Watkins sees red as Mount Pleasant edge Tivoli Gardens

Mount Pleasant FA.........................2 Swaby (pk 45th+6), Benbow (56th) Tivoli Gardens FC...........................1 Garnett (50th)

Monday, February 18, 2019

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DRAX HALL, St Ann — Mount Pleasant FA beat 10-man Tivoli Gardens FC 2-1 yesterday even as ugly scenes fuelled by visiting team goalkeeper Davion Watkins marred the Red Stripe Premier League football match at Drax Hall Sports Complex.

Francois Swaby opened from the penalty spot in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage time, before Tivoli briefly equalised through substitute Tkevin Garnett (50th minute).

Cardel Benbow then secured the three points for the hosts with a 56th-minute strike.

Victory pushed promoted Mount Pleasant to 44 points, but they remain in fourth place. Tivoli Gardens stay outside a top-six play-off spot with 35 points.

The football action yesterday at Drax Hall was overshadowed by a first-half fracas with Watkins front and centre.

He ran from his goal to the sideline and confronted assistant referee Gavin Carvalho to dispute a decision. The two engaged in a brief shoving match, with the player earning a red card for his role.

As police officers and team officials rushed onto the field in a bid to restore order, other Tivoli Gardens players were drawn into a melee.

However, while being escorted off, Watkins, riled up by some home team spectators, threw missiles into that section of the crowd. Objects were thrown back at him before he was taken away.

Minutes later, the game continued.

Before the mayhem, there was little to speak of as both teams tried to settle in sunny and windy conditions on a lush field.

Tivoli were dealt a huge blow about 15 minutes in when key midfielder Tevin Shaw had to leave the field on board an ambulance after a knock he sustained.

He was replaced by Garnett, and Tivoli Gardens held their own until the altercations sparked by Watkins.

Thereafter things fell apart and they conceded a penalty after referee Doyen Tummings blew his whistle for a hand ball inside the penalty box. Swaby struck his kick high into the net to send the home fans wild.

Just before the break, Mount Pleasant should have had another. A fine counter-attack, spurred by Evan Taylor's pin-point pass, freed the speedy Fletcher down the left. He dribbled down the flank before playing a centre pass that beat Tivoli substitute goalkeeper Nicholas Clarke, but Benbow side-footed way over the empty goal from point-blank range.

Five minutes into the second half Tivoli Gardens got back into the game when Mount Pleasant defender Kevin Graham unwisely chose to stoop for a knee-high header to clear an innocuous cross, instead of attempting to use his feet. The result was a miscue that fell for Garnett to roll into an empty net.

Unfortunately for Tivoli, there was calamity of a similar nature six minutes later at the other end.

Captain and central defender Barrington Pryce misplaced a header back to goalkeeper Clarke for Benbow to intercept. And Pryce compounded matters when he failed to provide cover as Clarke advanced to close down the Mount Pleasant attacker.

Benbow duly made use of the opportunity and stroked into the empty goal.

To Tivoli's credit, they gave as much as they got despite playing a man short, and were somewhat unlucky not to leave with a share of the spoils in the face of an underwhelming Mount Pleasant performance.

Teams: Mount Pleasant — Kadeem Davis, Kevin Graham, Ladale Richie (Liston James 46th), Suelae McCalla, Xavian Virgo, Evan Taylor, Ronaldo Rodney, Daniel Green, Cardel Benbow (Kemar Beckford 61st), Francois Swaby, Jourdain Fletcher (Kevaughn Isaacs 79th)

Subs not used: Joseph Vargos, Latroy Laing, Romario Campbell, Kesslon Hall

Booked: Fletcher (33rd), James (63rd), Rodney (90th+1)

Tivoli Gardens — Davion Watkins, Barrington Pryce, Tevin Shaw (Tkevin Garnett 18th), Shavar Campbell, Ezran Simpson, Raymond Williamson, Trayvone Reid, Rodrico Wellington (Nicholas Clarke 45th+3), Nicholas Smith, Andre Moulton, Colarado Murray (Jermaine Johnson 76th)

Subs not used: Junior McGregor, Nathan Thomas, Davion Goulbourne, Howard Morris

Booked: Smith (39th), Watkins (ejected 41st), Williamson (79th)

Referee: Doyen Tummings

Assistant referees: Damian Williams, Gavin Carvalho

Fourth official: Alexi Perry

Match commissary: Ewan Scott

— Sanjay Myers

Yesterday's results

Mount Pleasant 2, Tivoli Gardens 1

Reno 2, Portmore 4

Humble Lion 1, Montego Bay 1

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