TG, Waterhouse hunt back-to-back victories
Two places and a point separate them, but there will be much more at stake when they meet today in one of five games in the Red Stripe Premier League League (RSPL).
Former champions Tivoli Gardens and Waterhouse, sitting in eighth and 10th places, respectively, will meet at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in their quest to continue their climb up the table. Both teams recorded their first win from five games late week and would love to go two in a row and work their way out of the tightly bunched bottom half of the table.
"Our aim is to continue displaying the attacking brand of football that we have been paying all season while not giving up anything defensively as we know we have the capacity and the ability to stop Waterhouse's attacks," Damion Gordon, assistant to head coach Christopher Bender, told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.
The Tivoli team, Gordon said, has been steadily finding their rhythm and are improving game by game. For today's game, he said, their key to victory is handling their defensive responsibility.
"We have an experienced staff in Christopher Jackson, Ranique Anderson in central defence, as well as new-signing Theo Brown, but it could come down to two people.
"It is a personal battle - Ranique Anderson and Jermain 'Tuffy' Anderson. That battle could determine which team wins the game. Ranique played last week against Harbour View and we got a clean sheet, so that could be a good sign for us," Gordon said.
Waterhouse's Jermain Anderson is also finding form, and coach Calvert Fitzgerald is delighted.
"The team has a very positive outlook. We were very happy to get that 3-0 win over UWIFC (University of the West Indies Football Club) to get us into that win column and we are hoping to bring that over in the game against Tivoli," said Fitzgerald, who is in his second stint at the club after making his way back from Rivoli in the off season.
He added: "We got three goals and, for the previous four games, we had scored only one, so Sunday's performance was most pleasing. We also had two scorers in that game in Jermain Anderson and Damarley Samuels, so that is also a positive."
But there were also negatives coming out of that game as influential midfielder Romario Campbell was red carded and will be serving a suspension.
"It will be a loss playing without Romario (Campbell) as well as Kemar Beckford and Kemar Seivwright, both of whom picked up injuries, but we have capable replacements.
"Omar Walcott and Rohan Amos are two defenders who could come in and we have a lot of good attacking young midfielders who will be eager to get a chance," the confident Fitzgerald said.
These attacking players will be coming up against the likes of Jermaine "Teddy" Johnson, who, on his day, can rip any defence to shreds. Johnson will have young Junior Flemmings and Andre Morgan as company.
The excitement at Frome could be just as great as it will be at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex as the resurging Reno, currently sitting in second position on 10 points, will host third-placed Montego Bay United, who are just a point behind. This game could remind many of the times when western Jamaica ruled local football.
Boys' Town could find the going rough when they host leaders Portmore United at Barbican while Cavalier will be looking to three points when UWIFC visit Stadium East.
3:30 p.m: Boys' Town vs Portmore United - Barbican Stadium
5:00 p.m: Cavalier vs UWI - Stadium East
3:30 p.m: Humble Lion vs Rivoli United - Effortville Community Centre
3:30 p.m: Reno vs Montego Bay United - Frome Complex
3:30 p.m: Tivoli Gardens FC vs Waterhouse - Edward Seaga Sports Complex
8:30 p.m: Harbour View vs Arnett Gardens - Harbour View Stadium
P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Portmore 5 4 0 1 6 2 4 12
Reno 5 3 2 0 7 3 4 11
MoBay United 5 3 1 1 11 3 8 10
Humble Lion 5 2 2 1 4 3 1 8
Arnett 5 2 1 2 7 2 5 7
Cavalier 5 2 1 2 3 5 -2 7
H.View 5 1 3 1 4 5 -1 6
Tivoli 5 1 2 2 5 5 0 5
Boys' Town 5 1 2 2 6 12 -6 5
Waterhouse 5 1 1 3 4 5 -1 4
Rivoli 5 1 1 3 4 7 -3 4
UWI FC 5 1 0 4 1 10 -9 3