MBU, Tivoli clash in RSPL game at WesPow Park
TUCKER, St James — Defending champions Montego Bay United (MBU) will have a score to settle when they host title contenders Tivoli Gardens in a rescheduled Red Stripe Premier League third-round game at WesPow Park today, starting at 3:30 pm.
Tivoli Gardens edged MBU 1-0 when both teams met at WesPow Park at the end of the second round.
Now just two points separate the teams that were scheduled to meet two weeks ago. The game was rescheduled to accommodate MBU’s hosting of the Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Caribbean Champions Cup first-round Group C match at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.
Both teams are coming off 1-1 draws; MBU came from a goal down to earn a point against Humble Lion on Monday, while a day earlier Tivoli Gardens gave up an early lead and were held by relegation-threatened Maverly/Hughenden.
Since their loss, which triggered a three-game winless run and saw them giving up the lead, MBU, who are in fourth place on 47 points from 25 games, have seen American coach Rod Underwood taking over the reins.
Despite winning just three of the six games since he took over, losing once to Antiguan club Grenades in the CFU tournament, Underwood thinks the team is starting to grasp what he has been teaching.
“We can’t be drawing games; we need to win and move up the standings.”
Underwood is also concerned about allowing “soft goals”.
In the six games they have played under him so far, they have let in seven goals, most of which, he argued, were preventable.
With the departure of top striker Dino Williams to the Indy XI in the NASL, there is a three- way battle between the seasoned Allan Ottey and two youngsters, Johann Weatherly and Jourdaine Fletcher, to accompany Owayne Gordon in attack.
So far Weatherly, with two goals off the bench in the CFU event, appears to have won the starting place, playing 85 minutes on Monday against Humble Lion.
Gordon, who was the competition’s top scorer last year when they won their second title in three years, got his first goal of the RSPL season on Monday.
He also scored three times in the final two games of the recent CFU tournament.
Today MBU will take on an inconsistent Tivoli Gardens team led by the competition’s top striker, Jermaine Johnson, who has so far netted 14 times, and has combined with his strike partner Elton Thompson for 22 of the team’s 38 goals scored.