Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Boys' Town showed depth following the loss of some key players, as they started the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) third round with a 1-0 win over Cavalier at Collie Smith Drive yesterday evening.
Despite losing four senior players to the January transfer window, the Andrew Price-coached 'Red Brigade' stepped up and treated the fair-sized crowd to a gutsy performance. The game was not an exciting one by any means, but Boys' Town wanted it more, and gained full points.
Renae Lloyd, who scored the all-important goal in the 56th minute, praised his Boys' Town teammates for a hard-fought win.
"We are happy to win as the club lost some senior players who have moved on to other Premier League teams," Lloyd told The Gleaner in a post-game interview.
Lloyd was speaking of players such as Rafiek Thomas (Tivoli Gardens), Oneil Thompson (Arnett Gardens), Xavian Virgo (Harbour View) and Anthony Bennett (Humble Lion). However, he thought that the other players have picked up the pace and have started the round on a high.
"It was a tough game for us today (yesterday), but whenever we play at home the aim is to get three points, and when we are away, the aim is not to lose," Virgo pointed out.
Lloyd, who has represented Jamaica's national senior team, commended his defenders for playing well, especially in the last five games.
"The defence has been playing very good and today we kept a clean sheet. This is the round we normally make a big move, so it was a good start to the round for us," Lloyd noted.
"It is a big role for me, captain Michael Campbell, and others to push the team as we missed Virgo, who was involved in most of our attacks on the right flank. Now we have other players like Adrian King and Jermaine Allen in the team," Lloyd said.
Boys' Town's long-serving coach, Andrew Price, said the victory served as a statement that the team has other quality players.
"We have quality players, so today (yesterday) it was a statement game. We have depth in the squad. Lloyd stepped up big time by not only scoring but did a lot of work on the field," Price said.
"The players looked committed and we will continue to work hard in training and accumulate as many points as possible for the remainder of the season. This victory is a good platform for us as we move forward in our bid to win the Premier League title," Price further related.
Cavalier looked a shadow of the team that enjoyed a good run in the second round. They started former Arnett player Rohan Reid in an attacking midfield role and he appeared out of position, as he failed to shine and was replaced in the second half.
Cavalier's coach David Laylor said, "It was a fair game. We made a mistake and Boys' Town capitalised. We just have to look forward to the next match."
Boys' Town's goal was scored when a corner kick by Daemion Benjamin was headed by Cavalier's defender Donovan Alvaranga into the path of Lloyd, who made no mistake from close range.
Gariece McPherson kept Cavalier from losing by a wider margin as he made some outstanding saves.