Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
While fans of the beautiful game would have left the Harbour View Stadium disappointed with the 0-0 draw between Red Stripe Premier League leaders Harbour View and title aspirants Waterhouse, both teams expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
For Harbour View coach Vin Blaine, the objective was to maintain the seven-point lead over nearest rivals Portmore United, but with three forced substitutions, including the loss of the team's heart, Jermaine Hue, a positive result was good enough.
"We came into the game trying to maintain our seven points, but things happened that we could not foresee. Those forced changes early in the game affected our play," explained Blaine, who took over as head coach in the off season.
Blaine said the way his players managed the game after the substitutions was very pleasing.
"I am pleased with the point, because, if you looked at the conditions, we lost Jermaine Hue about 15 minutes into the game and then later lost Eric Vernan, two keys players. We later lost Jermie Lynch, another key player, so we did well to keep our focus and get something out of the game," Blaine added.
'Looking at the bigger picture'
Waterhouse's assistant coach, Marcel Gayle, expressed similar sentiments to Blaine.
"We are looking at the bigger picture. We wanted to go to the end-of-round final, but Premier League is the real deal. We did not want to take any chances and leave ourselves exposed, so a point is a decent result," said Gayle, whose team slipped from the top of the table in the second-round points standings, with two games to go.
Not wanting to expose themselves by going all out in attack, Gayle said his team had to play a more disciplined, tactical game.
"It was not one of those games where we played a slick style of football. It was more a more disciplined, workmanlike approach from us, and we are pleased with the outcome. With the draw we kept the distance between ourselves, and the leaders respectable."
Gayle also said that, with two matches to go, his team is still in with a chance of getting to the end-of-second-round final, if they get the desired results.
"We have Tivoli Gardens at Waterhouse this Sunday and then we have Humble Lion away, so our chances are still great, so we just have to take care of our business," Gayle stated.
Waterhouse slipped to fifth in the overall table with 31 points, while leaders Harbour View's lead was cut to five points as they inched up to 39.