Humble Lion’s slow grind to improvement under Coach Lenworth Hyde Sr continued, with a 1-1 draw at their Effortville Community Centre home ground against defending champions Harbour View, as the second round of the Digicel Premier League got under way yesterday.
The point earned did not alter either team’s position, with the champions at seventh on 17 points and Humble Lion 11th on 11. While both camps took heart in the fact that neither lost, Donovan Hayles believes the champions have now answered questions about their resilience after faltering badly towards the end of the previous round with losses to Benfica and Village United.
“We played a young team today and I am pleasantly happy with the performance as the side has definitely shown that it is back on track and will get better,” Hayles told The Gleaner.
Injury to senior players like Jermaine Hue and Marcelino Blackburn was hurting, but Hayles was more than heartened by the performance of youngsters he inserted like 17-year-old Kemar Lawrence at left back and Oneil Fisher in midfield.
The home side also had their moments to savour. Much to their delight, their team broke the recent sequence of conceding early goals, as well as the need to come from behind when Denzil Watson scored in the 32nd minute.
The dreadlocked player is fast becoming the team’s ‘Mr Reliable,’ following up the energy he provided in creating the assist last Wednesday that ensured an important share of the points against rampaging Tivoli Gardens.
Watson’s goal not only lit up the afternoon, but also reflected the general direction of a work in progress under Hyde to get a settled starting eleven. Kimroy Davis, used as a substitute in previous games, was the finisher, but Watson’s execution – from the way he expertly collected the pass, moved towards goal, then dummied a defender before firing past Richard Barrett in goal – was truly brilliant.
However, any hope the home fans had they could enjoy their maiden first-half lead was dashed when Christopher Harvey headed home from a corner in the 43rd minute, to pull the visitors level.
It was a strike that left Hyde visibly disappointed, as it bore the mark of their defensive Achilles heel – inept lapses when having the game under control. However, that frustration was clearly evened out in the end, as he acknowledged Harbour View’s greater exertion of attacking pressure in the second half that could have taken all three points away.
Denzil Watson (Humble Lion) 32nd
Christopher Harvey (Harbour View) 43rd