Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Sporting Central Academy clawed their way back from a goal down to record a rare victory over Tivoli Gardens as they got the better of their opponents 2-1 in their 22nd round Red Stripe Premier League football encounter at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday.
Christopher Jackson fired Tivoli into the lead in the 10th minute from the penalty spot, but second-half strikes from Levaughn Williams (59th) and André Morrison (73rd) earned Sporting their first victory over Tivoli in 14 attempts.
Tivoli ended the game with 10 players when Kemar Flemmings was sent off for violent conduct in the 89th minute.
"I hope we have broken the jinx now. We have to continue winning games, and this is a good platform for us to build on going into the third round," Sporting's head coach Lenworth Hyde said. "Coming from one goal down they (players) showed a lot of character."
The victory saw Sporting leapfrog Tivoli in the 12-team standings to eighth on 28 points, while Tivoli dropped to ninth on 27.
Tivoli dominated the first half and deservingly took the lead in the 10th minute when Jackson stepped up to hammer home a spot kick which was awarded after Nicholas Scott was brought down in the area by Sporting's keeper Gerald Eastwood.
The modest gathering at the complex was convinced that Tivoli had doubled their lead in the 38th minute when a fierce shot by Scott ended up in the back of the net, but referee Gawane Scott, in collaboration with his assistant, Garnett Page, correctly called off the goal as the ball went through a hole in the side-netting.
Sporting finally broke Tivoli's resilience in the 59th minute after their leading scorer, Williams, was on the receiving end of a tremendous pass by Camaal Reid. Williams took a sublime first touch before slotting in for his eighth goal of the season.
Sporting's second goal was just as special as Morrison scored with an excellently taken free-kick in the 73rd minute, just 10 minutes after coming on to secure only his team's third victory of the round.
"We lost two games in a row and we were hellbent on not losing this one," Hyde, who is a former coach of Tivoli, stated. "The intensity was high and we stood up to it."
Tivoli's assistant coach, Alvin Shaw, was puzzled as to what went wrong in the second half, but blamed his keeper for conceding the second goal.
"Our season has been fluctuating. One minute we perform well, the next minute it feels as if it's falling apart again," Shaw said. "As to what went wrong today in the second half, I haven't really pinpointed it as yet, but the second goal I think dealt us a blow."
Tivoli Gardens 1
Christopher Jackson (10th pen.)
Sporting Central 2
Levaughn Williams (59th)
André Morrison (73rd)
Humble Lion 1
Tyrone Sawyers (84th)
Adrian Robinson (45+1)
Montego Bay United 0
Harbour View 1
Ranique Muir 54th
Arnett Gardens 0