Tivoli can pour more misery on champs MoBay
Today's second match day of the 2016-2017 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) could be even more interesting than last Sunday's opening day as the opening-day winners will be trying to repeat.
Chief among the opening-day winners going for their second win in a row are former champions Tivoli Gardens, who blew away Harbour View 3-0, and newcomers Maverley-Hughenden FC, who ambushed defending champions Montego Bay United 2-1. Tivoli Gardens, under new coach Omar Edwards, formerly an assistant at Boys' Town, could not have asked for a better start to his head coaching role, especially away from home.
Tivoli Gardens owed their win largely to the rejuvenated Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson, who could not be contained as he cut open the Harbour View defence with ease. If he reports in a similar mood, then Edwards' dream run could continue with a home win. Their opponents, Montego Bay United, are a quality unit and have appeared in the last three finals of the RSPL, winning twice. The current standard-bearers of Western Jamaica's football are vulnerable at this time as a number of their key players are unavailable due mainly to injuries.
Captain Dwayne Ambusley, Ladale Ritchie, and attacker Allan Ottey should feature for Montego Bay and provide leadership.
For newcomers Maverley-Hughenden FC, the confidence level must be sky-high following their takedown of the defending champions, and a victory over the beaten finalist in successive weeks will have even the doubters sitting up and taking notice.
"The win against MoBay United gives us confidence moving forward," confirmed Lijyasu Simms, coach of Maverley-Hughenden FC, on Thursday at the RSPL's weekly press conference.
Simms did acknowledge that the visitors will be tough, but invited their supporters to come out and witness a good game.
"It is not going to be easy against a good Portmore team. They have good players, coaching staff and management team," he said.
He added: "The supporters should come out for a good football game. Both teams have quality players, but we will be coming blazing."
Portmore United's Linval Dixon, a hero in Jamaica's historic 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign, speaking at the same press conference, commended Maverley-Hughenden on their opening-day win and promised that they would not be taken lightly.
"I must say big up to Maverley for going down to Montego Bay and coming away with a win against the champions. However, we are not going to take Maverley lightly, and I know they won't take us lightly," said Dixon.
Portmore United should look to one of last season's breakout players, Damono Solomon, the experienced Ewan Grandison, Stephen Williams and, possibly, Ricarrdo Morris, while Nackwayne Parchment, Nicholas Scott and Wayne Williams could lead the way for Maverley-Hughenden FC.
Fellow newcomers Jamalco will make their second attempt at recording their first point in the League when they host UWI FC, one of last season's promoted teams. In their opening game, they showed that they have the quality to compete in the League, but were unable to hold on for a draw against Portmore United.
The Clarendon-based team fielded a number of players with Premier League experience last week and should fancy their chances against their opponents, but the Marcel Gayle-coached UWI FC are even better than they were last season, so the home fans could be in for some disappointment.
Last year's title contenders, Arnett Gardens, will be looking for their first win of the season when they host the revamped Waterhouse away from home, while both Boys' Town and Harbour View will be attempting to stop the rot when they meet at Barbican following opening-day losses to Humble Lion and Tivoli Gardens, respectively.
Reno and Humble Lion will close out the fixture with their game at Frome.
- 3:30 p.m: Maverley Hughenden FC vs Portmore United FC - Constant Spring Complex.
- 3 p.m: FC Reno vs Humble Lion FC - Frome Complex.
- 3:30 p.m: Tivoli Gardens FC vs Montego Bay United FC - Edward Seaga Complex.
- 3:30 p.m: Arnett Gardens FC vs Waterhouse FC - Drax Hall Sports Complex (St Ann).
- 3:30 p.m: Boys' Town FC vs Harbour View FC - Barbican Sports Complex.
- 3:30 p.m: Jamalco FC vs UWI FC - Wembley Centre of Excellence.
P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Tivoli 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 3
Humble L 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
Maverly-H 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
Portmore 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
UWI FC 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
Arnett 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Reno 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
MoBay U 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
Jamalco 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
Waterhouse 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
Boys' Town 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
H View 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 3