Arnett Gardens look to rebound
Getting their house in order will be the mission on the minds of the Arnett Gardens players and coaching staff this evening when they host the struggling but improving Humble Lion in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).
Playing in one of five matches in the 12-team league, the former champions cannot afford to slip any further than their seventh place, having occupied fourth position last week. Their latest result was a 5-0 hammering suffered away from home at the hands of defending champions Montego Bay United. That is something the proud Arnett Gardens faithful will not accept and coach Jerome Waite knows that they will have to fix it.
"After such a defeat from our last game, we have to put that behind us and focus on our next game," Waite told The Sunday Gleaner ahead of today's game.
Humble Lion, sitting in tenth position, may just be the opponents they need to get back to winning ways, but the experienced Waite will be taking nothing for granted.
"It will be tough and competitive despite us playing at home and who we are playing. Our fans expect nothing less than a win and we have to deliver, so that is our focus; so we cannot afford to concern ourselves with who we are playing.
"Our job is to deliver and that we will have to do," added Waite, who will welcome back the stabilising force of Dicoy Williams, who has been out for a little while with a hamstring injury.
Williams, who was not present for Arnett Gardens' humiliating loss to Montego Bay United, was a breath of fresh air in the early part of the season as he looked the fittest he has been in about three years, when he led the Arnett Gardens backline commandingly. Williams could have support from Anthowe Dawkins in that area of the field, while a mixture of youngsters like Vishinul Harris, the experienced Kirk Ramsay and Alanzo Adlam could provide the finishing touch for them.
As he hinted earlier, Waite knows that Humble Lions are no walkover. In the middle of last week, they held on against Harbour View to a 2-2 draw with goals from Kemeel Wolfe and former national representative Ricardo Cousins. The intelligent Devon Hodges is still a part of that unit and if he gets the kind of support from Wolfe, his brother Wolry, Cousins and Andrew Vanzie, they could surprise the home team.
Last week's draw with Harbour View could just be the vote of confidence that the Clarendon-based team needs to get their season going, and with them now out of the relegation zone - though not comfortably so - they could be operating more from a position of comfort.