Tue | Sep 26, 2017

UWI FC test for Tivoli

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2016 | 1:00 AMNodley Wright
Members of the UWI FC team celebrate after scoring against Boys' Town in a Red Stripe Premier League match at the UWI Bowl late last year. UWI won 2-1.

The improving quality of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) is set to continue in that vein with five enticing matches on today and one tomorrow.

Former champions Tivoli Gardens, who had a change of coach recently, will test their chances of survival when they host the promoted UWI FC at the Edward Seaga Complex. Tenth place Tivoli Gardens, with a match in hand against Rivoli, are reeling, having lost their past three matches and four of their last five, with the fifth being a draw.

The UWI FC team, on the other hand, have looked more stable, recording only one loss in the last five games, with the other results being two wins and two draws. Based on their record, UWI FC should be fancied to get the better of Tivoli Gardens, but with their league pedigree and the possible effects of the change, the home team could come out on top.

two losses

Ninth-placed Reno have an identical record to Tivoli Gardens for the last five games, losing four and drawing one. This has seen them slide steadily down the table. Eighth-placed Boys' Town have won two in their last five, but interestingly, have two losses and one draw in their last three games, suggesting that they have not been boosted by the opening of the transfer window.

Anything but a win for either team could see them lose even more confidence and get drawn deeper into the battle for survival, which is becoming more real for teams in the bottom half of the table.

Third-placed Montego Bay United were looking pretty until they ran into defending champions Arnett Gardens away from home on Sunday last. That encounter gave them their only loss in their last five games. That result was followed by a 0-0 draw with the bottom-of-the-table but improving Waterhouse. Today, they have the opportunity to turn that around when they host 11th-placed Rivoli United at Wespow Park.

Home support should lift Montego Bay United, but the fighting spirit of Rivoli cannot be ruled out despite their lowly position. The Spanish Town-based team has been nothing but consistent in their last five games, registering all draws. In their last game, they took the lead against Arnett Gardens and held on for a 1-1 scoreline even though they had a player.

The battle of the east between Harbour View and the rejuvenated Cavalier should be interesting.

"I am really looking forward to the game. Cavalier are in good form and, based on the performance that I saw from my team in the week, I am hopeful that we will get a good performance from my team," Harbour View coach Ludlow Bernard said ahead of this evening's clash.

very optimistic

"Jorginho James and Kevaughn Frater are available for the game and, with the squad bolstered by their presence, we are very optimistic about our chances against a good Cavalier team," he added, expecting the duo to add quality to the work of John-Ross Edwards, Nicholas Beckett, Montrose Phinn and Rosario Harriott.

David Laylor, a member of the Cavalier coaching staff, is similarly optimistic about his team's chances.

"We are expecting it to be a hard one. Harbour View have championship quality. They play good football and we expect it to be a good game, but we have been scoring freely of late and this scoring form definitely gives an edge. It is a plus," said Laylor.

Laylor's optimism could be based on the fact that only leaders Portmore United have a better win record than his team over the last four games. Portmore have won their last four while Cavalier won their last three, with the other being a draw.

"The guys are confident coming off a few wins and scoring, which we were not doing a lot of before, but Cleon Price, Jason Watson and Sulae McCalla have come in and done well," Laylor further explained.

Today's games:

n 6:30 p.m: Harbour View vs Cavalier - Harbour View Stadium

n 3 p.m: Humble Lion vs Waterhouse - Effortville Community Centre

n 3 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Rivoli United - Wespow Park

n 3 p.m: Reno vs Boys' Town - Frome Complex

n 3 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs UWI FC - Edward Seaga Complex

Tomorrow's game:

n 8:40 p.m: Arnett Gardens vs Portmore United - Anthony Spaulding Complex

Points standing

P W D L GF GA GD Pts

Portmore 21 13 4 4 26 15 11 43

Arnett 21 12 3 6 32 18 14 39

MoBay U 21 10 8 3 32 13 19 38

H'Lion 21 8 8 5 18 15 3 32

H.View 21 6 9 6 20 21 -1 27

Cavalier SC 21 7 6 8 17 18 -1 27

UWI FC 21 7 6 8 23 29 -6 27

Boys' Town 21 7 5 9 22 29 -7 26

Reno 21 5 8 8 19 29 -10 23

Tivoli 20 5 4 11 23 29 -6 19

Rivoli 20 4 7 9 20 26 -6 19

W'house 21 3 8 10 18 28 -10 17