Portmore ready for more in RPL
Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Having delivered on their promise of going out to claim the end-of-first round title in the Red Stripe Premier League Portmore United's focus is now on consolidation. That title brought an end to over two years of ordinary performances and coach Calvin Lewis now believes even more is expected of his charges now.
"We need a bright start. A lot is expected of us now having delivered on our promise to win the end-of-round title which we did with a young outfit," said Lewis, whose team play away to Sporting Central.
"What we have to do now is to stay focused, remain humble, play some good football and get some points especially on the road, and today's game is a road game," he added.
Of encouragement to Lewis will be the return to action of captain Adrian Reid to stabilise the defensive unit. Rosario Harriot, who operated on the left side in the final, will return to his customary right-back role.
In the first meeting between the two teams, Portmore United came out on top 2-1 but Lewis will not be taking anything for granted.
"They are a good team and we are expecting a tough game. Like us, they have quality players and are a youthful bunch so I believe it will be an interesting matchup," Lewis reasoned.
Sporting Central were in a strong position to claim a place in the end-of-round final until administrative foul-up and loss of focus saw them throw the chance away. Their team could be considered weaker now with the departure of the lively Bahamian Leslie St Fleur. Coach Vassel Reynolds remains unworried.
"We realised that we allowed the possibility of reaching the final to slip from us but at the end of the day we achieved our objective in terms of the points we wanted to tally.
"We have lost a key ingredient (St Fleur) but we have enough quality to fill in. We have players to step up such as Levaughn Williams, Jamoly Powell but we have to reorganise, refocus and set new objectives which are to replicate last season's second round performance," explained Reynolds.
Tivoli Gardens following their loss is the end of round final to Portmore United must be keen to shake off the run of poor form that they have endured over their last six games. Prior to their loss in the final they drew five games in a row. The struggling Montego Bay United could be a good game for them.
"Of course we are disappointed that we did not win the end of round final but that is water under the bridge now. What we have to do now is focus on the big trophy," manager Brian Rose said.
"We have not won a game in our last six and that is a concern and we have to focus on starting this round with three points. Whatever the situation the aim is three points," Rose added.
Tivoli's chances will be boosted by the return of Mario Swaby to their midfield. Swaby will provide that creative link between the midfield and the forwards which has not been present since the departure of Keammar Daley.
3:30 p.m: Highgate United vs Waterhouse - Lynch Park
6 p.m: Arnett Gardens vs Village United - Anthony Spaulding Complex
3 p.m: Sporting Central Academy vs. Portmore United - Brancourt
6 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Tivoli Gardens - Catherine Hall Complex
3 p.m: Reno vs Boys' Town - Frome Sports Complex
3 p.m: Humble Lion FC vs Harbour View - Effortville Community Centre