Boys' Town FC...................1
Tivoli Gardens FC...............2
McFarlane (27th), Thomas (90+1)
Prolific Tivoli Gardens FC attacker Rafeik Thomas piled agony on his former club Boys' Town with a late winner in yesterday's passionate Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) match at the Collie Smith Complex.
Thomas, who made the move to the Glendon Bailey-conditioned Tivoli Gardens in the January transfer window, ghosted behind the Boys' Town defence and clinically slotted past hesitant goalkeeper Kirk Porter to separate the teams in the first minute of time added on.
Marvin Morgan had given the home team the lead in the fifth minute when he beat shot-stopper Edsel Scott, but Tivoli Gardens roared back into the pulsating clash when Andre McFarlane's intended cross looped beyond Porter and into the net in the 27th minute.
Boys' Town were forced to play with only 10 players after 78 minutes when defender Asrick Samuels was given marching orders for showing dissent in reacting to picking up an initial yellow card for a tackle on an opponent.
With the loss, Boys' Town FC, coached by Andrew Price, remain in third place on 45 points and saw their hopes of catching runaway leaders Harbour View (59 points) suffer a significant blow.
Former champions Tivoli Gardens-- uncharacteristically floating in mid-table-- moved to 39 points, but stay in seventh spot.
Thomas argued that he felt it necessary to "move on to a next club and find the right solution" during the transfer window because the "vibe" with his former Boys' Town teammates was not the same in the second round of the RSPL as it was in the first.
Despite the uneasy circumstances under which he left the Collie Smith Drive-based outfit, the 27-year-old, who had a previous stint at Tivoli, insisted that it carried no added pleasure for him to score againt his former employers.
"It's a good feeling to score the winning goal and I think that is the important thing. It is not really big that it happened against my ex-team...I'm just happy it's the goal to win the match," said the small-framed player.
Assistant coach of Tivoli Gardens Alvin Shaw, while identifying the preparation of the team as a major reason for the away win against their long-time rivals, said the three points are important in their quest to climb into the upper half of the 12-team table.
"Tivoli versus Boys' Town is always a competitive game and today was no different. I know that our preparation coming into this game was very intense and all the training sessions were focused on this game specifically. It was a very good victory for us and considering where we are at the moment we needed it because we are struggling to get into the top six," Shaw said.
Price was openly disappointed at the loss and felt his team lacked discipline at crucial moments in the game.
"I think we didn't play very well defensively and we didn't show enough discipline in the way we played. To compound that there was an indiscretion by one of our seasoned players Asrick Samuels to get a red card in the dying moments so we were under pressure from Tivoli in the final 10 minutes. We wilted under the pressure and allowed Rafiek Thomas, a proven goal scorer, to get behind the defence," Price said.
Boys' Town — Kirk Porter, Hugh Evans, Carlos Wright, Nicholas McMorris, Wayne Ellis, Asrick Samuels, Daemon Benjamin, Renae Lloyd, Shane Edwards (Garfield Gillespie 66th), Jermaine Allen, Marvin Morgan (Ricardo Dennis 80th).
Subs not used: Leon Goffe, Richard Clarke, Joel Williams, Fabian Francis, Khalil Johnson.
Booked: Samuels (78th)- ejected (78th), Dennis (84th)
Tivoli Gardens — Edsel Scott, Ranike Anderson, Barrington Pryce, Kemar Flemmings, Damion Gordon, Fabian Campbell, Shawn McKoy, Andre McFarlane (Junior Flemming 80th), Rafeik Thomas, Akeem Thenstead (Fitzroy Campbell 73rd), Jamoy Sibbles (Navion Boyd 52nd)
Subs not used: Roybert Clarke, Davion Garrison, Terence Allen, Jamie Robinson
Booked: Flemmings (28th), Anderson (71st), Pryce (75th)
Referee: Karl Tyrell
Assistant Referees: Lloyd Edwards and Stephen Brown
Fourth Official: Carvel Banton
Match Commissary: James Pearson
Boys' Town player Daemon Benjamin (right) vies for the ball with Tivoli Gardens goalscorer Rafiek Thomas in yesterday's RSPL match at Collie Smith Drive. Tivoli Gardens won 2-1. (Photo: Lionel Rookwood)