Excelsior rally to knock over Charlie Smith in the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup football match at Courtney Walsh Oval, Excelsior High, yesterday.

September 19th, 2010

Excelsior High School's Juvane Benjamin (left) heads the ball as he is challenged from behind by Charlie Smith's Andrew Allen, during the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup football match at Courtney Walsh Oval, Excelsior High, yesterday. Benjamin netted a double as Excelsior won 4-2. - Gladstone Taylor/Photographer.

Excelsior recorded an exciting 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Charlie Smith in their Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Pepsi/Digicel schoolboy Manning Cup Group C match yesterday at the Courtney Walsh Oval.

Substitute Juvane Benjamin (53rd, 81st) and captain Neco Brett (67th, 88th) scored all four goals for the Leebert Halliman-coached Excelsior, who were recording their second consecutive win in this year’s competition. Lennox Russell scored both goals for Charlie Smith in the 48th and 58th minutes.

Halliman, whose team last won back-to-back titles in 2003-04, said he was delighted with his team’s performance because they played their hearts out for their school.

“I have to commend my boys because they did it all on their own,” said Halliman.

“We lost one of our players from our Pepsi team yesterday (Friday), and so I had to do everything to ensure that they forgot about it and be prepared for this match,” he said.

“They really played very hard because they had come from behind on both occasions to win this match for us,” Halliman continued.

The Excelsior Under-13 player for whom his schoolmates were grieving is Mark Riley, who died shortly after collapsing at school on Friday.

Meanwhile, Jerome Waite, coach of Charlie Smith, said poor defending cost his team dearly.

“We played a spirited game of football in the first half and early in second half, but when our defender got hurt, Excelsior took over the game and they utilised that advantage and scored four goals against us,” said Waite.

“However, I think we played fairly well and there is still room for improvement, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and prepare ourselves for the next match,” Waite added.

Playing in front of a capacity crowd, Russell gave Charlie Smith the lead when he headed home a corner kick from Sheldon Williams past goalkeeper Johan Morgan.

However, Excelsior equalised five minutes later when Benjamin fired home a cross from Brett, who had earlier dismissed three Charlie Smith defenders.

The skilful and speedy Russell netted Charlie Smith’s second goal from the penalty spot to make it 2-1.

However, the fleet-footed and speedy Brett pulled his team level nine minutes later when he scored from the penalty spot.

Benjamin and Brett later scored to seal the win for the hosts.

Yesterday’s Results

  • Group A: Waterford 2 Oberlin 1, Camperdown 2 St Mary’s College 1
  • Group C: Excelsior 4 Charlie Smith 2, Calabar 4 Papine 2
  • Group E: Wolmer’s 1 St Jago 1, St George’s College 7 Donald Quarrie 0, Spanish Town 3 Ardenne 0


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