Dramatic finish brewing for Football regular season title

Islanders vs VG United
Islanders’ Osworth Holder, left, controls the ball against VG United’s Jaadon Quashie.

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway.

A dramatic end to the BVI Football Association’s 2023-24 Men’s National League is brewing, with looming showdowns in the closing weeks for the title.

Islanders continued their meteoric rise to the top of the standings with 41 points, after their 12th straight victory, a 2-1 Sunday night win over visiting Virgin Gorda United, after Antonio Rodney scored on either side of an own goal to secure the three points.

“Great win for the club, the team and the guys who put in the hard work,” Islanders Coach Fitzroy Daley stated. “It was a good game in many ways. We played basic, simple and smart football, didn’t allow our opponents to play how they wanted, pressured them from the kickoff and played the way we trained. That style of play is important to us, and we are developing that together as a team.”

Daley said there were lots of man of the match candidates. Antonio Rodney with both goals; 15-year old Goalkeeper Akeem Paddy pulling off some great saves, but it is very difficult to single out an individual when the team performance made the difference, and everyone played extremely well.

“Once we have good players on the pitch playing to instruction, we would be hard to beat and this was one of the best matches played for the season,” he noted. “We still have room for improvement. The work is never finished as a coach, or a player and we are now looking forward to the next game and the preparation starts all over.”

The Wolues, on 39 points who will face Islanders on May 12, blanked the Rebels 7-0, after they abandoned the game at halftime.  

“Rebels turned up shorthanded and eventually made it 10, but the contest was over after 10 minutes really,” noted the Wolues’ Phil Nelson. “We would have preferred a competitive game but grateful to pick up the important three points. It was a real shame we were not able to get more minutes in the tank as at half time the Rebels did not want to continue. Overall, we moved the ball well and created a lot of chances. The fight for the title will go all the way and we have an exciting match against Islanders in a couple of weeks. We are really looking forward to that game but first we must stay focused for the next weekend to pick up the three points that will sit us at the top going into that clash.”

Alexander Edwards and Kieran Brown both scored a brace whilst James Malley, Marcus Robinson, and Hugo Costa Liziario, who scored his league leading 23rd goal of the season, were also on the scoresheet.

The most interesting aspects of the final table will be whether defending champions One Love can use their remaining games to sneak into fourth and displace either Sugar Boys or Lion Heart, for a spot in the President’s Cup that begins on June 15.

One Love had goals from Julian Davidson and Dwayne Smith, in a 2-1 victory over the Panthers, who got a legger from Prevell Asson. One Love, on 19 points, has games in hand and can mathematically reach 34 points, with Sugar Boys and Lion Heart only able to reach a maximum of 29, as they both have just one game left to play. However, One Love’s path into the top four comes with massive games against Sugar Boys, VG United, Lion Heart and Wolues.  

“It’s a possibility,” One Love’s Coach, Javon Carty said. “Once the players are serious and willing to put in the work then nothing is impossible. It was a great win over the weekend and moving forward, we certainly have the ability to reach the postseason cup competition.”