Role player Nelson guides Hydel past C'bar
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
Hydel High tagged Calabar High 2-0 at Calabar High playing field yesterday to be sole leaders in Group F of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Manning Cup football competition.
National Under-17 representative Nicholas Nelson netted in the third minute and Rodari Edwards sealed the deal in the 90th minute for the visitors.
Hydel's victory was orchestrated by Nelson, who played in the midfield position and not as a striker, the role he plays on the national team. His early goal paved the way for the 2012 beaten Manning Cup finalists.
"I feel very good to know that I scored the opening goal that helped the team to win against a tough Calabar team today (yesterday)," Nelson told The Gleaner.
"Credit to the team, as we played the better game; and in the end, it was an easy victory," the lanky 16-year-old said.
It was only his second goal of the season in his team's 24 goals scored in only four games. However, Nelson said he is fulfilling the role that coach Donovan Hayles instructed him to play.
"The coach gave me a role, and I'm doing it to help the team. He told us to continue on the good work. Our first aim is to qualify for the LIME Super Cup, as we hope to be the first winner of this new trophy," Nelson informed.
Hayles, who took over from veteran coach Geoffrey Maxwell this season, described Nelson as a quality player.
"We decided to put Nelson in midfield because of the composition of the team. He is a quality player, and it is working so far," Hayles said.
"This is really a team on a mission to win the group and then plan our way forward," the former Kingston College goalkeeper and coach disclosed.
Meanwhile, veteran coach Bradley Stewart blamed his goalie for giving up a soft goal early in the game.
"The keeper made a blatant error on the first goal. That is unforgivable at this level, and that really helped the confidence of Hydel. They are a well-coached team," Stewart told The Gleaner.
"This loss, that is our first in four games, is a setback. Now we have to win all games in the return games and hope that Hydel falter a bit in order to top the group," he reasoned.
Hydel moved to maximum 12 points from four games, ahead of Calabar on seven from four games.
Cumberland 0 Vauxhall 1
Excelsior 5 Mona 0
St Mary's College 3 Tivoli 1
Innswood 1 Ardenne 2
Edith Dalton James 0 Denham Town 1
St Jago 2 St Catherine 0
Calabar 0 Hydel 2
Penwood 0 Eltham 4