Shaw loses it, but Tivoli win
Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Coach Alvin Shaw spoiled what should have been a wonderful moment for his team - a celebration of their first win of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season - with a profanity-laced outburst at the referee for what he believed to be a foul on his goalkeeper. He was duly ejected from the technical area.
The Western Kingston-based team were fired to their first win of the season by goals from defender Kemar Flemmings in the 22nd minute and Jamoy Sibbles in minute 45+1, as they went into the half-time break leading 2-0.
Craig Foster, the competition's leading scorer, pulled one back for Reno in the 69th minute, as he scored in his fourth consecutive game.
Shaw's moment of madness came in the 83rd minute after goalkeeper Deron Duncan challenged Foster for the ball and came off the worse. Play continued with Duncan on the ground and, perhaps out of panic, Shaw jumped up from his chair and shouted verbal abuse at the referee for what he believed was the referee's failure to spot a foul.
Not even the urging of manager Brian Rose and substitute Elton Thompson could calm Shaw down. Play was finally halted and after Duncan was treated and returned to his goal area, Shaw was promptly ejected from the playing area by the referee, who was summoned by his fourth official.
The performance itself was a spirited one from the Tivoli Gardens team, who were sitting in 11th position of the 12-team league. Their situation was not helped by the fact that they were playing without eight of their regular starters, who were struck down by chikungunya. But the rejuvenated Keammar Daley and luck kept them afloat, especially in the first half.
Luck was largely responsible for their opening goal as Flemmings' attempted cross was carried by the wind over the head of Reno's pint-sized goalkeeper, Devaughn Haughton, who misjudged the flight of the ball.
"We played in patches. In the first half, we gave Tivoli Gardens too much room in the midfield and in the defensive third," was how Reno's Patrick Graham, who was losing his first game in charge, saw the game.
Shaw, who had regained his composure at the final whistle, was thankful for the win.
"Most definitely. We have been waiting for this. We have been unfortunate before, and I have been saying that we needed a turning point, and we are hoping that this is it," the relieved Tivoli coach said.