Late-arriving Referee OJay Duhaney and his first assistant, Mary Lawrence, were at the centre of controversy which threatened to mar the much-hyped Zone ‘C’ ISSA/FLOW da’Costa Cup match between Holland High and Herbert Morrison Technical High at the Bogue-based institution on Tuesday.
Duhaney and his first lieutenant significantly changed the outcome of the contest in the final four minutes with some dubious decision-making, namely the non-calling of blatant penalties as the hosts ‘Compre’ rallied to earn a 1-1 draw with Holland.
At the blast of the final whistle, some heated players also had to be separated.
‘Compre’ ended the contest with nine players after Salona Birch, two bookable offences, and substitute Marc-Dayne Graham, seconds after coming onto the pitch, were given marching orders.
At the blast of the opening whistle, Herbert Morrison made a quick start to the encounter and should have taken the lead with just two minutes on the clock, however, Deverow McKenzie failed to connect from inside the six-yard box.
The home team would create three other chances before the 10th minute mark, but again their attackers were wasteful.
While soaking up the early pressure, Holland, who failed to win against this opposition last season, started to settle and against the run of play, went ahead in the 14th minute through a well-taken strike from Michael Stephenson.
From a breakdown in midfield, Holland hit their hosts on the counter when Stephenson fired on the go, beating an unmoved David Gordon in goal for ‘Compre’ at the near post.
Both teams created good chances throughout but failed to make them count.
With time running out and Holland inching closer to a historic victory, ‘Compre’ were handed a lifeline through a penalty awarded for a handled ball.
The spot kick was converted calmly by Richard Thompson in the 86th minute.
The game then turned on its head with two handled balls inside the penalty area went uncalled by the officials who were right on spot.
In one of the two instances, the assistant raised the flag for the penalty call, however, the decision was overturned by the referee who waved play on.
Duhaney had to be shielded from angry spectators at the end of the game.
In other games involving western schools, William Knibb rallied to earn a share of the points in a 2-2 draw with Cedric Titus, while Spot Valley clipped Muschett 1-0.