in the 90th minute.
Wheeling off to celebrate, Lamey's joy was cut short after he was flagged for offside, this after latching on to a rebound following Michily Waul's effort that crashed off the root of the upright.
"I thought we played well. We dominated the second half, but it's early days," said Waterhouse head coach, Donovan Duckie. "It's a nine-month competition and you'll win some and lose some, so if this is our bad run, we'll take it early."