Tivoli Gardens Still Lead Despite Draw

Defending champions Harbour View continued to prove a nuisance for league leaders Tivoli Gardens, after both teams battled to a 0-0 draw in yesterday’s Digicel Premier League fixture at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex (ESSC) in downtown Kingston. After taking the field 12 points behind their cross-town rivals and in real jeopardy of relinquishing the title – Harbour View came into the contest desperate for full points.

It would have been hard to bet against them considering their 11-game unbeaten run and their recent success in this fixture. The result keeps Tivoli Gardens on top of the pile with 56 points while Harbour View continue to remain relevant with 47 points of their own.

Close affair In the game that saw Harbour View’s Marcelino Blackburn (56th) and Tivoli’s Navion Boyd (67th) both seeing red, yesterday’s contest was, like many before, a close affair. Tivoli’s Jameel Thompson and Harbour View’s John Ross Edwards fired early warning shots while Roland Dean failed to trouble goalkeeper Michard Barrett in the 13th minute after he was played through by Navion Boyd, who had earlier helped himself around two players before teeing up his teammate.

Jermaine Hue’s 23rd-minute free kick was neatly parried by Tivoli’s goalkeeper Edsel Scott but the nimble custodian had more work to do later on. Minutes later, Scott, despite initially moving in the opposite direction, somehow changed his movement to throw himself at the feet of Jahmali Spence, who was looking to latch on to a downward header from Fabian Taylor.

Beginning of the end

What followed was the beginning of the end for Blackburn, who cheekily palmed a deep Christopher Harvey pass into the net, in Diego Maradona fashion. However, Blackburn is certainly no Maradona and referee Oneal Clayton was not to be fooled; a yellow card the punishment for the young midfielder. He would later receive his second for a rough challenge on an opposing player.

Tivoli could not make their brief numerical advantage count and it was not long before Boyd was also sent to an early shower, after an assault on a Harbour View player.

Spence could have won it for Harbour View and probably should have, but miraculously steered his shot wide of the right post after being played through, to the dismay of the few supporters who had travelled in support of the¬†‘Stars of the East.’ Though disappointed with his team’s lack of intensity, Tivoli Gardens’ tactician Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey was consoled by the point gained and believes it could be a wake-up call for his boys. “When you play at home you always want to get three points but we knew it wouldn’t have been easy but it is good that we didn’t lose,” said Bailey.

Harbour View’s Donovan Hayles was, however, not too happy but underlined his belief that his team can still return the title to the east. “We wanted three points and I believe we played well enough to get all three and given the state of the competition we needed to take three points against Tivoli Gardens but I still harbour thoughts of winning the competition, I never say die,” Hayles declared.