Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Newton Sterling was Arnett Gardens' saviour on Sunday night as he came off the bench to rescue a point for them in a 1-1 draw with title-chasing Portmore United at Ferdie Neita Park in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).
The 28-year-old hauled his 6'5" frame from the bench to blast home a 30-yard free kick which gave goalkeeper Kemar Foster no chance as he pulled his team level in the 81st minute to cancel out Ewan Grandison's strike from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute. Had it not been for poor shooting by captain Kirk Ramsay and the interception of defender Upston Edwards, Sterling's impact could have been greater. After being set up by Sterling, Ramsay fired high while Edwards wisely got in the way of another torrid free kick after Ramsay was chopped down on the way to goal.
Sterling's strike gave leaders Harbour View more breathing room at the top of the table as Portmore's two dropped points ensured that Harbour View opened a gap of 12 points at the top of the table while Arnett Gardens inched up a spot to fourth place. Arnett Garden's improvement is expected to last just over 24 hours as Waterhouse were expected to defeat the relegation-bound Savannah last night.
"This is my first Premier League goal of the season and I am very pleased. This season has not been the best for me as I have had injuries and this is just the sixth game I have been involved in so it is great for the team and for me," a very pleased Sterling said at the end of the game.
Ahead of the game, Sterling said that he was not feeling 100 per cent but that once the coach called on him his job was to deliver and that he did.
"I felt a bit rusty, but the most important thing for me and the only thing on my mind was to deliver and I did that by giving the coach what he wanted.
"I knew that I was going to score. The thing is that I do not really miss with free kicks because I do not kick the ball over the bar," added the player who has previously represented Village United and Portmore United.