Second string Arnett go on goal spree in Red Stripe Premier League
Arnett Gardens continued to dominate the Red Stripe Premier League when they slammed Cavalier 5-2 in their penultimate-round match at Stadium East yesterday.
The winners played without many regular starters but still showed class to come away big winners against the home team. Arnett's coach handed debuts to schoolboys Allando Brown of Jamaica College and Oneil Anderson of Camperdown High.
Jameel Thompson sent Arnett into the lead with a goal in the seventh minute. Then Kemal Malcolm scored from the penalty spot in the 28th minute, followed by goals by Michaelos Martin (42nd), Jaron Richards (77th), and substitute Steve Clarke (90+).
Cavalier struck back with a brace by Dawyne Smith in the 81st and 90th minutes.
With the victory, Arnett moved on to 66 points, clear of second-place Waterhouse on 57 points.
Having secured first place weeks ago and sure of the $1-million incentive for the team that ends on most points, Arnett rested nine regular players.
"We rested nine regular players due to injuries and other reasons. It was playing opportunities for a number of other players and they stepped up with a commanding performance," coach of Arnett Gardens, Jerome 'Jerry' Waite told The Gleaner.
"We handed debuts to Allando Brown and Oneil Anderson as it was basically a second-string team. However, the scoreline was no surprise as the players trained well during the three-week break. We are fine-tuning for the semi-finals," Waite added.
Arnett's Michaelos Martin had a good game and scored a goal and got two assists. He was elated with the performance.
"We came here without regular players but still decided that we would show that the team has depth. I just went out there and enjoyed the game. Now, I will continue to work for a start in the semi-final as we intend to go all the way," Martin said.
On the other hand, Cavalier's coach, Rudolph Speid, was very disappointed with the margin of defeat.
"It was a very poor performance. This is the first time we have conceded five goals in a game this season as we had a good defensive record," Speid said. "I don't know what happened today.
"We could have outscored Arnett but missed some clear-cut chances, especially during the first half. It was a pathetic display," he said.
With one set of games remaining in the preliminary stage, Arnett, Waterhouse, and Montego Bay have qualified for the last four. Now, Humble Lion (47) and Harbour View (46) are locked in a battle for the final spot.
In the relegation battle, Reno or Sporting Central is set to join Barbican.
n Cavalier SC 2 Arnett 5
n Barbican 2 Reno 4
n Harbour View 1 Tivoli 0
n MoBay United 2 Humble Lion 2
n Sporting Central 0 Rivoli 0
n Waterhouse 5 Boys' Town 1