Two of the 12 coaches in Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League have already been fired.

Jerome Waite, longstanding coach with Arnett Gardens, was last week, sacked and this week, the coach of Dunbeholden, former Reggae Boy, Fabian Taylor was shown the door.

Waite, it was said, would not have enough time with Arnett Gardens because of his duties with the national programme. Waite is coach of Jamaica’s under-23 outfit.

Taylor’s case also had to do with the stresses involved in starting a new season at the top level in Jamaican football. The former Reggae Boy was, reportedly, not pleased with the nature of the squad Dunbeholden were going to start the season with.

Dunbeholden have returned to the tried and tested, Regel Smith, who got them to the Premier League.

Waite, who won four Premier League titles with the club,  has been replaced by Wolmer’s player and former Arnett Gardens centre half, Alex Thomas. Thomas is also the coach of Wolmer’s Boys’ in Jamaica’s schoolboy urban area competitions, the Manning and Walker cups.

Champions Portmore United, runners up Waterhouse Football Club and some of their players were slapped with fines and suspensions arising from the disruption of the Red Stripe Premier League finals held at the National Stadium on April 29, 2019.

Red Stripe, the title sponsors of Jamaica’s premier league, have expressed their displeasure at what transpired during Monday night’s finals between champions Portmore United and Waterhouse FC but have committed to continue to support the competition.

Portmore United are the Red Stripe Premier League champions for the second time in a row, though the night at the National Stadium in Kingston was marred by a couple of alarming stoppages. 

Technical Director of the Cavalier Football Club Rudolph Speid said the Cavalier Football Club established themselves as a powerhouse in the 2018/2019 RSPL season and expects the coming season to be an even better one.

Speid was speaking with Sportsmax.TV following his team’s 1-0 win over Mount Pleasant Football Club in the playoff for third place at the National Stadium on Monday night.

A 41st-minute goal from Alex Marshall was enough for Cavalier to win the match and secure third place. Marshall picked up the ball on the left just outside the 18-yard box beat a defender before firing past goalkeeper Joseph Vargas into the right corner of the goal.

Speid believes there is a lot to build on for next season.

“I think the third-place playoff was really an anti-climax to our season but at the same time we can’t complain too much because I think Cavalier established themselves as one of the powerhouses in the league,” he said.

“We have some regrets we didn’t go all the way but we are going to build on it next season.”

Cavalier sold two players during the season that impacted their season by their absence. One of them was 19-year-old Jamoi Topey who departed for the Bethlehem Steele in the National Soccer League in the United States.

Speid described Topey as three players in one and said his departure hurt the team defensively but they managed to eventually get their act together to reach the playoffs.

For next season, he plans to introduce even more young players into the Cavalier team and their fans can expect more from them in 2019/2020.

Mount Pleasant substitute Jourdaine Fletcher was left in tears after himself being substituted 20 minutes after coming on in the team’s Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) win over UWI on Sunday.  The team’s assistant coach Nigel Stewart insists the move was tactical.

In the end, Mount Pleasant prevailed 1-0 on the back of a Francios Swaby 27th – minute penalty but Fletcher perhaps bemoaned his lack of telling contribution to the fixture.  The forward, once continued one of the nation’s brightest youth prospects, was brought on to the pitch as a replacement for Kemar Beckford in the 73rd minute.

The former Cornwall College standout, however, seemed to struggle to get up to the pace of the game.  His most significant contributions amounting to failing to reach a picture-perfect pass from a Ricardo Campbell freekick in the 78th minute and a wild slash over the bar in the 83rd minute, after being set up on the break by Cardel Benbow. 

By the 92nd minute, Stewart apparently had a change of heart and yanked the forward from the pitch in favour of defensive change Kevin Graham.  It was a move that left the 21-year-old player, disconsolate, and in tears on the bench.  Stewart, however, insisted the team was intent on defending a narrow lead late on.  

“We are professionals it was a tactical change,” Stewart said.

“We needed fresh legs in midfield.  He looked a little winded, I don’t know if it was the occasion but like I said, we are professionals.”

UWI coach Andrew Peart has insisted he is proud of the team, despite being eliminated from the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) following a 1-0 loss to Mount Pleasant at Drax Hall on Sunday.

In a balanced encounter, which headed into the second leg tied 2-2 on aggregate, the game was ultimately decided from the penalty spot.  Striker Francios Swaby fired high into the roof of the net from 12 yards out to give the home team the win in the 27th minute. 

The referee had pointed to the spot after a shot from just outside the area, from Mount Pleasant midfielder Cardel Benbow, struck the outstretched arm of UWI defender Michael Edwards. 

UWI had limited chances to equalize but still sniffed out good enough chances to get back on level terms.  Ramone Reid missed a point-blank header, delightfully set up off an accurate cross just minutes after going behind.  Later on substitute Patrick Brown saw his shot to goal cleared of the line by Mount Pleasant defender Ricardo Campbell in the 88th minute.

“We got one golden opportunity we never capitalised on it.  This is what these games come down to. They had one chance, created out of nothing really, it was just an unfortunate ball to the hand and they scored from the penalty,” said UWI coach Andrew Peart.

“We knew it was always going to be tough because the 17 games they played at home this they went ahead in the first half in 14 of them and never relinquished the lead, so we knew we needed something out of body today,” he added.

“The crowd was not in the game today because they saw our quality and saw that we could score at any moment.”

Promoted Mount Pleasant secured a spot in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) semi-finals, after a closely contested win over the University of the West Indies at Drax Hall on Sunday.

Heading into Sunday’s second leg the team were locked at 2-2 but a 27th-minute penalty from striker Francios Swaby proved to be decisive in a match the provided few genuine goal-scoring opportunities. 

Mount Pleasant’s crucial breakthrough came about after UWI defender Michael Edwards was deemed to have handled a speculative spot to goal from the edge of the area from Cardel Benbow.  Swaby stepped to the spot to fire the ball high to the right of UWI goalkeeper Amal Knight for his fifth goal of the season.

In a game of limited chances, UWI had a golden opportunity to get back on level terms, but Ramone Reid found only fresh air with an attempted header, from a cross that was accurately whipped into his path.

In the 87th minute UWI had perhaps their best chance of sending the game into extra time but saw that dream crushed after substitute Patrick Brown saw his attempt at goal cleared off the line by man-of-the-match Ricardo Campbell, who provided stout defending throughout the encounter.

Cavalier took a big step towards the semifinal round of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) after dispatching 10-man Arnett Gardens 3-0, in the first-leg encounter between the teams, at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday.

It was the in-form Cavalier that put the struggling Arnett Gardens on the back foot from the opening whistle.  They claimed a deserved lead in the 15th minute when Chevone Marsh slotted home coolly after an attempted through ball was deflected into his path by an unfortunate defender.

‘The Junglists’ dealt themselves a major self-inflicted wound when goalkeeper Mark Harrison was sent off in the 27th minute.  The custodian was given a straight red card for abusive language directed at the referee.

Despite being a man down, the hosts managed to give a good account of themselves but saw their hopes of damage control unravel late on.  Alex Marshall eventually doubled Cavalier’s lead in the 77th minute, latching on to a poorly cleared effort from Arnett Gardens defender Zhelano Barnes, to beat the goalkeeper in somewhat fortuitous fashion.

Nicholas Hamilton then finished off the match and in all likelihood Arnett’s chances of advancing, after chipping a delightful Marsh through ball over the head of Arnett Gardens goalkeeper Damion Hyatt.

 

 

A pair of second-half penalties kept Mount Pleasant and UWI on even terms, following a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) match at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Sunday.

The UWI took command of the encounter early on and took a 21st-minute lead when midfielder Ramoun Reid drifted into the area to dispatch a powerful header into the back of the net.

Mount Pleasant were kept out the match for long spells but found themselves back on level terms when Sue-Lae McCalla found a powerful header of his own in the 60th minute, after arriving.  Their lead did not last long, however, as UWI were awarded a 68th-minute penalty after defender Ricardo Campbell was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.  Ryan Miller converted coolly from the spot to restore UWI’s advantage.

Mount Pleasant would be awarded a spot kick of their own when Xavian Virgo was brought down in the area, after cutting in from the right flank.  The promoted team forward Francios Swaby held his nerve to once again bring his team level with a well-taken penalty.

 

 

2015 champions Montego Bay United are now on the brink of relegation from the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) following the penultimate round of regular season matches on Sunday.

Ryan Miller is our player of the match as Waterhouse and UWI cancel each other out in scoreless draw. Our analysts George and Lance take us back to Monday night's RSPL showdown.

Tivoli Gardens repelled a late surge to hand defending champions Portmore United their first loss in eight games, following a thrilling 3-2 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at the Edward Seaga stadium on Sunday.

In a game with strange twists and turns it was Portmore United who took the lead in the 11th minute through Rosario Harriott.  Colorado Murray, however, brought Tivoli back on level terms with a goal in the 21st minute.  An own goal from Omar Ricketts put the hosts even further ahead 8 minutes later and a Jermaine Johnson seemed to make the game safe in the 43rd minute.  A 69th-minute own goal, however, set up a nervous finish but Tivoli held on for all three points.

At the other end of the table, former champions Harbour View secured a big boost in their battle for survival, following a 1-0 win over Humble Lion at the Habour View Stadium.  After a scoreless first half, Tevin Scott got the crucial goal for Harbour View in the 68th minute.  Elsewhere Montego Bay United’s hope for survival took a hit after they an 81st-minute goal from Jamiel Hardware handed the home team a 2-1 loss.  It was Arnett Gardens took the lead through Zhelano Barnes in the 17th minute.  Dino Williams brought the team back on level terms in the 64th minute.

Dunbeholden also eased away from the drop zone in convincing fashion after a 3-0 thrashing of Reno, which will all but see the fate of the bottom-placed team. Dean-Andre Thomas put the hosts ahead in the 4th minute and scored again from the spot in the 51st minute.  Phillip Demareo added the insurance goal seven minutes later.  In the day’s other game Mount Pleasant and Cavalier played to a 0-0 draw.

Football governing body in Central America and the Caribbean, CONCACAF, has mandated that the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) make the country’s top-flight football league a little more efficient. 

Surging Portmore United registered a fifth straight Red Stripe Premier League win, following a 1-0 triumph over UWI, despite going down to 10-men in the encounter on Sunday.

The defending champions looked to have found themselves in a tight spot after Damano Thomas received a straight red card in the 68th minute.  Their nerves were soon settled, however, after striker Javon East converted a 76th-minute penalty to extend their lead at the top of the table to eight points.

The race to avoid the drop tightened at the other end of the table, when Leslie St Fleur netted a crucial late goal for Montego Bay United for a 2-1 win over Reno. In the relegation six pointer, Dwayne Ambusley put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute but Donovan Brown brought Reno back on level terms in the 59th minute.

The result moved Montego Bay, who are currently in the relegation zone with Reno to within one of Harbour View.  The Stars of the East saw the distance between themselves and the relegation zone lessen following a 1-1 draw with Tivoli.  Tevin Scott gave Habour View the start they dreamt of after just three minutes but Tivoli pegged things back nine minutes later when Colorado Murray brought the visitors on level terms. 

Promoted Dunbeholden also failed to add to their buffer and remain just one point above Harbour View following a 1-1 draw with Cavalier.  In a hot-tempered affair, Nicholas Hamilton and Dunbeholden’s Kemo Gayle were both ejected from the pitch 30 minutes into the encounter.  Luke Rankine then put host Cavalier ahead in the 41st minute but Dunbeholder struck back early in the first half through Lorenzo Dubidad.  Despite Jeremy Nelson receiving a second yellow card in the 63rd minute to leave Cavalier down to nine men, Dunbeholden failed to press home the advantage.  Elsewhere, Mount Pleasant registered a 1-0 over Humble Lion.

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