Wed | Apr 24, 2024

Tivoli cautious against high-flying Portmore

Published:Sunday | February 25, 2024 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott - Gleaner Writer

Tivoli Gardens coach Jerome Waite.
Tivoli Gardens coach Jerome Waite.
Portmore United coach Phillip Williams.
Portmore United coach Phillip Williams.

Mount Pleasant coach Theodore Whitmore.
Mount Pleasant coach Theodore Whitmore.

Montego Bay United coach Neider Dos Santos.
Montego Bay United coach Neider Dos Santos.
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TIVOLI GARDENS are looking to avoid a second successive loss in the Wray & Nephew Jamaica Premier League (JPL) when they face high-flying Portmore United at Stadium East today at 4 p.m.

The two teams are only one place apart, with Portmore in fourth on 37 points and Tivoli two points adrift in fifth.

Last week’s 1-0 defeat to Mount Pleasant was Tivoli’s first in the second round and coach Jerome Waite is warning against dropping any more points.

“Since the second round, we have lost one game and we want to keep it that way and get a positive result out of this game.

“We played them once already and drew 0 -0. It’s an all-round team. They have a good defensive unit and we expect another tough game,” he said.

In their six matches in the second round, Tivoli have only failed to score twice, in a 0-0 draw with league leaders Cavalier and in last week’s defeat, but they have netted eight times during that run, though leading scorer, Justin Dunn, has only scored once in this round.

Waite believes they are creating the chances but are not being clinical enough, and he insists they must improve in that area.

“One of the key things going forward is when we create our chance, we have to make use of it. That’s the main factor. The team is doing fairly well game by game but it is the result that speaks for itself,” said Waite.

Portmore took advantage of Tivoli’s slip-up last weekend to jump above the West Kingston team into third.

The Philip Williams-coached team are now unbeaten in 12 matches and will start as favourites.

St Catherine have also been in good goalscoring form, netting in their last 13 matches and will want a result that will keep them ahead of their opponents.

Meanwhile, as the race for the top six heats up, Waterhouse (27), Dunbeholden (27) and Montego Bay United (26) will all be aiming for victories this afternoon.

MoBay face the toughest task of all, as they will be up against second-place Mount Pleasant at Drax Hall at 3:30 p.m.

In the first meeting between the teams, Mount Pleasant came away 2-1 winners. But MoBay coach, Neider Dos Santos, thought they had the better run of play and chances.

IN A BETTER POSITION

However, with the improvements they have made to the squad, he believes they are in a better position to exploit the opportunities they created in the first meeting.

“That match we outplayed them. We deserved to win. But in that match, they had more depth. They made five changes and kept the level and we could not keep the level in the same way and went down 2-1.

“In the January window, we strengthened. Now we have a stronger squad, with stronger depth and it will be a more even match I think,” said Dos Santos.

Despite being far from their best, Mount Pleasant have continued to rack up points, 14, from their six second-round games.

Still, with just the one defeat this round and with a mere two goals conceded, Mount Pleasant will still start favourites.

Dunbeholden also start favourites against Molynes at Drax Hall at 1:00 p.m., while Waterhouse should be expected to come away with the advantage against Humble Lion at Effortville at 3:30 p.m.

Both coaches have decided to err on the side of caution.

“We are not being consistent. The last two games we had clean sheets and we have to build on that. It’s not easy going to Effortville, but we are going to try and get things right. But every game is important and every game is a final going into the last eight games,” said Waterhouse coach Marcel Gayle, who has two wins, two draws and two losses this round.

Dunbeholden’s win over Lime Hall on Sunday was their first of the round, but with the additions of Dwight Merrick and Damari Deacon, on loan from Mount Pleasant, and Ajuma Johnson from Harbour View, coach Lenworth Hyde fancied their chances in the run in for sixth place

However, he pointed out that Molynes should not be underestimated.

“This Molynes team is improving. They are playing well. But we also looked good in the last game, So it’s a good matchup. We will have to be disciplined and work hard and try and win the game,” he said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com

Today’s Games

Molynes vs Dunbeholden at Drax Hall (1 p.m.)

Mount Pleasant vs Monteg Bay Utd at Drax Hall (3:30 p.m.)

Vere vs Lime Hall at Wembley (3:30 p.m.)

Humble Lion vs Waterhouse at Effortville (3:30 p.m.)

Tivoli vs Portmore at Stadium East (4 p.m.)