André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
It was a game of two halves in every sense of the word, but in the end the spoils were shared as end-of-round final contenders Cavalier and Harbour View played out a 0-0 draw in Red Stripe Premier League football action at Stadium East yesterday in the teams' last game for 2012.
The point kept Cavalier (14) ahead of Harbour View (13) in the race for the end-of-round bonanza game, but more importantly for Cavalier coach Lamar Morgan was the fact that his often-maligned defence held firm against the league's most potent attack.
Their previous encounter ended with a 4-0 win for Harbour View in October and their eight conceded goals is the worst among the round's top five. Add to that the fact that only three teams have conceded more than Cavalier this season in the overall tally, with the promoted team surrendering 23 goals so far.
"I felt good not conceding against a quality attack, the defence played well," said Morgan. "It is a major concern, we were not defending well collectively and individually, but there was improvement today."
However, there was little evidence of this on a couple of occasions in the first half, as the visitors wasted back-to-back opportunities in what was otherwise a pretty drab opening half.
Defender Christopher Harvey left goalkeeper Gariece McPherson for dead, but saw his header from point-blank range crashing off the crossbar, before Romaine Lewis embarrassingly skied a 40th-minute chance from well inside the box.
Little surprise that Lewis was pulled at half-time for the busy-bodied Jermie Lynch.
The second half was a different affair altogether, as both teams emerged from the dressing rooms with a bit more purpose, trading early chances and transforming the game to one befitting a contest between two of the island's most in-form teams.
Jermaine Hue's introduction added further spark to the visitors' offence and the national midfielder was involved as John Ross Edwards sent a feisty 20-yard volley, which was met by an equally spectacular two-handed save by McPherson.
Lynch curled an effort inches over the far post from just inside the box for Harbour View in the 70th minute, and Cavalier's Geovaunie Samuda forced Michaud Barrett into a fine low save shortly afterwards.
Fabian Nethersole made his entrance with a little under 20 minutes left on the clock and added a threat on the counter-attack, but it was McPherson who was the hero, going low to deny Donovan Edwards with a highlight-reel reaction stop.
Girvon Brown and Claudious Blackburn both spurned chances to win it late for the hosts, but in the end, as Harbour View head coach Vin Blaine believes, perhaps a point was a fair result.
"We should have gotten two goals in the first half at least and when you keep these teams in the game they will grow in confidence. I am all right with the result, when we started pushing, we allowed them a few chances, but I think the point is ok," said Blaine.
Boys' Town 2 Humble Lion 2
Cavalier 0 Harbour View 0
Sporting Central 1 Arnett 1
GOALS: Sporting - Cory Hylton 51st; Arnett - Fabian Reid 21st
Highgate 5 Savannah 1
GOALS: Highgate - Severo Murphy 14th, Devonte Francis 18th, Donovan Davis 36th, Kwesi Campbell 86th, Shamir Stewart 88th; Savannah Fabian Samuels 24th
Waterhouse 0 MoBay United 1
GOAL: MoBay United - Allan Ottey 85th
Portmore 1 Tivoli Gardens 1
Goal: Alanzo Adlam 66th