Cavalier stun Arnett Gardens in RSPL play-offs
Arnett Gardens will have it all to do in the second leg of their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) quarter-final match against Cavalier, after they were stunned 3-0 by the Rudolph Speid-coached team in their first-leg quarter-final at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex yesterday.
Goals from Chevonne Marsh (15th), Alex Marshall (77th) and Nicholas Hamilton (83rd) saw Cavalier to victory against 10-man Arnett Gardens, who lost goalkeeper Mikhail Harrison, after 27 minutes, after he was shown the red card for verbally abusing referee Oshane Nation.
Winning coach Speid said Arnett Gardens played into his hands after going down to 10 men, but insists the red card was not as significant to their victory as most people think.
“That was the plan (to counter after they went to 10 men). We know they were short on men and we know how quick our players are. We just stayed behind the ball and if it wasn’t for a few misses, it could have been more,” Speid said.
“We had already scored when they got the red card, we did that the first time too. So I don’t want anybody to think that we won because they got the red card, the red card allowed us to play differently,” Speid added.
Moment of madness
Marsh fired Cavalier into the lead after 15 minutes, before Harrison’s moment of madness saw Arnett going a man short. But despite losing a player, it barely affected Arnett Gardens going forward, as they relentlessly pursued the equaliser. They were made to pay for being too open at the back, when Alex Marshall drilled home a shot from the edge of the box in the 77th minute. Hamilton then sealed the win seven minutes from time, when he raced through and lifted the ball over Damian Hyatt in goal
Arnett Gardens assistant coach Eugene Barnes said losing Harrison was the turning point in the match.
“I am very disappointed (with Harrison) because these are things we discussed before the game, we said that the last time we played them we got a red card and we don’t want that to happen again,” he noted.
“We will have to show our pride and character and see what we can do, because we can still get back in this game. We have 90 more minutes to play. But they (players) will have to motivate themselves. They have to want it, they have to want to beat Cavalier, so this is the time we need to overcome that,” he added.
In the other game, UWI and Mount Pleasant played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, with the latter twice responding after going behind.
Ramoun Reid opened the scoring for UWI in the 21st minute before Mount Pleasant’s Sue-Lae McCalla equalised in the 60th. Ryan Miller again fired UWI in front seven minutes later, but Francois Swaby again pegged them back from the penalty spot with nine minutes to play.
Champions Portmore United and Waterhouse await in the semi-finals.