Spotlight on UWI FC, Waterhouse clash
In a week which sees things just as tight at the bottom as they are at the top, the focus today will be on the UWI FC-Waterhouse clash at the UWI Bowl.
In this encounter the promoted UWI FC, who are sitting in sixth position on 30 points, host former champions Waterhouse, who are sitting in 12th position in the 12-team league on 21 points. While the table may show that UWI FC should be the more fancied of the two, recent events may cause some amount of worry for the University boys, while Waterhouse could be convinced that they have a good chance of taking all three points.
Prior to Monday night, UWI FC were looking quite stable with goalkeeper Amal Knight putting in commanding performances, their defenders kept it tight, while Girvon Brown and company kept the goals coming as they recorded two wins and two draws in their previous four matches. Against Harbour View on Monday, though, they looked very porous in the back, Knight looked unsure of himself, while their forwards were unable to breach the 'Stars of the East' who spanked them 5-0.
Waterhouse, despite sitting at the foot of the table, are looking up positively with coach Paul Young being convinced that things are coming together and that they are primed for a lift. In their last four games, they have had three draws and one win - away over fourth-placed Humble Lion. Two of their three draws in that time were against current third-placed team Montego Bay United.
"I am very much optimistic about our chances from here. Today, one of our central players, Dale Reid, was out because of asthma attack yesterday, so we had to make an adjustment in the defence line. In the midfield, we had Dominic James out and there are some other key players out who we are trying to get back healthy just to get the system going but it is a work in progress and we are going; to be fine," Young said last week at the end of their second 0-0 draw with Montego Bay United.
Young also said that while his team did not play, their best football that day, they showed great character to stand up to the opponents who ended the game with a one-man advantage following the expulsion of Theo Brown. The team, he said, had a good balance with the experienced Hughan Gray, the returning Weston Forrest, Kevin Lamey and Devon Hodges providing leadership for the youngsters such as Reid, goalkeeper Akeem Chambers and Nicholas Nelson among others.
"We were brought back down to earth as we were having a good run for the previous six games ... but it is better now than later," Marcel Gayle, UWI FC's coach about their big loss to Harbour View.
He added: "Consistency is not the order of this league. All teams have had their ups and downs and it was our time to have a down. The good thing, though, is that we will be at home and we are looking to make amends."
3 p.m: Reno vs Rivoli United - Frome Complex
3 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Humble Lion - Wespow Park
3 p.m: Portmore United vs Boys' Town - Juici Park, Clarendon
3 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View - Edward Seaga Sports Complex
3 p.m: UWI FC vs Waterhouse - UWI Bowl, Mona
8:40 p.m: Cavalier vs Arnett Gardens - Stadium East
Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Arnett 23 13 4 6 35 20 15 43
Portmore 23 13 4 6 28 20 8 43
MoBay United 23 11 9 3 34 13 21 42
Humble Lion FC 23 9 8 6 21 18 3 35
H View 23 8 9 6 28 22 6 33
UWI FC 23 8 6 9 24 34 -10 30
Cavalier SC 23 7 6 10 18 23 -5 27
Boys' Town 23 7 6 10 25 33 -8 27
Reno 23 6 9 8 22 30 -8 27
Tivoli 23 6 5 12 26 32 -8 22
Rivoli 23 5 7 11 24 32 -8 22
Waterhouse 23 4 9 10 20 28 -8 21