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Calabar ground flying Charlie Smith 3-1

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Former champions Calabar celebrated their 105th anniversary in style with a 3-1 beating of Charlie Smith High in the early Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup Group G top-of-the-table clash at their Red Hills Road base yesterday.

The green-and-black-clad team came up trumps courtesy of goals from Navardo Thomas (18th), Orane Ferguson (24th) and Matthew Sterling (83rd) to make it two from two with maximum six points.

Tyrick Reid got the consolation for Charlie Smith from the penalty spot in the 54th minute.

Meanwhile, Eltham High continued to keep pace with the leaders, as they too moved to maximum six points, but with an inferior goal difference, following a 2-0 beating of newcomers Cedar Grove, while Jonathan Grant registered their first win of the campaign by clipping Campion College 1-0.

Following a convincing 7-2 victory in their first contest, former champions Charlie Smith would have been confident of extending their winning streak, but Calabar — founded on this day by Reverends Ernest Price and David Davis in 1912 — had other ideas of capping off the anniversary celebrations on a high.

They opened the scoring when Thomas converted in the 18th minute, and before Charlie Smith could recover they suffered another blow six minutes later. This time it was Ferguson doing the damage from the 12-yard spot after the ball was handled inside the area by a defender.

However, the 'Junglists' eventually found their footing and controlled possession, but a number of unforced errors, with faulty shooting and a lack of composure, proved their undoing as the score remained unchanged at the break.

But they came out more purposeful on the resumption and were duly rewarded nine minutes in when Reid converted from the spot courtesy of a handled ball. The aggressive centre forward came close to grabbing a second and the elusive equaliser two minutes later, but was denied by the advancing custodian Deandre McCoy.

Despite applying consistent pressure, Charlie Smith failed to create any more meaningful chances, and a lapse in concentration in their defence was the writing on the wall.

Sterling popped up to seal the win when he managed to turn and fire past Lando Johnson in goal for Charlie Smith from the top of the 18-yard box as none of the three defenders in his vicinity attempted a tackle.

Winning coach Lij Simms welcomed the three points against the group favourites, which has set them up nicely for group honours.

“This will set the platform, but we will take it one game at a time and prepare as we go along, as our main aim and focus is to win the group,” he told reporters in a post-game interview.

Calabar's Principal Albert Corcho was also basking in the victory on their anniversary.

“It is still early days but the boys did well and they also looked pretty good in the first game; Charlie Smith is the top team in the group, so we are happy that we got a win against them.

“I am trying to remember when was the last time we started with two wins. So this is pretty good, and to add to that we have been having a good day today (yesterday) in celebration and the boys literally gave us a birthday present,” Corcho told the Jamaica Observer.

“But we wish all the teams the very best, from an ISSA perspective, we hope that we will have a competition that is free of injury this season and the teams will grow from strength to strength,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ian Barnett, assistant coach of Charlie Smith, took some positives from the performance.

“We are just not finishing, that is one of our main problems, but this is a very young team and we are trying to build with them, hence their errors. But we have Campion the next game, so we are going to go back and do some work and see if we can return to winning ways,” he told the Observer.


Yesterday's results

Group A

Pembroke Hall 0, Tivoli 3

Kingston High 2, Innswood 1

Haile Selassie 0, Wolmer's Boys 2

Group B

Mona 1, Jamaica College 3

STATHS 0, Bridgeport 0

Donald Quarrie 1, Papine 1

Group E

Spanish Town 0, Greater Portmore 1

Norman Manley 0, Excelsior 2

Ardenne 1, Kingston College 12

Group G

Cedar Grove 0, Eltham 2

Campion College 0, Jonathan Grant 1

Calabar 3, Charlie Smith 1