Enter United Petrotrin's technical area at your own peril.
CLICO San Juan Jabloteh coach Earl Jean got an unexpected lesson in the sanctity of the technical area when he strayed too close to the opposing bench and was shoved away by Petrotrin's Brazilian coach Marcos Tinoco during Saturday's Digicel Pro League 1-1 tie between the respective teams on Saturday evening in Malabar.
Jean, a former St Lucia international, pointedly re-entered the Petrotrin technical area before the final whistle but, on this occasion, Tinoco refused the bait and protested to Mohammed instead.
Pro League fans have not seen this much action on the sidelines since Jabloteh technical director Terry Fenwick flattened W. Connection's Brazilian playmaker Gefferson Goulart, after the latter celebrated a goal in front the opposing bench.
Tinoco offered Jean a handshake at the final whistle, though, and the two men sorted out their differences before they left the Larry Gomes Stadium.
"I knew that Petrotrin were tired," said Jean, "so, in the heat of the minute, I was rushing for the ball. I guess I am not used to the coaching line. I reached to pick up the ball to keep the game going and the next thing I felt was a shove from the coach
"Maybe I should not have picked up the ball in his area but we have to maintain our composure too as coaches. I feel coaches and especially foreign coaches should try to maintain a standard.
"Good sense prevailed in the end though. He apologized and we chatted after and he seems like a nice guy.
"The players have to see that coaches can get along."
Tinoco, who steered Americano to two titles in the Rio De Janeiro regional championship in 2002 and also coached Tanzania and the Cayman Islands, insisted that there were no hard feelings.
"The technical areas are too close (in Trinidad)," said Tinoco. "I think he was not paying too much attention and came into my side. I told him he could not
"But we don't have any problem and we had a nice chat after the game."
Clearly, Petrotrin will not concede ground easily this season-on or off the field.
'Oil Men' hold Jabloteh.
Petrotrin fire warning shot in Pro League.
"We beat Ma Pau 1-0 and people were saying they would like to see a football show," said United Petrotrin's new head coach Marcos Tinoco. "When we beat Police (4-0), they said Police played badly. But now they see that we can play football."
Petrotrin, whose pre-season transfer acquisitions were the talk of the Digicel Pro League, gave a glimpse of their title credentials on Saturday night as the "Oil Men" played their part in a pulsating 1-1 draw with reigning champions, CLICO San Juan Jabloteh, at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar.
Jabloteh and Petrotrin both remain unbeaten this season although the two outfits were clearly more intent on extending their 100 per cent records at kick off.
Typically, Jabloteh save the blood and thunder stuff for W. Connection and Joe Public. Instead, referee Shane De Silva endured a testing outing that, at some stages, looked to be slipping out of control.
At one point, De Silva's two assistants were on the field as both teams squared up while even the fourth official needed to be alert as tempers flared between Jabloteh's rookie coach, Earl Jean, and Tinoco.
Tinoco offered a handshake to Jean at the final whistle and both men left Malabar on friendly terms. But there was no obvious camaraderie between the respective players although, for 90 minutes, there was no separating them.
Jabloteh started brighter but went behind in the 42nd minute when former Joe Public talisman, Arnold Dwarika, rifled home a terrific volley following a Nigel Daniel cross. Daniel was one of five former Jabloteh employees in Petrotrin's starting line-up
Seconds before the interval, Jabloteh pulled level after a clever finish from captain Marvin Oliver on an emotional evening for the lanky playmaker. Oliver's mother passed away last week and there was a minute's silence, as tribute, before kick-off.
The dreadlocked maestro was composure personified inside the opposing penalty area as he shaped to shoot but instead shuffled the ball from left to right boot before steering into the far corner.
Oliver kept his head but it seemed that everyone else was losing theirs.
Tinoco felt Guerra deserved more than the yellow card he received for a forearm into Daniel's face while the former player was screening the ball. The Brazilian might have seen red himself for a shove on Jean, who had strayed into the Petrotrin technical area, while both teams exchanged threats after a foul by Ian Gray-another former Jabloteh employee-in the closing minutes.
By then, De Silva had already ejected "Soca Warrior" Makan Hislop for two bookable offences. She did not book anyone after the scuffle and in stoppage time, declined a penalty shout from Jabloteh although Gray had Guerra's shirt in grip as he wrestled the talented attacker off the ball.
Jabloteh remained atop the standings and three points clear of Petrotrin at the final whistle although the Oil Men have a game in hand. One suspects that these two will be breathing down each other's necks for much of 2009.
Petrotrin: 27.Edgar Ospina; 24.Cyd Gray, 5.Makan Hislop [Red Card], 14.Ian Gray, 17.Nigel Daniel; 19.Ghmyo Harper; 9.Arnold Dwarika, 23.Kennedy Hinkson, 8.Simeon Augustus (10.Kwame Wiltshire 76); 12.Gary Glasgow (11.Aurtis Whitley 62), 18.Nigel Pierre (22.Anthony Noriega 82).
Jabloteh: 22.Cleon John; 27.Joel Russell, 28.Robert Primus, 4.Karlon Murray, 12.Elton John; 5.Anton Hutchinson, 17.Devon Jamerson; 10.Marvin Oliver, 11.Ataullah Guerra; 19.Hector Sam (18.Cyrano Glen 59), 13.Jason Marcano (30.Lester Peltier 67).