Nodley Wright, Gleaner Writer
Tivoli Gardens on Monday night took advantage of Savannah's troubles to improve their standing in the Red Stripe Premier League with a 2-0 win. Tivoli Gardens moved up to seventh position with 22 points, while Savannah remained at the foot of the table with 11 points.
The former champions, who have been residing at the wrong half of the table, must have been happy to see Savannah, a team that has been like lambs to the slaughter in the second round.
Tivoli duly showed how happy they were to see them, opening the scoring as early as the 50th second through Shawn McKoy, before substitute Davion Garrison completed the victory with an 80th-minute strike, with numerous missed opportunities before and after.
GOAL IN SIGHT
"Our short-term goal is to make it to the end-of-second-round final and this victory is in line with that. I think we are in second position in the round now," a reasonably satisfied assistant coach, Alvin Shaw, said after the game as his team moved up to eight points in the round, one behind Cavalier, but the same as Waterhouse.
"I think the players did fairly well under the conditions, but I think we were a little bit complacent in the first half after getting the early lead. We got better in the second half," added Shaw, acknowledging the fact that substitutes Garrison, Dane Kelly and, especially, Navion Boyd, had in raising Tivoli Gardens' level of play.
Boyd looked a cut above everyone else whenever he was on the ball and created a number of chances for his teammates, especially Kelly. Despite their obvious quality, Shaw said there was no plan to change how they are used.
"It (the introduction of the trio in the second half) has been working for us. Whenever we introduce them they always give the team a lift.
"It has been working for us so we won't change it. The players are quite pleased with it and are willing to keep giving 100 per cent when they come in," Shaw explained.
But while Shaw and head coach Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey can afford to leave their best players on the bench, Savannah have no such luxury. Of primary concern to recently installed head coach and president of the Westmoreland Football Association, Everton Tomlinson, is keeping a sinking ship afloat.
"I took over as head coach because as the president of the FA I saw that things were getting too bad and something had to be done about it," Tomlinson said.
"Westmoreland's problem is not a lack of talent. What we lack is leadership at the club level. We also have a problem with infrastructure and support, financial support," opined Tomlinson, who initially pledged to spend two weeks in charge of the club but who may have to spend longer based on the "demands of the people".
Despite not scoring a single goal in the round, conceding 17 and losing all four games, Tomlinson believes there is still a chance of survival.
"We still have a chance of survival. If we can turn it around, in terms of result in the next game, then we definitely have a chance. We just have to make the move before it is too late."