A well-taken hat-trick by teenager Cleo Clarke assisted Humble Lion FC to a handsome 6-0 win over already relegated Lime Hall Academy in a lopsided Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) contest at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday. 

Clarke, a former Garvey Maceo stalwart, struck in the 28th, 43rd and 45th minutes, as his first hat-trick at the senior level laid the platform for the victory, which was completed by Andre Clennon (65th), Tajay McCarthy (84th) and Chandol Anderson (89th).

In truth, the scoreline should have been much wider had Humble Lion's forwards been more composed in the final third, as Lime Hall Academy offered very little resistance defensively and nothing whatsoever on the attacking front.

With the win, the Clarendon-based Humble Lion jumped to 10th on 25 points, while the St Ann-based Lime Hall Academy remain rooted at the foot of the 14-team standing on seven points with their relegation fate already sealed.

Humble Lion's Head coach Linval Wilson, who recently took over from Vassell Reynolds, praised the effort of the younger players in particular.

"We basically played a number of youngsters and I thought we played some quality football this evening, we should have had some more goals but that is a part of the game. We got six and we are grateful. We are really on a rebuilding process, and I have to give credit to the players that were actually there before, they harnessed a lot of young quality players and that's what we really needed at Humble Lion, and I think come next season, we will be competing for the championship," Wilson said in a post-match interview.

Having started purposefully against a lethargic Lime Hall outfit, it was only a matter of time before Humble Lion broke the deadlock, which they did a little before the half-hour mark. Clarke won possession and waltzed his way past the last defender before firing past Jahiem Williams in goal for Lime Hall.

Humble Lion continued to apply pressure and inevitably doubled the lead in the 43rd when Clarke pounced on a loose ball and drove home a left-footer past the hapless Williams, who barely attempted to make a save.

They almost had a third two minutes later, but James Thomas's right-footed effort from outside box off, came back off the upright.

However, Thomas turned provider seconds later, as he played Clarke through and the 19-year-old striker completed his hat-trick when he made space for a left-footer that rolled past Williams, who made a meal of what should have been an easy gather. 

Humble Lion picked up where they left off on the resumption and almost added to their tally 10 minutes in, but Williams produced a rare save when he pushed Fabian Pascoe's effort from a distance unto the crossbar.

Still, Humble Lion found a fourth 10 minutes later through Clennon, who fired home from close range after substitute Kareem Bryan player a pass across the face of goal.

Humble Lion went close in the 75th, but Lime Hall's defenders, with a rare show of defiance, threw their bodies on the line to deny their opponents a fifth at that point.

McCarthy eventually found Humble Lion's fifth when he slipped by defender and calmly slotted home, before Anderson completed the score –which is the hallmark of a popular recreational activity – when he converted from an angle.

Though disappointed, Lime Hall's Head coach Oshane Allen, who suited up for his team, is optimistic that they can end their failed top-flight outing on a high.

"It's another tough loss but we have to just take it as it is. The aim is just to try to get maximum points from the remaining games, even if it is just to finish ahead of Treasure Beach," Allen noted.

Though pleased that his Arnett Gardens team secured three points to stick with rivals in the Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) top six, Xavier Gilbert was by no means satisfied with the overall execution, especially as the season approaches the business end.

The “Junglists” were expectedly dominant in all departments in their 3-0 win over Lime Hall Academy at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday, the performance was far from polished and was in fact aided by some poor defending from their opponents in parts.

It took Marlon Buckley’s 52nd-minute own-goal to get things going, before Kaheim Dixon (54th) and Jaheim Thomas (86th) added to their respective tallies so far this season to seal the win.

With the three points, Arnett Gardens joined third-placed Tivoli Gardens and fourth-placed Portmore United on 42 points, but remain in fifth by virtue of their inferior goal difference. Reigning champions Mount Pleasant (49 points) and Cavalier (45 points) maintains the top two spots, with Dunbeholden FC (34 points) completing the top six.

For Gilbert, the fact that Arnett Gardens had 14 of 23 shots on target compared to Lime Hall, who failed to get any of their three shots on target, meant very little as the performance lacked the proficiency they are hoping to display against more competitive opponents.

“We wanted to put on a better showing to be honest. I think we were a little bit impatient in terms of our build up play because in the first half we weren’t connecting with our passes. The second half was a little better and then we managed to put them under some pressure and score some goals. But it wasn’t our best in terms of fluency, but such is the nature of the game we are just happy that we got the three points that we came for,” Gilbert said in a post-game interview.

“I think the changes in the second half made a difference, we were a little bit more positive in the middle of the park and it worked for us. Again, I am not too satisfied because you always want and expect more from your players especially at this point of the competition, but this is the squad that we have so we just have to get the players up to par as best as possible,” he added.

Despite Arnett Gardens’ dominance, Lime Hall’s goalkeeper Jahiem Williams ensured the first half ended goalless, as he came up big on a few occasions to deny Jamone Shephard and Dixon in particular.

Lime Hall’s best chance at a goal came four minutes into the resumption, when Marlon Pennicooke went on the counter, but was hesitant in getting a shot off, and was later dispossessed by two recovering defenders.

That outcome basically summed up Lime Hall’s night, as Arnett Gardens broke the deadlock three minutes later when Williams was beaten by his own defender, Buckley, who inadvertently headed in Philando Wing’s cross.

Dixon doubled the lead a minute later when he fired home after Lime Hall’s defenders failed to clear their lines.

Arnett Gardens, like a pack of hungry wolves, continued to camp out in Lime Hall’s quarters, but their hunt to add to their tally proved fruitless at that point, as Kevoan McGregor’s 69th-minute shot took a wicked deflection and came back off the left upright.

In the 79th, Williams again came up big to deny Dixon and seconds later McGregor’s stinging right-footer from a distance, rattled the crossbar.

Williams, who took flight in an attempt to keep out the shot, fell awkwardly on his way down and injured his right shoulder which forced him out the game, after he was beaten by Thomas, who fired home his fourth goal of the season from close range.

Lime Hall’s outfield player Mikolai McKoy took up goalkeeping duties, and sent the moderate crowd into frenzy, as he denied Dixon and company in quick succession, in time added.

Oshane Allen, Lime Hall’s assistant coach was left disappointed at the outcome.

“I think it was a hard-fought game but after the own goal, the team fell asleep, and we saw what came after. I have Jahiem [Williams] as the man of the match for tonight, but I guess the three goals took away from his performance. He has always been excellent for us this season and fortunately, the injury is not serious, so we are going to work on getting him ready for the next game,” Allen said.

Matchweek 22 Results

Tivoli Gardens 1, Dunbeholden 1

Portmore United 0, Waterhouse 0

Humble Lion 3, Vere United 0

Mount Pleasant 2, Cavalier 0

Harbour View 0, Molynes United 1

Montego Bay United 1, Treasure Beach 0

Arnett Gardens 3, Lime Hall Academy 0

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