'Watts' his name

Lennon striker grabs brace to propel team to quarter-final of D'Cup

Thursday, October 19, 2017



A first-half brace from Kwesi Watts was enough to earn Lennon High a 2-0 win over Port Antonio High and easy passage to the quarter-final round of the ISSA/FLOW DaCosta Cup, with an aggregate score of 4-1 on Tuesday at the Juici Park Field.

Coming into the game with a 2-1 first-leg advantage, Lennon went to work early and got the back-breaking third goal of the tie only 17 minutes in. Watts cleverly beat his marker before rifling home a left-footed thunderbolt into the far corner of the goal beyond the unsuccessful dive of Thomas Williams.

Watts earlier had a similar opportunity that he missed, but this time he made no mistake.

Port Antonio were on the back foot from early, but did get a sniff of goal when a long ball from Okeitho James fell to an unmarked Andrew Rayne whose shot from inside the box went just wide of the post. It was a real chance for Port Antonio to drag themselves back into the contest.

Lajohn Livingstone thought he had scored when his left-footed shot whizzed across the goal, but it was just inches wide of the far post as Port Antonio continued to live dangerously.

James, arguably Port Antonio's best player, almost found the back of the net with a free kick from a distance that had the Lennon custodian Tyrone Mullings tipping the ball over the crossbar for a corner kick.

Watts would end the game as a contest from the 33rd minute, however, with a composed, quality finish. Played through on goal by Livingstone, the short, stocky player calmly approached the advancing goalkeeper before picking his spot and slotting home to make it 2-0 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate, with just over a third of the game played.

Shortly after the restart Watts could have made it 3-0, but he just failed to get on the end of a good cross from Alfanso Johnson.

Johnson then had a chance to put his name on the score sheet when one-on-one with Williams, but he shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Watts, who got all four goals of the tie for Lennon, was substituted with 15 minutes to go, no doubt with the quarter-final round being a part of the consideration.

An acrobatic effort by Zedon Cataroo from a Rayne cross was well held by Mullings as Port Antonio continued to hunt a way back, but it was not to be. Their last chance at a consolation was spurned by Cataroo, who scooped his effort over the crossbar from about three yards.

Lennon coach Merron Gordon said that getting an early goal was a major part of the game plan.

“That was the game plan; we wanted an early goal. We knew they had to come at us, so the aim was to take the initiative and go at them. We got an early goal which was good for us and I think we basically managed the game. I am a bit disappointed about how we possessed the ball because it's crunch time, so we need to get that sharp and fix that up for Saturday,” he said.

Marlon Hylton, head coach of Port Antonio High, was proud of his young squad despite their season coming to an early end.

“Unfortunately, we conceded an early goal. We tried as best to get back a goal but it didn't happen. Hats off to Lennon. Two good goals, and I hope they push on in the season. What we have to do is look forward to next season and then we will get better,” he said.

The four-group quarter-final round of the DaCosta Cup will get going this Saturday.

— Dwayne Richards

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