JPL Best and Worst Week 5
Defending champions Portmore United did what was expected of them against Humble Lion on Sunday, defeat a struggling team in poor form. Portmore asserted themselves in the game and with the result, maintained their hold over first place in the league after five games with 12 points. However, they cannot afford to be complacent as second- place Vere United (11 points) are lying in wait to take advantage of any points dropped.
It is going to be difficult for Vere United to temper their own expectations this season if they keep up their current form. They managed to outlast Harbour View 3-2 on Saturday in a thrilling game, where Vere United surrendered the lead, twice. Would the 2019-20 version of Vere United win that game? Maybe not. Although their club president, Lothian Cousins, says that they are focused on their long-term goals for next season, the case for them being title contenders in this truncated season is beginning to grow.
Dunbeholden got a well-needed win over Molynes United to keep themselves in the hunt for a play-off spot. It is a welcoming sign for Harold Thomas, who got his second win as the new head coach of the club as they move to seventh place with six points. If they can somehow manage to take points from an in-form Vere United on Sunday, it would do wonders for their confidence and chances of making a late charge for the postseason.
Mount Pleasant got their first win under technical director Walter 'Willy' Downes when they defeated Arnett Gardens 1-0. Whether the coaching change would provide an uptick in fortunes similar to that in 2019 remains to be seen. What it does do in the meantime is vault the club to fourth place, four points adrift from leaders Portmore.
Credit has to be given to young Cristojaye Daley, whose two goals within four minutes of each other pulled Harbour View level twice against Vere United. It was a great game that ultimately did not go in favour of the Stars of the East, as they eventually lost 3-2. While they are no longer undefeated, it will be another teaching moment for this young Harbour View group in their continued development.
It may not be right, or fair, for jobs to be in question during a one-round campaign after a year and a half of inactivity. But it is the reality as three clubs have so far changed their managers. Andrew Price's second season in charge of Humble Lion has been rocky, and they are now yet to win a game this season after yet another loss, this time to defending champions Portmore United. Chances to stage some sort of revival this season are starting to run out, and Price knows that.
Anthony Patrick is still searching for his first win as Molynes United head coach after taking the job from Calvert Fitzgerald (now technical director). Unlike Humble Lion, they have two points from their four games, as well as a game in hand to make a move in the standings. But they need to start getting wins to put themselves in a better position.
Back-to-back losses for Arnett Gardens now leaves them in ninth place with three points after four games. Their Monday afternoon fixture against Molynes United has to be considered a must win for them if they want to make use of their late start and make a push towards the top half of the table.