Red Stripe Premier League


Upsets galore!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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Upsets were the order of the day in Group A action of the shortened ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup season yesterday, as Kingston Technical, Kingston High and Bridgeport High downed their more fancied rivals.

Kingston Technical continued their charge toward a quarter-final berth with a 3-1 win over many-time champions St George's College, while Kingston High left it late to clip Calabar High 1-0 in the double-header at Stadium East.

In St Catherine, Bridgeport High also edged another former champion Charlie Smith 1-0 in their contest at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.

The results saw the Shaun Charlton-conditioned Kingston Technical consolidating their lead atop the standings, moving to nine points, three more than Charlie Smith and St George's College, with the latter playing one game less.

Bridgeport and Kingston High, who were earning their first points, remain sixth and seventh on three points each, while Calabar remain fourth on four points, same as defending champions Jamaica College, who were idle yesterday.

Kingston Technical, Jamaica's oldest technical institution, are so far proving the surprise package this season, having now taken the scalp of two of the proverbial bigwigs.

After clipping Jamaica College 1-0, they would have entered yesterday's clash against St George's College with their tails high and it was clear for all to see, as they completely outplayed their North Street opponents.

It took them only three minutes to break the deadlock when Worrell Nelson's shot from a distance held up in a strong wind coming from the Mountain View end, but somehow eluded Donjae Jackson in goal for St George's College.

But the Neville Bell-coached St George's College were back on level terms in the 10th minute through a well-executed free-kick by central defender Lamonth Rochester.

After Adrian Reid was taken down at the edge of the 18-yard box, Rochester stepped up and placed his left-footer around the four-man wall and to the right of custodian Kerron Grant, who was left flat-footed on his line.

However, those celebrations were short-lived, as Kingston Technical regained the lead in the 21st minute through Beeko Smythe, who latched on to a loose ball and rifled a right-footed effort past the hapless Jackson, after his defenders failed to clear their lines cleanly.

And Kingston Technical almost extended the lead but Rajwayne Chin's free-kick from just over 20 yards came back off the crossbar.

Despite chasing the game in all quarters, St George's College continued to show fight and it took some good glovework from Grant, diving full stretch to his right, to keep out Brian Burkett's effort from a distance to ensure Kingston Technical remained 2-1 up at the break.

Any hope St George's College had of staging a comeback was thrown out the window on the resumption, as Kingston Technical, led by the influential Maquan Aldridge, had no intentions of letting up.

In fact, so high was their confidence that Aldridge took the mickey out of several defenders with some nippy footwork much to the delight of the media personnel and police officers who were the only spectators in the venue.

Tedane Williams had a grand opportunity to push Kingston Technical further ahead in the 54th minute, but went for power instead of placement in a one-on-one situation with Jackson deep inside the six-yard box. He watched in despair as Jackson gloved his stinging shot onto the crossbar.

But Williams later redeemed himself in the 63rd minute when he fired home from close range after Aldridge glided past two defenders and floated a cross to the far post, to make it 3-1.

And Aldridge almost added his name to the scoresheet but his shot from the top of the 18-yard box was tipped over by Jackson eight minutes from time.

Meanwhile, it took a freakish goal from captain Keshawn Wisdom in the 90th+1 minute to hand Kingston High victory over Calabar in the second contest.

Wisdom literally carved the goal out of a nothing clearance as he hit it right back towards goal on the volley from the middle of the park and watched as it sailed over the head of Calabar's goalkeeper Cory Hamilton to send Kingston High's bench into frenzy.