Williams wants more than just play-off spot for Tivoli GardensSaturday, September 11, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Tivoli Gardens football club became the second team to secure play-off football this season when they defeated Humble Lions 4-3 in a roller-coaster match in the Jamaica Premier League at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence last Saturday.
Tivoli Gardens appeared comfortable after taking a 3-1 lead into the break on the back of a first-half hat trick from Horatio Morgan, but were made to sweat after Andre Clennon reduced the deficit just after the hour mark.
Tivoli Gardens talisman Devroy Grey then restored the two-goal lead with five minutes to go in normal time, before Lorenzo Lewin, who scored for Humble Lions in first-half stoppage time, got his second of the game in time added in the second half, to make it 4-3 and set up a very nervy finish.
Tivoli Gardens were able to see out the remaining minutes but their head coach Phillip Williams was less than impressed with what he saw on the defensive end from his team.
“It was very frustrating. The goals that we gave up were amateurish in nature and [that] is not acceptable if we plan on going all the way,” he fumed.
On the other side of the coin, Williams admitted that it was a highly charged atmosphere as the team secured play-off football for the first time in three seasons, a minimum target set by the club for this season.
“Emotion was high, knowing how valuable the win would be to secure one of the play-off places.
“We have met our minimum objective, which was to secure a play-off spot which we have not done for around three seasons now. We were in a good position to do so last time, before the season was aborted,” Williams said.
But even while he may be forgiven for taking a breath and absorbing the accomplishment that has eluded the West Kingston-based team for a while now, Williams is not about to rest on his laurels, as he wants to get as much as he possible can from the regular season.
“Truth be told, we are now looking beyond the play-offs and are trying to secure one of the semi-final spots, by either finishing first or second,” he revealed.
Should that escape them however, Williams is confident that his team can navigate the quarter-final round, should it come to that.
“But if not, our play-off chances are as good as any other team that will make it,” he said with confidence.
Williams likes the chances of Tivoli going all the way this season, based on what the statistics currently show.
“Our statistics show that we are a solid and well-rounded team in all the departments and we are pretty confident that we will give a good account of ourselves on any given day.”
Former coach Glendon Bailey has been instrumental in the success of the team so far this season, albeit from behind the scenes as revealed by the head coach.
“The team is proud of what they have achieved so far. The coaching staff feels satisfied with the work that we have done with the team under the guidance of our TD Glendon 'Admiral' Bailey.
“He is overseas, but helps with the overall running of the club along with the president and management body,” Williams disclosed.
Tivoli Gardens had boasted one of the best defensive records in the league before conceding the three goals against Humble Lions, and Williams aims to rectify that anomaly immediately.
“It's about concentration and professionalism, which has more to do with attitude and discipline instead of talent and tactical preparation. So, we plan to talk about each of the goals and the manner they were conceded,” he said.
Tivoli Gardens, who were just about mid-table and below the radar for most of the season, now stand a chance of finishing top of the table when they face Molynes United in their final regular season match on match week 11 today.