Arnett semis bound!
Arnett Gardens climbed back to the top of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) points standing with a comprehensive 3-0 win over defending champions Harbour View at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday and sealed their place in the semifinals.
Marlon Allen and Shai Smith put Arnett 2-0 up at halftime, and Romeo Guthrie sealed the deal with a composed strike from 18 yards.
"We still have work to do," Arnett's coach Paul 'Tegat' Davis said afterwards. "I won't get excited. It's nice that we are in the semifinals, which is good, but we have work to do and more steps to climb.
"I know we don't play for 90 minutes, but when you go to the semifinals and final it's a different level of concentration up there," Davis continued.
He noted that a chain is as strong as its weakest link, and the aim is to ensure they are firing on all cylinders for the playoffs.
"Everywhere (need improvement). We cannot get complacent. If I pick out a spot, I will be stupid. We are just trying to build a solid team, so when there is a weakness, we have players that can fit in and make it seems as if it isn't there.
"We don't have much time, but some players need rest. So we will put some players to rest and start back again," he said.
Arnett started brightly and went ahead when Rasheed Kelson slipped a pass to Allen, who guided past David Martin in goal after 18 minutes.
The hosts made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Martin parried Kelson's shot into Smith's path, and the striker slammed home from 12 yards.
Harbour View upped their performance in the second half and had a few sniffs at goal, but Arnett showed resilience in defence and in added time, Gutrhie passed the ball into the far corner from the edge of the box to cop off a resounding win.
Nevertheless, Harbour View coach Ludlow Bernard was surprisingly unbothered.
"The result is disappointing. We came with a particular approach. I don't think we executed very well, which resulted in a number of unforced errors at the back, which resulted in two early goals.
"I am not perturbed. I know we can rebound. We have the squad to do it. I think we can get them up and running again," he said.
The top two teams at the end of the preliminary round are guaranteed a place in the semifinals.
The win pushed Arnett to 52 points, three ahead of second-place Cavalier and six more than third-place Mount Pleasant, with one round of matches. Harbour View stayed fourth with 43 points.
In the day's other match, Cavalier defeated Molynes United 4-2.