Squad depth affecting Cavalier

December 13, 2019
Portmore United’s Lamar Walker and Vere United’s Devroy Grey tussle for the ball during a Red Stripe Premier League match on September 8.
Portmore United’s Lamar Walker and Vere United’s Devroy Grey tussle for the ball during a Red Stripe Premier League match on September 8.

Cavalier SC have had to deal with squad depth issues since the start of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season but it seems that the constant rotation of players is starting to take its toll.

Cavalier moved down from fifth to seventh place in the league losing 2-1 to defending champions Portmore United in their RSPL encounter at the Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday.

Lamar Walker fired the defending champions into the lead in the 34th minute and Cleon Pryce added another, which turned out to be the game winner as Portmore recorded back-to- back wins for the third time this season. Spaniel Thomas was only able to score a consolation goal with seconds left in added time. The defeat sees them once again out of the top six, slipping into seventh place with 22 points, putting an end to their four match unbeaten run.

Rudolph Speid technical director, has lamented the fact that he has been operating with a limited roster for awhile, not able to for his team's potential to shine through.

"We have been playing week in, week out with a very small squad. We only turned up with 16 players today" he said after the game. "We introduced an 18-year-old today. We are trying to give the young players some legs. The truth is that [playing] on this field doesn't help, it's really terrible and the sun hot doesn't help, but we didn't play according to plan and that's one of the reasons why we lost the game. We thought if we had got one of the goals earlier, we would have been able to get back in the game."

Regular starters

Alex Marshall was absent from the team due to his duties with the Under-22 national squad and the team was missing regular starters Raheem Depass, who did not feature in the game, Chevone Marsh and Kamoy Simpson.

It could have a different story had Cavalier took advantage of their dominance early in the first half. They had a golden opportunity when Nicholas Hamilton was put through one on one but was unable to bury his shot past Portmore goalkeeper Benjamin Williams. Walker scored on a tap in a minute after the squandered opportunity. It's a pattern that, according to Speid, has cost them games in the past.

"It's plaguing us all season when we get these opportunities and we don't take care of them," he said.

"I thought that the game improved as it went along. Portmore really played well, some nice football, we did also. [But] I suppose today is their day."

Despite their latest drop from the play-off places, Speid is confident that they will be able to elevate themselves back into the top six, knowing that it is a situation that they have in before and believing that the young players will deliver for him.

"This is temporary. We dropped out of the top six. It's OK. We have dropped out before and we have fought our way back. I still think it's going to take some time to get these youngsters to mend. But I'm not really worried. I think it's more important to use the youngsters, that is Cavalier's policy and go forward," he said.

Cavalier will host Tivoli Gardens on Monday night at Stadium East.

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