Tivoli get first RSPL win
Second-half substitutes Rodico Wellington and Donovan Dawkins netted late goals as struggling Tivoli Gardens registered their first win of the Red Stripe Premier League season in four matches, beating 10-man Cavalier 2-0 at the Edward Seaga Complex yesterday.
Wellington and Dawkins both came off the bench midway the second half and injected much, needed impetus into the home team, who had wasted a number of opportunities to go ahead.
Jermaine ‘Teddy’ Johnson rattled the post, and Junior McGregor tested Cavalier goalkeeper St Michael Edwards with a rasping effort from 20 yards in the first half. In the second period, Johnson blasted over the bar from inside the area, and Rushane Spence whistled a shot just over the bar.
However, Wellington got the breakthrough for the hosts 11 minutes from time when he beat Edwards with a low freekick through the Cavalier wall from the edge of the area. Former Jamaica College hero Dawkins, who has been dogged by injuries and weight problems since he left high school a few years ago, appeared sharp and well conditioned and was involved in most of the good things Tivoli did when he came on. With a minute to go, he slotted home from six yards to finish off a good build-up.
Coach Philip Williams, who has been under pressure on the sidelines, credited the two attackers for the three points.
“There was some amount of concern because we have played three games without scoring any goals,” he said. “So getting those chances and not putting them away, you have to start wondering if it’s déjà vu and the result would repeat itself. So we were concerned that we might not get the three points because we have been playing good in all the games. But we made some changes, and those changes worked for us as both of the substitutes scored.”
PLEASED WITH DAWKINS
He was especially pleased with Dawkins, whom many had written off.
“I choose my squad based on players’ performance in training, and Dawkins has been looking sharp throughout the week,” Williams said. “We rewarded him by putting him in, and he rewarded us with a goal as a substitute. But we came for three points or nothing, and I am glad the team delivered for me today.”
Cavalier coach Rudolph Speid said that two major calls went against them but that the absence of injured attacker Nicholas Hamilton was having a big impact on his team’s offensive capabilities.
“This will be a big setback,” Speid said. “We are not settled as yet because we are missing some of our better players, and we are hoping to get everybody fit and back as soon as possible. Without Hamilton, that is going to be the case (being flat in attack).