STATHS take pole position in Group B

...as previous leaders Mona, Bridgeport end in stalemate

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) jumped to the summit of a very competitive Group B in the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup competition after previous leaders Mona High played out a 0-0 result with Bridgeport High in their game at the former's home ground yesterday.

The lead in the group, which involves defending champions Jamaica College, has consistently switched hands between the top-four teams over the past few games, which increases interest for the return leg.

STATHS's 5-0 thumping of the pointless Donald Quarrie propelled them to pole position on eight points, the same as Jamaica College, who came from behind to get by Papine 2-1 yesterday.

However, the Spanish Town Road-based team hold a superior goal difference of eight over the reigning champions, who have a plus-three goal difference.

Meanwhile, previous leaders Mona slipped to third on seven points, while Bridgeport have been relegated to fourth on six points in the closely contested group.

At Mona yesterday, in what was then a top-of-the-table clash, both teams took a while to get going in a lukewarm first half, but Bridgeport started to show signs of life on the hour mark and were left ruing what could have been after failing to find the elusive winner.

Captain Kyle Ming, like he did in their 1-1 draw against JC on last, got to a Romario McPherson corner ahead of the defence, but only managed to steer his header into the hands of custodian Jean Luke Wilmot, who proved equal to the task.

Javaughn Dunn thought he found the winner for the former champions a minute later, but his left-footed effort rocketed off the right upright and was followed by a wayward drive from the rebound.

As the clock continued to wind down, the Portmore-based team injected some tempo into their attacking thrust and were again presented with another glorious opportunity to steal the show when Kevough Brown broke down the left channel and into the danger area.

But instead of picking out Carlyle Goodwin, who had a clear path to goal, Brown selfishly went for a tame left-footed effort, which was comfortably accepted by Wilmot shortly before the final whistle.

Bridgeport's head coach Garnett Lawrence was again grateful for a point, but felt they should have left with all three.

“It is a bit upsetting, but we still have to give God thanks and press on. Not to find excuses, but we have had four games in less than two weeks, so the legs are a bit tired. So we just have to take this point and look forward to the next game coming up,” Lawrence told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview.

His counterpart Kevin Williams heaped praises on his players for what he described as a gusty display.

“I felt we played a very gusty game today (yesterday); we stuck to the game plan; of course Bridgeport is way ahead of us where football academy is concerned in this competition. But I thought we played tactically well and as such we are happy with a point,” he noted.

— Sherdon Cowan

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