Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
"The nil-all stalemate against Reno Sunday came at the wrong time. We needed the extra points to put space between us and the other teams chasing fourth," said Village United's head coach/manager Dean Innis, following their Captain's Bakery & Grill Western Confederation Super League football match.
The draw took the Trelawny club to 19 points, five adrift provisional leaders Reno (24 points), leaving Innis incensed with the outcome.
The Villagers lacked the cutting edge and were lucky to escape Sunday's home match at Elleston Wakeland Community Centre with a point, as Reno wasted several clear-cut chances to take the lead, missing twice at point-blank range in the second half alone.
"There is no excuse about the way we played. It was not our way of doing things and so, it will affect our chances of moving forward. This is a good young bunch of players in this squad, and we did not let it show against Reno, and that really hurt us the most," said Innis.
Village will have to win all their remaining four matches before the semi-final round to be assured of a spot with Granville FC and Holland United breathing down their necks on 16 and 15 points, respectively. Granville edged Harmony 1-0, with the winning goal coming from Jeffroy Leslie in the 22nd minute.
Village have been straddling the gap between a youthful squad and the loss of regular captain Ronique Francis, who is away on trial in the United States with United States Soccer League outfit Charleston Battery. The loss of a number of other players, who opted to play for other clubs, have also weakened the squad, but Innis remains optimistic of a semi-final spot.
"I believe in the squad we have out here. They are young for the most part, but are capable of doing good things. Of course, Ronique is missed, but we can and will be in the top four at the end of the schedule," insisted Innis.
Holland, meanwhile, kept pace with a 3-1 defeat of Logwood. Romaine Lewis netted a brace in the 15th and 50th minutes, respectively, with Roneil Cole adding the other in the 54th. Clevon Quarrie scored the lone goal for Logwood in the 25th.
Mid-table Petersfield FC recorded back-to-back victories with a 2-0 win over Bamboo FC on goals from Dave Drummond (11th) and Okeem Whyte in the 53rd minute of play.
|Logwood Utd||1||Holland Utd||3|
|Norwood Strikers||0||Catherine Hall||0|