Coachless Waterhouse welcome Humble Lion
Waterhouse FC will enter today's crucial clash at home in the Red Stripe Premier League against Humble Lion in search of a new coach following yesterday's resignation by Junior Francis.
Francis, who took over from Donovan Duckie last season, claimed he was not allowed the freedom he wanted.
"I think I did the right thing. I won't be a puppet for no one," Francis told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
According to Francis, the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was that he identified five players to strengthen the team but the move was not sanctioned by management.
Humble Lion and Waterhouse FC are both on 21 points in third and fourth places, respectively.
Waterhouse are proving that life without Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson will be a difficult one, losing their last two games 0-3 and 0-1 to Arnett Gardens and August Town, respectively. Against the hard-running Humble Lion, Waterhouse will again be tested and another loss will add pressure on whomever takes over the coaching reins today.
Meanwhile, following a poor first round, Portmore United seem to have found their footing and the recovery job will be fully tested today when they travel to Arnett Gardens for a 6:00 pm match.
Portmore United garnered only seven points from 11 games in the first round and were rooted to the bottom of the Red Stripe Premier League.
But since the start of the second round, the Calvin Lewis-coached outfit has secured three wins from four matches earning 10 points, and have climbed off the bottom in 11th spot with 17 points.
So tightly knit are the mid-table teams that only four points separate 11th-placed Portmore United from third-placed Humble Lion.
Portmore's resurgence must be a warning to the rest of the league following victories over Sporting Central Academy, August Town and Cavalier, while playing to a 0-0 stalemate with Montego Bay United.
They have welcomed the return of striker Alanzo Adlam and Jason Morrison from overseas to bolster an already talent-laden squad and will prove hard to beat.
Lewis is confident his charges can continue on their fine second-round showing and avenge a first-round 2-3 loss to Arnett Gardens.
"They are one point ahead of us and we know the importance of this game, because once we win we will go ahead of them. We have been doing well so far and we need to just continue," said Lewis.
Arnett Gardens, currently in eighth spot with 18 points, are proving to be very inconsistent, losing to promoted Rivoli United but dismissing Tivoli Gardens and Waterhouse before losing to Harbour View last week.
Playing at home, the 'Junglists' will have that extra pep in their steps and will prove hard to beat.
Meanwhile, leaders and defending champions Harbour View, out front with 33 points and a six-point lead, travel to another inconsistent but dangerous Tivoli Gardens outfit who are unusually languishing in ninth spot on 18 points.
This is a clash of two talented teams heading in opposite directions. Harbour View have won 10 of their last 12 matches, while Tivoli Gardens have lost four of their last five games. But the 15-point gap between these teams means nothing, as today's game is expected to be a keenly contested affair. Harbour View won the first encounter 1-0 and are favoured to complete the double.
Second-placed Montego Bay United on 27 points host sixth-placed Boys' Town on 19 points at Wespow Park in St James.
The Donovan Duckie-coached Montego Bay are unbeaten in their last eight games, but have drawn five times and relinquished their lead atop of the standing. In the first round they drew 2-2 and another close battle should be in store, though the edge must be given to the home team, hence a victory for Montego Bay United.
Fifth-placed Sporting Central Academy on 20 points tackle 10th-placed Cavalier on 18 points at Stadium East starting at 4:30 pm.
Sporting Central are coming off a morale-boosting 3-2 win over Tivoli Gardens and will feel confident enough that they can make it four wins from their last six games. But Cavalier are no pushovers, and especially playing at home, could end their five-game winless streak.
The clash between the promoted teams, Rivoli United in seventh spot on 19 points and bottom-placed August Town, with 14 points, should be a close affair similar to their first meeting which ended 1-1 on the opening day.
FRANCIS... I won't be a puppet for no one
4:30 pm Cavalier SC vs Sporting Central FC @ Stadium East
3:00 pm Montego Bay United FC vs Boys' Town FC @ Wespow Park
4:00 pm Rivoli United FC vs August Town FC @ Prison Oval
5:00 pm Tivoli Gardens FC vs Harbour View FC @ Edward Seaga Complex
5:00 pm Waterhouse FC vs Humble Lion FC @ Drewsland Stadium
6:00 pm Arnett Gardens FC vs Portmore United FC @ Anthony Spaulding Complex