Mon | Jan 20, 2020

Waterhouse look to get back on track

Published:Sunday | January 5, 2020 | 12:57 AMNodley Wright - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Tivoli Gardens’ Jabeur Johnson (left) tackles Waterhouse player Colorado Murray  in their  Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex recently.
Tivoli Gardens’ Jabeur Johnson (left) tackles Waterhouse player Colorado Murray in their Red Stripe Premier League encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex recently.

The race for leadership of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) will intensify today with leaders Waterhouse FC and Mount Pleasant FA, who are only a point behind in close pursuit, getting favourable draws.

Waterhouse, beaten finalists in the last two years, will be at home to 11th-place UWI FC, who faded in the second half of their last game to go down 0-3 to Mount Pleasant. That loss saw UWI FC remain on 15 points, one ahead of 12th-place Vere United, as both are eight and nine points, respectively, away from safety.

Waterhouse, despite remaining at the top of the table, are hanging in by a thread and have lost their last two games, including a 1-2 home loss to the then-freefalling Molynes United, followed by a 0-1 loss away to sixth-place Cavalier FC.

Today’s game against the struggling UWI FC will offer the home team an excellent opportunity to start the year on a positive note and return to winning ways. To do so, they will require Colorado Murray, Stephen Williams, Kenroy Howell, and Andre Moulton to start firing again.

For the University team, goalkeeper Amal Knight will need to be at his best with support from his defenders while Thorn Simpson will need to be just that: a thorn in Waterhouse’s side.

Mount Pleasant rebounded from their 0-1 home loss to Cavalier FC to pound UWI FC 3-0 and will look to mete out similar treatment to bottom-of-the-table Vere United who, like UWI FC, are relegation favourites.

Vere United do have some talent but have not been able to perform consistently, especially away from home. Today should be no different as Kemar Beckford, who is challenging Dunbeholden’s Dean-Andre Thomas, Portmore’s Cory Burke, and Waterhouse’ Colorado Murray for the golden boot. Today’s game is an excellent opportunity for him to increase his tally and aid his team’s cause.

INTERESTING CLASH

The Royal Lakes clash between home team Dunbeholden, who sit in seventh, and sixth-place Cavalier should be an interesting clash as both teams are only separated by goal difference. The injury-ravaged Cavalier FC have defeated the top two teams and must be fancying their chances against the seventh-place team. Dunbeholden, for their part, are also enjoying a good run powered by leading scorer Thomas and Andrae McFarlane.

Eighth- and ninth-place Harbour View and Tivoli Gardens, will battle for three valuable points as they try to claw their way into the, respectively, top half of the table. Both teams have a rich history in the league but have not been at their competitive best, especially for the last two seasons.

Of the two teams, Tivoli Gardens have the more experienced players but have had difficulty finding the consistency required to do justice to their talent while Harbour View have been struggling to get the right balance between youth and experience. A win in their last game, against the more fancied Portmore United should give them a good bounce going into today’s game but home advantage should play a big role for Tivoli Gardens.

Portmore United cited a number of reasons for their loss to Harbour View with refereeing decisions chief among them. That loss must have been particularly hard to take for coach Ricardo Gardner, who was in charge of Harbour View last season. Stung by that loss, Portmore United will be gunning to return to winning ways especially on home soil. With Cory Burke, easily the best player in the league at this time, on their roster, they have a major advantage.

Fourth-place Humble Lion, a place above Portmore United on goal difference, will be fighting very hard to avoid a further slip as just last week, they were in third but lost 1-2 to then fourth-place Arnett Gardens, who subsequently climbed above them.

Today’s Games

n 3 p.m. Portmore United FC vs Humble Lion FC @ Prison Oval

n 3 p.m. Dunbeholden FC vs Cavalier FC @ Royal Lakes Complex

n 3 p.m. Tivoli Gardens FC vs Harbour View FC @ Edward Seaga Complex

n 7 p.m. Waterhouse FC vs UWI FC @ Waterhouse Football Stadium

n 7 p.m. Mount Pleasant FA vs Vere United FC @ Drax Hall Sports Complex

Tomorrow’s Game

n 8 p.m. Arnett Gardens FC vs Molynes United FC @ Anthony Spaulding