MOUNT Pleasant FA recorded their fourth win in five games with a 4-1 thrashing of Tivoli Gardens at home at Drax Hall on Sunday that pushed the fourth-placed team in the Jamaica Premier League closer to third-place Arnett Gardens in match week 19.
The St Ann-based team had started the season like a house on fire and led the league for weeks before hitting a mid-season slump that culminated in Technical Director Wally Downes being replaced by Nicky Eaden, even if not officially so.
Eaden has been in charge for the past five games with the biggest win coming on Sunday, not just in the scoreline but also in terms of the impact that it has made as the end of the regular season fast approaches.
After tumbling from the top of the table and seemingly being in free fall, Eaden has steadied the ship at Mount Pleasant and they have taken 12 of a possible 15 points since he took over.
The win on Sunday has seen them close the gap on Arnett Gardens to just two points with a game in hand, after the “Junglists” were held 3-3 by Molynes United in a Monday night thriller at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.
The win on Sunday was just what the doctor ordered, or in this case, what the coach ordered.
“I challenged the players before the game to basically go out and get the win. I said ‘If that’s putting pressure on you, I don’t care. We are in the results business.’ ”
He was quick to give the players credit, though, for the result after the game.
“At times people look at coaches or whoever is running the team but ultimately, it’s the players that go out so the players deserve the credit,” he said.
The win came on the back of a brace from each of his starting strikers, Trivante Stewart and Daniel Green, and Eaden praised them for the work done over the 90 minutes and in previous games as well.
“Cash [Trivante Stewart] is a handful, the goals are a bit of a bonus. He has scored five in four now. Reggie [Daniel Green] has scored goals regularly all season; he is a threat and that’s why I pushed him up top to play with two strikers.”
Eaden thinks that the win will provide more value to the team than just the three points they have earned.
“I think it will give them confidence. It was a real battling result. We have probably played better football than today and not come away with three points in past games, but we have taken our chances today. We have looked solid at the back. It just gives you a base to build on,” he reasoned.
With four games remaining to end their regular season, Eaden is hoping that the run in will provide the edge needed for when they get to the play-offs.
“The play-offs are potluck at times. You want to go in there with a bit of momentum, on a bit of a roll, but we have got four tough games left against good sides.”
Mount Pleasant are now on 34 points, two behind Arnett Gardens who have played a game more. The game that Mount Pleasant have in hand is no “gimme” however, as it is a tough one against league leaders Waterhouse FC.
— Dwayne Richards