Malcolm grateful for ‘big game’ winning goal in Red Stripe Premier League
There were three beautiful goals on Sunday night in the Red Stripe Premier League match between defending champions Arnett Gardens and the struggling Waterhouse, but Kemal Malcolm's took the crown and handed the points to Arnett Gardens as they emerged 2-1 winners.
The win improved Arnett Gardens' standing to second on 35 points, one ahead of Montego Bay United, who started the day in the lead but who were not scheduled to play until last night.
Waterhouse, on the other hand, remained rooted at the foot of the table but played like a team on the rise.
Talented midfielder Vishinul Harris opened the scoring in the 28th minute when he ran on to a wonderful defence-splitting pass, looked young goalkeeper Akeem Chambers in the eyes before displaying composure lacking in many forwards to calmly steer his effort to the left of the perplexed Chambers.
Substitute Deandre Brown's 59th-minute effort was even more beautiful, and he rifled a left-footer from inside the six-yard box to finish off a wonderfully worked free-kick played in by Romario Campbell.
Malcolm's 59th-minute effort, his 19th of the season, put Brown's in the shade as he ran on to a perfectly measured ball from the pass master, Harris, before using his pace and footwork to leave substitute Dale Reid on his side like an overturned truck. He followed that up by sending Chambers the wrong way before steering home.
"As you see, coming off the festive season, it was a rough one. During the festive season, we go out and we party, so the food and alcohol are still in me," said Malcolm.
"I always keep my focus because I know chances will always come with the pace I have, and my teammates always try to give the ball to me, so I always have the frame of mind to put away even one. Tonight, I got one, which is the winner, and I am very grateful for it," the player, who looks to be enjoying his game, added.
The man, who turned 26 last year, said that he was motivated by the magnitude of the match.
"I have a thing for the big game. Waterhouse are at the foot of the table, but no matter where they are on the table, a match against them is always a big one, and top players always turn up in the big games, so I always keep the focus, and whenever I play a big game, I always want to come out on top. I always want to score one for my team," the player who showed his predatory qualities as a schoolboy at St George's College said.
With the competition still in its second round, Malcolm, who also had spells with Meadhaven and Waterhouse, expressed the belief that this would be his best goalscoring season so far.
"This is my best season so far. My first season with Arnett, I scored 10 goals, but we are not even in the third round as yet, so I think I can pass the 10-goal mark and make it my best so far. I want to impress because what I really want is a chance with the senior national team," the former Jamaica Under-20 player said.
P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Portmore 19 11 4 4 24 15 9 37
Arnett 19 11 2 6 29 16 13 35
MoBay Utd 18 9 7 2 29 11 18 34
H Lion FC 19 7 8 4 15 13 2 29
H.View 19 6 8 5 18 18 0 26
Boys' Town 19 7 4 8 21 26 -5 25
Reno 19 5 8 6 18 24 -6 23
UWI FC 19 6 5 8 18 26 -8 23
Cavalier 19 5 6 8 14 18 -4 21
Tivoli 18 5 4 9 23 26 -3 19
Rivoli 19 4 6 9 19 25 -6 18
Whouse 19 3 6 10 18 28 -10 15