St George's Coach Gayle takes Waterford win in stride
St George's College's Tae-Sean Oneil eludes a sliding tackle from Waterford High's Zaviour McGregor (on ground) during their ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup game at Winchester Park on Tuesday. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

It is often said that revenge is a dish best served cold, but St George's College's Assistant Coach Marcel "Fuzzy" Gayle was more concerned about how his team executed despite turning the tables on their recent conqueror Waterford.

After going down 2-3 when they first visited Waterford in the opening stages of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup, St George's College made amends, as they spanked their St Catherine opponents 3-0 in their Group A return-leg meeting at Winchester Park on Tuesday.

Tae-Sean Oneil (57th), Brian Burkett (68th), and Adrian Reid Jr (84th) were on target for the many-time champions, who, with a bit more composure in the final third, could have won by a wider margin.

Still, Gayle welcomed what was a much-improved performance when compared to their production on the less conducive surface at Waterford.

"It's not sweet revenge because St George's is a good team and we just, unfortunately, lost the first leg. We know we have quality and we know that if we put the ball on the ground we would have had some success, which we did today [Tuesday]," Gayle told reproters in a post-game interview.

"We are more focused on our performance so we consistently look at where we can improve. So we are assessing each game as we go along and we take it a game at a time as we try not to make the same mistakes over again as we go forward," he added.

St George's College bossed possession from the start and, as expected, showcased their usual fluid brand of football, though it lacked any real value in the attacking third.

In fact, it was Waterford that went closest to breaking the deadlock against the run of play in the 27th minute when Raniel Stephenson breached St George's defence but watched his right-footed shot come back off the upright.

St George's inevitably showed some intent in the final third when Reid Jr's firmly struck right-footer in the 36th minute was well saved by goalkeeper Alphanso Salmon, who took flight for a one-handed parry. Unfortunately, his awkward landing resulted in an ankle injury which forced his substitution.

The host continued to apply consistent pressure, but their wait for the go-ahead goal was extended to the second half as Burkett's well-taken free kick from just over 20 yards out was kept out by substitute goalkeeper Joshua White, who ensured the score remained goalless at the break.

Like they did at the start, St George's College came out pressing on the resumption and belatedly went ahead when Reid Jr's weighted corner kick was deflected in by Oneil.

On the hour mark, Joel Brown's telling cross landed nicely for Burkett, whose deft left-footer somehow came back off the crossbar.

However, the diminutive but nippy Burkett, sporting the number 10, was rewarded for his hard work when he converted a low free kick, beating White at his near post.

As St George's College continued their probe for a third, they found success when Reid Jr got in behind defenders and slotted past the hapless White to cap the win six minutes from time.

Sherdon Cowan

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