Arnett Gardens FC – Match Report vs Harbour View (11/06/2023)

Arnett Gardens triumphed 1-0 in extra time over Harbour View in the Jamaica Premier League 3rd place playoff. Arnett Gardens dominated most of the game, out chancing Harbour View significantly. The game was very scrappy with few moments of sustained build-up play. 

Marlon Allen

  • Nationality: Jamaican 
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 14/06/2001
  • Current club: Arnett Gardens
  • Position: Winger
  • Secondary position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left 

Marlon Allen began this match playing on the wing before moving into a centre-forward role. The commentary team talked at length about how he was not very well suited to a wide role but I am not sure I agree. Allen’s technical ability is a level above the rest of the JPL with a relatively strong first touch and dribbling ability. In particular, he is very good at turning with a marker tight to him. So when he was in a wide position he was able to cut inside on his left foot and fire off a ton of shots as well as link up with teammates. He is a little on the smaller side, at 5’8, so there is less pressure on him to be a physical force in a wide area. That’s not to say he’s a total lightweight. He has strong pivot strength and can play with his back to goal. But he is never going to dominate a game with his physicality. His off-the-ball movement is decent. He is good at evading markers and getting shot from high-danger areas. But sometimes the timing of his runs leaves something to be desired. He tends to get sucked in too close to the goal and therefore remove himself as an option for a pass. Allen’s weak right foot is a bit of a concern. It means he is not really a crossing threat. He is quite a scrappy player and he was able to win the ball back high up the field on a couple of occasions. 

Rating: A1

Allen underwent a bit of a sophomore slump in 2022/3 but he is now up to 15 goals in 1912 minutes in JPL action. The level in Jamaica is low but it is not a very high-scoring league and this goal total is comparable to players who have gone on to bigger things. I think he stands out from a technical perspective and could certainly play at a higher level. MLS Next Pro basically exists to take chances on this sort of player but at 22 he might be a little older than Next Pro teams are willing to take a flyer on. Other common transfers for Jamaicans are Costa Rica, Vietnam, USL, and European countries with tiny populations. I think Allen could be an impact player in any of those leagues. 

Asher Hutchinson:

  • Nationality: Jamaican 
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 04/12/2004
  • Current club: Arnett Gardens
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: Right

In goal for Arnett Gardens was youngster Asher Hutchinson. Hutchinson did not face a huge amount of action but he showed some interesting things. The first thing that you notice about Hutchinson is that he is really short. I can’t find his height listed online but he was legitimately one of the shortest players on Arnett Gardens. I would estimate he is about 5’9. But this didn’t seem to hinder him too much in this game. In fact, he was quite good at collecting crosses. He was aggressive off his line and had a strong vertical leap (he would have to). He was also quite good at holding on to the ball and neutralising any threat rather than punching the ball away. He was only forced into one save in this game but he did well to make himself (relatively) big and make a close-range save at the feet of a Harbour View player. He was very confident in distributing the ball, though not necessarily good at it. He was eager to be involved in the build-up, frequently coming out of his box to get on the ball. He was calm under pressure and did well to retain possession the few times he was pressed. But his long-range distribution was not very accurate. There were a lot of long balls to nobody in particular. He was able to throw the ball very far which could help his team transition very quickly. 

Rating: A2

His small stature means I would have to see a lot more before being fully confident he can go on to bigger things. But he is starting to get games on a good team in a senior league at a very young age and he does not seem to be a liability. He has made 7 appearances this season and only conceded 5 goals. I don’t think I would be rushing out to sign him at this stage but I would certainly be keeping an eye on him. 

Rushike Kelson:

  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 17/11/2002
  • Current club: Arnett Gardens
  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

Rushike Kelson played as a #10 in this match before shifting to the right-wing later in the game. He is very close to being amazing but has a few things that hold him back. He has quite a bit of skill for this level. He was able to generate a number of dangerous shots either by playing teammates through on goal or by getting into dangerous positions himself. But the problem with Kelson is that he is extremely inefficient. There were so many times when was running through the centre of the field into acres of space and he took too long to make a decision. He is actually fairly quick dribbling with the ball but he would take so long to make a choice that he would gain separation and then lose it again. He certainly can make stuff happen. He can play progressive line-breaking passes in the final 3rd, he can beat players 1v1, and he can be an effective box arriver. But “can” is the keyword there. He is also a little bit inconsistent with the application of some of his skills. He overhit crosses a couple of times and was knocked off the ball a little bit easily at times. He also gave up on tracking back a few times which is not something you like to see. 

Rating: A2

Kelson is an extremely frustrating player. But he put up a respectable 3 goals in 619 minutes this season and even in this match generated quite a lot of dangerous shots. Like with Hutchinson, I would not be rushing out to sign him. But he is still young enough that his decision-making could improve and he could become more consistent. I would certainly keep an eye on him over the next year or two to see if things click for him. But right now he still has more to show in Jamaica. 

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