Arnett Gardens got their 2012-2013 Red Stripe Premier League season off to an impressive start after registering a stylish 3-1 win over perennial rivals Tivoli Gardens yesterday at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex.
The 'Junglists' got their goals through strikes from Kirk Ramsey (37th-minute penalty), Lamar Nelson (51st) and Ricardo Oldham (61st), while Tivoli's consolation was netted by Keithy Simpson (66th).
The result was in keeping with recent meetings between the two teams, as last year's three league encounters saw the away team claiming victory.
Arnett, who finished a disappointing eighth last season, were full of their running, as they took the game to a youthful Tivoli outfit. Captain Ramsey sent the large gathering of Arnett supporters, who made the short journey, into wild celebrations when he converted from the spot in the 37th minute.
The visitors doubled their advantage in the 51st minute when Nelson slammed home on the volley from just inside the area.
Arnett's skilful bunch dominated possession but it took a crafty free kick in the 61st minute for them to secure their third goal when Nelson rolled the ball into the box from a short corner position for Oldham to run on to and side-foot home.
Tivoli's consolation goal came from a similar play in the 66th minute, as Simpson headed home a ball cross in the area by Jermaine Allen from close to the right corner flag.
"I think in the first half we played a little lacklustre, we gave up too much possession, but I think we were the better team," Arnett's coach, Paul 'Tegat' Davis, said. "When things settled down, we got some chances and we took them," he added.
Tivoli, who placed fifth in the league last year, are in a rebuilding phase and was missing a number of their senior players. Head coach Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey expects his young charges to improve as the season wears on.
"I see a lot of positive signs out of this young team. If we stick to the format in which we want to play and correct these fundamental mistakes, then we should be fine," Bailey said. "We have a lot of youngsters, but they are willing to learn and they are willing to work," he added.