Barbican inch closer to return to Premier League

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, June 18, 2018

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Barbican FC took a step closer towards premier league qualification with a laboured 1-0 win over Wadadah FC in their Magnum/Charley's JB Jamaica Football Federation Premier League Playoff at the Barbican Complex yesterday.

Barbican jumped to eight points, the same as Dunbeholden FC, but second on goal difference.

St Catherine's Dunbeholden remained atop of the four-team group despite being held to a 0-0 draw with Mount Pleasant Football Academy; who are stuck in third spot on five points with two set of games remaining.

The Western Confederation champions Wadadah of St James have been officially eliminated following their fourth-consecutive loss. They remain pointless.

Andrew Christie scored the all-important goal in the 17th minute and what a beauty is was. The former Portmore United player started the play from just outside his penalty box, combined well with Shaquille Lewis and Tyrick Sutherland before he unleashed a sweet left-footer that sailed into the net past the outstretched hands of Devaughn Hawthorne in goal.

But, despite their dominance, Barbican failed to put the game out of reach and in the end had to be scrambling desperately to secure victory.

Wadadah, the former winners of the premier league in 1992, started with player/coach Daniel Ricketts in midfield and not even the former Reggae Boy could inspire his team as they hunted a crucial away win to keep their slim hopes alive.

Ricketts, who coached the team all year, decided to don his uniform and play after Wadadah lost the first three games and he did show some touches of brilliance in the middle of park, but clearly his fitness level hampered his movement throughout.

But Barbican were clearly the better team and should have won easily, but for some reason, they fell apart, something which irked Coach Wayne Campbell.

“I am happy with the result, but not too happy with how we played. We could have killed the game off from the first half. We brought a bit of pressure because of our failure to take the chances,” lamented Campbell.

“It was nervy; happy that we crossed the line. There is a lot of work to be done, but mentally this is a good boost for us,” he added.

Meanwhile, in the absence of player/coach Ricketts, Assistant Team Manager Dwayne Frater called the shots and he was extremely disappointed that Wadadah's dream of returning to top-flight football is over.

“We didn't play our best in the four games and we made some silly mistakes and it cost us in every game we played; some schoolboy errors,” said Frater.

“I am very disappointed. We had high hopes and I feel like we let down western Jamaica, but we will bounce back because we are Wadadah,” he noted.

“It's a long time we are not in the premier league, but we will keep on fighting so we will try again. It's not the end of the road, we are only sorry we disappointed the west,” he reiterated.

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