Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:Renario Downswell scored Reno FC's lone goal in an otherwise lacklustre 1-0 win over Granville FC in the first match of the 2012-13 Captain's Bakery & Grill Western Confederation football season on Tuesday in the first match of a double-header at Jarrett Park.
In the feature match, another former champion, Wadadah, edged Village United by a similar 1-0 margin.
Last year's beaten finalists Wadadah got their win, courtesy of a 28th minute strike from Curtis Palmer.
Downswell scored the winner in the 86th minute when the game seemed destined for a tame draw, pouncing on the ball at close range before placing it beyond Zavhia Hutchinson in goal for Granville.
Reno's coach Michael Graham acknowledged the overly cautious approach to the game, noting that was the plan entering the contest, but also added that his players are capable of playing much better football.
"It is our first game of the season. We started cautiously. We went into the game tentatively not knowing what the Granville side had to offer. We managed to step it up in the second half, which brought us the goal which won us the game.
"We hope to get better; it's a work in progress right now, but I know we have better performances to come," said Graham.
livelier second half
Granville, like Reno, appeared short on ideas. However, in the 30th minute, Andrew Allen ran past three Reno defenders, but his effort lacked conviction and national Under-17 goalkeeper Richard Trench made the routine save without fuss to keep the game balanced heading into the interval.
The second half was much livelier and with Reno now settled in midfield, the game began to open up, with Downswell directing traffic from his attacking midfield role.
In the 59th minute, O-Jay Richards' surprise attempt at goal from 25 yards almost earned them a goal.
Odean Snow, Deshawn Woolery and Allen tried in vain to find any real opening in the Reno defence line, with Snow coming the closest with a decent shot that drifted just wide of the upright.
But just when it seemed Reno's scoring woes had followed them into the Super League, Downswell showed how it is done, firing into the net to give the Westmoreland team the win.
For defeated Granville coach Gregory Palmer, "It wasn't a classic game, but I thought we did enough to get a point out of it. Reno scored and we found it hard getting back on level terms.
"But seeing that it is our first game of a long season, we will rebound," said Palmer.
The competition continues today with four matches.
Petersfield vs Logwood at Petersfield
Catherine Hall vs Harmony at UDC
Bamboo vs Tomorrow's People at Bamboo
Holland vs Norwood Strikers at EWYC.