XLCR, Spanish Town in decisive clash
EXCELSIOR High and Spanish Town High will square-off for a semi-final berth in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup today at 3:00 pm at Spanish Town Prison Oval.
In the 1 o' clock curtain-raiser at the venue, the Marvin Tate-coached Calabar High and the Wayne Bruce-conditioned Donald Quarrie meet in a game of academic interest.
Both Excelsior and Spanish Town have recorded two wins in the second round Group H against Calabar and Donald Quarrie, respectively, to share top spot with six points.
Excelsior, however have a better goal difference and need only a draw to progress to the semi-final. The 2004 champions are, however, expected to maintain their natural attacking approach for this encounter.
The Mountain View Avenue-based team is not short of confidence, with attacker Brian Richards, who belted five goals past Donald Quarrie in their 6-1 win earlier this week, in imperious form.
Head coach Leebert Halliman insisted the aim is to get all three points, despite Spanish Town's home advantage.
"We approach every game the same and this will be no different. We have to come out and play the same way we have played all season.
"You can't make those sudden changes with young players. We had some internal hiccups earlier this week, but hopefully, we can overcome that... Spanish Town is a strong team...," Halliman told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Spanish Town, who clipped an under-strength Calabar, 2-1, in their previous match, thanks to a double from the hardworking Kevon Nembhard, know they need to win if they are to advance and maintain their hopes of reaching a first final since losing to Bridgeport High in 2001.
Anthony Thompson, coach of the St Catherine team, charged that his will players will stick to their attacking mantra.
"We're going to play and look for that win. We have to play our best game to get that result. We always attack... this is a team always trying to play fluent football. It will be no different tomorrow (today)," he said.
"We're confident and will take on Excelsior the same we played when up against teams like Jamaica College and Calabar," Thompson said.