Tue, 21 Jan 2020 03:00:14 -0500
Waterhouse face Mount Pleasant in novel Friday Night FootballBY HOWARD WALKER
The introduction of Friday Night Football will usher in a new era for Jamaica's topflight Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) and what better way to kick it off with a mammoth top-of-the-table clash between Waterhouse FC and Mount Pleasant FA at Drewsland, starting at 7:00 pm.
Friday Night Football debuted a few years ago in St Catherine, then in KSAFA's Super League and now RSPL fans will get a chance to watch the nation's best teams compete to kick-off the weekend.
Waterhouse, meantime, leads the 12-team table on 33 points from 14 games, eight ahead of second-placed Mount Pleasant with 25 points, but from 15 games. Waterhouse have a game in hand against bottom-placed Tivoli Gardens, which was postponed last Sunday.
Waterhouse can increase their lead atop of the table to a whopping 11 points or Mount Pleasant can reduce that lead significantly to just five. Whichever way, the stage is set for an epic battle between two hard-running teams.
The St Ann-based Mount Pleasant are playing in the RSPL for just their second season and in their debut last year, they went to the semi-finals where they lost to eventual champions Portmore United.
Waterhouse, winners of the league twice in 1997 and 2006, have been to the last two finals and lost both times to Portmore United. Notwithstanding, they are a seasoned outfit and will be hard to beat.
But if there ever was a team capable of beating in-form Waterhouse, it would be Mount Pleasant who have the rare distinction of playing Waterhouse four times and are yet to taste defeat, winning three of those games, while drawing once. On October 20, they won 3-1 in the first round and will be looking to repeat.
Revenge has been on Waterhouse's mind from last season and they are eager to end their winless streak against Mount Pleasant and Head Coach Marcel Gayle said he is hoping to change that.
“We know it won't be an easy one and we won't take them lightly because we haven't beaten them yet. But I mean, tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow we are going out there to change that and play good football,” said Gayle.
“It's a Friday night game, the first time in the Premier League, but we are confident and are looking forward to the game,” said Gayle.
Meanwhile, Mount Pleasant Head Coach Paul “Tegat” Davis is aware of the task at hand, but he remains optimistic.
“Every game is a new game and we won't be taking it for granted as we know we coming to a team that is in form – winning games and scoring goals. So we have to be in tip-top shape tomorrow,” Davis pointed out.
“It's not going to be an easy game. The Waterhouse team is in form and playing pretty good football. Although we have beaten them the first time, it wasn't an easy game,” said Davis.
“We just have to stick to our game plan and concentrate for the whole 90 minutes and see if we can take our chances and come away with a victory,” he added.
Beaten finalists in the last two years, Waterhouse will be looking towards the likes of league's top scorer Colorado Murray (nine goals), along with both Kenroy Howell and Stephen Williams, with six goals each.
Captain Keithy Simpson, Tramaine Stewart, Damion Binns, Shawn Lawes, Nicholy Findlayson, Mark Miller make for a potent Waterhouse unit.
Mount Pleasant, under Coach Davis has found a new lease on life on the attacking front and are a most dangerous outfit with the likes of Francios Swaby, Jourdaine Fletcher, Kesslon Hall, Cardel Benbow, Ronaldo Rodney, Jameil Hardware, Daniel Green, and Evan Taylor, hence the fans should be treated to an exciting game of football at Drewsland.
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