'Nobody nuh listen to we!'
Charlie Smith coach furious following defeat to KC in adverse weather
Charlie Smith Head Coach Eugene Williams (left) and Kingston College Head Coach Vassell Reynolds (right) in discussion with the match officials during the lightning and rain-affected match at Calabar High on Wednesday. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

Charlie Smith Head Coach Eugene Williams has blasted the decision to finish their lightning- and rain-affected Inter-secondary Schools Association (ISSA) Manning Cup match against Kingston College (KC) on Wednesday at Calabar High.

The match, which was the first of a scheduled double-header, was halted in the 57th minute due to persistent lightning. Heavy rains started minutes later which went on for nearly an hour and made sections of the field waterlogged.

However, the referee eventually assessed the field and ruled it was suitable to resume despite Williams pleading with the officials to call off the game.

After a series of discussions a compromise was reached and the game continued. The end result left Williams even more furious as Kingston College found the winner in the 75th minute as Deshawn Byfield had an easy tap-in after the ball slipped out of the hands of Charlie Smith goalkeeper Deonte Grey.

Charlie Smith High's Raequan Stoney (left) tries to protect the ball from Kingston College's Robert Seow during the Manning Cup football match at Calabar High on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, Williams claimed his team was forced to carry on despite his many protests.

"People a guh make statement and make you know say you haffi play, no care what the circumstances. Is like the game haffi done because dem say a live game so it haffi play."

"And the referee a guh make me know say a [only] five per cent of the field wet up so me fi tell the guys dem don't carry the ball [there]. How can me tell the players to do that?"

He says he went as far as to reach out to ISSA President Keith Wellington, but found no success in his appeals.

Kingston College defender Raje Ximines (right) dribbles through a waterlogged section of the field during the match against Charlie Smith High at Calabar High on Wednesday.

"Everybody ignored [us]. All the president, me call and him say him can't make the decision because him not there so me say make me video call him and show you what me a talk bout. Nobody nuh listen to we!"

Williams thinks his team wouldn't have conceded if it weren't for the conditions.

"The ball wet so the ball drop out of my goalkeeper grasp. My goalkeeper coulda hold the ball if it was dry condition. But them insist dem haffi play."

Williams alleges his team isn't respected in comparison to other schools.

"Football cya win because dem a try show you say everything come before football. Remember say a student athlete, we supposed to a think what good for them and not good for them."

"We a nuh traditional high school so anything go. We nah nobody fi defend we. Me a tell you, it upset me!"

When contacted by the Observer, Keith Wellington declined to comment on the matter.

Head coach of KC Vassell Reynolds also expressed unease with the field but carried on with the decision made.

"We had a little concern with the waterlogged section to the right-hand side but as the referee said, it's 97 per cent playable so I guess based on the rule we had to comply and had no problem in the end," Reynolds said.

The second game of the Group A double-header between hosts Calabar and Hydel was postponed due to poor lighting.

Rain and lightning affected majority of the urban area games as only four games were reported to be completed. Defending champions Jamaica College had a 2-1 win over Kingston Technical; Mona High thrashed Edith Dalton James High 6-0; and Haile Selassie beat Eltham High 1-0.

BY DANIEL BLAKE Staff reporter blaked@jamaicaobserver.com

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