Rivoli ride luck to victory
Gareth Davis Snr., Gleaner Writer
Coach Oneal Thomas left Lynch Park on Sunday in a jubilant mood after substitute Colbert Coke scored in stoppage time, earnings Rivoli United a 1-0 victory over St Georges Sports Club, in their Digicel Premier League match.
"He was introduced into the game to do a job and he delivered for us," said Thomas.
"It was one of those games where we were completely outplayed and, to add salt to one's wounds, Georges kept up the pressure for the entire 90 minutes but failed to score."
Thomas added: "(To get) a win away from home, I am more than happy. Yes, we were outplayed, but we were also patient and that paid off."
Georges dominated from the opening whistle and basically set up shop in their opponents' half, as Girvon Brown, Delroy James, Romeo Parkes, Ushane Dobson, and the over-lapping Jermaine Taylor, launched frequent attacks.
The first half ended with Georges squandering no fewer than four clear chances Rivoli were force to defend as their point man, Devon Hodges, was having a torrid time from his national counterpart, Taylor, who kept him in check.
When Thomas introduced Coke into the game in the 76th minute to replace Valentine Gardener, there was no immediate impression, as Georges also brought on the skilful Leon Irving to replace Dobson, while Danian Reid replaced the injured Richardo Watson and Nigel Reid came on for Brown, all in the space of two minutes.
The three changes brought increased attacks from Georges who, through Irving and Reid, dominated the left side of the field.
But Rivoli's goalkeeper was outstanding all night and when Coke was left unmarked in front of goal to control a cross from the right flank, there was a deafening silence throughout Lynch Park in anticipation of what was to come.
The hometown spectators' worst fears were realised when Coke fired his shot to the left of Randal Huie and into the goal, handing Rivoli victory with two minutes of stoppage time left.
Assistant coach Raymond 'Munzie' Gordon repeated the all-too-familiar cry of Georges dominating but simply not scoring.
"We need to score goals," he said. "We had so many scoring opportunities, but yet still we are not converting them into goals. We have been plagued by this and it will be our area of focus when training resumes."