Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Trench Town derby

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2015 | 11:00 AMNodley Wright
Price
Waite
Kemal Malcolm
Boys' Town Rafeik Thomas
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Defending champions Arnett Gardens will continue their march towards steadying their ship in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) when they play away to neighbours and rivals Boys' Town in the Trench Town derby today.

Arnett Gardens are currently in third spot, behind leaders Portmore United, and the most consistent team in the league over the past three years, Montego Bay United. Boys' Town, on the other hand, are at the other end of the table. The outcome of these games, however, are never influenced by the teams' standings in the table.

"We pretty much expecting a tough game. We always bring out the best in each other. They are not doing so well right now being close to the bottom of the table, and we are in the top half of the league. Never mind that, though, it will be competitive," coach Jerome Waite told The Sunday Gleaner.

He added: "The fact that the game will not be played at Collie Smith Drive may take some of the intensity of a derby encounter out of the tie, but we still expect to get those three points."

Waite's confidence is borne out by what he terms the wholesale improvement of his team.

"Currently, I have seen a lot of improvement in the team overall. In the top half of the league, we have conceded the least number of goals, so that speaks volumes about us," he added, touting his team's defensive strength.

On the attacking front, Kemal Malcolm and Vishinul Harris have been carrying the team with the goals and assists.

"On any given day, any player can step up and make a difference for us - that is the kind of rounded unit we have - but Kemal Malcolm is on fire right now, and he can cause problems for any team, and we are looking to him to do that for us," Waite said.

For Boys' Town's Andrew Price, this game is a big one, especially after losing another derby to Tivoli Gardens last week.

IMPORTANT GAME

"This is a very important game for us. We can go there and perform, and it doesn't take a lot to motivate my players for this derby," said Price, who, himself, is a former Boys' Town representative.

Boys' Town will be boosted by the return of the veteran wingback Xavian Virgo, who has been out injured.

"We are going into this game pretty positive and ready. All our players are fit and ready. In fact, Xavian Virgo will be coming back after missing six games due to injury.

"Rafeik Thomas, AndrÈ Dawson, Michael Campbell and Peter Keys, as well as Shamar Nicholson, should all see action, and if we maintain our defensive shape, then we should be in a good position," Price said.

Both teams, according to Price, are very familiar with each other, and the result will depend on application.

"We know what they have to offer, and they know what we have to offer, so it will largely be about who wants it more on the day and acquit themselves better," said Price.

Leaders Portmore United will seek to maintain their lead and continue Waterhouse's frustration when both teams meet at Juici Park, while fourth-place Humble Lion will be looking to create more space between themselves and their fifth-place opponents, Tivoli Gardens.

Early-season front-runners Reno of Westmoreland will be looking to regain lost form when they host former champions Harbour View at Frome, while 10th-place UWI FC will be looking for their fourth win of the season and keep Rivoli rooted to the bottom of the table.