RSPL Best and Worst weeks 16 & 17
Tivoli Gardens could not have asked for a better week. After picking up their second away win of the season against Dunbeholden on Sunday, they dispatched the plumentting Molynes United 2-0 at home in midweek. It is the first time this season that they have recorded back-to-back wins and the first time in this calendar year since January. The six points gained have kept them in 10th place but are now four points above the drop zone. Better still, they are now four points from the top six. A team that fluctuate between the bottom two for the entire first round seems to have found life at a critical juncture. They hope to keep that momentum when they travel to Stadium East to face Cavalier SC on Monday night.
Mount Pleasant F.A.
While coach Paul Davis may not admit it, Mount Pleasant clearly have Waterhouse’s number. The St Ann- based team managed back-to-back wins against the league leaders on Sunday becoming the first team to defeat them at Drewsland this year. They have yet to be beaten by the Marcel Gayle-coached team since joining the league, now winning four of their five meetings. The are now on 28 points and are now firmly in the race for the top two.
Head coach Ricardo Gardner will have enough time to worry about his Concacaf Champions League round of 16 tilt with Cruz Azul. But his team managed to respond from back- to- back defeats to record their third away victory of the season, defeating struggling Molynes United 2-0 on Sunday. If they can get consistent results to close the year, they should be right in the middle of the play-off pack. They play UWI FC on Sunday at the UWI Mona Bowl.
The Arnett Gardens goalkeeper made his return to the field in their 1-1 draw with Waterhouse in midweek. The captain has been on the sidelines for two months after suffering a serious neck injury in Arnett’s defeat to the league leaders on October 13. The committee is pleased to see him back healthy and on the field again.
October 6 was the last time Molynes United won a Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game with their 2-1 victory over Mount Pleasant. It was their sixth straight win at the time and then head coach Lijasu Simms said that the “six was real”. Fast-forward to December and for different circumstances the, “six is real”. They suffered their six straight defeat of the campaign in midweek losing 2-0 to Tivoli Gardens. This was after also losing at home to Portmore United on Sunday. For context, not even UWI FC or Vere United, the teams in the drop zone have lost so many consecutive matches as Molynes. The impressive start to the season is now the only thing that’s keeping them from making an appearance in the bottom two, and they may eventually get there if things do not improve.
Not many teams can say that they have got better of Waterhouse at home so far this year. But, unfortunately, for the league leaders, Mount Pleasant are becoming a thorn in their side. They have now lost back-to-back meetings against the St Ann side this season and although the results does nothing more than dent their lead at the top, it will be concerning that they have yet to beat them since their promotion to the league. Their 1-1 draw against Arnett in midweek has solidified their lead but need to be careful not to drop any more points with Mount Pleasant and Arnett Gardens not far behind.
If Dunbeholden want to be serious about their play-off chances, beating the teams struggling below you is a priority. They missed an opportunity to forge a charge up the standings in their 1-0 defeat at home to Tivoli Gardens. Even with the defeat they still have the opportunity to leap back into the top six with the table congested.
The task will be more difficult, however, when they welcome league leaders Waterhouse to Royal Lakes on Sunday.
They did well to salvage a point against Arnett Gardens on Sunday but unfortunately they could not get anything out of their midweek game away to Harbour View, suffering a 3-0 defeat. They are now five points from safety and need wins at home to stand a chance of moving out of the drop zone. Vere host Humble Lions on Sunday.