A wonderful shot on the stroke of full time by Elijah Downey, saved Premiere Classe Paradise from defeat, as they drew 1-1 against University of the West Indies Blackbirds last night in the Coca-Cola Premier League.
The Dover based Paradise side now sits in second position on 11 points behind former two-time champions Weymouth Wales (16 points) and one-point ahead of third placed Claytons Kola Tonic Notre.
That equaliser by Downey scored in the 90th minute denied UWI their second straight win and earned Paradise a crucial point.
Both teams appeared content with just knocking the ball around and missed several goal scoring opportunities, especially Paradise.
Paradise found themselves in a spot of bother when an injured Tyrell Bancroft was stretchered off and had to be replaced in the 25th minute by fellow defender Tito Beckles.
What was especially puzzling was the decision to leave national striker Mario Harte on the bench.
It was a goalless stalemate in the opening half and on the resumption of play Harte replaced Jabarry ‘Papi’ Chandler.
Hart captained UWI last season, and from the moment he graced the field with his presence in the 63rd minute he became an offensive threat.
Defensively, Paradise let their guard down too often and UWI with a young unit led by national Under-20 captain Niall Reid-Stephens, created a few plays that came close to scoring.
It was just a matter of time before UWI registered a goal, and that they did when a foul committed by national defender Zico Phillips on Natari Worrell resulted in a penalty.
Reid-Stephens successfully converted in the 80th minute to give his side the advantage, before Downey’s late strike saw both team share the spoils.
In the first match of the day, Empire picked up three points by defeating Brittons Hill 3-1.
All four goals of that encounter were scored in the opening half.
For Empire, who are known as the ‘Mighty Blues’, Luciano Cigno accounting for a brace in the 18th and 45th minutes while Jahiem Neblett netted the other in the sixth minute.
Scoring the lone goal for Brittons Hill was Zahligh Samuel in the 32nd minute from a penalty kick.
The second clash of the evening was an upset, as newly promoted Wotton recorded a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Scotty Car Rentals St Andrew Lions.
Rick Forde (5th), Kadeem Latham (18th) and Rico Baptiste (57th) all got on the scoring sheet for Wotton.
Raymond Hope netted a brace in the 50th and 76th minutes but it was not enough to save the Lions from defeat.