PRESIDENT of the Arnett Gardens club, Patrick Roberts, said he was hit in the head by a stone in a brazen attack on his team as things turned sour following their 3-2 victory over Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Stadium on Monday night.
This was following the dramatic semi-final of the Jamaica Yellow Pages/KSAFA Jackie Bell Knock-out contest in which Arnett Gardens advanced to the final against Boys' Town on February 15.
"Yes, I got a little clap," Roberts confirmed to the Observer yesterday.
But Roberts was quick to play down the incident, blaming the attack on "some little boys" who should have been in their beds.
"The stones and the bottles came over in the vicinity where the team bus was at the back and I would say it was not from the Tivoli supporters, but a bunch of little youths, none of them past 15," Roberts said.
"It was some little boys and females; they were not really no football fans of Tivoli. They were some little boys who should have been in their beds," he added.
The Arnett Gardens' team bus had a small dent on the side and the driver told the Observer another stone hit one of the side windows.
Arnett Gardens are due to host Tivoli Gardens in the Red Stripe Premier League tomorrow.
But Roberts, the People National Party (PNP) candidate who unsuccessfully challenged former Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the last general election, said the incident will not damage the relationship between the clubs.
"The relationship between us and Tivoli don't change. Yes, it happened on the grounds of the club, but we know it is from some little boys out of control.
"Everything was triggered off by (Glendon) 'Admiral' Bailey's (Tivoli Gardens' coach) behaviour with the referee. The late red card and the little boys feel like they should be in the fiesta.
"The officials, Lazarus (Saleem) and Richie from Tivoli tried, but they were so many and it was hard to restrain so many little youths," said Roberts.
In front of a packed crowd, both teams had the fans on the edge of their seats in an exciting and dramatic semi-final in which Tivoli Gardens ended with eight men and Arnett with 10.
Newton Sterling netted twice in two minutes in the 19th and 21st, giving the visiting Arnett Gardens a two-goal advantage.
Romeo Parkes pulled one back for Tivoli Gardens in the 37th before Navion Boyd equalised from the penalty spot in the 56th.
But Arnett were not to be denied and Rohan Reid skipped past the last defender and curled a low left-footer past the diving Edsel Scott in goal in the 65th.
Following the match, referee Kevin Thomas was surrounded by angry protesting Tivoli Gardens players which saw Scott hit the ball from the grasp of the referee while he was leaving the field.
The raging Scott and a few other players had to be restrained as they moved menacingly towards Thomas.
Earlier, Thomas had banished Bailey from the bench after being verbally abused at the start of the second half with Arnett Gardens leading, 2-1.
Thomas would end up dismissing Fabian Reid of Arnett Gardens, plus three Tivoli players in Raymond Williamson, Christopher Jackson and Ranike Anderson.
Fabian Reid, already on a yellow card in the 36th, picked up a straight red in the 52nd for striking an opponent.
Williamson followed in the 54th with a stupid foul, way out on the touchline nearer to the half-line.
Jackson saw red in the 77th after forcefully giving the ball to Rohan Reid, who was fouled. Then defender Ranike Anderson was given his marching orders in time added.