Substutute Jomo Gordon, finally breaks the deadlock!
The history books were re-written last night under the newly established lights of the Edward Seaga Sports Complex when substitute Jomo Gordon’s 90th minute header sealed the championship honours for the “Stars of the East” .
Voted the “Man of the Match” captain Jermaine Hue slipped a through ball to his left for the fleet-footed Lovel Palmer who calmly squared to Gordon who had slipped his marker at the back post to win the game. Gordon also crowned himself leading goalscorer of the Caribbean leg by scoring his tenth (10) goal, following a four timer and a hatrick in Montserrat. Luton Shelton finished close behind him on nine (9) and his third strike partner Nicholas McCreath, finishes out the top three, with six (6).
Earlier Craig Stewart cracked another one of his now trademark 25 yard bombs, out of the reach of goalkeeper Kirk Porter after 23 minutes to stun the crowd.
Fabian Davis scored from an acute angle after 58 minutes by beating goalkeeper Leighton Murray at his near post, when Tivoli Gardens FC dominated possession in the second half.
Fifteen minutes from time, coach Donovan Hayles summoned up Jomo Gordon to replace the battling Nicholas McCreath who soldered on through a painful ankle injury.
It would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Full of running, confidence excuding and motivation peaked, Jomo drifted away from his marker in time added on (2 minutes) to nod home the most important goal of his career, and the club’s.
The celebrating exploded instinctively by all the squad members, supporters, executives and well-wishers in the center of the field. Coach Donovan Hayles wept emotionally while dedicating the game to recently deceased executive member Roxy Williams.
Flashes lit up the night skies, smiles were even brighter as the spotlights illuminated the nights preceeding opposing supporters strolled homewards in total agreement of the high level of football displayed by both Jamaican champions.
Harbour View stadium was designated the appropriate venue to celebrate the occasion with XZIBIT CRU DISCO, the Harbour View die-hards, community enthusiasts, players, officials and everyone else within the vicinity of the Compound enjoyed themselves until early Friday morning.
Victory was sweet to the taste but another final looms large on Boxing Day December 26th at the Tony Spaulding Sports Complex against Waterhouse at 4pm. Before that however the outstanding Premier League game against Wadadah at Jarrett Park is rescheduled for Wednesday December 22nd at 6pm following the Under 21 game at 2pm.
With the newly refurbished floodlights shinning brightly, the large crowd swelled above 3,000 as early as 6:40pm, the roadways throughout the community filled with patter of feet hurrying the catch the first pass and those already seated sipped on “Teedo’s” specially prepared “CFU “soup.
The anxiety peaked when it was announced, the start was to be delayed that the Live Radio broadcast was transmitted at 7:30pm but the risque dancing of video performers “Vibe Ihatas” supported by the music of “Xhibit Crew” Disco that made waiting a mere pleasure as the cool mountain breeze filtered among the crowd getting thicker by the moment.
The official party soon met the players lead by JFF President Crenston Boxhill, 1st Vice President George Evans, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga, President of Tivoli Gardens FC and Leader of the Opposition, Mr Carvel Stewart, Chairman of Harbour View FC and Mr Sydney Masters, President of Harbour View FC. FIFA Referee was ready to start assisted by a all Jamaican cast of Dave Miekle, Rohan Thorbourne and Fourth Official Hughill Thompson, the Commissioner Mr Horace Lewis.
Kickoff was greeted with a great cheer as both teams roared into action at a lively pace it was to be discussed by football pundits, in the many after match discussion gatherings held around the stadium that this may have been “…one of the best club games of football ever seen recently”.
Speed, skill, individual flair, team coordination, shots, tackles and departmental battles all evolved at a frenetic pace of competitiveness resulting in over extended players leaving the field with injuries of leading players Jermaine Hue, Steve Green, Robert Scarlett and Christopher Nicholas.
The first goal came when Roland Dean pulled Jermaine Taylor away from the ball as the referee signaled play-on he dribbled into the goal area before attracting the attention of Damion Stewart then passing to unmarked Christopher Nicholas at the penalty spot to shoot past Ryan Thompson after only 14 minutes.
As the game progressed the large crowd was deeply involved but the silence was shattered in the 81st minute when substitute Akeem Priestley who replaced Hue after 60 minutes emerged out of a crowded penalty area at about 16 yards to the left and let fly a stunning left footer that seemingly tore the back of Kirk Porters’ net and was greeted by the loudest crowd support all night as sudden the new “Star of the East” shun brighter than the new floodlights as his teammates descending on him even from the bench.
Smiles were all around the massive crowd well pleased with the event and waiting with baited breath for next Wednesdays return at Tivoli to crown the new “King of the Caribbean”.
Harbour View Premier League game against Wadadah has been postponed until Wednesday December 22 because seven players depart on Sunday for the quarter finals in the CFU Caribbean Cup against St. Lucia.