Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Cavalier put a major dent in Tivoli Gardens' second end-of-round final aspirations, while significantly enhancing their own after beating the west Kingston team 3-0 in their Red Stripe Premier League 19th-round football meeting yesterday at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex.
Cavalier, who were reduced to 10 players in the 15th minute when Kirk Fletcher was given marching orders by referee Karl Tyrell for violent conduct - stomping on Tivoli's Kemar Flemmings - got their goals from Fabian Nethersole (24th), Claudious Blackburn (59th) and Girvon Brown (80th).
Overall, Cavalier now occupy seventh place in the 12-team standings on 30 points, while Tivoli are eighth on 29 points. However, they are now second in the second-round standings on 17 points, one behind Montego Bay United, who beat Sporting Central Academy 3-2 at Catherine Hall Stadium last night. Waterhouse (15 points), which play Harbour View (13) in tonight's game, can surpass Cavalier.
Third consecutive defeat
Tivoli, playing with a young unit and missing the injured pair of Navion Boyd and Edsel Scott, as well as Christopher Jackson and former captain Keithy Simpson, who has taken up a contract in Trinidad and Tobago, slumped to their third consecutive defeat and second for the season against Cavalier.
"There was a festive break, but there was no break for us and it paid off," Cavalier's coach, David Laylor, said. "It really looked like Tivoli went on a break and hence the game was a bit easier than we thought; but it was a good game and a good victory for us."
Cavalier must have thought they were in for a rough evening following Fletcher's dismissal after he reacted to a rough tackle by Flemmings, but at no point during the game did they appear to be at a numerical disadvantage.
"We just adjusted the midfield and kept playing ball," Laylor said. "Tivoli did the natural thing in pushing a player forward and we countered them and got the first goal and from then we just kept our composure and it worked out for us."
Nethersole easily got by Tivoli's captain, Kasai Hinds, in the 24th minute on the left side of the area, before firing an unstoppable shot past Tivoli's keeper, Roybert Clarke.
Cavalier's custodian, Gariece McPherson, was proving unbeatable, as he pulled off a number of acrobatic saves, including a diving, two-handed catch to his left in the 50th minute to deny Dane Kelly.
Cavalier would extend their lead in the 59th minute when a brisk counterattacking move saw Blackburn score a spectacular goal to bring his tally for the season to eight, as he cut in from the left flank and curled home a 25-yard effort.
A defensive error accounted for Cavalier's third goal, as Flemmings failed to clear a ball allowing Brown to rob him of possession before rounding Clarke and firing into the empty net.
"It is a bit disappointing, but at the same time there are quite a few players that are out," Tivoli's assistant coach, Alvin Shaw, said. "We played a very young and inexperienced team and this is the result."