Arnett Gardens edge Cavalier in 7-goal thriller

Cavalier SC 3 Marsh (37th, 88th), Christian (90th) Arnett Gardens 4 Morgan (1st), Clarke (6th), Reid (30th), Pryce (64th)

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 11, 2017

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Defending champions Arnett Gardens showed no ill effects of not training since Wednesday because of a salary dispute as they brushed aside Cavalier Soccer Club 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at Stadium East yesterday.

Arnett Gardens quickly put to rest the notion that they might be rusty and, in fact, looked sharper than ever scoring two goals inside seven minutes and they never looked back.

National player Marvin Morgan gave them the perfect start by opening the scoring in the first minute of play before live wire Steve Clarke doubled the advantage in the sixth minute. Fabian Reid nodded home Arnett Gardens' third goal in minute 30. It was his seventh goal of the season, which puts him second in the golden boot race.

Chevonne Marsh pulled one back for Cavalier SC in the 37th minute before substitute Shamar Pryce restored Arnett Gardens' three-goal cushion with a 30m beauty in the 64th minute.

But the home team never relented, and Marsh returned and converted an 88th minute penalty, while substitute Nickoy Christian further reduced the deficit, scoring in the 90th minute. With four minutes of time added, Cavalier SC made it a bit nervous for Arnett Gardens, but they held on for three very good points.

Arnett Gardens remained the only unbeaten team in the league and maintained their two-point lead atop the Red Stripe Premier League on 30 points, inclusive of eight wins and six draws. Cavalier SC, who were losing for the fourth time, stayed in sixth position on 18 points.

Winning coach Jerome Waite said these were three good points in light of what transpired during the week with salary dispute.

“For the last three training sessions the team didn't train because of internal affairs as it relates to their salaries and it was good to know they turned up today and still played despite adverse conditions and won this game,” said Waite.

“I think the Cavalier team came with a purpose and put up a fight. We should have put the game away from the first half. We won the first half, they won the second half. But our concentration level at the end created that problem, that's why Cavalier got back in the game. But in the end it was a good game,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Cavalier's coach Rudolph Speid thought his team took too long to get going and by then the game was over.

“We went to sleep early and conceded about three early goals, and that pushed us on the back foot, and even though we scored back it was always going to be an uphill task because Arnett definitely wasn't going to let such a big lead slip,” said Speid.

“But at the end of the day we would have preferred to lose the game 6-1 rather than sit down and die, so we decided to attack and got two late goals,” he noted.

In other games, Portmore United blanked Sandals South Coast 2-0 and stayed second on 28 points. Jovan East and Maalique Foster scored in the third and 90th minutes, respectively. The promoted Sandals South Coast, who were suffering their ninth loss from 14 games, stayed in the relegation zone in 11th spot on nine points.

The league's top scorer Ryan Miller grabbed his eighth goal of the season as the University of the West Indies clipped Boys' Town 2-1 at Barbican Field.

Miller netted in the 59th minute, while Fabian McCarthy also got on the scoresheet in minute 72. Pierre McPherson scored a consolation goal for Boys' Town in the 90th+1 minute.

The UWI moved to 23 points and provisionally into third spot, while the “Red Brigade” stayed rooted to the bottom of the league on seven points.

At Effortville Community Centre, the visiting Harbour View eked out a 1-0 win courtesy of an Andrew Allen 43rd minute penalty. Harbour View moved provisionally into seventh spot with 18 points, while Humble Lion remained in 10th spot on 14 points.

Teams: Cavalier: Jadean White, Kamoy Simpson, Rushawn Plummer, Oshane Roberts, Lastson Reid (Jahmoi Topey 85th), Jerome Smith (Nickoy Christian 68th), Chevonne Marsh, Omar Walcott, Nicholas Hamilton, Michael Spence, Alex Marshall (Orlando Brown 46th)

Subs not used: Marlon Laing, Kemar Shaw, Khareem Parris, David Mitchell

Booked: Smith (62nd), Simpson (81st)

Arnett Gardens: Damian Hyatt, Oneil Thompson, Jabeur Johnson, Jamar Martin, Tamar Edwards, Ricardo Oldham (Vishinul Harris 72nd), Oneil Anderson (Shamar Pryce 38th), Fabian Reid, Damari Deacon (Ronaldo Wright 75th), Steve Clarke, Marvin Morgan

Subs not used: Shamar Clayton, Lamar Neil, Renae Lloyd, Newton Sterling

Booked: None

Referee: Odette Hamilton

Assistant referees: Stephanie Dale-YeeSingh, Jermaine YeeSingh

Fourth Official: Raffique King

Match Commissary: Delroy Josephs

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