Tivoli Gardens, for the second time this season, downed neighbours Arnett Gardens 3-1, but the manner in which they did it on this occasion would certainly have sent a message to their other rivals in the Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL).

Not only did Tivoli Gardens have to come from behind in the marquee Monday night encounter at the Stadium East Field, but they did so at a numerical disadvantage in tough underfoot conditions caused by evening showers.

The West Kingston team was spurred by a brace from former Arnett Gardens winger Steve Clarke (76th and 80th), and a long overdue strike from the league's joint leading scorer Justin Dunn (73rd), after they lost substitute Howard Morris to a straight red card in the 61st. Fabian Reid had earlier put Arnett Gardens in front in the 57th minute.

With the win, which extended their unbeaten run across four matches, Tivoli's Gardens inched up to fourth on 34 points, while Arnett Gardens, who had their three-match unbeaten run snapped, slipped to fourth on 33 points.

Winning coach Jerome Waite welcomed Clarke's impact on his return to the league.

"Despite the fact that we weren't prepared where the proper footing is concerned, the result ended in our favour. I spoke about the players who came in through the transfer market and today you saw what those players basically have to offer," Waite said, adding that losing Morris didn't affect their game plan much.

"The only change was that we had a three-pronged attack, and we asked one of those players to sit in the midfield. These players, the worked that they put in leading up to this game, showed here and it can only can better as the season progresses," he noted.

Arnett Gardens dominated proceedings for most of the first half and had a few openings from which they should have opened the scoring but failed to make them count. After Warner Brown skied a left-footed effort from deep inside the 18-yard box, Keheim Dixon, had a clear 12th-minute opportunity in a one-on-one situation with Tivoli Gardens goalkeeper Diego Haughton, but fired his effort into the crossbar.

With very little going Tivoli Gardens way, Dunn tried his luck from a distance, but Asher Hutchinson in goal for Arnett Gardens, got down well to his right to parry.

Reid also had a grand opportunity to break the deadlock in the 27th minute when he went on a break and dismissed Haughton, who strayed off his line, but the Arnett Gardens captain was undone by the conditions, as the score remained goalless at the break.

However, Reid made amends for his earlier slip up and sent the ‘Junglists’ in front 12 minutes into the resumption, as he got on the end of a Jamone Shepherd pass and fired past Haughton, who again strayed off his line and was caught in no man's land.

Along with the lead, Arnett Gardens also had a numerical advantage when Morris was sent for an early shower by referee Oshane Nation, but seemingly got complacent, and were punished for it. This, as Tivoli Gardens went rampant in the final 20 minutes of the contest and were assisted by some shoddy defending by their opponents.

The West Kingston team’s fortunes turned when a well-struck 71st-minute freekick by substitute Vishinul Harris, was kept out parried by Hutchinson and Shepherd senselessly felled Alton Lewis inside the danger area.

Dunn, who endured a lengthy goal drought after his blistering start to the season, stepped up and converted from the 12-yard spot to pull Tivoli Gardens level with his 10th goal of the season.

From there, it was the Steve Clarke show, as the former Arnett Gardens man doubled the lead three minutes later when he got on the end of Harris’s delightful through-pass and fired past Hutchinson on a second attempt.

Clarke then completed his brace and the victory for Tivoli Gardens when he finished a right-footer with aplomb, after Arnett Gardens failed to clear their lines from Shaquille Jones’s cross.

Arnett Gardens' Head coach Xavier Gilbert believed they were undone by a lack of proper game management. 

"I think we made some poor decisions around the back, but credit to Tivoli Gardens for the way they came at us because I think we managed the game poorly and we have to be smarter than that. We were a goal up and a man up and I just don't think we made good decisions, so it's just unfortunate and we just have move on...bounce back quickly and a move on," Gilbert said.

Matchweek 17 Results

Lime Hall Academy 1, Treasure Beach FC 0

Montego Bay United 2, Vere United 0

Portmore United 1, Dunbeholden 1

Mount Pleasant FA 1, Molynes United 1

Waterhouse 0, Cavalier FC 1

Humble Lion 2, Harbour View 4

Tivoli Gardens 3, Arnett Gardens 1

Both Jerome Waite of Tivoli Gardens and Portmore United’s Head coach Phillip Williams took heart from their team’s performance and remain optimistic about returning to winning ways, following a lukewarm goalless Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League encounter at Stadium East on Monday.

It was a contest in which Waite and his Tivoli Gardens unit would have felt more hard done, as they dominated proceedings to an extent and created the best of chances. They were particularly good in the first half, as lead striker Justin Dunn and a few others got some decent attempts on target but were denied by some high-quality saves by Tyrone Williams, in goal for Portmore United.

There was very little to write home about at the top of the resumption, as tempers flared more often than shots on goal, with the best effort of that stanza coming in the 79th minute. That was when Portmore United’s Akeem Mullings drove a left-footer from a distance, but the effort was kept out by Tivoli’s custodian Nicholas Clarke.

With the point, Tivoli Gardens recovered somewhat from their recent 0-1 loss to Mount Pleasant, and inched up to 10 points in fifth position, while third-placed Portmore United, on 11 points, extended their unbeaten run across five games.

Both coaches felt their respective teams entertained spectators, but in the same breath, alluded to the need for improvements, if they are to challenge for the title at the backend of the season.

"Congrats to both teams, it was really an entertaining game, and we have to give credit to the Portmore United goalkeeper. He just reminded me some years ago we called him into the national Under-20 setup but due to his agent, he didn't turn up. What he did today (Monday) made the difference but all being well, we are happy with the point," Waite said in a post-match interview.

"We also have a lot of positives to take from the game, the high-level concentration, defensive organization and we continue to create opportunities offensively, but I think we need to click a little more in the midfield to strike a real balance, but we continue to work," he added.

Meanwhile, Williams felt his team displayed their usual heart and passion. 

"It was a game that was lacking goals but in terms of entertainment it was there, the commitment was also there for goals, and it is just unfortunate that we didn’t get one.

“This is the Premier League so it's important that we always assess our opponents and make the necessary adjustments to give ourselves a chance. It's still a work in progress with this squad and it is going to take some amount of luck, consistency and quality to really challenge for the title and we just have to put it all together,” Williams reasoned.

Matchweek Seven Results

Lime Hall 1, Vere United 4

Dunbeholden FC 2, Molynes United 1

Montego Bay United 1, Mount Pleasant FA 2

Waterhouse FC 0, Humble Lion 1

Tivoli Gardens 0, Portmore United 0

Cavalier vs Arnett Gardens (Postponed due to Caribbean Cup)

Treasure Beach vs Harbour View (Postponed due to Caribbean Cup)

Jerome Waite and Tivoli Gardens continued their vibrant start to the Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League (WNJPL) season, as they downed Humble Lions 4-1 in a lopsided encounter at Stadium East Field on Monday.
 
The dynamic duo of Justin Dunn and Howard Morris proved menacing on the day, and both bagged a brace to lift the West Kingston team to a third win in four games so far this season.
 
Dunn continued his rich vein of form with goals in the 2nd and 53rd minutes that took his tally to six, while Morris's goals (45+1 and 88th), moved his tally to three. Interestingly, it was a 29th-minute own-goal by Tivoli's captain Barrington Pryce that turned out to be Humble Lions consolation. 
 
While Humble Lions remain seventh on five points, Tivoli Gardens inched up to third on nine points with 11 goals to their count, and that puts them well on course to surpass last season’s tally off 22 points and 29 goals. 
 
That for Waite was always the objective. 
 
"There is always room for improvement, even though we scored all goals, it could have been more, but poor decision-making and faulty execution let us down. If you know me, I am a very attacking coach and the whole objective is to score goals because goals make the difference in a game, so we just want to continue putting our best foot forward and see where it takes us this season," Waite said in a post-match interview.
 
It was a frantic start to the contest by Tivoli Gardens, who went straight to work from the whistle and quickly broke the deadlock courtesy of a slick one-two combination between Morris and Dunn, as the latter applied the finish past Prince-Daniel Smith from close range.
 
Though tempers flared in the early exchanges, particularly on the part of Humble Lions players, Tivoli Gardens maintained a cool and continued to frustrate the opponents with tidy movements in the attacking third.
 
Morris should have doubled the lead in the 15th minute when he was allowed space and time at the top of the 18-yard box to pull the trigger, but his shot didn't have enough venom to beat Smith.
 
That missed opportunity came back to haunt them 14 minutes later, as Humble Lions pulled level when Pryce turned an intended cross by Fabian Pascoe into his own net.
 
But that was all the Clarendon-based team would get against a dominant Tivoli Gardens outfit that was both brisk and enterprising in their build ups. In fact, Humble Lions struggled with defensive organization throughout, and Tivoli Gardens happily exploited those areas.
 
Another tidy team build up released Dunn in space to play a pass in for Morris, who made no mistakes on that occasion to out the West Kingston team 2-1 up at the break.
 
Tivoli maintained the momentum on the resumption and extended the lead eight minutes in, as Dunn arrived on the end of a delightful through pass from Nickalia Fuller and drove home a left-footer that gave Smith no chance at a save.
 
From there, Waite's side continued to apply consistent pressure to which Humble Lions had no response, and though they were made to wait in their probe for another goal, it inevitably came Two minutes from time.
 
This, when Dunn released another pass inside the danger area and Morris capitalized on the time and space to thump a right-footer past the hapless Smith and cap the win, which left Waite pleased for the most parts.
 
"Depending on the strength of the opposition, once we identify those areas, there are players who will be given a task (to nullify that strength) and all you want them to do is deliver on the day. The team has been doing well so far and it is our hope that the work they do in training will make the difference on game days," Waite said. 
 
His counterpart Andrew Price cut a dejected figure as he summed up his team's dismal performance. 
 
"I don't think we showed up, defensively we were out of shape, and we just didn't look interested in the game. This is the worse display I have seen from the team. I am disappointed with the way the team played and I expected more from them. But we just need to forget this quickly and get ourselves ready for the next game," Price said.
 
"We have to do some introspection; we know we are much better than this and so we have to get back to basics and start doing the simple things. We usually take pride in our defensive abilities, and we didn't show that and like I said its very disappointing," he added.
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