Photo: Tevin Shaw outjumps Ryan Miller to head home a corner kick and give Tivoli Gardens FC a 2-1 lead over UWI FC in the Red Stripe Premier League. Tivoli Gardens eventually ran out 3-2 winners to score their first ever win over the UWI in the premiership.
Tivoli Gardens FC finally got the UWI FC monkey off their backs when they got the better of the Mona based team in a five goal thriller at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday. A goal each from Dawyne Smith and Colorado Murray saw the teams go in level at the break before Tevin Shaw gave Tivoli their first lead of the game shortly after the restart.Substitute Andrea Bernal then pulled the Marcel Gayle coached team level only for another substitute Donovan Dawkins to seal the win for the Omar Edwards coached team at their 8th attempt, over the course of almost three seasons.
With very little to choose between the teams in the early stages of the contest, it took UWI 10 mins to get their first sight of goal when captain Rochane Smith dragged his effort wide of the left upright, this after a spectacular effort from Murray had gone high and wide for Tivoli two minutes earlier.
As they have often done in this particular duel, the UWI took the lead in the 16th minute when Smith showed great strength to resist the challenge of a defender before firing home a right footed thunderbolt pass Nicholas Clarke into the back of the net to give UWI a 1-0 lead.
With the lead secured the UWI dropped off to defend from the half line, inviting their opponents to try and break them down while playing on the counter.
Tivoli registered thier first effort on target when Barrington Pryce saw his well struck free kick saved by Amal Knight who was well positioned to make the save despite the venom in the shot. Shortly after, Nicholas Smith saw his shot roll across the face of goal and outside when all it needed was a simple touch to draw Tivoli level.
Five minutes before the break Shaw turned on a dime, but saw his shot charged down as soon as it left his feet. The ball fell kindly to Murray whose shot, that was destined for the bottom right corner, was turned around the post for a corner kick by the alert Knight.
Tivoli then made the breakthrough just before the teams went into the break. Elton Thompson who had.been kept quiet all half fired off a shot that was welled saved by Knight but Murray was quickest to the rebound and headed into the roof of the unguarded net to make it 1-1 in the second minute of added time at the end of the half.
Tivoli began the second half on the front foot and could have taken the lead had Ajuma Johnson showed more composure with his shot from 16 yards out, just two minutes after the restart.
Tivoli then went ahead in the 57th minute when Shaw outjumped Ryan Miller at the near post to head home a.corner kick and give Tivoli their first lead of the game.
Five minutes later the UWI were reduced to ten men when Kemar Flemmings was shown a second yellow for violent conduct by referee Cardella Samuels after he had slapped Colorado Murray in the face.
But the UWI refused to give up and kept pressing for an equalizer. They managed to draw level when Bernal who had been on the field for just three minutes, redirected a Fabion McCarthy shot into the corner of the net, wrong footing Clarke in the process and drawing the teams level at 2-2.
Bernal got a chance to put UWI ahead.for a second time in the game but failed to get the ball under control inside the box.
Bernal and UWI would pay for that miss because on the very next play, Dawkins who had been on the pitch for just three minutes headed into an empty goal at the back post after Knight had been caught out by a teasing cross. It was the first touch by the striker who was playing in only his second game of the season. Like Bernal, Dawkins had been on the field for only three minutes before finding the back of the net. The big difference however, was that Dawkins goal would prove to be the match winner.
Tivoli then wasted a number of chances to put the game to bed in the final few minutes as the UWI back line was left exposed as they hunted a second equalizer
Dawkins had a glorious opportunity to lob the advancing Knight but his effort went way over the cross bar. He had another break away but the ball took a bad bounce and the opportunity to shoot was lost. He then passed inside to Thompson who is clearly lacking in confidence in front of goal and his wild swing barely made contact with the ball.
The last chance.of the game fell to the industrious Junior Mc Gregor but his shot rolled right across the face of goal and wide of the target.
For Tivoli Gardens head coach Omar Edwards there was onky going to be one winner in the contest.
"It was a good game overall. This victory was very important, we wanted to go five points ahead of UWI and the players really stood out there and they have carried out the instructions. We had to come from behind (but) it was obvious from the first whistle blow that we were the better team. UWI came out and they played a medium press game and tried to hit us on the counter."
Edwards credited the tactical adjustments made at half time for the win.
"We spoke to the team at half time and told them that we will have to play from the back to the middle and then to the forward because the long ball wasn't working for us. In the second half the team carried out the tactical instructions and hence we have managed to come away with maximum points. Donovan Dawkins is a goal scorer and we have seen that from school days and what he did this afternoon is no surprise to the coaching staff and to the community by extention."