Manley hold Charlie goalless

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Norman Manley High earned only their second point this season when they held hosts Charlie Smith High to a goalless stalemate in yesterday's ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup Group C match at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

The result keeps Charlie Smith, the 1995 Manning Cup champions, second in the six-team group with seven points from four games. Norman Manley, who last lifted the title in 2002, stay fifth.

Camperdown High (12 points) maintain pole position in Group C after a 2-1 victory over visiting cellar team Jonathan Grant High (zero point). Eltham High climb to seven points, and trail Charlie Smith only due to an inferior goal difference, with a 3-1 victory away to Meadowbrook High.

At the Anthony Spaulding venue yesterday, Charlie Smith Head Coach Jerome Waite was left frustrated after his team dominated but missed the chance to stay closer to Camperdown.

“It's a disappointing result — goals win matches and we got countless opportunities... but these are youngsters, and they still have a lot to learn. We just have to ensure they keep focused throughout the season,” Waite told the Jamaica Observer during a post-match interview.

His opponent Paul Edwards was pleased with the point after they went down 0-2 to Camperdown in their previous outing.

“We played a little more disciplined than we did against Camperdown. With a little more finesse, a little bit more composure in front of goal we could have got a goal. But a point away [from home] is good against the team highly rated as the top team in the group,” Edwards reasoned.

In the early exchanges, neither team established any dominance in possession in wet and slippery conditions due to all-day rain.

Both sides were largely limited to wayward speculative shots before Charlie Smith goalkeeper Bush Stewart made a straightforward save from Norman Manley's Nicholas Hall mid-way the first half.

And almost immediately at the opposite end, Charlie Smith's Renaldo Cephas fired wide of advancing Norman Manley goalkeeper Almando Sinclair's goal after the attacker powered through the visitors' defence.

Cephas again went close, but his cushioned header sailed just past the far post after a delightful right-sided cross from Trivante Stewart.

With action in front of the Norman Manley goal intensifying, Stewart struck a 12-yard shot onto the upright and watched in disbelief as the football rebounded for an opposing defender to clear.

The second period lacked the goal-mouth excitement of the first half. However, Charlie Smith's Michael Meikle got a good opportunity to score the winner but he shovelled his one-time effort over the bar with 'keeper Sinclair bravely getting off his line.

And Norman Manley, soaking up pressure for most of the game, almost stole all three points when substitute Tajay Garrison broke clear inside the Charlie Smith penalty box. But to Charlie Smith's relief, his tame shot was comfortably saved by Bush Stewart.

—Sanjay Myers

Yesterday's results

Group C

Charlie Smith 0, Norman Manley 0

Camperdown 2, Jonathan Grant 1

Meadowbrook 1, Eltham 3

Group G

Wolmer's 2, Holy Trinity 1

Jose Marti 2, Edith Dalton James 3

Pembroke Hall 0, Waterford 1

Today's games

Group A

Cumberland vs Papine

Cedar Grove vs St Andrew Technical

St George's vs Tarrant

Group B

Ardenne vs Dunoon

Calabar vs Kingston College

Mona vs Clan Carthy

Group D

Innswood vs Denham Town

Greater Portmore vs St Jago

Tivoli vs Bridgeport

Group E

Haile Selassie vs Oberlin

St Catherine vs Excelsior

St Mary's College vs Penwood

Group F

Campion vs Hydel

Kingston Technical vs Jamaica College

Kingston High vs Vauxhall

(Home teams named first and all games begin at 3:30 pm)

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