Regional

Reggae Youths seek to extend good showing

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer

Thursday, December 28, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James

Reggae Youths of St James will this afternoon hope to match last year's brilliant start to the Jamaica Football Federation Western Confederation/Charley's JB Rum Super League when they take on a slow starting Montego Bay Boys Club in a Zone 1 game at the UDC field set to start at 3:00 pm.

Neither team has been able to earn a win in this St James derby over the last two seasons with both games ending in tied scores, but Reggae Youths have scored five goals in their two games the best in the group, while Montego Bay Boys Club, last year's beaten finalists, have managed a single goal and are at the foot of the table, yet to open their account.

Five more games will be played on Saturday as the third set of matches continues, including former champions Wadadah FC and Granville United meeting at the UDC field.

Today, Reggae Youths, who were unbeaten in their first four games last season, will start favourites to take three points from Montego Bay Boys Club, a team that appears well off the pace that saw them unbeaten after eight games last year.

Montego Bay Boys Club were beaten in their opening game by promoted Harmony FC and then by Beaches Negril, and will need a win today, or at least a draw, if they are to stay with the rest of the group.

Shanoy Anderson, who scored twice in Reggae Youths' 3-1 come-from-behind win over Catherine Hall last week Wednesday, leads all scorers with three so far, and will be on the hunt for more against a Boys Club defence that has given up three goals in two games.

Reggae Youths have also given up three goals, but have scored five of their own, the most in Zone 1. Their free-flowing attack is expected to give the Boys Club defence a lot to think about.

Saturday's game between Wadadah FC and Granville United pits teams with similar starts against each other. Wadadah FC are off to yet another good start and are on four points, while perennial contenders Granville are struggling, having lost a number of their senior players who have jumped ship and gone to other clubs.

Wadadah FC have also lost a number of players, but have managed to fill the gaps, unlike their opponents, and will on paper be the better team going into the game today.

Wadadah FC are coming off a good come-from-behind 1-1 draw against Faulkland FC at Jarrett Park on Thursday after spanking newcomers Grand Palladium 5-0 in their opening game, while Granville went down at home to first-timers Roaring River.

The combination of Oshane Hunter, Curtis Palmer and Kemiro James, who got the equaliser on Thursday, could prove a big task for the Granville United defence.

Ewan Barton, who is playing his first season in the Super League, is Granville United's best scoring option and will need support if he is to lead an upset win.

Wadadah FC won their only meeting last season 2-1 and will be hoping for a better scoreline today.

Faulkland FC will welcome Grand Palladium at Jarrett Park, as the Hanover team will play their first official game outside of their home parish, and will hope to use their win over Clark's Town to build their confidence.

They will find the Faulkland FC team much more organised and technically better, however, and could be on the back foot for long periods, facing an attack that includes the likes of former national striker Allan Ottey, Ronaldo McLeish and Peter Campbell — who got a double in their 6-2 win at Roaring River.

Beaches Negril are off to their best start ever, winning both games and sitting atop Zone 1, and will be home to Harmony FC, who have blown hot and cold, Harmony FC beat Boys Club away, then lost at home to Hopewell United.

So far, Beaches Negril have done just enough to take maximum points in both games, both by one-goal margins, but they face a hard-running and veteran Harmony United team that will be seeking to rebound from their loss last week.

The Clark's Town versus Roaring River game could be the most competitive of the day with the latter coming off their first-ever win at this level, and their confidence will be high.

Both teams have beaten Granville United, Clark's Town by a 3-1 margin, and Roaring River 2-1, and are tied on three points along with Grand Palladium.

On paper, very little separates the teams, but Clark's Town will have home advantage at Cedric Titus High.

Hopewell United will also hope that home advantage will give them the edge over a slow-starting Catherine Hall as well, when they meet at Kenilworth in Hanover.

Hopewell United are off to a good start with four points from their two games played and four goals scored, while Catherine Hall, who were promoted back into the Super League this year, are waiting for their first point.

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