Adrian Frater, News Editor
Montego Bay United scored their first win in the third round of 2012-13 Red Stripe Premier League on Sunday night, but their opponents, Tivoli Gardens, left the venue - Montego Bay Stadium - hotly disputing one of the goals in the 2-1 loss they suffered to the St James team.
"I am putting this defeat down to poor officiating," said Tivoli Gardens' assistant coach, Alvin Shaw. "I don't know what the linesman saw when he awarded MBUFC the first goal because the ball did not cross the goal line."
However, for MBUFC's coach, Dr Dean Weatherley, the victory should have been a lot easier, but his team failed to capitalise on "fairly easy chances that should not have been wasted at his level".
"This was a well-needed win, but we caused ourselves to work too hard for it," said Weatherley. "Nonetheless, a win is a win so we are thankful for the three points."
SCORERS CORRECT ERRORS
Bahamian striker Lesly St Fleur and Dino Williams, who missed quite a few chances, scored the goals for MBUFC. Andre McFarlane netted the consolation goal for the west Kingston team, which took orders from Shaw in the absence of regular coach Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey.
By virtue of the result, MBUFC consolidated their position in the competition's top six, moving up from 34 to 37 points, while the disgruntled Tivoli Gardens stayed rooted in the bottom six on the 28 points.
After an enterprising start, Tivoli squandered a glorious chance to take the lead in the eighth minute when a loose ball fell kindly for Akeem Thenstead, but his attempt to stroke the ball into the goal was thwarted by goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett.
Following Tivoli's missed opportunity, MBUFC took charge and had much the better of the action going into the middle period of the half. They got glorious back-to-back chances in the 15th and 18 minutes, but Williams, who got both opportunities, wasted them.
With both teams taking turns in attack and looking threatening, MBUFC broke the deadlock in the 36th minute. A curling shot from St Fleur eluded goalkeeper Edsel Scott, but was headed out by a defender.
However, the match officials ruled that the ball had crossed the goal line, giving the home team a 1-0 half-time lead.
In the second half, MBUFC came out attacking, putting serious pressure on their opponents' defence. They were rewarded in the 54th minute when Williams took a neat pass from Oraine Braham, danced around the goalkeeper and fired home, making the score 2-0.
With MBUFC threatening to overrun them, Tivoli went into overdrive and got just reward in the 64th minute. They caught the MBUFC defence scrambling and the alert McFarlane booted home, making the score 2-1, giving the team new life going into the latter stages of the game.
"We battled hard for the equaliser but, unfortunately, we did not get it," said Shaw. "I think we deserved a share of the points, but as you saw the home team got a break from the officials."