Charlie Smith hunt big win against Mona
Former champions Charlie Smith High will be on the hunt for goals when they face lowly Mona High in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-FLOW Manning Cup Group D football match at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex in Trench Town today, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Charlie Smith have nine points, the same as Waterford High and Holy Trinity High in the group. However, Waterford enjoy a better goal difference ahead of Holy Trinity and Charlie Smith. Mona and Clan Carthy High are in fourth and fifth place, respectively, on one point apiece.
With the return games in the preliminary stage set to begin today, Jerome Waite, head coach of Charlie Smith, says the group is competitive for the top spot, so winning the game against Mona by a wide margin is important.
"First and foremost, the players have to dig themselves out of the situation. Waterford and Holy Trinity are good teams and that makes the group competitive," Waite told The Gleaner yesterday.
"I'm expecting the team to score (many) goals tomorrow (today) as we are currently in third position on goal difference," he explained.
"The Mona team is out of contention, but we can't take them lightly. We have to go out there in a positive mindset," Waite added.
Charlie Smith will be without first-choice goalkeeper Shamarlee Clayton, who is out for about three weeks because of a neck injury sustained in the team's 2-0 loss to Holy Trinity last Tuesday.
In that game, Clayton was knocked down by a Holy Trinity player. Also, Kemar James was injured in the same game.
"It will be a loss as the goalie (Clayton) is very competent. He will be replaced by DeAndre Hutchinson. It is a touch-and-go situation with Kemar James. I'm not sure if he will play," Waite disclosed.
McCauley McIntosh, Mona's sportsmaster, says the spirit in the team is not high, following three losses and a draw in the first round.
"Some of the players (have) lost the spirit of winning, especially the senior ones. The team is in turmoil," McIntosh disclosed ahead of today's match.
"However, the team gave Charlie a good fight in the first game and promised to also give it their all against them again. I'm expecting another tough game," he added.
In the other Group E game of high interest, joint leaders Waterford and Holy Trinity are engaged in a crucial clash. Waterford edged Holy Trinity 1-0 in the first game two weeks ago.
In a Group A encounter, Excelsior High are expected to again get the better of Tarrant High. In the first game, Excelsior drubbed Tarrant 4-0 at Excelsior two weeks ago.
Tarrant High vs Excelsior High
Greater Portmore High vs Tivoli Gardens High
Eltham High vs STATHS
Holy Trinity vs Waterford
Charlie Smith High vs Mona High
(Home teams are named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m.)