Best and Worst of RSPL Week 12
With the exception of Vere United, no team in the league needed a win as desperate as the University of the West Indies (UWI). Signs of the drop in form could be pointed towards their second game against Molynes United. They were on the wrong end of a come-from-behind victory and they have been dropping down the standings ever since. Last Sunday, they got their revenge, this time overturning a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 and escaping the drop zone. The worst is not over, but this is a shot in the arm for a team that has been searching for confidence and results. It's still a long way to go for head coach Andrew Peat but it's a good platform to start the fightback up the table.
Kenroy Howell and Colorado Murray
There is a three-way tie for the Golden Boot lead this season and two of those players come from league leaders Waterhouse. Kenroy Howell and Colorado Murray found the net in their 3-1 win over Harbour View.
Arnett Gardens have put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season and are now five games unbeaten. Their away record is among the best in the league and they have quietly ventured into fourth place with 19 points. It's been an up and down start for the 'Junglists' but they have started to find some consistency in time for the second round. They are fitting their stride ahead of the second West Kingston derby of the season Monday night against Tivoli Gardens.
Mount Pleasant FA
They were on the brink of having their winning streak end by a very good Humble Lion team but two late goals managed to turn the tide and Paul Davis's side clawed their way back to a 2-1 win. They have now won five straight and are one win away from equalling Molynes United for the best winning run this season so far. They showed a level a grit needed to overcome tough opponents and that quality is a major asset in making a run at the play-offs. They have now vaulted themselves into the top two with 22 points, five behind leaders Waterhouse.
Dean Andre Thomas
Dean Andre Thomas is becoming Dunbeholden's most important player so far this season. Although they will need contributions in the goal-scoring department from elsewhere to make things easier, it always helps when your talisman comes through when needed. His brace against bottom club Vere United gives him a share of the Golden Boot lead with six goals. He is only two goals shy of equalling his season total from last year and if he keeps this going Dunbeholden could have an outside chance at the play-offs.
Even with a 10-man Tivoli side, Portmore United didn't use their man advantage to pressure Tivoli Gardens. In fact they were let off the hook when Rodico Wellington missed his penalty in the 70th minute. But they managed to get the goal they needed courtesy of a brilliant free kick by Rondee Smith to take the defending champions to seventh place with 15 points, just one outside the play-off positions. Not a convincing win but it's something for head coach Ricardo Gardner to build on. He praised them for their grit and fight to get the result. They need a lot of that when they host in-form Mount Pleasant on Sunday.
The good news is that they didn't lose by seven goals this time. The bad news is that they have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since the middle of September when they lost to Waterhouse and Portmore United. New head coach Damion 'Stew Peas' Stewart has his work cut out for him to improve their form.
Whether it's a combination of team's finally figuring them out or a loss in confidence, Molynes United are searching for answers. They are now winless in six games and have fallen to third place. The most worrying sign is that the teams behind are in striking distance to overtake them in the table if results go their way. They could be in a free fall in they are not careful.
Vere United had the lead for the first time since their season opening win against Portmore United but Dean Andre Thomas's brace meant that Vere's situation remains the same; bottom of the table with nothing to show for their efforts. Nothing has gone right for the promoted side and all signs point towards relegation if they cannot get a win to boost their confidence.
The Tivoli Gardens defender was sent off for the second time in four weeks during their 1-0 defeat to Portmore United on Sunday. Given Tivoli Garden's perilous position in the drop zone, sending offs are a problem that they can't afford. He will be unavailable for their Monday night clash against Arnett Gardens.
Cavalier were on the wrong end of a goal-scoring blitz in the first half by Arnett Gardens and though they managed to find a way back into the game at 3-1, Arnett made the points save 12 minutes from the end. It's not the way to start off the second round and it's a bad way to end a five match unbeaten run. But they have only won once in that span. They travel to the Mona Bowl to face UWI, whose confidence has been boosted after their win against Molynes United.