Cavalier boot Mount Pleasant to secure semi-final spot
Richard King

Like they did last year when they copped their first Jamaica Premier League (JPL) title for the first time in 40 years, Cavalier Football Club again came up trumps from the penalty spot, defeating Mount Pleasant FA 4-3 in their return leg quarter-final contest to secure a place in Sunday’s semi-finals.

After playing out a goalless stalemate in first leg action, Cavalier and Mount Pleasant again failed to separate themselves in a 1-1 scoreline in full and extra time at Sabina Park on Thursday.

National representative Richard King’s 26th minute penalty sent Cavalier in front, but that was cancelled out by another national representative, Daniel Green (35th), who logged his 13th goal of the season at the top of the chart.

With nothing between them after extra time, it was down to the dreaded penalties to decide the outcome and it was Cavalier and St Lucia-born goalkeeper Vino Barclett that held their nerves best and remain on course to retain their title.

They meet Dunbeholden in Sunday’s semi-final at the same venue.

For Mount Pleasant it was heart break for a fourth season since their existence, as they are again left empty-handed.

King; Gadial Irving; another St Lucian, Melvin Doxilly; and former Jamaica College standout Shadane Lopez, converted for Cavalier, while Kenroy Campbell was denied by Mount Pleasant’s Guyana-born custodian Akel Clarke.

Barclett then came up big to deny Donovan Segree and Daniel Green on the second and last kicks, after Ladale Richie, former Cavalier defender Jamoi Topey, and Cleon Pryce converted.

Having only lost once to Mount Pleasant in 11 meetings, Cavalier, kicking towards the North Stand, started with some degree of confidence as they quickly went on the front foot and could have opened the scoring inside three minutes.

This as Kenroy Campbell picked out Collin Anderson on the break, but the speedy player couldn’t sort is foot out in time for a proper shot in a one-on-one situation with Akel Clarke in goal for Mount Pleasant.

The champions continued to press for the early ascendancy and orchestrated another good build-up in the 16th minute which ended with Dwayne Atkinson playing Ronaldo Webster through on goal. But the shot was blocked by his former teammate Jamoi Topey.

Mount Pleasant belatedly came to life in the 22nd minute when Barclett advanced but failed to collect cleanly and was later caught in no-man’s land. However, he was given a reprieve by Trivante Stewart, who selfishly skied a left-footed effort instead of passing to Ricardo Morris waiting dead centre of the empty net.

Cavalier responded soon after, with King breaking the deadlock from the 12-yard spot after Atkinson again combined with Webster, who was felled inside the danger area by Richie.

On the half-hour mark, Mount Pleasant’s midfielder Shevon Stewart had his right-footer blocked, but only in the path of Topey, whose right-footed effort was fortuitously kept out well by Barclett’s outstretched leg as he dived away to his right.

However, the St Ann-based team was back on level terms five minutes later as Green broke down the left channel and later slipped by Kyle Ming before firing a left-footed shot pass a poorly positioned Barclett at his near post to make it 1-1 at the break.

There was very little on offer to write home about on the resumption as both teams, Cavalier in particular, seemed content with going to penalties, as they slowed the game down to snail’s pace.

They did, however, injected some tempo in the latter stages of regulation and extra time, creating a few half chances, but were undone by faulty shooting.

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