October 17th, 2010
Calabar’s Chevon Marsh (right) attempts to dribble around Excelsior’s Neco Brett. (Photo: Jermaine Barnaby)
Calabar High handed Excelsior their first defeat of the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup competition this season with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the group leaders at Red Hills Road yesterday to keep their hopes of a second round berth alive.
Akeil Barrett (47th and 87th minutes) netted both goals for the Alrick Clarke-coached side.
Juvanne Benjamin scored Excelsior’s goal in the 48th.
Excelsior still lead the standings with 22 points, while Calabar joined Innswood in second on 19 points, but with a better goal difference.
Clarke was a relieved man at the final whistle and he insisted that his side must continue to work hard if they hope to achieve qualification.
“Today we wanted it more, but we cannot go and celebrate now, we just have to come back and work hard,” he said.
Excelsior’s coach Leebert Halliman thought Calabar withstood the wet conditions better than they did.
“We just didn’t have the answer for them… but we have three more games, two at home, so hopefully that will be enough to see us through,” he said.
From the opening whistle the host looked the hungrier of the teams, but they found a tough Excelsior team very difficult to break down.
However, the breakthrough came just after the interval when Barrett latched onto a free-kick inside the area and headed past Jonah Morgan in goal.
But Excelsior were back on even terms just a minute later when Benjamin outmuscled his marker before firing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box past Bradley Allen.
Marlon Thompson nearly gave Calabar the win five minutes before the end, but his header crashed against the crossbar and out.
And with the game heading for a draw, the home team launched a long ball into the area that beat goalkeeper Morgan, but came back off the post and into the path of Barrett, who scored from point-blank range.
In the group’s other match, Charlie Smith blanked Kingston Technical 5-0 with a brace from Omar Pryce.
In Group A, Waterford (13 points) moved a point above Camperdown and three behind Jamaica College in the standings after a 1-0 win over the said opponent, thanks to Andre McFarlane’s lone strike.
Cumberland also defeated Oberlin 1-0 on Alton Ellis’ goal.
In Group E, St George’s College took a step closer to the next round with a 2-1 win over Edith Dalton James, while Spanish Town turned back St Jago 3-2 to move second above Wolmer’s, and Jameil Mills also scored twice in Ardenne’s 5-1 win over Donald Qurrie.
St George’s College lead this group with 21 points, followed by Spanish Town with 19, then Wolmer’s on 17.
Calabar’s Chevon Marsh (right) attempts to dribble around Excelsior’s Neco Brett during their ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup match at Red Hills Road yesterday. Calabar won 2-1.
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