Portmore hope to jumpstart season with fiery start to second round
H’View vs Boys’ Town, W’House vs Montego Bay sweet treats
IF they are to be serious contenders, Portmore United must beat Sporting Central Academy to kick-start their season as the second round of the Red Stripe Premier League gets underway today with a full slate of Sunday games.
The 2011/12 champion had a dismal first round, garnering just seven points from 11 games, inclusive of one win, four draws and six defeats to be rooted to the bottom of the 12-team league.
But despite what the records may show, Portmore United actually played better than the statistics suggest and coach Calvin Lewis, who took charge for the last six games, believes his team is ready to show what they are worth.
"Going to Sporting is always a tricky place to go and play, but based on my time at Portmore, we always go to Sporting and do well, so I expect to have that luck again this year," said Lewis.
"The second round we need to kick-start our season and tomorrow (today) I fancy my team. We look good in training, we are scoring goals, so we are going for all-out attack," he said.
"When you look at how we are playing, we are very much unlucky and the six games that I am here, I think we should have 18 points from those games," he noted.
Portmore will be without the services of former Sporting player LeVaughn Williams and Paul Wilson due to injury but the likes of Adoah Nickles, who has scored three of the club's six goals, Stephen Williams, Adrian Reid, Andrew Vanzie, Trevol Smith, Damian Binns, Ewan Grandison, Suelae McCalla, Aston Bennett and Cleon Pryce could prove a handful for eigth-placed Sporting Central on 14 points.
Meanwhile, champions and leaders Harbour View, on 23 points, could extend their lead as second- and third-placed teams Montego Bay United and Waterhouse, respectively, will clash at Wespow Park in a mouthwatering affair.
Harbour View are set to host arch rival and ninth-placed team Boys' Town on 13 points in a game in which they should win based on current form.
The strike duo of leading goalscorer Brian Brown, with seven goals, and McKaully Tulloch, are proving hard to contain and the Red Brigades will have to be at their best to thwart the powerful striking pair in this match of two bitter rivals.
Second-placed Montego Bay United, 21 points, are four clear of Waterhouse on 17, and both teams should be embroiled in an epic battle worth going miles to see in St James.
The game pits Waterhouse's Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson against the team from the parish that he grew up.
But if both teams fail to win, that could play into the hands of Harbour View who could extend their two-point lead even further.
Fifth-placed Tivoli Gardens, 15 points, travel to the UWI Bowl to take on 11th-placed August Town on 11 points in a game in which the West Kingston-based outfit are heavily favoured to win.
The Max Straw-coached August Town have lost five of their last six games after going unbeaten in their first six and may have to revert to what they were doing at the beginning of season to get back on track.
Another intriguing match-up will be the match between seventh-placed Rivoli United, 15 points, and 10th-placed Arnett Gardens on 12 points at the Anthony Spailding Sports Complex.
The Jerome Waite-coached Arnett Gardens have scored the most goals with 16, but also concede the most with 14, hence their inconsistent start to the season. But they remain a dangerous outfit and are expecting to utilise their home advantage and gain revenge for their first-round defeat at the hands of Rivoli.
The competition continues tomorrow, with fourth-placed Cavalier (16 points) hosting Humble Lion (15 points in sixth spot) at Stadium East field. Scheduled kick of is 7:00 pm.
3:00 pm August Town vs Tivoli Gardens @ UWI Bowl
3:00 pm Montego Bay United vs Waterhouse FC @ Wespow Park
3:00 pm Sporting Central Academy vs Portmore United
6:00 pm Arnett Gardens vs Rivoli United @ Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex
6:30 pm Harbour View vs Boys' Town @ Harbour View Stadium