Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Arnett Gardens got their mission of winning a fourth national title back on track when they came from behind to see off a spirited Sporting Central Academy unit 2-1 in their eighth round Red Stripe Premier League encounter yesterday evening at the Anthony Spaulding Complex.
The victory saw the Junglists bounce back to winning ways, as they joined Sporting Central Academy on 16 points with a game in hand, which they will play on Thursday away to defending champions Portmore United.
Sporting, which was losing for only the third time in 13 league meetings to Arnett, retain the leadership of the 12-team standings by virtue of a superior goal difference.
Levaughn Williams opened the scoring for the visitors in the 33rd minute. Arnett hit back in the second half through strikes from Kirk Ramsey (46th) and Vishinul Harris (62nd).
Sporting's Gregory Lewis established the tone for the game in the second minute of play, as he used excessive force in his challenge against Ricardo Smith resulting in him being yellow-carded.
Arnett should have opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Ramsey and Marcelino Blackburn combined well on the left flank with the latter picking out his captain on Sporting Central's goal mouth, but he fired over.
Levaughn Williams dampened the spirits of the Arnett Gardens supporters even more than the steady downpour, as he gave his team the lead in the 33rd minute. Williams was first to react after a 25-yard free-kick by Francois Swaby was charged down by the wall, to net his fifth goal of the season.
Arnett Gardens were forced into a substitution in first half stoppage time after Newton Sterling, who was playing as a centre half was involved in a head collision. Rohan Reid was introduced to play the centre half role.
The Junglist came out showing more intensity in the second half and reaped immediate dividends when Ramsey headed in his fourth goal of the season after finding himself unmarked following a flick on from a free kick.
Arnett sent the partisan crowd into a frenzy in the 61st minute when Vishinul Harris scored for the second consecutive game, as he rose well to head in a right-sided corner delivered by Blackburn and maintain his team's perfect home record.
"I am pleased with the performance; I think we came out in the second half more fighting," Arnett's coach Paul 'Tegat' Davis said. "We made some adjustment; we started with a one forward system, but we changed in the second half, bringing up two strikers and we pushed them back and got two goals."
Sporting's coach, Nigel Stewart, was also pleased with the performance of his team.
"I thought it was a good game, I thought they (Sporting players) fought and put out their all," Stewart expressed. "We lost by two soft goals, but it is not the end and we have to go on, so we have to go back to the field and work on our mistakes," he added.
Savannah 0 - Highgate 1
Arnett Gardens 2 - Sporting Central 1
Humble Lion 1 - Boys' Town 0
Harbour View 4 - Cavalier 0
Montego Bay United 0 - Waterhouse 0