By Paul A Reid
Monday, September 23, 2019
Mount Pleasant Football Academy (FA) and The University of the West Indies (UWI) Football Club (FC) — two teams with frightening potential but still seeking to find their feet early in the season — will meet tonight at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, as week four of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) comes to a close.
Both teams are tied on four points from a win, a draw and loss coming into the week with two more teams, Arnett Gardens FC and Cavalier FC, but Mount Pleasant FA are coming off their first win of the season after edging Tivoli Gardens FC at home last weekend.
Mount Pleasant FA have a 100 per cent record against UWI FC, winning all three games between the teams last season, but like UWI FC's coach Andrew Peart, Paul “Tegat” Davis, Mount Pleasant's coach, is cautious going into the game.
The coaches are aware of the strengths of their counterparts and are expecting a good game today, even as each expects to come away with full points.
Davis will be in charge for his third game after taking over the team from Donovan Duckie, who led them to the semi-finals last season but was fired after one game this season. He said it was important to keep winning.
“We are coming off a win but we can't think about that game and get complacent; we have to go into this game playing hard football and maintaining our focus all the time,” Davis told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“The UWI FC team is good and they have some good, young players who love to move the ball around [so] we have to go for the win — home or away. If we see where we won't be able to get the win, we have to make adjustments and try not to lose either, a point is better than none.”
A number of players are scheduled to come off the injury list but Davis said it would be too early to include them in the squad for today's game, so he has organised a practise game for Tuesday, when he will assess their match readiness.
Keslan Hall, who started their first game — a loss to Harbour View — but came off the bench to score the winner last week Sunday, could force his way into the starting team tonight, as Davis was pleased with his industry against Tivoli Gardens.
Offensive players Jameil Hardware, Cardel Benbow and Kemar Beckford could all retain their places in the starting team today as they push for the win against a UWI team coming off a 0-0 draw and who have allowed only three goals, all during their loss to Molynes United after leading 2-0.
Peart told the Observer he was expecting “a challenging game against a resurgent Mount Pleasant”, and said the change of coach has seen the St Ann team playing more attacking football.
The UWI FC coach said they would have to be “mindful” of a “lively team”, and their plan was to control the possession and “make less mistakes”.
Jabari Hylton has scored 50 per cent of UWI FC's goals so far with three of the six, and is expected to lead the team today along with Thorn Simpson.
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