RSPL second round kicks off - Spotlight on Harbour View vs Arnett
Having had very little time to take stock of their performances in the first round, which ended Thursday, for all but two teams, the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) teams will kick off round two today.
The quickest turnaround leaders and defending champions Arnett Gardens will head to the Harbour View Mini-Stadium to take on Harbour View, a team they defeated on Monday night, courtesy of goals from Damari Deacon and substitute Steve Clarke. Jaleel Chamberlain scored for Harbour View in that loss, but the 'Stars of the East', despite looking like a structured team and one ready to take off under coach Ricardo Gardner, must be worried about their absence of the finishing touch. In their 11 matches so far, they have recorded just seven goals, the same as the struggling Montego Bay United and Humble Lion, who have both played a game less. Only the promoted and relegation-rooted Sandals South Coast have scored fewer goals, with six.
Another statistic that should, concern Harbour View is that they have lost their last three games despite not being outplayed. A proven, reliable goalscorer and a return to health of veterans such as Sean Fraser should improve their performance.
Arnett Gardens, on the other hand, have the fortune of good results even when they have not performed at their best. They must be boosted by the character shown on Thursday after coming from 0-2 down to draw 2-2 with Cavalier.
Humble Lion, despite the depth of their team, are still just hovering over the relegation zone in ninth position, with nine points and a game in hand. They, too, have found goals hard to come by, and a home game today against Reno presents them with another opportunity to declare their intentions. The veteran Wolry Wolfe, national representative Andrew Vanzie, and the young, exciting Ricardo Dennis are among those they will look to for a lift.
Reno's Craig Foster is the league's joint leading scorer with six goals, and a failure to stop him almost always ends on an unhappy note for the opposition. Today should be no different.
Montego Bay United showed great courage and character when they played to a 0-0 draw away to Portmore United on Sunday last. A similar performance will be required if they are to stop fourth-place Tivoli Gardens from climbing up the table. Eight-place is not what Montego Bay United have become used to, and if that is to change, then Leslie St Fleur and the lionhearted Dino Williams will need more support.
Tivoli Gardens, on the other hand, even with the forced absence of their leading goal providers from last season, have been getting good production from the hungry Colorado Murray, Junior McGregor, and Andre Moulton. There is something special about coach Omar Edwards.
Sandals White House's only victory in the league was against Boys' Town, and they will be going for their second when they host Boys' Town in a bottom-of-the-table clash. The proud 'Colour Red' will be out to deny the new boys a repeat and start their climb out of the relegation zone. Jameil Hardware should have a big role to play.
Despite being encouraged by the positives seen in his three previous matches since his return to Waterhouse, Donovan Duckie has seen his team record just two points from a possible nine. Today is ripe for a change, but in their way are the tough third-place UWIFC, conditioned by Waterhouse product and former member of their coaching staff Marcel Gayle. It should be interesting.
- 7 p.m.: Harbour View vs Arnett Gardens - Harbour View Stadium
- 3 p.m.: Humble vs Reno - Effortville Community Centre
- 7 p.m.: Montego Bay United vs Tivoli Gardens - Montego Bay Sports Complex
- 3 p.m.: Sandals South Coast vs Boys Town - Frome Complex
- 6:30 p.m.: Waterhouse vs UWI FC - Drewsland Stadium
- 8:35 p.m.: Cavalier vs Portmore United - Stadium East