Photo: Nickoy Christian of Tivoli Gardens FC hooks the ball back while under pressure from Montego Bay United midfielder Nicholas Stewart their Red Stripe Premier League encounter last Sunday. A 21st minute strike from Dino Williams was enough to earn the champions all three points.
Newly promoted Marverley/Hughenden has made the most of their return to the nation’s top flight after more than two decades in the wilderness, taking four points off the finalists of last season’s Red Stripe Premier League. Today they play away to sophomores UWI, who will still be smarting from the 3-0 spanking they received away to the other promoted team, Jamalco FC.
The UWI will be banking on the comforts of home to get back to winning ways and show that they can cope with life after Girvon Brown who was their leading goal scorer last season. Brown has taken up a contract overseas and so other members of the team must take up the slack.
Marverley led by a confident coach in Liju Simms has yet to taste defeat this season and goes to UWI with their tails up. They will believe that they can continue to produce results which should make for an open game, that may produce a result. A draw is on the cards, although either team could grab all three points. This game begins at 3:30pm like all other games, except the live television game which begins at 3:00pm and the game at Harbour View which begins at 7:00pm.
The TV game promises to be a real cracker. Pointless Waterhouse FC hosts Jamalco FC at Drewsland and their coach Marvin Tate and his boys are already under pressure. Two losses on the road see them second from bottom, because they have conceded less than last placed Boys Town FC.
Tate insists that his team is ready to play ball and that the first two games of the season were a "feeling out" period for himself and his players. Twenty players have already played in the two games so far for Waterhouse and while he hopes for patience from the fans, Tate will find out just how harsh the Waterhouse fans can be if results don’t go their way.
Jermaine ‘Tuffy’ Anderson was discarded just before the start of the season as the management insisted on going with a younger squad but they have since brought back Irvino English who at 38 years old is one year older than Anderson.
Jamalco has nothing to lose and all to play for and heads to Drewsland with their confidence sky high after scoring three goals at home. Rayon Johnson and his boys are not going there for a share of the points but for all three. A Jamalco win is not something to bet against.
Humble Lion suffered an agonizing last minute defeat to Reno at Frome when their rained out game was replayed on Thursday. The memories of that stinging 1-0 defeat must be put away quickly as they host former champions Arnett Gardens in what will be another tough encounter.
Games between these two teams are always fiery and nothing is expected to be different at the Effortville Community Centre where the Lion started with a win. Having fallen at the penultimate hurdle two seasons in a row, Humble Lion will be looking to get back on track for their ultimate mission of winning the RSPL.
Arnett is one of four teams with four points and will be hoping that they can continue to pick up the wins on the road. A brace from Damari Deacon helped them seal a 2-1 win over Waterhouse and more will be expected of the youngster today.
Champions Montego Bay United took three points from Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex last Sunday and takes on another West Kingston based team, Boys Town, this time at Westpow Park, where they will be hoping to claim their first points for the 2016-2017 campaign.
They were sloppy in hosting promoted Marverley/Hughenden on match day one and will be looking to plug all the leaks at home today.
Boys Town prop up the tables with consecutive losses to begin the new season and will be praying to turn things around today. Westpow Park has never been a happy hunting ground for Andrew Price and his boys, but they will be hoping to spark a turnaround by pulling off a shock win this afternoon.
Portmore United picked up a single point away to Marverley/Hughenden and return home with three points on their mind when they welcome a Tivoli Gardens team that lost at home to Mobay United last weekend.
Portmore sits in third place on four points and will look to push on from there. Linval Dixon will be hoping to get a result out of his team despite being a little bit behind in their preparations
Tivoli looked good for the first 20 minutes of their game against the champions before conceding. They also bossed the second half but failed to truly test the Mobay back line. They will be looking to do much better in the attacking third today.
Harbour View hosts the only late game when they welcome FC Reno. These two are the only teams from the last match day that faces another team that won. Both teams are evenly matched, but while Harbour View secured three points a week ago, Reno only claimed their points on Thursday, after the Sunday game was affected by rain.
Reno will also have to travel far for this game and the hours on their legs may just make the difference in the contest tonight. Habour View is expected to go full throttle from the opening whistle to take advantage of any fatigue in the legs of the Reno team.
It is still early days in the Red Stripe Premier League but nether Waterhouse nor Boys Town can afford losses today, while he four teams with four points, Marverley/Hughenden, Arnett Gardens, Portmore United and Reno will be looking to claim three points and begin to separate from the chasing pack.