Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
With leaders Harbour View resting today in preparation for tomorrow night's big clash against Sporting Central, second-place Boys' Town, last season's runners-up, will be aiming to take over top spot and strengthen their claim of a place in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) end-of-round final.
The Collie Smith Drive-based team will journey to Westmoreland today for their clash with the promoted Savannah United, which only last week let slip a 1-0 lead to the other Trench Town team, Arnett Gardens. Boys' Town coach Andrew Price sees this game as one that they have to win to advance their chances.
"If we have any intention of playing in the end-of-round final, what we need to do is do our job and keep the rest of the teams honest. Right now, we have to get maximum points from Savannah," said Price who will still have to do without the influential O'Neil Thompson and Xavian Virgo. Both are out with injuries.
What Price also has to consider is the fact that his team does not travel well. In their travels so far this season, they have only managed to register one positive result, a 1-0 win over current leaders Harbour View. Their most memorable away game this season was their game against Arnett Gardens where they allowed a 2-0 lead to slip and ended up losing 2-3.
Rafiek Thomas has been in good goalscoring form for Boys' Town since the season started and with Michael Campbell pulling the strings from midfield, both himself and strike partner Romeo Parkes could have more than enough opportunity to force goalkeeper Gavine Barrett to retrieve the ball from his net.
"Though we are travelling to Savannah, and it is going to be a tough encounter, it is one of those encounters that we have earmarked, we need to go down there and see if we can get the maximum three points," Price said of today's encounter.
Savannah, who started the season with a bang, are confident that they can register a win and get the fans turning out to support them once more. Since their form dipped, a number of 'uncommitted' fans have deserted the team and according to coach Patrick Graham, it is the responsibility of the team to get them back on board.
"We have a very good set of players who we are confident will deliver for us. We are ready. We know what to expect. As long as we apply ourselves we will come out victorious," a confident Graham said.
Even with the expected absence of the injured Fabian Blake, Davion Thorpe and Omar Johnson, Graham is confident that his players will do the job.
"We have a good squad of players both experienced and young and they will do what they have to do. Playing against the big boys all guns will be firing. We are always motivated to play them. As long as we apply ourselves we should do well," he added.
Portmore United should continue their good run with an away victory over Highgate United despite the presence of former coach Calvin Lewis and former player Carlos Barrett being a part of the Highgate set-up.
Humble Lion should welcome the visit of the struggling Cavalier to soothe their sorrow following their loss on Monday night to Portmore United while the Tivoli Gardens-Waterhouse matchup could go either way.
Montego Bay United have been rebuilding their season under the guidance of Dr Dean Weatherly, since the departure of their Brazilian coach, and Arnett Gardens could find the going tough.
3 p.m.: Highgate United vs Portmore United - Drax Hall Complex
3 p.m.: Humble Lion vs Cavalier - Effortville Community Centre
3 p.m.: Savannah vs Boys' Town - Frome Sports Complex
5 p.m.: Tivoli Gardens vs Waterhouse - Edward Seaga Complex
6:30 p.m.: Montego Bay United vs Arnett Gardens - Catherine Hall Complex
9 p.m.: Harbour View vs Sporting Central - Harbour View Stadium