West Kingston stalemate severely affect playoff chances for Tivoli

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Photo: Jamoy Sibblies of Tivoli Gardens protects the ball from Hugh Evans of Boys Town during their 0-0 draw at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex on Sunday


Tivoli’s chances of sneaking into the semi-finals of the Red Stripe Premier League ahead of fierce rivals Arnett Gardens were dealt a severe blow on Sunday when they played out a nil-all draw with another West Kingston rival, Boys Town at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex.


Both teams entered the game desperate for the three points to advances their position at different ends of the table. Tivoli’s game kicked off two hours before Arnett Gardens and they would have hoped to get the three points and exert some pressure on the team just above them in the table.


The Glendon Bailey coached team failed to spark early and it was the visitors who settled first in very windy conditions which made playing a passing game almost impossible. Peter Keyes and Rafiek Thomas troubled the Tivoli defence creating a few half chances early on, before they combined well to open up the Tivoli defence in the 23rd minute. A lovely one-two on the edge of the area put Keyes on goal and with Edsel Scott at his mercy, the forward fired wide of the far post before falling to his knees in agony.


Tivoli fired back shortly after when their best player so far this season, Keammar ‘Dada’ Daley, drove a free kick to the far post from the edge of the area. The ball eluded everyone except the diminutive but lively Jamoy Sibblies who headed over the top from almost underneath the crossbar.


Boys Town continued to dominate possession with the aid of the breeze but the final chance of the half fell to Tivoli when Daley produce a bit of magic to get by two players before unleashing a fierce left foot shot from just outside the area. The home crowd groaned as the ball went inches over the crossbar.


The second half took a while to come to life and the first opportunity fell to the luckless Keyes who received a pass from Asrick Samuels but his tame effort was easily held by Scott.  It was again Daley who responded for Tivoli when another free kick caused Boys Town some problems. The former national played drove his effort on target and Kirk Porter was unable to catch the ball. Porter had to punch clear at the second attempt as Sibblies attacked the rebound.


Fifteen minutes from time Scott did well to deny Keyes yet again as Boys Town threatened to get the elusive goal to steal all three points. From there on the game fell away as both teams failed to handle the conditions well enough to get a much needed win.


Bailey acknowledged that things are slipping away from his team, “Both teams didn’t deal with the breeze well today. We are still not being consistent and some of our players are not following instructions.


“Our home form has been haunting us all season, we need to be much better at home. We cannot make the top four if we don’t get more consistent,” he concluded.


Boys Town coach, Andrew Price was satisfied with the point, “It was a typical hard-nose game. It had all the character of a West Kingston derby, but we needed to be more clinical in front of goal. To pick up a point away from home is good although it would have been much better to secure all three.


“As long as we don’t lose any more games we should be safe,” he said of his team’s chances of avoiding relegation.


With the draw, Boys Town moved level on 32 points with Portmore United but up a place to 9th position on goal difference, above the former champions, who were hammerd 3-0 by Harbour View and slipped to 10th position.