Nodley Wright, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Former champions Boys' Town will have an excellent chance this evening of strengthening their hand in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), if they are able to get the better of Montego Bay United when the two meet at Collie Smith Drive at 3:30 p.m.
The Red Brigade, as Boys' Town are called, have registered good performances since their loss to Waterhouse. Their performance has surprised a few observers and pleased coach Andrew Price, who praised his players for their abilities and attitude following their loss to Waterhouse.
Following the loss of key players Xavian Virgo to Harbour View, Anthony Bennett to Sporting Central Academy, O'Neil Thompson to Arnett Gardens, and their leading scorer, Rafeik Thomas, to Tivoli Gardens, and captain Michael Campbell to injury, Boys' Town were expected to struggle.
What the largely young Boys' Town team has achieved has made Price a proud man. They showed character to beat Sporting Central 4-2 at home, and even more self-belief to beat Arnett Gardens away from home.
MoBay need to improve
Montego Bay United, on the other hand, have not looked their best. They lost 0-2 away to the battling Humble Lion and followed that up with a 2-2 draw at home with Highgate. Those results have seen them slip from third in the league to sixth. They will need to improve their showing if they are to avoid the relegation scrap, which the teams that finish in the bottom half of the table will find themselves engaged in.
For this to be a reality, Bahamian Lesley St Fleur will have to play a leadership role for the standard-bearers from western Jamaica.
The promoted Cavalier, while they have not kept up their form of the second round, are just three points behind Montego Bay United and are perfectly poised to take advantage of any slip-ups on their part. They could not have hoped for better opponents than Sporting Central, who have not managed to beat anyone in recent times - losing their last two games 2-4 to Boys' Town and 0-3 to Portmore United.
CLoser to relegation
A continuation of that form could see Sporting Central slipping closer to the relegation zone and increase the pressure of the fans on coach Lenworth Hyde.
Highgate United still believe that they have a chance, albeit slim, of escaping the drop and will want to improve on that with a favourable result against the runaway leaders and title favourites Harbour View. In the two previous meetings between the teams, Harbour View won the first 3-0, but surrendered the second 1-2.
Geoffrey Maxwell is developing a reputation as the man to call to get a team out of crisis. The last team that benefited from his wizardry was Highgate, and this season Humble Lion are responding to his urgings. Just last week they got the better of Montego Bay United at their home, and would be very happy to add the scalp of former champions Tivoli Gardens to their collection.
Defending champions Portmore United will have their title credentials tested when they host Arnett Gardens at 7 p.m.
3:30 p.m. Boys' Town vs Montego Bay United at Collie Smith Complex
3:30 p.m. Cavalier vs Sporting Central at Edward Seaga Sports Complex
3:30 p.m. Highgate United vs Harbour View at Drax Hall Sports Complex
3:30 p.m. Humble Lion vs Tivoli Gardens at Effortville Community Centre
7 p.m. Portmore United vs Arnett Gardens at Ferdie Neita Park
9 p.m. Waterhouse vs Savannah at Drewsland Stadium