Arnett win tough opener at H View
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Arnett Gardens FC made a winning start in the new Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season when they edged Harbour View FC 1-0 at the Harbour View Stadium yesterday.
With news surrounding the uncertain start to the 2014-15 season last week, because some clubs threatened to withdraw, many fans were not sure whether or not games would be played. Then the match that was originally scheduled as the feature in a National Stadium double-header was changed to Harbour View.
There was also confusion surrounding the time of the game. Hence, the spectator turnout at the game was low.
However, Arnett, which normally start the season slowly, got off the mark, courtesy of a 17th-minute goal by former Cavalier striker Michaelus Martin.
Harbour View were very unlucky not to come away with even a point, mainly through poor finishing and some excellent saves by Arnett's goalkeeper and captain, Damion Hyatt.
The game also failed to flow because of rough challenges by both teams, and referee Daneon Parchment had a busy afternoon issuing several cards.
Coach of Arnett Gardens, Jerome Waite, was satisfied that his team gained three points.
"Well, first and foremost it was a tough game. Harbour View got clear chances, but our goalkeeper, Damion Hyatt, kept us in the game with some fine saves," Waite told The Gleaner.
"In the past years, Arnett started the season slowly, so the three points is very crucial," he said. "I must commend young Michaelus Martin for scoring the vital goal. He was there throughout the pre-season and that was important for him," Waite added.
Martin, who moved from Cavalier in the summer transfer window, was elated that he scored on his debut for Arnett.
"I feel so happy to score in my first game for Arnett. I came over to Arnett from Cavalier and worked hard in pre-season," Martin said.
He was also happy to be working again with Waite, who was his coach at Charlie Smith High in the Manning Cup schoolboy competition.
"It is good to team up with coach Waite again. He is an influence and guided me to be leading scorer in the 2012 Manning Cup season," he said.
"In the Premier League, my aim is to come out with at least 15 goals this season," Martin added.
Meanwhile, Andrew Hines, coach of Harbour View said his team was unlucky.
"I'm encouraged by the team's performance. We created many chances but failed to score. We were good going forward, as well as solid defensively," Hines reasoned.