Tivoli Gardens without first-choice 'keeper for return semisTuesday, September 28, 2021
Indiscipline raised its ugly head at the end of the first-leg semi-final between Tivoli Gardens Football Club and Cavalier Football Club on Saturday after first-choice goalkeeper Kewong Watkins was shown a red card by the referee for violent conduct.
The West Kingston-based Tivoli Gardens trail the two-legged tie 0-1 going into the return-leg semi-final tomorrow at the same venue, the UWI-JFF captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, following Saturday's first leg.
The Tivoli Gardens custodian was shown a straight red card by the referee Christopher Mason after the final whistle for what appeared to be an attack on an opposing Cavalier Football Club player.
There was a scuffle between both sets of players at the final whistle and after everything was brought under control, Watkins was shown the red card, which will see him miss what could potentially be the most important game of the season for his team.
Tivoli Gardens Head Coach Phillip Williams admitted that his player needed to exhibit more discipline.
“I think players need to maintain their discipline at all levels. It doesn't matter what the situation is or the result of the game,” he said.
He did say, however, that he expects his replacement goalkeeper to step in and fill the breach come tomorrow.
“We have a balanced replacement in [Nicholas] Clarke and we are very confident in all the 'keepers at Tivoli Gardens and we know that Clarke will give us a good shift next game,” he explained.
Williams admitted to not witnessing the incident that led to the sending off and expressed doubt that the incident was seen by the referee.
“I didn't see the incident, and I doubt if the referee saw the incident either. There was some amount of confusion or doubt between himself and his assistant, but he knows the laws of the game and he has the authority to execute it, so I guess it is what it is,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, Cavalier Football Club Technical Director Rudolph Speid was in no doubt about what happened.
“He [Watkins] kicked one of my players, so he is deserving of it, to get a red card. It happened right in front of the referee,” said Speid.
Tivoli Gardens will square off with Cavalier in the feature game tomorrow, starting at 2:30 pm.
— Dwayne Richards