Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Tivoli Gardens' assistant coach, Alvin Shaw, was satisfied win his team's spirited 1-1 away draw with Waterhouse in their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) 21st-round football encounter on Sunday at Drewsland, as it eased some of the burden on the team and coaching staff.
The Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey-coached Tivoli earned their first point in four games, courtesy of a 53rd-minute strike by Nicholas Scott. The visitors were, however, denied a much-needed three points, as they seek to lift themselves from eighth in the 12-team standings, when Hughan Gray pulled Waterhouse level with a beautifully converted 72nd-minute free kick.
Tivoli would end the game with 10 men, following Ranike Anderson's dismissal in the 79th minute for violent conduct.
Tivoli have now progressed to 27 points, while Waterhouse remain fifth on 32.
"They (Tivoli players) have been struggling, so I think getting a point away today is a good result for them, and we just have to keep motivating them from now on," Shaw said.
When quizzed specifically about how far the result went in lifting the burden on the coaching staff, with club president, Edward Seaga, having stated his displeasure with the way the team had been performing following their 20th-round 3-0 home defeat to promoted Cavalier; Shaw stated it will certainly help.
"Yeah, most definitely," Shaw declared. "What is facing the team is that it is a young group and they are a bit inexperienced, so we as coaches will have to try and dig deeper each time in order to try and motivate them."
A difference in approach was visible from a distance, as Bailey, who in recent matches had struck a glum figure on the bench, was much more animated; showing flashes of his old self as he rose to his feet to shout instructions.
"I think this really started from midweek with the Jackie Bell KO when we got that win (1-0 over Olympic Gardens)," Shaw reasoned. "I think that is where the spirit was lifted and even the following training session you could see where the work rate went up.
"Our main objective at the moment is to try and find ourselves in the top six."
Home team dominated
Despite Tivoli's gallant efforts, they could have lost the match if Waterhouse had been more clinical in front of goal, as the home team dominated the game.
However, a combination of an off-colour Jermaine 'Tuffy' Anderson, who failed to get into the game much, a wasteful Gary McIntosh and selfishness in the final third saw Waterhouse fail to convert scoring opportunities, much to the anguish of head coach Donovan Duckie.
"We should have won the game easily and we are our own enemies when it comes to not being in first place," Duckie lamented. "I am disappointed; we were dismal in front of goal and I have been here for almost one and a half years and it is the same story."
Waterhouse will need to get a win away to Humble Lion in their next game to give themselves a chance of making it to the second-end-of-round final, as six teams are in with a chance of making it to the all-incentive final with one round of games to be played.
"We were in the same position last year and we drew the game (against Humble Lion); let's see if we'll be lucky this time," Duckie said.
SUMMARY of Red Stripe Premier League football matches played on Sunday:
Boys' Town 2 Savannah 2 at Collie Smith Drive
GOALS: Boys' Town - Wayne Ellis 50th, Rafeik Thomas 71st; Savannah - Adrian Robinson 81st pen., 89th
Sporting Central Academy 0 Harbour View 2 at Brancourt
GOALS: Harbour View - Donovan Edwards 14th, 39th
Arnett Gardens 1 Montego Bay United 0 at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex
GOAL: Arnett - Kirk Ramsay 41st
Waterhouse 1 Tivoli Gardens 1 at Waterhouse Mini Stadium
GOALS: Waterhouse - Hughan Gray 72nd; Tivoli - Nicholas Scott 53rd
Portmore United 2 Highgate United 0 at Ferdie Neita Park
GOALS: Portmore - Adoah Nickle 52nd, Ricardo Morris 84th