Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Three the tight way


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MACKESON Brittons Hill will have the opportunity to become sole leaders of the Digicel Premier League at the National Stadium tonight.
The joint leaders will come up against champions Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) in the middle match of what should be three testing encounters.
At 4 p.m., Pharmaceutical Plus Cosmos will face DirecTV Paradise, while the late game will bring together Claytons Kola Tonic Notre Dame and Weymouth Wales at 8 p.m.
Cosmos showed some fighting spirit last week in their clash against Notre Dame but it was not enough as they suffered their fourth defeat, while Paradise moved away from the pit of the standings into sixth place.
Paradise will welcome back central defender Barry Skeete from a one-game suspension. Skeete and his defensive cast will be given the responsibility of stopping the Cosmos front line of Maradona Lavine, Josimar Skinner and Zico Mascoll.
Paradise looked a more impressive unit in their midweek game against Silver Sands but they still lacked that cutting edge in the final third. Armando Lashley will need some help offensively from the likes of Kent Hall, Jason Worme, Rakim Lashley and Kenny Sealy.
A victory for Cosmos will take them above Paradise and onto seven points, while a win for Paradise will take them to nine.
Brittons Hill will be looking to continue their good form as they take on a BDFSP team which is a shadow of the 2013 Premier League champions.
Brittons Hill and Pride of Gall Hill lead the standings on 16 points, four more than BDFSP.
A win tonight is therefore of high importance for the army outfit.  
Coach Asquith Howell-Hamlett has been rotating his players in attempt to maintain fresh legs and perhaps to figure out his best mix of players.
Offensively, it is a no-brainer that skipper Mario Harte must be in the starting squad with support from either Shaquille Stewart, Jamal Chandler or Rashad Jules.
But they will have to deal with the league’s stingiest defence, which is led by Paul Straughn and partnered by Robert Charles, Andre Gibson and Omar Archer.
This group has played the majority of Brittons Hill’s games and has allowed just two goals beyond custodian Orlando Carew, who is having his best season.
BDFSP have apparently had some defensive issues which they need to resolve because Zidkigah Samuels is back to his best form, scoring a brace last week.
Walton Burrowes continues to dominate defenders while Curtis Odle returns from a one-game suspension and Mustafa Haqq, when not scoring goals, is creating them.
National defender Ricardio Morris is set to have a busy night at the back and, hopefully, either Zico Philips or Paul Alexander returns from the injured list to protect goalkeeper Dario Weir.
Two of the island’s most decorated clubs will bring the curtain down on the evening’s proceedings. Both teams have a number of exciting new players and the key to this game lies in midfield.
Wales’ forwards have had more success than the Bayland boys with a former Dames player in Carl Joseph leading the Wales attack with seven goals.
Joseph will be heavily monitored by his former teammates but they will also need to be mindful of Kemar Headley, who has quietly returned to form, Tristan “Fishy” Parris and the speedy Anthony Forde.
Veteran John “Nobby” Parris may not possess the speed which he had a couple of years ago but he has substituted speed with knowledge and experience to guide his youthful defence of Kimoi Seale, Aaron Leacock and Jabarry Nicholls.
Wales may be without captain Julian Mottley, who has collected two red cards.


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