Coach demands more from Hodges

Published: Tuesday | December 10, 2013 Comments 0
Rivoli United's captain Devon Hodges celebrates his goal that gave his team a 1-0 victory over Humble Lion at Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Rivoli United's captain Devon Hodges celebrates his goal that gave his team a 1-0 victory over Humble Lion at Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Rivoli United's head coach, Calvert Fitzgerald, wants more from his marquee player Devon Hodges.

This is as a result of the slow start he has had to the 2013/2014 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season.

To date, Hodges has netted three goals from 11 games, with only one coming from open play. The other two goals were converted a penalty and a 25-yard free kick.

The latter was a 60th-minute strike, which gave his team a 1-0 win over Humble Lion at Spanish Town Prison Oval on Sunday.

The win, which was only Rivoli's second at home so far this season and first over a team currently in the top six, moved them one place up the 12-team standings to seventh on 15 points.

"He (Hodges) is the top striker, but he has been having a lean season," Fitzgerald expressed. "He has only scored three goals and the three times that he has scored we won the match. We are hoping that he can now begin to score some more goals for us."

Hodges, who has 10 caps and two goals for the national senior team, was the league's leading scorer in the 2008/09 season (24 goals) and joint-leading scorer in the 2009/2010 season (18 goals). He then went on two loan spells in the Vietnamese league, but returned to Rivoli last year and helped them gain promotion to the RSPL from the South Central Confederation Super League.

TEAM DEPENDS ON ME

"The team depends on me a lot and I have to just deliver for them," the 29-year-old Hodges shared. "For the last four games I haven't scored, so this goal (against Humble Lion) is very special to me and the team."

The first half of Sunday's match did not provide much by way of goal-mouth action, partially due to some stout defending, which included some bruising challenges.

Three players, one from Humble Lion and two from Rivoli, played the majority of the match with their head bandaged.

The second half saw the teams being more enterprising and after Hodges had opened the scoring, Ajuran Brown should have pulled Humble Lion level in the 68th minute. However, he fired on to the crossbar from point blank range.

Humble Lion, which have now gone six games without a win - scoring only one goal in the process - lie sixth on goal difference with 15 points.

"I think where we are suffering at the moment badly is upfront," Humble Lion's coach, Geoffrey Maxwell, reasoned. "When a man can be half a yard in front of goal like what Ajuran Brown got and miss, that sums it up."

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com

 

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