Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Highgate United will go in search of another big scalp when they host former champions Tivoli Gardens at Drax Hall in the Red Stripe Premier League this afternoon at 3:00.
Now in their second season after pulling off a miraculous survival on debut, the St Mary-based team is shaping up to pull off another Houdini-like performance. After recording just four points in 11 first-round games, Highgate, under the guidance of Michael Smith, have amassed 11 points in the second round from five games in a run that saw them defeat Arnett Gardens and Harbour View away from home and claiming a valuable draw away to Waterhouse at Drewsland. Their only loss this round was a close 2-3 margin to Montego Bay United.
Tivoli Gardens have also regained their form in the second round after struggling in the first. Their last two games saw home victories over Savannah and Humble Lion, teams in disarray, and their level of recovery will be tested today against a set of players who genuinely believe that they have a chance of survival.
Anthowe Dawkins seems a man reborn in the centre of Highgate's backline, while Carlos Barrett and Roberto Fletcher are enjoying their football and also scoring readily.
For Tivoli Gardens, Navion Boyd is getting back to his best and if he is started alongside Dane Kelly, then Tivoli Gardens could start at their best. If they take the approach as they have been doing recently - of introducing Boyd and Kelly in the second half - then they could find themselves with a hill to climb if Highgate take their chances early.
Cavalier should have a tough match on their hands when they take on Arnett Gardens at Stadium East. Besides the fact that these two teams are just separated by goal difference, what should also fire up this match are brothers Marcelino Blackburn of Arnett Gardens and Claudious of Cavalier battling each other for bragging rights. Marcelino was the better known of the two prior to this season, but Claudious has outshone him in terms of his goal contribution to his team.
Humble Lion, under new coach Geoffrey Maxwell, should be fancied to get the better of Savannah in the battle of the free-falling teams, while Sporting Central Academy will not find it easy playing away to Waterhouse. Another loss for Sporting Central could deepen their crisis.
5 p.m. Cavalier vs Arnett Gardens at Stadium East
3 p.m. Highgate United vs Tivoli Gardens at Drax Hall Sports Complex
3 p.m. Humble Lion vs Savannah at Effortville Community Centre
6 p.m. Waterhouse vs Sporting Central at Drewsland Stadium
6 p.m. Boys' Town vs Harbour View at Anthony Spaulding Complex
7 p.m. Portmore United vs Montego Bay United at Ferdie Neita Park