Battered Lime Hall remain hopeful of miraculous turnaround
In search of their first win of the season, Lime Hall Academy will hope for some fireworks to end 2023 on a high when they take on in-form Tivoli Gardens in the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday, starting at 3:00 pm.
It has been a bittersweet year for the St Ann-based club — the sweet coming from their promotion to the top flight for the first time. The bitter is that they struggled to keep up with the pack as they’re the only club yet to register a victory, going winless in their 11 games so far.
Not many teams in the history of the league have gone winless in a calendar year and going up against a second-placed Tivoli appears a daunting task.
Lime Hall have scored the least number of goals this season (five) and have also conceded the most (19), but new Coach Vanie Clarke wants a change of fortune, hopefully starting this afternoon.
“We can’t think about the threat that Tivoli possess, we just have to focus on ourselves. We haven’t been able to get it right in all departments so far, so the focus is very much on ourselves. We’re trying to get the different pieces together,” he said.
“We haven’t conceded many goals, barring two games where we were short two defenders and were a bit disorganised, so I’m very comfortable with what we’re able to do in terms of keeping our opposition at bay. Our challenge is taking the pressure off the backline by adding some sort of attacking threat and forcing the opposition in their own backyard so we can breathe a little bit. So for us, it’s trying to be positive, trying to be attacking, trying to get that elusive goal, the team hasn’t scored a lot, which is our major concern so we’re looking to be positive,” Clarke added.
Tivoli, on the other hand, can end the year top of the table with a win and if other results go their way.
The west Kingston club have 21 points so far and are currently on a six-game unbeaten run. Head Coach Jerome Waite is confident he can make it seven, but isn’t predicting an easy contest against the league’s bottom club.
“The game is one for Tivoli to win but we’re not going to expect Lime Hall to just sit down and allow us to play, so we have to go out there and work for those three points. I expect a tough game,” he said.
“After our win [against Harbour View on Wednesday], our next training session we had a team discussion as it relates to the game analysis and we talk about not taking our chances. That is one of the key factors and once you as a team can go out there and make use of your chances, you’ll always be in front. One of the good things from the last game is we kept another clean sheet, so clean sheets are something that we always target going for,” Waite added.
In other 3:00 pm kick-offs, defending champions and league leaders Mount Pleasant on 22 points, despite one win in their last five games, can go into 2024 as the league leaders with a victory over Humble Lion at Drax Hall.
Third-placed Arnett Gardens visit fourth-placed Portmore United at Ferdie Neita Park as both have a chance to finish the year in first. Waterhouse entertain Molynes United at the Waterhouse Mini Stadium, Treasure Beach host Vere United at STETHS and Harbour View travel to Wespow Park to take on Montego Bay United.
In the lone 5:15 pm game, fifth-placed Dunbeholden and seventh-placed Cavalier do battle at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.