Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Strength of character, and defensive errors on the part of Boys' Town, saw Arnett Gardens overturn an early two-goal deficit to win 3-2 and take over the leadership of the Red Stripe Premier League at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday night.
The win pushed Arnett Gardens to 10 points, one ahead of the newly promoted Savannah FC on nine.
"It was like a derby, el classic," Arnett Gardens' coach Paul 'Tegat' Davis said, comparing the Trench Town derby to the famous rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the top team in Spain.
"People came out to see wonderful football and they got it," he added, crediting his team with the character to overcome the deficit.
That performance had Davis looking to greater things.
"We are on a mission right now. This is just the start," the former national striker said.
Andrew Price, Boys' Town's coach, could only rue the missed opportunity.
"It was a game of two halves and we had the chances in the first half to really take charge of the game, and had Michael Campbell scored that penalty it could have been a much different result," Price opined.
"We had defensive lapses which hurt us badly. We were not marking properly but it is a learning experience for us and we will only come back stronger from this. We will have to grow from it," added Price defiantly.
Captain Kirk Ramsay led Arnett's fight back by example and was involved in all three of their unanswered goals. He was first fouled for the opener and finished off with a double strike in the 59th and 71st minutes. The talented but inconsistent midfielder Lamar Nelson, with the goal of the match, registered the other for Arnett Gardens and actually started the fightback in the 38th minute.
The home team found themselves behind in only the fifth minute when captain Michael Campbell fired the visitors ahead. Things could have been worse for the home team just eight minutes later when the normally reliable Campbell wasted a penalty in the 13th minute after Xavian Virgo was fouled inside the 18-yard box.
Arnett continued to live dangerously in their defensive third and committed another foul around the 18-yard box when the lively Marvin Morgan was brought down, creating another goal scoring opportunity in the 28th minute. Rafiek Thomas flicked home the free kick to send his team 2-0 up.
A beautifully struck free kick from just outside the 18-yard box by Nelson, after Ramsay was taken out by Carlos Wright, gave the home team belief heading into the half-time break. That belief increased in the second half and within 15 minutes they were on equal footing as a near post effort which should have been comfortably dealt with by Kirk Porter was allowed in, as the custodian misjudged the direction of the ball.
Both teams made a number of substitutions with Marcelino Blackburn and Andrew Phang adding life to the Arnett Gardens team, while Oneil Thompson, who came in for Romeo Parkes, and Anthony Bennett, who took the place of the injured Virgo, did not have a similar impact.
Within minutes of Thompson's introduction Ramsay killed off the game as he sneaked through the centre of the Boys' Town backline to steer home a Phang cross after a good build-up on the right flank.
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