Thu | Feb 21, 2019

Mount Pleasant look to move up RSPL table

Published:Sunday | January 20, 2019 | 12:00 AMNodley Wright
Cardel Benbow (right) of Mount Pleasant United evades a tackle from Chavany Willis of Portmore United during a recent Red Stripe National Premier League match at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.
Portmore United's Ricardo Morris
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Moneybags Mount Pleasant FC will make another attempt at cementing their credentials as being legitimate title challengers when they host leaders and defending champions Portmore United at Drax Hall in one of five games on today.

The newly promoted team, backed by Englishman Peter Gould, got their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) journey off to a good start when they beat the defending champions on the opening day of the season. Since then, they have blown hot and cold, beating some of the better teams and falling to teams they were expected to beat at home. In their last three games, they have got the better of Waterhouse, lost to Montego Bay United away, before stopping 11th-placed Dunbeholden away.

A win against Portmore United would have their horde of fans, some of whom have fallen off the wagon temporarily, believing again. Portmore United, while leading everyone else, have not been the most consistent, losing twice in their last five games.

Portmore United do have the deepest squad in the league, and if their players such as captain Ricardo Morris, Jovan East, and Chavany Willis report with enough interest, then they could be unplayable.

 

RELEGATION HOLE

 

At Royal Lakes, Waterhouse will seek to pile more misery on the battling Dunbeholden who, with a victory, could strengthen their chances of climbing out of the relegation hole in which they currently find themselves. Waterhouse have improved their standing to second, and a win would pull them closer to leaders Portmore United, and even ahead of them should the leaders lose to Mount Pleasant.

Arnett Gardens ended their winless-losing streak with a comfortable 2-0 away win over the struggling Tivoli Gardens and should fancy their chances against Humble Lion. Of interest is the fact that midfielder Vishinul Harris and goalkeeper Damion Hyatt, both of whom were being sought by Humble Lion, played key roles in Arnett Gardens' midweek win and should feature today.

Humble Lion do have quality in their line-up, and their chances should not be written off, but in order for them to have a chance, their attackers will have to fire.

Tivoli Gardens have slipped out of the top six, and with unfavourable results, a playoff spot appears to be slipping out of their hands. From their perspective, today's home game against Montego Bay United could be exactly what the doctor ordered. They must be thinking that if there is a team for them to beat now, it must be the team rooted at the foot of the table.

Montego Bay United, on the other hand, are in a battle for survival, and anything but a win today would drive another nail into their relegation coffin. The reactivation of Dino Williams, the temporary return of Owayne Gordon, as well as those of Deshane Beckford, Jacameno Barrett, and Johann Weatherly, have strengthened their squad, but they will have to start stacking up the victories.

Reno have taken over from Boys' Town as the great-escape artistes of the RSPL, and this season is continuing in that vein for them. A favourable result against Cavalier will have them believing even more that they can do it once more. A loss, however, could see them being dragged back into the relegation dogfight, especially if one or both of Dunbeholden or Montego Bay United win.

 

Today's Games

 

- 5 p.m.: Cavalier vs Reno - Stadium East

- 3 p.m.: Dunbeholden vs Waterhouse - Royal Lakes

- 3 p.m.: Humble Lion vs Arnett Gardens - Effortville Community Centre

- 3 p.m.: Mount Pleasant vs Portmore United - Drax Hall

- 7 p.m.: Tivoli Gardens vs Montego Bay United - Edward Seaga Complex

 

Tomorrow's game

 

- 8:35 p.m.: Harbour View vs UWI FC - Harbour View Stadium