Tue | Aug 14, 2018

RSPL cellar-dwellers clash in Montego Bay

Published:Sunday | October 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMNodley Wright
Maalique Foster (centre) of Portmore United going past Lenard Rankine (right) of Sandals South Coast during a recent Red Stripe Premier League match at Frome Sports Complex.

Having recorded two firsts of Premier League life with their first goal and first point, Westmoreland-based Red Stripe Premier League debutantes Sandals South Coast will be going after yet another today - their first victory - when they play away to Montego Bay United.

The Aaron Lawrence-coached Sandals South Coast team scored their first goal of the season in their opening game of the season and recorded their first point with an away draw with former champions Harbour View. The new boys added another point last week when they came from behind to draw at home with fellow-promoted team Cavalier. That point saw them inch their way off the bottom of the table and just above Montego Bay United, the team they meet today.

Bottom of the table is not where many expected to see Montego Bay United, the most consistent team in the league for the last five years and the team that had replaced Reno FC as the pride of western Jamaica.

This situation, according to coach Rod Underwood, is due largely to a change of philosophy and personnel.

"We have changed the whole philosophy of the club. We have several newcomers, and we are giving them a chance. We are trying to rebuild, to gel, and the performances and the results will come," explained Underwood.

With that being the case, Underwood could not have asked for a better game at this time than one against the least experienced team in the league, and he is confident that his charges will get the job done.

"It is an important game, and we expect everyone to deliver. It is a crucial game and the players are aware of this.

"In terms of getting a positive result, I am always optimistic that it will happen. We always go into a match expecting to win. That is our plan," added Underwood, whose team has been without the injured Dino Williams, their most outstanding player during their fruitful runs over the years; the loaned out Owayne Gordon; and the departed duo of Allan Ottey and Fabian McCarthy.




At the Harbour View Stadium, the embattled Waterhouse will be seeking to rebuild their reputation, after being embarrassed 5-0 by Portmore United last week, when they play away to Harbour View, who were similarly on the losing end after going down 0-1 to Tivoli Gardens.

Portmore United, after their heavy win last week, will be looking to add the scalp of Humble Lion to their collection. Humble Lion, last week, showed signs of improvement in their 1-1 home draw with Arnett Gardens. A similar performance is expected from them, especially with Andrew Vanzie looking to be getting back to his best. Vanzie, like coach Lenworth Hyde and the Wolfe brothers, would not want to lose to their former club.

UWI FC, like Portmore United, have had a strong start to the season and but for goal difference, would be in the lead. Their success has been largely due to the goalscoring of Ryan Miller, who made the move from Cavalier in the off season. Miller's five goals see him leading all scorers and is just one ahead of Reno's Craig Foster. Both are expected to have their own private battle.

Tivoli Gardens will be hoping to enjoy some momentum from their Monday night win over Harbour View when they play away to another team from the East, Cavalier FC. The Rudolph Speid-coached outfit are in seventh position, just one above Tivoli Gardens. Neither team can afford any further slippages.


Today's games


3:30 p.m.: Cavalier vs Tivoli Gardens - Stadium East

3:30 p.m.: F.C. Reno vs UWI FC - Frome Complex

7 p.m.: Harbour View vs Waterhouse - Harbour View Stadium

6:30 p.m.: Montego Bay United vs Sandals South Coast FC - Montego Bay Sports Complex

3:30 p.m.: Portmore United vs Humble Lion - Spanish Town Prison Oval


Tomorrow's Game


8:35p.m.: Arnett Gardens vs Boys' Town - Anthony Spaulding Complex