Arnett Gardens continued to show good early season form when they easily got past rivals Tivoli Gardens 2-0 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, to return to the summit of the Red Stripe Premier League on Sunday.
Playing in their usual 4-3-3 formation the hosts were all over their opponents from the opening whistle and were it not for poor finishing could have been 2-0 up with less than a third of the match played. Michaelous Martin had the first real chance of the game in the 16th minute, when he was one-on-one with Edsel Scott, but the forward over-dribbled allowing the goalkeeper to clear the danger.
Four minutes later, Martin was again face to face with Scott when he ran the right channel and received a pass but shot straight at the keeper who parried to safety.
The visitors were desperately trying to get a foothold in the game and almost grabbed the lead against the run of play when Keammar Daley hit the crossbar with a curling free kick from 23 yards.
Steve Clarke tested Scott when he fired a grounder on target, the Tivoli keeper did well to dive to his right and pull off a brilliant save.
Andre McFarlane also had a chance to give Tivoli the lead in the 38th minute but his tame header at the back post presented no problems for Damion Hyatt in the Arnett Gardens goal.
Despite the efforts of the attacking trio of Marvin Morgan, Steve Clarke and Martin the teams went in level at the break.
It took only three minutes after the restart for the hosts to take the lead. The imperious Dicoy Williams’ cushioned header while under pressure started a move from the back and the Arnett team crafted the move down the right side. Martin provided the final pass for Jaron Richards to poke home. It was the midfielder’s first goal for the club and no less than Arnett Gardens deserved.
Arnett were 2-0 up in the 52nd minute when Morgan won and scored a penalty. The diminutive forward took on a defender before firing the ball across goal. The ball struck the hand of Kasai Hinds and referee Courtney Campbell pointed to the spot. Morgan calmly slotted the spot kick home sending Scott the wrong way in the process, to notch his first goal for his new club.
Arnett continued to dominate the game as their superior fitness showed on the pitch. Second half substitute Alanzo Adlam was unable to make use of a breakaway and Scott was out in a flash to avert the danger in the 75th minute.
Two minutes later it was Hyatt’s turn to come up with the goods, when he dived bravely at the feet of McFarlane to help maintain his team’s 2-0 advantage.
Adlam was denied at the death when a last ditch tackle from Robert Williams denied him a sure goal with Scott at his mercy.
Arnet Gardens coach, Jerome Waite was happy about the performance of his team, “It was a tough physical game, one which we dominated so the team must take credit for the performance today. Our goalkeeper came up big for us when it mattered as well. The youngsters have stepped up the tempo and the future looks bright for Arnett Gardens in the near future.”
Losing coach Alvin Shaw admitted that the conditioning of the players played a part in the result, “The Arnett team is running pretty hard. They are in a much better physical condition than us right now. We are also affected by illness and injuries but the team is going to get better. We just have to be patient, they will put it together.”
Arnett Gardens now has seven points from three games to lead the league.