Portmore, Tivoli in marquee RSPL matchup

BY HOWARD WALKER
SENIOR STAFF REPORTER
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

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Champions Portmore United tackle Tivoli Gardens in the marquee midweek matchup at Spanish Town Prison Oval, which is one of four Red Stripe Premier League games on today starting at 3:00 pm.

In the other game at 3:00 pm, Montego Bay United host the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Wespow Park, while at 7:00 pm Waterhouse host Reno and Dunbeholden travel to Harbour View.

Leaders Portmore United, on 24 points, will be hoping to extend their lead atop the table when they play a Tivoli Gardens team in third spot on 20 points which is looking to close that four-point gap.

The Shavar Thomas-coached Portmore United are hunting their fourth-consecutive win and are fancied to achieve it against an inconsistent Tivoli Gardens outfit that has lost two of it's last four games.

Portmore are coming off an exciting 4-3 win over Reno, battling back from two goals down for a very good win. They have banged in the most goals by all teams, netting 21 times, but more worrying for the champions is the fact that they have conceded 13 goals from 12 games, the most among the top eight teams.

Portmore will be depending on captain Ricardo Morris, their top scorer Rondee Smith with six goals, the ever-dangerous Javon East, and the emerging Chavanny Willis.

Tivoli Gardens are riding high following their 5-1 demolition of Harbour View on Sunday, and will make life very hard for the champions despite playing away from home.

The Omar Edwards-coached unit are looking like genuine title-contenders and cannot be taken lightly. The have found a goalscorer in Calarado Murray who has banged in five goals this season.

With the likes of Howard Morris, Junior McGregor, Tevin Shaw, Marvin Stewart, captain Barrington Pryce and the much-improved Kemar Seivwright, Tivoli Gardens should make their presence felt.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, a crucial bottom-of-the-table clash will see 11th-placed Harbour View on 10 points take on 12th-placed Dunbeholden with eight points at the Compound.

Both teams are struggling, but despite their cellar position, the promoted Dunbeholden are playing better than their current standing points, and with a bit more luck could be further up the table. It is indeed a crucial survival match for both teams, one which neither team wants to lose.

Despite having arguably the best playmaker on the island in Peter Lee Vassell, Harbour View have struggled for goals, scoring only nine times in 12 games, and have conceded a whopping 21 times. They are a talented bunch and can get it right anytime, and tonight might just be their night.

Having gone unbeaten in their last six games, Waterhouse are sitting in sixth spot on 18 points and they take on struggling Reno sitting just above the relegation zone in ninth spot on 11 points.

At Wespow Park in St James, home team Montego Bay United and the UWI will be looking to rebound from Sunday's losses. UWI are in eighth spot on 17 points following three consecutive defeats, while Montego Bay have lost three of their last five games to be in 10th spot on 11 points.

If Montego Bay fail to win, they could very well fall into the relegation zone, as they currently sit just one point above the hole.

On Thursday, second-placed Arnett Gardens, with 21 point travel to fifth-placed Cavalier on 19 points for a 5:00 pm game, while seventh-placed Humble Lion on 17 points host fourth-placed Mount Pleasant with 20 points.

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