Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Life without Donovan Duckie is beginning to look up for Waterhouse as the former champions registered their first win without him, a hard-fought 2-1 win over Tivoli Gardens at Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday.
The pint-sized Jason Watson, in the 63rd minute, and substitute Gary McIntosh, in time added, provided the ammunition for Waterhouse, while Jamie Robinson found the back of the net for Tivoli Gardens.
"It is a good result for us and has been some time in coming. This is something that we planned for. Our plan was to get the more technical players in after half-time and make a push for the victory, and that worked for us," a pleased Junior Francis, who has taken over from Duckie, said.
"We are in a situation now where we can get 15 points from this round and then make a run in the second round, and I am optimistic that we will do well," added Francis.
While disappointed with the defeat, Tivoli Gardens' Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey, whose team was losing for the second successive game in added time, was full of praise for his players.
"Such is football … . You get your opportunities and do not take them and it comes back to bite you," Bailey said.
"My players played well today. The youngsters played well. In the last part, we lost a little bit of concentration and that cost us the game, but I am confident that if we keep this energy in the second round of the competition, we can make a run for it," added Bailey, whose team is sitting in ninth position on 11 points after 10 matches. This puts them just a point above the relegation zone after five losses.
With the win, Waterhouse FC climbed two places to eighth on 12 points.
ORDER AND FOCUS
After an ordinary first half in which they looked second best, Waterhouse regrouped, and the introduction of Weston Forrest, in particular, brought some order, focus and purpose to their midfield. His industry eventually paid off.
Tivoli were to suffer from Nicholas Scott's hat-trick of missed chances - two in the first half and one in the second - and his indiscipline which saw him being ejected.
Forrest's solidly struck free kick could only be parried by goalkeeper Edsel Scott into the path of the opportunistic Reid, who steered it home. This was just seconds after Nicholas Scott's third and worst miss. With just goalkeeper Kelso Cousins to beat, he fired wide from close range.
Tivoli's afternoon was destined for darkness as Nicholas Scott got himself ejected for stomping on an opponent after winning a foul in the 68th minute.
Substitute Robinson lifted Tivoli's spirits when he controlled and fired a Keithy Simpson free kick past Cousins to level the scores.
But any hope Robinson had of being a hero was dashed seconds before the final whistle when fellow substitute Gary McIntosh collected a pass from another substitute, Morice Ricketts, who dribbled out of defence, showed good strength to hold off Kasai Hinds, turn and blast past Edsel Scott in goal.
"Gary is a very forceful player who normally produces for us when he comes off the bench, and that is why he was introduced at that time," Francis said.
SUMMARY of Red Stripe Premier League football matches played on Sunday:
Humble Lion 2, Cavalier 2 at Effortville Community Centre GOALS: Humble Lion - Omar Walters 35th, Denzil Watson 86th pen.; Cavalier - Raymond Thompson 33rd, Girvon Brown 56th.
Highgate United 0, Portmore United 1 at Drax Hall GOAL: Portmore United - Paul Wilson 26th
Savannah 1, Boys' Town 3 at Frome Sports Complex GOALS: Savannah - Triston Sommerville 12th; Boys' Town - Rafeik Thomas 58th, Michael Campbell 79th, Romeo Parkes 8th
Tivoli Gardens 1, Waterhouse 2 at Edward Seaga Sports Complex
GOALS: Tivoli - Jamie Robinson 75th; Waterhouse Jason Watson 63rd, Gary McIntosh 90+1
Montego Bay United 1, Arnett Gardens 0 at Catherine Hall Stadium
GOAL: MoBay United - Kemiro James 77th
Sunday, November 4
6 p.m. Arnett Gardens vs Harbour View at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex
5 p.m. Cavalier vs Highgate United at Stadium East
7 p.m. Portmore United vs Boys' Town at Ferdie Neita Park
3 p.m. Sporting Central vs Tivoli Gardens at Brancourt
6 p.m. Waterhouse vs Humble Lion at Drewsland Stadium
Monday, November 5
9 p.m. Montego Bay United vs Savannah at Catherine Hall Complex