Get back to the first division.
On Monday, English Harbour beat Police 6-1 to record its ninth consecutive win in the ABFA Imobile Observer Second Division, shining some light on the reality of promotion.
Police is yet to win a game this season.
Harbour’s best striker and one of the league’s top scorers Clarence “Junior” Marsh continued his good form against the lawmen making a case for league MVP.
Marsh scored a hat trick to increase his tally to 13 and help his club inch a bit closer to its goal, promotion to the first division.
After a dismal season last year Harbour has decided to rebuild as well as move out of the bottom league as soon as possible.
Game one did not go as plan.
Harbour lost 3-4, then boom, things changed and the team has gone on a nine-game winning streak scoring more than 20 goals giving up just two along the way.
To stop English Harbour, defences in the league will have to stop two extremely attacking players in Marsh and Akeem Miller.
Both strikers can score, are quick, fast and very fit, causing ‘fits’ for opposing defences.
“So far I have not found any defence to stop these guys,” said Head Coach Ian “Chicken Leg” Piper.
“Even when we lost the first game we scored three goals.”
“Since then these guys have been unstoppable and that is one of the reasons we are so successful.”
Piper also recognizes that with just two goals against in nine games, the defence has to be commended as well.
“The guys in the back, especially the goalie (Eddy Solano) have done a tremendous job,” he stated.
“When you look at just two goals in nine matches, it means that opposing teams know that nothing is going to be easy when they meet us.”
Only Police and Five P’s converted against English Harbour and those goals came in the team’s previous two encounters, including Monday’s game.
Harbour is a young team but the club’s pedigree good, as one of a few teams to be national three-peat champions.
Those glory days are long gone, though and for years Harbour wallowed in the first division before they were relegated at the end of last season.
To get back to those times in the nineties when ‘Harbour ruled the world’ Piper knows that it will not be easy.
He is confident thought that if he can have these players understand English Harbour’s legacy and they continue to practice and improve Harbour will be back at the top flight.
First though it’s getting out of the second and look at what needs to be done in the first division that’s on the mind of the coach.
“We have a bright future,” said an optimistic Piper.
“These guys love to practice and that is such a good sign.
“Not too long ago we had players here who had bad attitudes towards practice.”
“Once we continue to do what have been successful for us then we should be able to get promoted.”
English Harbour has an impressive record, nine wins and one loss but there are 11 game sleft.
The season is far from over.
If they can finish the way they started or better then promotion is likely.
But the ‘wheel has fallen off many a wagons’ so Harbour has to proceed with caution and continue to play hard and stay focused.
In the wings are two teams, Liberta and Westham who along with Harbour are the top three teams in the competition.
Liberta is a sworn enemy and Westham wth another of the league’s chief marksman in Endegwa Malone in the lineup.
Malone feels disrespected in local football.
He is of the view that he should be selected to the national team.
To make his name against a team like English Harbour with its rich history may be ‘just what the doctor order’ for Malone’s national pick.
Surely Harbour is the hunted in second division but when the hunted becomes the hunter then that is usually a recipe for interesting times.
The second division is surely must see football in Antigua & Barbuda.