Western News

Western Derby

MBU, FC Reno to meet in third-round RSPL game

Observer West writer

Thursday, February 15, 2018

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TUCKER, St James — Former champions FC Reno and Montego Bay United (MBU) will meet in what will is arguably the most important western derby in the Red Stripe Premier League game in the last four seasons when they play in a third-round game at WesPow Park on Sunday, starting at 3:00pm.

Both teams are in the thick of the race for a place in the top six and a spot in the play-offs, and so points are at a premium with six points separating fifth through 10th place in the 12-team competition.

FC Reno are in fifth position on 36 points, winning their last two games with a 3-0 aggregate and are unbeaten in their last five, while MBU were just outside the top six, on 34 points and coming off a win over Sandals South Coast where they overturned a 0-2 deficit to win 4-2.

MBU have been inconsistent in their recent games, much to the frustration of coach Timothy Hankinson, winning three of their last five, but losing to UWI FC at home, and drawing 0-0 against 10-man Cavalier in Kingston.

After losing to UWI FC last week, Hankinson described his players as lacking desire, and they responded with their first four-goal game since last season.

In recent head-to-head meetings, MBU have had the better of the Westmoreland outfit, losing to them once in 11 games over the last four years since FC Reno returned to the RSPL.

This season, MBU won their first meeting 1-0 at Frome, then battled to a 1-1 draw at the Montego Bay Sports Complex; however both teams have since changed coaches.

Vassell Reynolds replaced Michael Graham on the FC Reno sidelines, while Hankinson returned to MBU replacing Roderick Underwood, and both coaches have reaped success of late.

FC Reno have shaken off a 10-game winless run and despite losing Craig Foster, who has led their scoring the last two seasons, have managed to claw their way back into play-off contention, beating Boys Town and UWI FC in a five-day span, and will have their tails up coming into Sunday's game.

While their overall game has improved under Hankinson, MBU have still not been as consistent as the American would like, but they will have Dino Williams who is on a purple scoring patch.

Williams is finding his scoring touch at the right time, in the latter stages of the regular season, and has scored seven goals in his last six games, including three braces.

Ronaldo Rodney, who missed a handful in a 2-0 win over Harbour View, and Lesly St Fleur were also on the score sheet on Sunday, and Hankinson will hope their form will carry over this weekend.

Meanwhile, with the departure of Foster and the failure, so far, of Fancy-Hue Stewart to make the smooth transition from schoolboy football, FC Reno have found goal scoring hard to come by, but new heroes have popped up with each passing game.

Last week Wednesday, Donovan Brown came off the bench to score the winner against Boys Town deep into time added, and on Sunday, Romone Plummer, who was on the bench against Boys Town, scored both goals in the win over UWI FC.




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