Getting the job done - Arnett, Waterhouse pick up where they left off in RSPL semis
Defending champions Arnett Gardens FC will have to dig themselves out of a hole this evening when they host former champions Waterhouse FC in their second-leg semi-final of the Red Stripe Premier League at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 8:35 p.m.
The 'Junglists', as they are dubbed, go into this evening's encounter trailing 0-1 after losing the first clash at Drewsland, courtesy of a Tramaine Stewart strike, and must first erase that deficit.
"It is do or die. The fact is that the opponents are in front, and it is our duty to ensure that we get back on level terms as soon as possible and then move forward," said coach Jerome Waite.
Playing at home and being defending champions, Waite said, will be added pressure, but his charges will be ready.
"It will be added pressure because we are defending champions and we have the biggest fan base. We are not daunted by that, though, and we are confident that we will get the job done.
"It will take a collective effort both in the offensive and defensive end of the field. We will also need the support and energy of our 12th man, our fans. This will be very important for us."
For Waterhouse's Donovan Duckie, this evening's game will be a continuation of the project that the team embarked on when he took over with the side hovering above the relegation zone and being in danger of getting sucked in.
"We set ourselves a number of targets, among which were avoiding relegation, getting into the top six, and then fighting for the title. We have achieved two of them so far, so we keep working," said Duckie.
He added: "The players have remained focused, worked hard, remained disciplined, and shown the passion that is required, and we will keep fighting. No one is getting carried away believing that the job is done."
The group, Duckie added, will be boosted by the return of Cardel Benbow to fitness. The player, who had a crucial role in the team's advancement since being activated during the transfer window, missed the first leg of the semi-final after sustaining an injury in the second leg of the quarter-final against Harbour View.
Benbow, in concert with a rejuvenated Stewart, Kemar Beckford, Keithy Simpson, and Andre McFarlane, could trouble the Arnett Gardens defenders.
Arnett Gardens, for their part, will welcome the influential Vishinul Harris, who is a difference maker in the team. With Harris in the team, the likes of Fabian Reid, Marvin Morgan and Kemal Malcolm, who could return from injury, will benefit from a lot of service.