'A one-nil lead is the worst lead,' says Cavalier's SpeidTuesday, September 28, 2021
CAVALIER Football Club will take a 1-0 lead into their return-leg semi-final game against Tivoli Gardens Football Club in the Jamaica Premier League after snatching a late game winner at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Saturday.
Having had the luxury of preparing for the game and affording their players adequate rest in between, Cavalier went into the first leg with fresher legs than their opponents who had to play out two gruelling quarter-final games against Vere United.
But Cavalier's Technical Director Rudolph Speid doesn't believe his team had a decisive advantage ahead of the game on Saturday.
“They playing is an advantage for them and a disadvantage for us, but they also had a disadvantage because they have played 180 minutes more than we have played, so I think it's just even-steven,” he insisted.
Speid introduced a largely unknown striker with five minutes to go and the player made an instant impact, scoring with his first touch of the ball.
“Collin Anderson is the fastest player in the Premier League. It's a secret. Now people will know. We knew that with tiring legs, him coming on, he was going to cause a lot of problems – and you can see the result. One direct ball, and that made the difference.”
He knew that the game against Tivoli Gardens would have been one of fine margins and Speid was delighted that his team was able to make that moment count.
“We know that the game playing against Tivoli Gardens, it was always going to be close so it was just a moment – and we picked that one.”
The goal came from a pinpoint pass out of midfield from Nickache Murray, who came in for high praises from his coach.
“A lot of people don't know that Nickache's [Murray] pass completion rate is nearly 90 per cent. That's the most accurate player we have in the camp. He is an unsung hero.”
Speid also noted that Murray's goal contribution was more than just a pass.
“Not just the pass, but he shrugged off a couple challenges before he made the perfect pass, and by that time Anderson was in full stride and there was no stopping him.”
It was a brilliant piece of counter-attacking play that led to the goal and Speid explained that this is the way that the club has played over the years.
“The truth is, over the years Cavalier was always a counter-attacking team. We haven't lost that, but we tried to develop our possession game over the last season. But, when we see these opportunities we can take them.
“The truth is Cavalier players, most of them [are] fast and skilful. That's the hallmark of Cavalier players so that is the reason why we can do it.”
Cavalier will enter the return leg with the slimmest of advantages and Speid said he does not intend to try to protect that narrow lead.
“We are not trying to go and protect it, because this is not a lead. It is one of the worst leads you could ever have, a one-nil lead. Three-nil would have been better or maybe two, because they scoring one and we could probably start to panic. So, it's one of the worst leads you could have going into the second leg – but we will take it though.”
Cavalier will take on Tivoli Gardens in the feature game when the return-leg semi-finals are played at the same venue tomorrow. The match has a scheduled start time of 2:30 pm. Before that, Waterhouse Football Club will also take a narrow 1-0 lead over Mount Pleasant Football Academy into their return fixture, starting at 12:00 noon.
— Dwayne Richards