Jamaica Observer / Following a lean spell, Tivoli Gardens FC coach Omar Edwards was clearly happy to get his team back to winning ways and to further consolidate their play-off spot in their Red Stripe Premier League match on Sunday. In the Edward Seaga Complex fixture, the home team put in a solid first-half display to defeat Cavalier SC 3-1.
Junior McGregor got fourth-place Tivoli (40 points) off to a cracking start with a free-kick brace in the 18th and 21st minutes, while his teammate Andre Moulton extended the first-half lead to 3-0 after finding the back of the net in the 44th.
As he has done on a couple of occasions this season, teenager Kaheem Parris emerged from the bench to pull a goal back, this time using his educated left foot to great effect curling the ball around Tivoli goalkeeper Nicholas Clarke from 20 yards in minute 69.
Despite the loss, Cavalier stay third on 42 points.
“I am delighted with the victory and that we managed to get three points… I thought we did enough in the first half to win the game and in the second half we would have defended stoutly what we would have already won in the first… it’s a good victory overall and we appreciate it after coming off those back-to-back defeats,” said Tivoli coach Omar Edwards.
The coach said even though the team was not able to impose itself on the second half, the overall performance got a passing grade.
“We wanted to win both halves, but at half-time I told them to just stay tight defensively and try to create some opportunities on the counter and I believe we created at least two good chances, but overall it was a good victory,” Edwards told the Jamaica Observer.
Having not been able to collect points in their previous three matches, including an abandoned encounter against Harbour View in midweek trailing 0-2, Edwards hopes that Sunday’s win is a return to good form.
“I am hoping that it is a massive turn around and I hope it will boost the players’ confidence in front of goal, and once we regain that confidence, we are always going to score goals because we have creative players going forward,” he said.
Cavalier coach Rudolph Speid was unapologetically disappointed with how his team lost the game.
“We are definitely disappointed that we were not able to take away something positive from the game… of course I am disappointed because firstly I didn’t think they were fouls (free-kicks, which resulted in goals), even with that I don’t think we were beaten as we came back in the second half.
“Tivoli started to time manage the game as they were putting in the hard tackles and it was their players who were going down and that caused disruptions, and then they started to kick away the balls, then the ball boys disappeared, and then the referee (Cardella Samuels) allowed them to just carry on and turned the game into a farce basically,” Speid lamented.
He, however, expressed delight that his team was able to prevent Tivoli from adding to the scoresheet in the second half.
“What happen in football it’s a game of two halves, and they clearly won the first half and we were trying to do the same by winning the second… but we were playing the way they did in the first half with all these long balls and we were holding onto the ball too long, so we talked at half-time about passing the ball around,” Speid explained.
In their last midweek fixture, Cavalier were 2-1 winners over relegation-threatened Sandals South Coast.
– Sean Williams