Striker Fabian Taylor made a return to Harbour View’s line-up yesterday, but this was not enough to stop his team from having to settle with a point following their 0-0 draw with Boys’ Town in Digicel Premier League action at the Harbour View stadium last night.

The fleet-footed Taylor, who was greeted with rapturous applause following his introduction in the 66th minute, has been out of the game since last season when he picked up a knee injury while playing in Norway for Notodden FK.

The injury was his second in two seasons as prior to the knee ailment he had suffered a broken ankle, which also kept him out of action for months.

“I have had only two weeks of full training, however, coach Donovan Hayles decided to throw me in nonetheless,” said the 30 year-old Taylor.

“I thought it was one of our worst games as we were not playing the free-flowing football that people have come to know us for. But I guess the good thing is that we did not lose, and is for us to bounce back,” he added.

And he was indeed correct. Bereft of a number of their regular starters due to either injury or suspensions, including Marcelino Blackburn and Romario Williams, the hosts were taught a football lesson by Boys’ Town, who camped out in their half, and created goal scoring opportunities at a ratio of 5:1.

Increased advantage

The result means both teams crept up a point in the standings while leader Tivoli Gardens increased their advantage to six points with a massive 2-1 win away to Waterhouse to move their tally to 55 points. Boys’ Town (49 points), Portmore United (48), who drew 1-1 with Sporting Central and Harbour View (46 points) round out the top four.

At compound, leading the way for Boys’ Town were influential midfielder Damion Benjamin and Oneil ‘Bigga’ Thompson, and strikers Michael Campbell and Anthony Bennett.

However, let down by faulty finishing, fairly good goalkeeping from Michaud Barrett and at times stout defending, the visitors could not get on the score sheet, a fact which had Campbell, Boys’ Town’s captain, expressing disappointment.

“We were a bit unlucky not to score, as we moved the ball around well and created good scoring chances,” he said.

“But that’s how it goes sometimes. We just have to try and do better in our next game.


Waterhouse 1, Tivoli Gardens 2
Benfica 2, Arnett Gardens 1
Reno 0, Village 3
Sporting Central 1, Portmore United 1
St Georges 0, Humble Lion 0

SDF AND WATERHOUSE FC, MAKES THE FIRST CONTRIBUTIONS OF $200,000 AND $25,000 RESPECTIVELY TO THE NEW BANK ACCOUNT # FOR THE – Special Testimonial Game in honour of Barrington “Cobra” Gaynor this SUNDAY, 4:30pm at HVFC!

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), Chairman, Mr David Mais, has opened the donations to former National Captain and player, Barrington “Cobra” Gaynor with a contribution of $200,000 while encouraging all others in the private sector, football fraternity and supporters to assist this worthy cause.

Waterhouse Football Club, Chairman Bruce Bicknell responded immediately with a $25,000 commitment to aid the former Waterhouse FC 2006 Coach.

The new NCB BANK ACCOUNT # is 204095744, to make payments or donations for Barrington “Cobra” Gaynor.

HARBOUR View snatched the Claro/Jackie Bell Knock-out title on Wednesday after Andre Steel scored a 90th-minute equaliser for the six-time champions to rally from a goal down against Arnett Gardens to win on 5-4 on penalties.

Arnett dominated the match and took the lead in the 73rd minute when Dennis McKinley fired them ahead.

However, they went down to 10 men three minutes from time when Gerald Neil received his second yellow card before Steel scrambled home the equaliser to send the game into extra-time.

Harbour View’s coach Donovan Hayles was full of praise for his opponents, but thought his team’s strong discipline was the key to their survival.
“In the first half we were a bit cagey and I asked them to come out of the cage and play… and I thought they responded,” he said.
“… I’m very pleased with the players for digging deep and coming up with the victory,” he added.

Arnett settled first in an open, attacking contest, and in the first 10 minutes Marvin Stewart and Kirk Ramsey both had good strikes denied by Harbour View goalkeeper Michaud Barrett.

Harbour View then had a great chance, but Kemeel Wolfe headed wide from Jermaine Hue’s free-kick in the 13th.

For most of the half, both teams’ attacks were spearheaded by their contrasting captains, with the speedy and direct Ramsey creating constant problems for the Harbour View.

Hue, on the other hand, skilfully and methodically tried to pry open Arnett’s rearguard.

As Arnett increased in confidence and imposed their slick-passing game, Ricardo Smith blasted an effort high from close range in the 25th, then Barret had to go full stretch to parry Rohan Reid’s 25-yard drive minutes later.

Ramsey, who has become a favourite with the Arnett fans, broke through soon afterwards, but his effort was blocked by a sliding Dicoy Williams.
However, Harbour View, who were on the backfoot, got a peek at goal in the 35th, but Hue’s free-kick just missed the target.

Wolfe then went inches over for Harbour View three minutes later, with a delicate chip from the edge of the box.

The game followed the same pattern after the break, with Garfield Gillespie heading over the bar for Arnett three minutes into the half.
On the hour mark, Tivoli native Ricardo Stern ran through on a slyly taken free-kick from Neil, but his well-direct effort was parried by Barrett. The rebound fell to Ramsey, who volleyed over the bar from seven yards.

A minute later, McKinley had a great chance from the edge of the box, but fired a wayward shot. However, 10 minutes later, the midfielder corrected his earlier error when he collected a ball on top of the box and danced past his marker before rooting a low shot under Barrett.

Arnett wasted a flurry of chances to seal the win thereafter, with Ramsey Stewart and Stern missing opportunities.

Harbour View’s main threats towards the end of the match came from former Arnett Gardens player and resident Lamar Nelson who forced Damion Hyatt to make two diving saves from a 25-yard, and a then 40-yard free-kick.

In the 87th minute, Gerald Neil, who was having an impressive game for Arnett, picked up his second booking and was ejected.
In added time, Harbour View threw in a last-ditch effort and during a melee, Steele rose to head home a loose ball for the equaliser.

Arnett had the better of extra period and had chances in either half through Smith and Ramsey, while Steel had one good effort for Harbour View.
But during the dreaded shoot-out, reliable veteran striker Kevin ‘Pele’ Wilson was the only kicker to miss his spot kick as Harbour View clinched the title from the jaws of defeat and walked away with the $350,000 top prize.

Arnett’s coach Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis said it was a stellar performance from his team and he is hoping they can maintain this level of performance in the Digicel Premier League.

“This is football, I believe we lost a little (spirit) after they equalised and then we came up short in the penalty shoot-out,” he said.

Harbour View and Sporting Central Academy will contest the second end-of-round final of the JFF/PLCA Under-21 competition at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex today, starting at 6:00 pm.

Harbour View coach Harold Thomas said his team has improved since the start of the second round and he is expecting that good form to carry over in the final.

“We are confident and we’ve been playing well and I think there has been a lot of improvement over the last few games. Our programme at Harbour View, like I suspect it is at Sporting, is one where the young players are exposed to senior team football so they are very seasoned and upbeat,” he said.

Harbour View, who have won the last two league titles, did not have the best of first rounds, but have since chalked up numerous victories to surge to pole position in the league.

The ‘Stars of the East’ topped the second round with 24 points and lead the overall standings with 44 from 22 matches.
The Clarendon-based Sporting Central added 20 points in the second round to finish behind Harbour View and are also second in the overall standings, trailing their eastern rivals by a single point.

The teams battled to a 0-0 stalemate in their league clash at the Harbour View Mini-Stadium last Friday, but Thomas told the Observer that the draw will not have any impact on today’s game.

“In any final it’s about the effort and fighting spirit that is there on the day and I think that any advantage for either team will come from the will power on the day. Given our long-term goal to retain the title, it would be a morale-booster to win (today),” Thomas said.

His Sporting Central counterpart, Nigel Stewart, has also expressed confidence and is determined to grab an end-of-round title after losing the first one to Portmore United.

“They are a good team and they have won the competition the last two seasons, but at the start of the season we set a plan to win the finals and to win the league. We got in the first final and we lost to Portmore so we are even further motivated to do well.

“We are a young and very rounded team and really depend on everybody to play their role. I don’t think we rely on any single player or position because it’s more of a team effort,” Stewart said.

HARBOUR View’s manager Vin Blaine was pleased with his team’s defending after they eked out a crucial 1-0 victory over Waterhouse in Sunday’s third round Digicel Premier League clash at the mini-stadium.

“We defended stoutly and I think that was the difference in the game… we didn’t concede any goals so we must be satisfied with that. That’s the aim; to score and not let the opponents score and I think we defended well.

“Whenever Harbour View and Waterhouse play it’s always going to be a tough game and I think the early goal that we scored helped us… (to) settled down a bit,” he said.

The all-important goal came in the seventh minute when defender Christopher Harvey rose majestically and unchallenged to power into the net from Jermaine Hue’s pin-point corner kick.

The reigning champions Harbour View, who are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run, moved to second in the standings on 45 points, while Waterhouse continued their dismal run since an impressive first round and remained two points behind in fifth.

Both teams started positively on a patchy surface in east Kingston in the early exchanges, and despite Harvey’s well-taken goal, the visitors remained composed and launched a series of attacks in search of the equaliser.

Harbour View were not to be outdone and triggered a few counters of their own before they consolidated late on and held on desperately to keep the one-goal advantage.

Waterhouse coach Baris Johnson, while disappointed with the loss, was happy with the way his team rallied after going behind so early in the game.

“I’m not too disappointed in the way we played because I think we did well after we conceded a soft goal. I think we dominated the game from there, but it is just unfortunate we didn’t get on the score sheet.

“We are in good shape and in good form and I think we fought hard so it’s unfortunate we came out on the losing end. We need to get a little bit more movement off the ball and if we had that we perhaps would have been able to open them up a bit,” he said.


Harbour View — Michard Barrett, Dicoy Williams, Montrose Phinn, Christopher Harvey, Kimorllie Brissett, Fabian Campbell, Marcelino Blackburn, Kemeel Wolfe (Lamar Nelson 67th), Jermaine Hue (Nicholas Beckett 84th), Ranique Muir (Andre Steele 76th), Lennox Creary.
Subs not used: Devon Haughton, Lamar Hodges, Clifton Waugh, Elton Thompson
Booked: Brissett (56th)

Waterhouse — Richard McCallum, Keneil Moodie, Odain Simpson, Stephen Williams (Kenardo Forbes 68th), Rohan Amos, Weston Forrest, Hugh Howell, Vincent Earl, Jason Watson (Akeem Thenstead 87th), Jonathan Williams, Jermaine Anderson (Peter Keyes 68th).
Subs not used: Dwight Lewis, Ashani Walker, Joel Messam, Jermaine Fletcher
Booked: Amos (55th), Howell (67th), Forrest (90+3)
Referee: Kevin Morrison

Assistants: Lloyd Reader and Damion Williams
Fourth Official: Doyen Tummings
Match Commissary: Richard Nathan

The tough tackling, Reggae Boyz Midfielder departed the island on Thursday morning en route to Texas, where he will rejoin forces temporarily with his teammate Lovel Palmer, who is in his second year at the club.

Diminutive in size but extra-ordinary in spirit, the 26 year old “little warrior” will seek to put-out 100% effort to make a lasting impression on the technical staff throughout a series of seven (7) competitive practice matches between February 10 to February 27th, when he is scheduled to return home.

The defending Premier League Champions leader, will miss the KSAFA Jackie Bell Knockout Final next Wednesday, after assisting in the important 2-1 semifinal victory over old rivals Boys’ Town FC on Sunday

Substitute Andre Steele blasted in the late winner as Harbour View carved out a 2-1 beating of 10-man Boys’ Town in the semi-final of the Claro/Jackie Bell Knockout at the Compound on Sunday.

Schoolboy Jamiel Hardware had given the Boys’ Town team the lead early in the game before Harbour View’s Kemeel Wolfe pulled his team level just before the half-time interval.

Harbour View will face Arnett Gardens in the final after the latter edged Waterhouse 1-0 in the opening match of the double-header.

Harbour View coach Donavan Hayes said his team’s improved showing in the second half allowed them to break the rigid resistance of the Red Brigade.

“I gave them a bit of a tongue-lashing at the break and they really picked it up in the second half and you could really see that we created more chances. The first half we were flat and Boys’ Town pressured us and gave us a tough time, which is something we expect whenever we play them, but (in the) second half we were much more dominant,” he said.

The ‘Stars of the East’ were pushed on the back-foot early when Hardware pounced on a loose ball in the box and watched as his miscued effort looped beyond the outstretched palms of goalkeeper Michaud Barrett in the third minute of play.

Apparently stunned by the goal, Harbour View constantly gave the ball away and had to defend countless early attacks from the marauding Collie Smith Drive-based team.

In the 42nd minute, Harbour View were given a life-line when indecisive Boys’ Town defending allowed Wolfe’s close range finish after tidy work from Rafeik Thomas.

The second half was a more bruising affair as both teams fought desperately and at times, wildly, for the go-ahead goal. Wolfe had a second half effort disallowed for suspicion of off-side, before the game took an ugly turn in the 74th minute when Boys’ Town player Anthony Bennett was sent packing after getting a second yellow card for a hand-slapping challenge on Kimorllie Brissett.

Harbour View’s midfield conductor Jermaine Hue, who had several verbal clashes with opposing player Daemon Benjamin, became more influential as space opened up, but the home team failed to make full use of the one-man advantage.

Hue had the last laugh in the 89th minute when he split the Boys’ Town defence with an incisive pass which allowed Steele to cannon a right-footer past”keeper Philmore Crumbie.

Boys’ Town coach Andrew Price chided his team’s inefficiency in front of goal and blamed indiscipline as the main reason for the flurry of yellow cards handed out in the second half.

“We had several opportunities to go further ahead in the first half and we missed them. I can’t fault the overall effort, but we need to be more clinical in front of goal, otherwise, missed chances will come back to haunt us,” he said.

HVFC Advances on the away goal rule, over Tivoli Gardens FC after a 2-2 draw at the Edward Seaga Complex, to go to Sunday’s semifinal against Boys’ Town FC,

A 45th minute give and go between Andre Steele and Ranique Muir caught the opposition of guard as they advanced down the leftside to slip pass the advancing Edsel Scott in goal. Steele then curled a beauty to make it 2-0 before Tivoli replied with two well taken strikes.

Firstly, substitute Roland Dean latched onto a bobbling loose ball, falling behind the defence to crack home a superb 20 yards volley leaving Michaud Barrett with absolutely no chance. Then a late freekick from Christopher “Iggy” Jackson was unstoppable to equalise.

It will be a double-header at the Harbour View Stadium with Waterhouse FC versus Arnett Gardens FC at 4pm and Harbour View FC  versus Boys’ Town FC at 7pm.

In what would have been a breath-taking victory at the death turned out to be a well contested draw in the top of the table clash at Portmore United.

Rafiek had a similar effort on 36 minutes when he again beat the stranded custodian to see his shot dribble wide of the opposite upright in a disappointing night of finishing for the marksman, when only a few goalscoring chances were created in a tight contest.

Marcelino Blackburn, was in the same vain as he snapped at 2 chances at the back post hitting the side-netting both times but not the right side of the nylon.

A gripping battle ensued throughout as both title contenders when for maximum points skewed by tactical approaches that made it a treat for the football connoisseur, as the average spectator stayed glued to the edge of his seat as the intrigued built in the last 30 minutes.

Portmore United’s main striker, Steven Morrisey was hurt late in the first half, as a hamstring twinge forced him to be replaced by Errol Stevens.

PU Substitute Tremaine Stewart came closest to scoring after 85 minutes when his sizzling right-footer kissed the crossbar on its way out of play, truly a remarkable strike from about 30 yards had the entire stadium abuzz with expectations of a goal.

Both Coaches savoured the point earned but rued the absence of three to climb up the competitive tables, as only Waterhouse FC won on Day 26 when all other 5 games ended in draws.

Jamaica captain impresses at Atlanta Beat trial

KENNESAW, Georgia, USA: Jamaica international football captain, Taneisha Vassell, will know this afternoon if she has made the cut to join the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league in the United States, after completing a rigorous two-day trial with the Atlanta Beat club yesterday.
Vassell, a 29-year-old midfielder from St Andrew, was one of two Jamaica representatives who participated in the trials.

St James native Alicia Wilson, a 31-year-old who played at central defence, was not selected for yesterday’s final full-field scrimmage, which signalled her elimination from contention for an invitation to the Beat’s pre-season training camp, which begins in March.

Wilson and Vassell, who have played at US colleges, were hoping to join national teammate Omolyn Davis in the WPS, among the top women’s leagues in the world.

Davis was recently drafted out of George Mason University by the Washington Freedom and is likely to make her pro debut when the seven-team WPS season kicks off in April.

Wilson, still troubled by a knee injury she suffered in December, did not find favour with Beat head coach James Galanis, although she impressed some observers at the trial as one of the most accomplished players on show.

She admitted, however, that the injury, which kept her out of football for a month and forced her to leave the field once during the trial’s first day, did not allow her to perform at her best. Even then, she reasoned, she could still have been among the final group from the 50-plus players who participated at the open tryout based on ability.

“I honestly thought I was one of the better players out there,” said Wilson, who has played professionally in Iceland the past few seasons. “I don’t know what they’re looking for. Only they know what they are looking for.”

Galanis indicated that the club is interested in selecting “between two and six” players to supplement the WPS squad.
Impressive performance

Despite not being fully fit after conceding that she had not trained since November, Vassell impressed Galanis with her hard tackling, composure on the ball and quick recovery on defence, catapulting her into a group of about 10 still in contention for selection.

“(Taneisha) did great,” the coach said at the end of the trial. “She has a lot of potential and she’s in the mix (for selection). Obviously she’s very skilled on the ball, good in tight spaces. She was a tough tackler as well; not afraid to go in. She was fast. Nice, solid player.”
According to Galanis, players will be notified via email before 5 p.m. today if they made the Beat squad.

For Vassell, currently a final-year student at Western Texas College, selection would mean another step to accomplishing her lifelong goal.
“This is my dream, to play professional soccer,” she said.

Testing programme

Over two days, despite the perfect weather for football, Vassell and Wilson, the sister of former Jamaica youth player Keith Wilson, were put through a testing programme of physical and technical drills, plus small-sided games and full-field scrimmages, which left both players sore after day one.

Saturday’s session lasted close to four hours. Yesterday’s was about an hour shorter.

Vassell hopes if she makes the team it will open doors for other women footballers from her homeland.

“I’m coming here to just make the team and do my best, really,” said Vassell, “so I can make other opportunities for Jamaica.”
She said she was satisfied with her performance and believes she has “a pretty good chance” to join the Beat. If she doesn’t, she will likely join another club in the US as, Vassell said, she had received offers elsewhere.

WPS players are among the highest paid female footballers in the world, with salaries ranging “from US$20,000-plus to high US six figures,” a league source said.

Many of the world’s top players, including Brazil’s Marta, have joined the league, plus the best of the US national team, which has won World Cup and Olympic titles.

The Beat was one of two WPS expansion franchises in 2010 when the team finished last in the standings. However, the club has reportedly acquired several US national players for the 2011 season.