Sport

Arnett slip-ups heavy burden for fuming Waite

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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Arnett Gardens Head Coach Jerome Waite was left fuming at his players after they twice let the game slip from their grasp against defending Red Stripe Premier League champions Portmore United, at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday. They eventually ended on the wrong side of a 3-2 score line.

The former champions surrendered their advantage only two minutes after taking the lead in the 30th minute, when Lennox Russell scored from the penalty spot and eventually gave up a second goal on the stroke of half-time to trail at the interval.

They then clawed their way back into the contest in the 60th minute through a strike from Fabian Reid, only to give up a possible share of the spoils when they conceded for a third time, just two minutes after levelling the game.

It was a tough loss for us tonight,” admitted Waite.

“The game started in a lull for the Arnett Gardens team, while Portmore United looked the better team at the start of the game. But as the game progressed we came into our own, despite continuing to play in spurts,” he assessed.

Waite blamed poor ball retention and a lapse in concentration on a set play for the concession of the goals, which he described as unacceptable at this level of football.

“Two of those goals that we gave up, at this level it is not accepted. You cannot give away the ball and just allow the opponent to do what they want to do and at the same time the other goal that came from a corner kick. Three Portmore players were clear on the blind side and one executed.

“It's not accepted but we have a lot of work to do, and these players have to understand that if this is a job they have to deal with it a little bit more professional,” said the Arnett man.

Things will not get any easier for the “Junglists”, as they travel to arch-rivals Waterhouse for their next assignment and will come up against a team desperate for success after they dropped five points from their last two games, including a 0-1 loss away to Reno also on Sunday.

“Our next games is against Waterhouse at Drewsland and we have a lot of work to do to get these players up to where we want them to be,” the Reggae Boyz assistant coach stated.

But while Waite was left moaning, his opposite number Shavar Thomas was basking in yet another show of character by his boys.

“We knew coming into Arnett Gardens would be a tough place to play. Our aim was to keep the crowd out of the game and to be more compact and solid defensively,” he said.

Thomas also thought his team had been generous to their opponents on the goals conceded, but praised the fighting spirit that got them back into the contest.

“We recovered very quickly after that penalty kick, [and] I think that is when we started to play Portmore football because it showed — because we were 2-1 up at the end of the half,” said the former Reggae Boy.

Thomas wants to see his players perform at top level each game day, as the focus is not just on the RSPL but international competition as well.

“We want to win the Red Stripe Premier League but at the same time, we want to perform year in year out on the international platform. We are going to play away games in the Concacaf club championships, and at the same time we have to be tough in every facet of the game as well, as we are building for 2019 and these guys are up for that,” he noted.

A five-game unbeaten streak, which includes four wins, has seen Portmore United climb to the top the league after losing on the opening weekend, and Thomas is keen on paying attention to the details that have helped put them there.

“We are taking it game by game, putting points on the board, working on the stuff we are good at and also the things that we are not doing well at. We are making it better. Nevertheless, it's a working effort week in week out and these guys, they come out and they put in the work,” Thomas ended.

Portmore return home for their next encounter when they host UWI FC at Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday.

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