‘THEY MADE MISTAKES!’
Kingston Technical Head Coach Francis Murray believes defending champions Jamaica College (JC) benefited from questionable officiating in his team’s 3-1 loss in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup on Tuesday at the Bell Chung Oval, which put a dent in their hopes of qualifying for the second round of the competition.
JC dominated the opening 45 minutes with Alexander Graver giving them the lead in the ninth minute. Shortly after the half-time break, they were awarded a penalty which captain Renson Sawyers slotted home in the 51st.
Kingston Technical pulled one back just two minutes later, thanks to a QueWayne Hudson header, but the Old Hope Road-based boys left with all three points as Amarlie King found a third in the 69th minute.
The final minutes of the game saw both teams trading tough tackles and Kingston Technical players exchanging verbal jabs at the final whistle.
While acknowledging his team made some errors, Murray says a lot of the frustration was caused by poor refereeing.
“I’m not one to knock officiating, but at crucial points some unfortunate mistakes were made in the officiating area. I think the people from the opponents’ bench controlled a lot of the calls. I’m not saying the officials were poor, but they made some crucial mistakes at some crucial times,” he said.
Kingston Technical remain on 18 points in Group B, but fall to third in the group behind leaders JC and Tivoli Gardens, which means automatic qualification is out of their hands. But Murray isn’t giving up hope just yet.
“We will cool down. I mean, it’s football and tempers do flare and egos do get bruised but we will recoup, settle down and get them seeing the end picture and working for each other again,” said Murray.
Meanwhile, with JC needing just a point from their remaining two games to officially secure a spot in the second round, Head Coach Davion Ferguson says his team is ready to handle the pressure as they seek to defend their title.
“Every game we play, Jamaica College is targeted whether it’s first round, second round, quarter-final or wherever in the competition. It’s something we’re used to by now,” he said.
“These youngsters who have come through the system, they understand what it takes and means to play for JC. We have educated most of them well in terms of that department so they’re good in that department.”