Keen contests forecast as RSPL return from two-week break

Sports

Keen contests forecast as RSPL return from two-week break

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 16, 2020

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Having benefited from a break lasting just over a fortnight, Dunbeholden FC will be gunning to strengthen their hold on a Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) play-off position when they visit struggling Vere United in the lone early fixture of match week 26 at Wembley Centre of Excellence in Clarendon.

Match time is 3:00 pm.

Other tasty encounters will be served up today at 7:00 pm, when leaders Waterhouse FC welcome fourth-placed Humble Lion to Drewsland and 11th-placed University of the West Indies (UWI) FC head to Drax Hall in St Ann to second-placed Mount Pleasant FA.

Fifth-placed Arnett Gardens are set to host 10th-placed Molynes United at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in the day's late contest at 8:00 pm.

After suffering consecutive defeats in 1-3 and 1-4 scorelines to Waterhouse and champions Portmore United, respectively, ahead of the break, Dunbeholden seem poised to resume good fortunes against Vere, who have yet to really find their footing in top-flight football.

Prior to defeat against Waterhouse and Portmore, Dunbeholden enjoyed a four-match unbeaten run, which was critical to them being in sixth position on 35 points.

Now refreshed and well aware of what is at stake, Dunbeholden should come firing on all cylinders as victory by more than two goals today would see them leapfrog Arnett Gardens into fifth place, provisionally.

Vere United, on the other hand, are staring relegation in the face at the foot of the 12-team standing on 17 points. While they are not without hope, Vere United would need to go on a lengthy win streak to have any chance of surviving, but based on their current form that seems an improbable task.

Leaders Waterhouse, on 47 points, will take their positive performances from the Flow Concacaf Caribbean Club Championships into today's contest against an in-form Humble Lion unit in fourth on 42 points.

By all indications, today's encounter should be another knotty affair between the two teams, with Waterhouse leading the tie, following a 2-1 away win in their second meeting. The first ended goalless.

Both teams are currently on top of their game with Waterhouse enjoying a five-match unbeaten run, which includes two wins and three draws, while Humble Lion have won their last three encounters.

Though Andrew Price's Humble Lion come in with the fresher legs having last been in action on January 30, Marcel Gayle's Waterhouse team are very gritty and will have home court advantage in their favour.

Of note, however, is the fact that victory for Humble Lion would see them overtaking Portmore United, who are also on 42 points with a slightly better goal difference. Portmore United will be out of action until March 5, when they will host ninth-placed Harbour View on 32 points.

Should Waterhouse stumble, it would open the door for Mount Pleasant FA (44 points) to join them on points, but the St Ann-situated team would remain in second position by virtue of an inferior goal difference.

Despite a gradual drop in form with two losses and a draw along the way in their last five fixtures, Mount Pleasant returned to winning ways with a 2-0 beating of Tivoli Gardens, and they should make it two on the trot with victory over UWI FC in 11th on 18 points.

Like Vere United, UWI are also staring relegation in the face, as they are currently eight points adrift from safety, and as such, require a dramatic turn of form to stay on in the league.

Meanwhile, Arnett Gardens (38 points) are on the hunt to ensure that they slip no further than their current position, after suffering two losses and two stalemates.

However, they pulled a much-needed win out of the hat on last, getting by UWI FC 3-1, which would have done a great deal to their confidence heading into today's fixture against 10th-place a Molynes on 26 points.

The last time these two teams met the game ended 2-2, and while it should be another intriguing encounter, the form line has slightly titled the scales in Arnett Gardens' favour, as Molynes United, who started the season with six-straight wins, are yet to really rediscover their taste for winning.

Tomorrow sees seventh-placed Tivoli Gardens (33 points) travel to eighth-placed Cavalier (32 points) for what should be a mouth-watering Monday Night Fixture.

Today's games

3:00 pm: Vere United vs Dunbeholden FC @Wembley Centre of Excellence

7:00 pm: Mount Pleasant FA vs UWI FC @ Drax Hall, St Ann

7:00 pm: Waterhouse FC vs Humble Lion FC @ Drewsland Stadium

8:00 pm: Arnett Gardens vs Molynes United @ Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex

Tomorrow's game

8:00 pm: Cavalier FC vs Tivoli Gardens @ Stadium East


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