Excelsior blunt KC in nil-all stalemate

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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The much-vaunted Kingston College attack that before Friday had scored 51 goals from 8 matches, was blunted by a resolute Excelsior rear guard in the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup football match that ended 0-0.

With one game left in the first round, Kingston College, on 25 points, and Excelsior High (20 points) have wrapped up respective first and second places in Group E, and will advance to the new-look knockout round.

Having lost the return fixture 1-3 at Stadium East field just a few weeks ago, Excelsior set out not to lose from the first whistle at their Mountain View Avenue base. The backline, led by Captain Alique Skerritt, did a good job keeping the likes of Rashawn Mackison, Omar Thompson and Trayvone Reid, restricting the KC attackers to shots from a distance as goalkeeper Jordan Hoilett was rarely troubled.

The emphasis on defence meant that Raewin Senior and company saw very little of the ball in the first 45 minutes, as the KC custodian Chadeen Rodriquez was a mere spectator for the first half.

The second half was virtually more of the same as both teams struggled to pass the ball well on a heavily grassed field that had suffered from heavy rains all week.

Goalscoring opportunities were few and far between but as the game wore on the home team started to show more ambition, which almost bore fruit.

A slip by Rodriquez almost gave Senior a sniff, but he recovered in time to catch the ball in flight and spare his own blushes.

KC got a few sights on goal as well but mostly from a distance as they lacked the fluency on the day that saw them average more than six goals a game coming into the contest.

Excelsior coach Shavar Thomas was pleased with the overall performance from his team.

“It is a positive reaction from the first loss against them (KC). In the first game I think we showed too much respect, so to speak , we didn't challenge their backline and today we did, somewhat,” he said.

For Kingston College coach Ludlow Bernard, the main objective of not conceding had been achieved.

“The most important thing in this game was our defending. We emphasised that before the game that we wanted to be strong defensively and I think we achieved that objective today,” he said.

—Dwayne Richards

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